ND or NC - can't decide

My 58 plate NC has done 74000 miles and whilst there is nothing wrong with it, Its time to get something newer and a bit more modern. Probably looking to spend around 10-12 but not sure whether to go for a late NC or an early ND. Its not my daily driver but just a fun car. Opinions?

Not a problem I am ever likely to face as I am content chucking bucket loads of wonga, similar to what you are thinking of spending, at my NBFL, but if you want something ‘a bit more modern’ what is stopping you go all in with an ND ?

I would sit in an ND.
For me it felt too small compared to the NC.
My choice would be the latest ( low mileage & good condition ) NC I could find.

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There’s been so much written about the NC and the ND on the forum and elsewhere that you should be able to get a pretty good idea on how they compare. The only way to be sure of what you want is to drive an ND and see if you like it or not. I drove an ND and instantly knew it was right for me. It has a modern feel and the 1.5 engine is a gem. I chose the 1.5 as it has all the performance I need, but some prefer the 2.0 which has more performance and a LSD. Be aware that the ND was upgraded from around 2019 with more performance and a more reliable gearbox. There is a lot of information about the issues with the gearbox (mainly on early cars, especially the 2.0) so worth doing some homework. As has been said they are smaller than the NC, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get comfortable. Some people will fit better than others of course. Storage in the cabin is not as good as in the NC but there is a cubby between the seats. for phone and other bits and bobs. The 1.5 is excellent on fuel, I get 45-50 mpg which is pretty good. Good luck with your search.


What do you mean by “more modern”? Ultimately the NCs are all the same tech with just a few changes. Depending on your meaning of more modern you’ll potentially need an ND. I’d go for an ND.

personally i would go for a late NC ,NDs I found to small inside and as soon as they didn’t look like an elan and more like a smart car roadster! find them ugly if i changed my NC i would probably go backwards for a mint NA but if we all had the same taste life would be boring go with your gut feeling

I considered an nd briefly but they were smaller, more expensive and more modern which I don’t always find to be a good thing. Got a 14 plate sport tech nc and am pretty happy with it though I’m sure the nd would have been more refined. Nd do look lovely though :sunglasses:.

Having owned a Sport Black NC for 10 years, I too have tried a couple of ND’s and found the seats an excellent fit but the cabin/boot was small to what I was used to.
I think I would only change to an NC Recaro now, or try and find Recaro seats to fit mine…
All down to personal choice and what you find suits you the best, including the price!

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They never upgraded the boxes. Just added a DMF

I had a very nice 2009 NC and loved it. However, having bought an ND I have to say that it really is a much better car.
Less internal storage certainly but it just means that you carry fewer things that you never need. I don’t find the internal storage an issue. The boot is smaller but big enough if you pack carefully, enough for two week round Scotland and three weeks round Spain and Portugal.
I don’t think you would regret buying an ND and you never get fed up admiring their beauty.


I’m no expert, but I thought there were 5 revisions as below:

There is however the problem was never fixed, even in the nd2. Just proves how bad it is. Especially when companies offer a switch for an nc box.

I can never understand the logic of manufacturers.
The NC 6 speed box was working very well for around 10 years.

Why would you suddenly change what isn’t broke.

Weight (nearly 10kg IIRC) and efficiency (1:1 6th gear).

Ive had an NC (2.0 Sport with remap, manifold, coilovers) and now have a 1.5 ND1 (remap, manifold, Koni Sport, LSD). Prefer the ND in every way. But I am not a large human :grin:

Normally cost.

On my previous car I opted for an automatic mustang as it used a re-engineered zf 6hp box (renamed the 6r80) that had been around a long time and was very well proven at high power applications, good for 800nm from the factory. The chances of breaking it in normal use were slim.

The manuals however had an awful reputation for failure - they used getrag 6 speed manuals which used to be known as absolutely bombproof transmissions, however getrag is now owned by another company and are manufactured overseas (including India and China) and sold more cheaply and the quality has suffered significantly in the years since.

How do they compare straight line speed wise ? Only had stock nd’s modded nc’s and not the 1.5

Would of been cheaper to chuck the old (better box) in

Yeah its a shame they did it. Im guessing for weight and closer gear ratios providing better acceleration. Nc gears are too long imo

Mazda also changed the gearbox design to enable them to reduce the size of the differential (for packaging/weight purposes). The problem with that is that most of the gearing reduction had to be in the gearbox causing higher torque loads in the gearbox. Earlier gearboxes could struggle with the increased loads especially when the car was used for motorsport with a lot of heavy 1st and 2nd gear use.

Firstly, great choice in wanting an MX5 - they are great, but like with all cars, have some known issues, which whilst there are not applicable to all cars. Some work great for years, some go wrong quicker. My 21plate ND has just had a new wheel bearing on the back at 20k mile and under warranty. Other than that it has been no problem. Obviously as it gets older things will go wrong and MX5’s tend to be used for longer, so eventually some problems will appear, depends on the car, partly how its treated and of course luck.

I had an NA for a year as well as a daily driver, but wanted just one car, so bought a new ND, which I love and use it everyday. If its not raining, the hood is down, as it has heated seats and a great heater, so as long as you are moving, even a bit of rain does not spoil the fun.

The ND is like a “proper” car, compared to the NA, which felt like a vintage car in comparison. You can do long journeys, listen to music clearly and stay warm and comfortable. As has been said, it is not a big car and internal space is not great. I am 5ft 10 and I fit fine, but the seat is all the way back and if I was any bigger, fitting would be probably a challenge. However there is a way to adapt the seat runners to drop the seats which gives perhaps another inch or so.

I do not know the NC, but they have advantages and disadvantages over the ND and whilst some will prefer the NC, some will favour the ND. Therefore the best suggestion is to sit in and drive both. Only you will be able to tell what makes you smile the most. The NC is obviously an older car to start with, but there are plenty of well cared for good condition ones around and this should always be the things you take into account when buying.

Good luck in your search and I am sure you will have fun whichever you buy - but remember, if the sun is out, the hood should be down!

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