Top 10 Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata: Recommendations & Reviews

“Miata is always the answer” is a quote that has been present in the car industry for a while now. Most might ask, “Why?” and the answer will be because of the Mazda MX-5.

The first-ever Mazda MX-5 rolled off the assembly line back in 1989 and has been in the heart of car enthusiasts ever since. Since the dawn of cars, people have been talking about the best recipe for a fun-to-drive car – front-engine and rear-wheel drive. Mazda took that recipe, put it in a light-weight two-seater chassis, and produced the Miata. For those that are confused, the MX-5 and Miata are the same cars, the difference in the name comes from the different variations based on location. The US got the Miata, and Europe got the MX-5.

Over three decades, the Miata got several upgrades, as well as several other facelifts. In its lifespan, the Miata had four different versions, ranging from NA to ND. The NA, being the first one, was probably the purest one. It has no ABS, no airbags, no power aids; it was just you and the car. The later generations saw some improvements, under the hood and in other aspects as well. Overall, some people liked the new upgrades, while others did not, but everyone loves the way you can dance with the car in the corners.

In this article, we are going to focus mostly on performance tires because the Miata is essentially a sporty two-seater. We will touch base on a few touring cars if you are into a smoother riding experience.

Let us dive into the best tires for Miata.

1. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

Best Summer Performance Tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

We are starting the summer performance Miata tires list with Michelin. Their lineup of Pilot Super Sport are the tires you want to have on your car. This will most likely be the most expensive tire you can fit and with good reason. Michelin designed these tires to be as grippy as possible so that you can forget about your tail-happy experience with other tires.

Driving down the twisty roads is not all about the grip; it is also about the steering input and the overall driving dynamics, and the Pilot Super Sport got you covered. Being the performance tires that they are, you will instantly feel the difference between them and all the others. A car will eventually need to stop, and these Michelins will grip well enough to stop you in the shortest distance possible. To top it all off, the noise from them is not all that great, so highway speeds will not be as noisy as you might think. The icing on the cake is the warranty – yes, they come with 30,000 miles of tread warranty, which is a rare thing in this category of tires.

If you think that this is all too good to be true, think that manufacturers like Ferrari or Porsche mount them on their high-performance cars.

Regarding the Miata that you can fit these on, you will only be able to fit the on the fourth-generation MX-5, ND.

Pros

  • Excellent grip and responsiveness
  • 30,000 miles tread warranty
  • Relatively quiet

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Continental ExtremeContact Sport

Best Summer Performance Tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires are often considered the direct competitor of the Michelin tires from above. One thing to bear in mind is that they will not perform the same or better, but what they offer and the price makes them a good alternative.

Performance-wise, the ExtremeContact Sport are probably one of the best tires for Miata. The reason for that is that the grip is excellent, in some cases on par with other more expensive tires, and the steering responsiveness will make your MX-5 much more alive. Another advantage is their performance on wet surfaces. Unlike some of the high-performance tires that fall short on wet surfaces, these might even surprise you. All of this comes packed in a price which makes them more affordable than their competitors with a 30,000-mile tread warranty, same as the Michelin.

It is not all positive, though, there are some drawbacks. One thing that performance tires suffer is noise and comfort, and these are no exception. The noise at higher speeds can become a problem, and you will feel most bumps in the road.

One good news is that you can find sizes from these tires for all four generations of the Miata.

Pros

  • Excellent grip
  • Decent performance on wet surfaces
  • 30,000-mile tread warranty

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Not very comfortable on rough surfaces

3. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500

Best Summer Performance Tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

Firestone is not always people’s first choice, but over the years, they have made very good tires, and the Firehawk Indy 500 are no exception. As the name might suggest, these are performance tires made to get the most out of your Miata.

If it is the performance you want, these tires will not disappoint. The levels of grip are phenomenal, and every millimeter of steering input you provide is felt. That grip means that when you take your MX-5 down a twisty road, you will feel how the cars sticks to the road. Another aspect where these tires are phenomenal is the braking. Thanks to the grip they provide, they can stop you without breaking a sweat.

Wet conditions should be no problem for the Firehawk Indy 500. Their performance on wet surfaces is almost as good as on dry tarmac, and the way their treads are designed, they can even resist hydroplaning. Speaking of treads, we come to the bad news. Unlike some of their competitors, these tires come with no tread warranty. But that may not be all that bad news. Unlike the competitors that do offer a warranty, these are much cheaper, so you might not care about that.

What you do might care about is noise and ride comfort, and these are things that you might not get from these tires. They are not the noisiest or the least comfortable tires in this category, but they are still far from any touring tire that you might get.

You can put these Mazda Miata tires on almost all variations of all four generations.

Pros

  • Excellent performance on dry surfaces
  • Great handling in wet conditions
  • Not very expensive

Cons

  • No warranty on the tread
  • Not the most comfortable
  • Can get noisy on high speeds

4. Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

Best Summer Performance Tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

Even though Bridgestone is the mother company of Firestone, these tires still deserve a spot on this list. The S-04 Pole Position tires are designed for cars that are meant to be driven to the limit, like your Mazda Miata.

When it comes to performance, there are no compromises here. The levels of grip and traction are on par with most of their competitors, with only a fraction of the price. Putting these tires means that every time you turn the steering wheel, your car will come alive and react sharply. Having that much grip also means that the stopping distance will be shorter compared to touring tires.

Performance on wet surfaces is another forte of these tires. They will maintain grip and corner stability with no problems.

All of the advantages above mean that the comfort is not all that great. The noise levels and ride comfort are not the worst in the category but are certainly not the best. Another thing to bear in mind is the lack of a tread warranty.

These are tires that you can install only on the fourth-generation Miata.

Pros

  • Great handling on dry and wet
  • Not very expensive
  • Ensure exemplary steering response and cornering are excellent

Cons

  • No tread warranty

5. Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3

Best snow performance tires for the Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

People might say that rear-wheel-drive cars are not to be driven on snow. With the right tires, they can, thanks to the Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3. These tires are designed to perform excellently on conditions where some people would not dare to get out on foot.

The main difficulty most tires face in winter conditions is the snow and how slippery it can be. These tires eliminate that. The levels of grip and stability that these tires can hold on snow and ice is excellent, thanks to the compound which stays soft on lower temperatures and the tread pattern that pushes all the snow out of the way. The handling and steering input of your Miata will increase greatly, and you will also see a lot of improvements when it comes to breaking.

The comfort of these tires is far from excellent, but it is not bad at all. One thing that might put you off is the noise, and these tires can be quite noisy, especially at higher speeds. Another thing to keep in mind is that you get no tread warranty.

You can fit the Winter Snowcontrol Series 3 only on the fourth-generation Miata.

Pros

  • Great performance in winter conditions
  • Excellent over snow and ice
  • Very good braking and excellent on the wet roads
  • Sporty handling

Cons

  • Below average comfort
  • Noisy
  • No treadwear warranty

6. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

Best snow performance tires for the Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

Getting tires from Nokian is not something that would cross your mind first, but that might be a mistake. In the category of best performance snow tires, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 might be the best choice.

In snowy and icy conditions, these Miata tires can outperform any other winter tire you can find. The levels of grip are almost like driving on dry pavement, and the stability in corners is so good that you might forget you drive in winter. The reason for this is the compound that allows the tire to remain soft even in very low temperatures, thus providing the grip you need to stay on the road and brake.

Something that you might think is that it will be noisy – well, it is not. Considering that this is a winter performance tire, the noise levels are very low, and the ride quality does not take a hit.

You can put these tires on all four generations of the Miata.

Pros

  • Superb winter performance
  • Excellent grip on snow and ice
  • The perfect balance between safety and comfort
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Expensive

7. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT

Best snow performance tires for the Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

The last tire in this list is the Blizzak LM-60 RFT from Bridgestone.

For this one, we have a few mixed feelings. The tire performs excellently on snow, maintaining traction and grip to get your around a corner of help you stop. One aspect where it does not shine all that much is its performance on the ice, which is below average compared to others in this category.

Another thing that is not so good about it is the noise. When driving on snow, it is not that bad, but at higher speeds, the noise is noticeable.

Warranty-wise, Bridgestone does not give any. In reality, people had no problem with the longevity of these tires, so it might not be a problem. In all honesty, we expected a bit more with a tire of this price range.

These are tires that you will be able to fit on all four generations of the MX-5.

Pros

  • Excellent handling and grip on snow and slush
  • Fairly comfortable ride quality
  • It provides versatility-performing in dry conditions

Cons

  • Bellow average performance on the ice
  • Noisy at higher speeds

8. Michelin Premier A/S

Best touring tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

If fast cornering and performance driving is not what you seek, then you should take a look at the Michelin Premier A/S.

Even though they were not designed to provide outstanding grip and stability in corners, these tires still manage to surprise most people. The technology and compound used to develop these tires provide them with excellent stability and control on dry and wet surfaces, in the summer and the winter. Even though they will be more than able to handle a little bit of snow, we would not recommend driving them in heavy snow conditions.

The levels of grip they provide will help you get a shorter stopping distance, and all of that comes in a package with 60,000 miles of tread warranty, which is not the most you might see in this class

The performance does not mean that you sacrifice comfort. The ride quality and noise levels are just as you would expect from this kind of tires – smooth and quiet.

You can get these tires for all four generations of the Miata

Pros

  • Excellent grip and handling
  • Excellent stability on dry and wet surfaces
  • Great ride comfort
  • Low noise

Cons

  • Average tread warranty
  • Noisy at higher speeds

9. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Best touring tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

When we talk Pirelli, we rarely say that they make bad tires, so the same can be said about the Cinturato P7 All Season Plus.

As the name suggests, these tires can be driven in throughout the entire year. Stability and grip on dry and wet surfaces are something that this tire excels and, in some cases, might feel like you are driving a premium tire. Handling and traction will mean nothing if you cannot stop your car. Luckily, these tires provide excellent grip during braking.

When it comes to comfort, something that you expect from grand touring tires, they are very good. The noise levels are low on higher speeds, and the ride comfort is great over bumps and rough surfaces. On top of everything, you get 70,000 miles tread warranty.

It is not all good. Unlike a lot of their competitors, these tires do not perform very well on light snow.

These tires can be mounted only on the third-generation MX-5.

Pros

  • Great performance on dry and wet surfaces
  • Comfortable
  • Low noise on the highway

Cons

  • Not good performance on light snow

10. Yokohama YK740 GTX

Best touring tires for Mazda Miata

Best Tires for Mazda MX-5 Miata

Last but not least are the Yokohama YK740 GTX.

Overall, these are tires that will probably be the best all-rounders in this category. The driving and braking performance is excellent, considering that they are touring tires. They will keep the car stable in the corners and will handle your inputs even if you are going a bit faster than you should.

Wet performance is also something that we can praise them. The treads are designed to move the water beneath them so that they can maintain that grip. When it comes to snow is where we see a great setback. Their performance, even in light snow is far from their competitors.

In the comfort department is where we see them shine. The noise levels are low, and the soft compound helps absorb bumps and rough surfaces. The tread warranty is similar to the other tires we reviewed – 60,000 miles.

These Miata tires will fit on all four generations.

Pros

  • Great grip on dry and wet conditions
  • Comfortable and quiet
  • Not very expensive

Cons

  • Below average performance on snow

Best Tires for Miata: Buyer's Guide

1. Touring Tires are the Best Choice for the Average Mazda MX-5 Driver

Technically yes – touring are the best tires for Miata. Most people might be confused by the fact that we praise it for its handling, but we are recommending touring tires for it, and there is a reason for that.

A lot of people that buy or plan to buy the MX-5 will most likely daily-drive it to work or on the weekend with the wife or mistress. No matter what the case is, the car will need to have proper touring tires for the thousands of miles you plan to drive in it. People will likely go for tires that will not cost a kidney to buy and will last longer than a few circles around the block. Another advantage is that even though they are not designed to provide the best possible grip in corners like high-performance tires, they can still fair decently compared to them. Most people like the balance between affordability and performance.

The lifespan of the tire is another important role when buying new tires. Premium tires do not last nearly as long as touring tires, so people that do a lot of driving will find them a better choice.

2. What if I Want More Responsive Handling?

This is what the MX-5 is all about – handling and to get that you need to get high-performance Miata tires, and it will show you what it was built for.

High-performance tires will greatly improve the grip and will make the car feel more planted to the road and, at the same time, will make it a lot more compliant to your steering inputs.

The advantages that the high-performance tires will bring to your MX-5 are great, but there are a few tradeoffs that you should be aware of. Performance tires do not last nearly as long as touring cars because they are designed with performance in mind. Another drawback is the noise and comfort levels. Any car will take a hit in the handling department is it is riding on softer compound tires, so the performance tires, being a bit harder, will have an impact on comfort. Noise-wise, we already know that the more performance you get out of a tire, the higher the noise will be.

3. Off-roading?!

The short answer is no. The Miata is nowhere near a car that you should take off-roading. The low ride means that you might be able to get away with going on a back-dirt road, but you risk damaging the underside of the car.

4. What About the Climate? Does it Make a Difference?

Yes, it does and in the MX-5 even more.

Being a front-engine and rear-wheel-drive car, most of the weight is in the front, so the rear wheels have little weight to keep them down, and that is why getting tires for a specific season is better.

All-season tires are great all-rounders, but they do struggle when it comes to more extreme conditions. They will be okay in the hot, and you will be able to take them out in mild snowy conditions.

The situation where the Miata is considered undrivable by most people is on snow, and they are right, to a certain point. The car may struggle to get a grip on snow and ice, but some tires perform excellently on snow and ice even in more harsh conditions and provide an excellent driving experience.

If you live in an area where you have four distinguishable seasons, then you should go for two sets of tires – winter and summer tires. It might cost a bit more than getting all-season tires, but you will be sure that you will get the best possible experience from your Miata. On the other side, if you live somewhere where it is always sunny or always snowy, then get the tires to match and keep them on until you need to replace them.

Final Words

Being a sporty car, the Mazda Miata is s vehicle that deserves to be driven like one. The summer and winter performance tires we reviewed will perform excellently and will work great for most people. If you are not into that kind of driving, the touring tires will be more than adequate for high-mileage driving. These are not the only tires that you can find – this is our list of the best tires for Miata. If you do decide to go with tires, not on this list, make sure they are from a reputable manufacturer.

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