Guide to Finding the Best Miata Coilovers for Your Needs

Zippy power in a small package is the Mazda Miata promise. Nearly three decades as a bestseller means that there are a lot of MX5s out there trying to fulfill this sales pitch.

Some Miata owners were happy enough with the stock setup and left it as is. But for the rest of us, modding our Miata can border on obsession and coilovers are a popular mod option.

For most people, a two-seat sports car can only fulfill the daily-driver role for a short stretch of their life, so Miatas get bumped to weekend car status. They also appear frequently in the secondhand market and are picked up by those looking for a starter track or drift day car.

For all of these activities, handling is a key element. Once you get past the debate about coilovers vs. lowering springs we expect you’re onboard with the idea that coilovers are the best-bang-for-your-buck route to a smoother driving Miata.

From value plays to street options to track performers, in this article you’ll find the best coilovers for your MX5.

Best Value and Cheap Miata Coilovers

If you’ve tracked down a 1990s Miata in decent shape you might wonder why you’d spend the cost of the car (or more) on a suspension upgrade. Fair enough. Pricewise, these are the best coilovers for your first or second generation Miata.

Equally, if you’re just getting started with mods for your later-generation MX5, there are some affordable options to begin with.

Yonaka SPEC 2 Coilovers

Manufacturer: Yonaka Motorsports
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 28 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year (two and three years also available)
Buy from: Amazon

Yonaka made these coilovers for road driving that pushes the envelope, and the occasional track day.

What really sells this entry-level option for us is the ability to get 3-4” of ride height adjustment without altering the spring’s travel distance. If you’re after a low centre of gravity without the bruising, definitely include these coilovers on your shortlist.

Yonaka also makes a track-only version (with a 17% larger diameter piston). They’re very clear that this variant of the SPEC 2s are not road appropriate.

Adjustment tools are included in the kit.

Yonaka SPEC2 Miata Coilover Installed
Yonaka SPEC2 front coilover installation

Megan Racing EZII Street Series

Manufacturer: Megan Racing
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB, NC, ND
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 15 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy From: Amazon

From Megan Racing comes this very good value set of coilovers. Their EZII Street Series coilovers offer the adjustability to let you jump back and forth from road to track.

This is one of the cheapest coilover options for your Mazda Miata that doesn’t sacrifice a ton on quality.

And, sure, Megan also makes a variant of the EZII for the current (ND) generation Miata. But if you’re going to pay to mod a nearly-new car, we’d rather see you go with something that will offer a more obvious improvement like the KW Variant 3.

Megan Racing EZII Miata Coilovers
Set of Megan Racing EZII Miata coilovers

Tein Street Basis Z Coilover

Manufacturer: Tein
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Twin-tube
Damper adjustment: Fixed
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Not included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: Amazon

These very much are your entry-level option. But if you’re rolling on twenty-year-old OEM suspension, chances are something is not working the way it should and you’ll notice a big improvement with Tein’s Street Basis Z coilovers.

As the name suggests, these are marketed to the sporty road driver. Because of the cost, Street Basis Zs are one of the best coilovers for a first-generation Miata that doesn’t see time on the track.

No damping adjustment and the need to change the spring’s range to adjust the ride height mean that this coilover probably won’t cut it for advanced drivers.

A small amount of assembly is required, but the included instructions are super helpful. Also, note that this is a bring-your-own top hats situation.

The Street Basis Z may be one of the best cheap Miata coilover options if you find yourself in need of replacement suspension, before you can afford a pricier upgrade.

Tein Street Basis Z MX-5 Coilovers
Unlike many of the other options in this guide, Tein’s Street Basis Z coilovers don’t come with upper mounts.

Tein Street Advance Z Coilover

Manufacturer: Tein
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Twin-tube
Damper adjustment: 16 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Not included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: Amazon | Enjuku Racing

These guys offer a step up from Tein’s Basis option for only a little bit more cash. For that extra cost, you get a 16-way dampening adjustment.

The Street Advance Z is also compatible with Tein’s EDFC control system so you get to digitally manage your damping from behind the wheel.

Tein Street Advance Z with EDFC control unit
Street Advance Z’s can be controlled by Tein’s EDFC units.

A bit of assembly is required and you’ll still need to supply the top hats, but this remains one of the best value options for street driving.

Top Coilovers for Street Driven Miatas

A classic Miata is a fun car to drive and its broad popularity means that most of these cars will never see a track. If you’re sticking to the streets, these are the best coilovers for your MX5.

To a small minority, coilovers are thought of as a track-first mod. Obviously, handling is also important through winding roads even if you’re not on a pitched track or attempting a slalom course. Smooth cornering makes your MX5 a pleasure to drive.

Also, keep in mind that lowering your Mazda Miata’s centre of gravity will more evenly distribute weight front-to-back during acceleration and braking.

Street coilovers hold out the promise of a smoother ride that will keep your non-car-junkie partner from sending you to the doghouse.

Godspeed MonoSS Coilover

Manufacturer: Godspeed
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB, NC
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 16 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: Amazon

Now we’re getting into intermediate territory — this offering by Godspeed still comes in near the bottom of the price range for Miata coilovers, but with a few more premium features. For instance, you get height adjustment independent from spring tension adjusters.

You’ll get the benefits of a lower centre of gravity and more tire contact through the corners and also a smoother street ride.

The rear shocks in the set have an extended 2.75” top-hat to help minimize the chance of a bottom-out too.

And, yes, they only come in hot pink highlights.

Godspeed Mono SS Miata NC Coilovers
Godspeed’s Mono SS Miata NC Coilovers

Tein Flex Z Coilover System

Manufacturer: Tein
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Twin-tube
Damper adjustment: 16 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: Amazon

In the Flex Z part of the Tein range, we start to get into the level of quality that made the manufacturer’s reputation on the Japanese racing circuits. But we’re still certainly not at sky’s-the-limit prices.

Like the Street Advance Z coilovers, these can be hooked up to an EDFC system to put damper control at your fingertips while driving.

These are definitely road-first coilovers (hence the twin-tube construction) but a midrange damping setting will still feel stiff and responsive. They’ll also work out for the occasional trip to the track with your Miata.

Tein Flex Z Coilover Installed
Tein Flex Z front coilover installation. Photo: Brencaa

Miata BC Racing BR Series Kit

Manufacturer: BC Racing
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 30 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: Amazon | Enjuku Racing

MX-5 BC BR Coilovers
BC BR’s are a proven set of coilovers and one of our favorites.

Put this down as one of the top options in the intermediate range of MX5 coilover options. We start to get advanced features (like 30 damping levels) for affordable prices. They are especially popular with Miata/MX5 enthusiasts in North America, the UK and Australia.

BC Racing’s kit comes with all the needed tools and a straightforward installation process. That accessible price means this is an upgrade from stock (or really basic entry level) for most, so the improvement is pretty huge.

The manufacturer can put together custom spring packages upon request, but for most the standard springs are perfect. Their concave lower locking ring keeps your springs where you want them, though we’ve never had any trouble with these rings moving around before.

Skunk2 Pro ST Coilover

Manufacturer: Skunk2 Racing
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB, NC
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 12 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: Amazon

Skunk2 Pro ST Mazda Miata NA Coilover Set
Skunk2 Pro ST Mazda Miata NA/NB Coilovers

The Pro ST coilover by Skunk2 is where most club racers land when they want affordable track performance for their daily driver.

It has the familiar feature for this price range of separate adjustments for the ride height and spring tension. Heavy-duty manufacturing and materials round out the package here.

If you really want to drop your first-generation MX5 down as low as it will go, this coilover should be on your list.

They also make a variant for the third generation Miata.

Fortune Auto 500 Series Coilovers

Manufacturer: Fortune Auto
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB, NC
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 24 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 5 Years
Buy from: Enjuku Racing

Two factors earned Fortune Auto’s 500 series a spot on this list: They’re made in the US and come with an impressive five-year warranty. When the need arises they can be re-valved or rebuilt in the US.

Fortune Auto’s big claim to fame is their piston tech, which offers stiffer rebound force at lower speeds (when you want tight control through the corners) but a more adaptive, smoother ride at high speeds. It’s the best of both worlds.

We’re starting to drift into track-use territory here, but the spring rates are still forgiving enough to keep passengers happy on the streets.

Fortune Auto 500 Series Miata Coilovers
Fortune Auto 500 Series Miata Coilovers

Cusco Comp-S Coilovers

Manufacturer: Cusco
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: No
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 Year
Buy from: FR Sport

Looking for an easy-to-install coilover kit? Here’s the ticket. Cusco’s Comp-S comes pre-adjusted from the factory.

It also offers separate height and spring tension adjustment. The price is creeping above other intermediate options that allow a smooth daily drive and exciting track day in one.

Mazda MX-5 Lowered on Cusco Comp S Coilovers
Mazda MX-5 Lowered on Cusco Comp S Coilovers. Photo: MX-5, Stephen Hennessey, CC BY 2.0

Coilovers for Competition and Track Use

If quality is everything to you, and you intend on spending more time driving your Miata hard than easy, this section is for you.

Your choice becomes a question of which kit forces the most tire contact area with the tarmac as you’re going through a tight corner in your Mazda Miata.

These are our favourite options for knocking down that lap time, while still being more than comfortable enough for street use.

Stance XR1 Adjustable Coilover Kit

Manufacturer: Stance
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB, NC, ND
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 16 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 2 years
Buy from: Amazon

The XR1 kit from Stance is aimed at those easing into the performance category who want to drop their Miata as much as possible.

A solid offering, it’s worth shopping around to get the best price for these in order to score a high performance part at a very reasonable price.

Upgraded corrosion protection is another big plus if you drive your Mazda MX5 on salt-covered winter roads.

Stance XR1 on a Fiat 124 Spider
Stance’s XR1 coilovers are not only suited to earlier generation Miata’s, but also the ND Miata and therefore the Fiat 124 Spider.

Ksport Slide Kontrol Drift Coilover

Manufacturer: Ksport
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 36 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 1 year
Buy from: Amazon | Enjuku Racing

Truly fine-tuned damping is the name of the game here. We’re edging into track-first territory with this one, but consider that those 36 levels of damping will also bring comfortable road driving into range.

You can also special order an asphalt rally option from Ksport.

Electroplating on the body makes this another great option if you’re concerned about rust and corrosion.

Ksport Slide Kontrol Competition Use Coilovers
Ksport Slide Kontrol coilovers are popular among Miata drifters.

Ohlins Road & Track Coilover Kit

Manufacturer: Ohlins
Compatible MX5 generations: NA, NB, NC
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 20 levels
External reservoirs: No
Spring type: Linear
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: 2 years
Buy from: Amazon

A limited release from the venerable Swedish kit manufacturer has been on the market for the MX5 since 2016. They put their dual flow valve tech on this model to make it as easy as possible to change from street to track mode.

And if you’re going to spend this much on your Miata’s suspension kit, you’re almost definitely after a faster track time. The idea here is that a variety of precise adjustments make that possible.

Ohlins Road & Track Coilover Kit to suit Mazda MX-5
Ohlins Road & Track Coilover Kit is a serious option for your MX-5

KW Variant 3 (KW V3)

Manufacturer: KW Suspension
Compatible MX5 generations: NC, ND
Construction type: Monotube
Damper adjustment: 14 levels
External reservoirs: Yes
Spring type: Progressive
Upper mounts: Included
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Buy from: Amazon

Here again, we are getting to a more expensive option, but worth it for these premium coilovers from KW. The kit delivers on that promise with separate adjustment options for rebound and compression that are operated independently.

That means you can tune the desired comfort level for your drive to and from the track without messing with the responsive handling.

The limited lifetime warranty is a real selling point for the KW V3s. As well, KW has targeted the later model years (post-2006) leaving the first two generations to the budget-friendly coilover manufacturers.

KW Variant 3 for ND Miata
KW Variant 3 for ND Miata

The Best MX5 Coilovers

That’s a long, exhaustive list of coilover options for your Mazda Miata. All are worth recommending but this is the cream that rises to the top:

For performance amongst value MX5 coilovers: Yonaka Spec 2s are easy to recommend because they deliver performance, at a good price, without stripping out all of the core features.

Best coilovers for NA Miata: BC Racing’s BR kit will be a huge improvement over the weathered and worn OEM suspension on a classic Miata.

Best for street driving: Tein Flex Z and its twin-tube will deliver on the promise of a smooth ride for the daily driver crowd. Easy adjustments via the EDFC system are a fun novelty.

Dream coilovers: If money’s no limit, the Ohlins kit will give you the most to brag about. Its roadworthiness means your passenger will be able to hear you bragging.

 

Feature image: ’99 Mazda Miata, adaptation by Low Offset, original by LowPokesCC BY 2.0

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