The Ultimate Mazda Miata Exhaust Guide

12th March, 2018 in Miata Tuning

Hoping to improve the sound of your Miata? We compare fifteen of the best Miata exhausts available today in our ultimate Miata exhaust guide.

mazda miata mx-5 exhaust guide


Little do most people know that an American named Bob Hall had a huge influence into this awesome creation from Mazda. When Bob visited Mazda’s R&D team in Japan, he presented to them a huge gap in the market.

He explained how there’s no longer and simple ‘bugs-in-the-teeth’ and ‘wind-in-the-hair’ British-style sports cars that he’d once grown up enjoying any more. He would draw up a sketch with his unique idea and present this to the R&D team.

A year later, in 1982, Bob was offered a career at Mazda and then given the chance to pursue his fascinating idea of bringing a low-cost sports car to the masses once again.

Little did they know at the time but his brainstorm would later evolve into one of the greatest and most successful sports cars of all time. From here, the Eunos Roadster was born.

As the two-seater sports car began to hit the market in 1990, it would be named the Mazda Miata in the US and the MX-5 in Europe. It was the perfect inexpensive option for sports car enthusiasts a budget.

With over one million cars sold across the world by April 2016, it would then become the best-selling two-seater convertible sports car in history.

As fantastic as this tiny sports car is, many owners are left underwhelmed by the power and sound from the factory. We’re here to help you guide you on how to squeeze some vital horses from under the hood and provide you with a much more pleasant soundtrack in the process!

If you are looking to tune up your Miata, try our new Miata coilover guide.

What’s in this guide?

This guide has been created to help you find the perfect exhaust upgrade to compliment your Miata, from NA to ND.

For each exhaust, we also add our own comments. In addition, we have given a Drifted rating (1-5) based on features and price. We are considering budget, mid-range and high end exhausts in this comparison.

Let’s take a look at our Miata exhaust selection.

To read more about any of these products just click on the exhaust name or photo.

ISR Performance Circuit Spec NA 1.6 Miata Exhaust

isr na exhaust

  • Manufacturer: ISR Performance
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 101mm (4″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $329.95
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your ISR Performance Exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: ISR Performance (formerly the rather unfortunately named ‘ISIS’) bring you this fantastically priced cat-back exhaust system for your 1.6 NA. With substantial weight reduction over stock, great quality and fit, it’s definitely a good all-rounder.

As with many of the cheaper exhausts, it’s not a quiet system but it’s certainly not the loudest. You may notice some drone noise at around 2.5-3k revs which may not suit everyone. However, especially for the money, it’s a great product.

Manufacturer description:This Miata performance exhaust features an exceptional 3 piece design for superior results. Please note that the midsection and tail section are standard and there are no variations available. The exhaust features 2.5″ brushed stainless steel piping and flanges, and a polished stainless steel muffler with a 4″ tip.

Upgrading your exhaust system is a great way to boost your engine’s performance. Most stock exhaust systems are designed to minimize engine noise, usually at the expense of engine performance. However, with an upgraded circuit spec exhaust you can improve the flow of air through your engine, providing an extra boost of power. Not to mention, your vehicle will give off that prized rumbling sound that performance cars are known for.


Manzo NA Miata Exhaust

manzo na exhaust

  • Manufacturer: Manzo
  • Internal pipe diameter: 57mm (2.25″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 101mm (4″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $198.00
  • Drifted rating:xxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Manzo exhaust at FRSport

Our comment: At under $200, there’s no doubt that the Manzo exhaust is incredibly cheap. We’ve seen worse exhausts, but don’t expect the best quality from this 1.6 NA offering.

If you’re working on a budget build and would like to free up the stock airflow restrictions, this could be a good shout for very little money. However, prepare for it to be loud and to have quite a drone on longer journeys.

Manufacturer description:Manzo is designed to be a quality entry-level exhaust system that improves horsepower and torque while giving your car an aftermarket exhaust note that sounds great. Manzo exhausts are built to be a direct bolt on and include all necessary hardware for installation.

Each exhaust is made from polished stainless steel and has smooth mandrel bent exhaust piping for unrestricted flow. Manzo exhausts also feature strong CNC machined flanges that stand up to high temps and prevent warping.


APEXi Bomber 3 NA Miata Exhaust

apexi bomber na exhaust

  • Manufacturer: APEXi
  • Internal pipe diameter: 50-60mm (2-2.3″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 90mm (3.5″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless (muffler) & Mild Steel (pipe)
  • Price (At time of review): $664.05
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your APEXi Bomber 3 exhaust at FRSport

Our comment: Despite the larger price tag compared to our previous offerings, this is the cheaper alternative to the APEXI N1 Evo exhaust below. This has a mild steel construction with a stainless steel muffler.

Despite being the cheaper offering, this option still sounds and looks fantastic but we’d personally save for the ‘proper’ version if your budget allows.

Manufacturer description:The APEXi Bomber 3 is a cost effective alternative to the APEXi N1 Evolution. The angled tip and muffler pays homage to the Original N1 and the patented Megaphone design ensures performance and free flowing exhaust.

The APEXi Bomber 3 provides all the performance of a more expensive system and starts with mild-steel piping which exits into a fully stainless steel muffler and tip.


APEXi N1 EVO NA Miata Exhaust

apexi n1 evo na exhaust

  • Manufacturer: APEXi
  • Internal pipe diameter: 50-60mm (2-2.3″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 90mm (3.5″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $997.50
  • Drifted rating:xxxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your APEXi N1 EVO exhaust at FRSport

Our comment: They say that quality comes at a price and the daddy of NA exhausts proves that. This full stainless cat-back system brings APEXi’s legendary quality and fitment to make your NA look better than ever.

The exhaust won’t drone on long journeys like cheaper offerings, yet it roars to life when you hit the throttle on the canyon runs.

Manufacturer description:The N1 Evolution combines all the racing heritage and proven performance of the original N1 muffler but raises the ante by adding light weight, fully polished stainless steel piping. This is the ultimate N1 exhaust system. Mandrel bent, full stainless steel construction provides maximum power gains and resistance to rust or other damage caused by weathering.

Like the original N1, the N1 Evolution uses the minimum amount of pipe bends to allow for greater exhaust flow. The N1 Evolution was created for those who are looking for something one step further than the classic N1 design.


ISR Performance Circuit Spec NA 1.8 Miata Exhaust

isr na 1.8 exhaust

  • Manufacturer: ISR Performance
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 101mm (4″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $329.95
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your ISR Performance Exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: ISR Performance haven’t forgotten those of you who have opted for the 1.8l N/A. With substantial weight reduction over stock, great quality and fit, this exhaust is definitely good value for money.

As with many of the cheaper options, it’s not a quiet system but it’s certainly not the loudest. You may notice some drone noise at around 2.5-3k revs which may not be for everyone. However, for the money, it’s a great product.

Manufacturer description:The Mazda Miata performance exhaust package features a sleek 3-piece design. Front pipe options include a resonated cat delete pipe or a straight pipe depending on your preferences.

The midsection and tail section are standard and with no variations on those parts. The exhaust features 2.5” brushed stainless steel piping and flanges, and a polished stainless steel muffler with a 4” tip.


Manzo NB Axle-Back Miata Exhaust

manzo nb exhaust

  • Manufacturer: Manzo
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 4.5″ (113mm) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $176.00
  • Drifted rating:xxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Manzo exhaust at FRSport

Our comment: Manzo’s 1.8l NB offering comes in at insane value. We’ve seen worse exhausts, but don’t expect the best quality at this price.

If you’re working on a budget build and would like to free up the stock airflow restrictions, this could be a good shout for very little money. However, prepare for it to be loud and to have a substantial drone on longer journeys.

Manufacturer description:Manzo is designed to be a quality entry-level exhaust system that improves horsepower and torque while giving your car an aftermarket exhaust note that sounds great. Manzo exhausts are built to be a direct bolt on and include all necessary hardware for installation.

Each exhaust is made from polished stainless steel and has smooth mandrel bent exhaust piping for unrestricted flow. Manzo exhausts also feature strong CNC machined flanges that stand up to high temps and prevent warping.


Megan Racing OE-RS NB Miata Exhaust

megan racing nb exhaust

  • Manufacturer: Megan Racing
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 90mm (3.5″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $419.99
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Megan Racing exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: Megan Racing’s OE-RS series are based on a subtle OEM style with improved flow and looks for your NB and MazdaSpeed Miata.

This is great option for those of you who are after subtle upgrade without waking up the neighbourhood.

Manufacturer description:Megan Racing OE-RS series cat backs are based on factory style, with bigger piping, OEM style polished mufflers and quiet sound. The cat back system is made stainless steel.

All piping are mandrel bent with a high polished finish. Exhaust system comes with all the necessary hardware needed for a direct bolt on installation. Improves HP with minimal noise.


ISR Performance Circuit Spec NB Miata Exhaust

isr performance nb exhaust

  • Manufacturer: ISR Performance
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 101mm (4″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $329.95
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your ISR Performance NB exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: ISR Performance (formerly the rather unfortunately named ‘ISIS’) bring you this fantastically priced cat-back exhaust system for your NB Miata. With substantial weight reduction over stock, great quality and fit, it’s definitely good value for money.

As with many of the cheaper exhausts, it’s not a quiet system but it’s certainly not the loudest. You may notice some drone noise at around 2.5-3k revs which may not be for everyone. However, for the money, it’s a great product.

Manufacturer description:This 2 piece Mazda Miata performance exhaust features a front pipe and a mid pipe that mount to the header and showcase an integrated muffler.

The front pipe is 2.5″ and features brushed stainless steel construction. The rear pipe has a polished, stainless steel muffler that’s accented with a 4″ tip. In addition, NB Miata exhausts come with a secondary o2 bung and o2 bung extension made for drivers who use the factory ECU, and don’t want to use a CEL.


ARK DT-S NB Miata Exhaust

ark dt-s nb exhaust

  • Manufacturer: ARK
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 90mm (3.5″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $679.15
  • Drifted rating:xxxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your ARK DT-S NB exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: Despite having a higher price tag, it’s easy to see why the DT-S is so popular with Miata owners. It boasts a pure, deep exhaust note (which isn’t overly loud) alongside a well-crafted, free-flowing design.

Combine this with the great looks and typically fantastic quality from ARK, there’s no doubt this exhaust is a great all-rounder. ARK also offer numerous tips, such as polished, burnt and techno depending on your preference!

Manufacturer description:With the many varieties of exhausts that ARK has to offer, the DT-Series premium exhaust provides the perfect combination of sound, style, and performance. The ARK DT-S premium exhaust has been carefully engineered and manufactured to ensure 100% satisfaction. With T304 Stainless steel, quality mandrel bends, and flawless welds, the quality of the DT-S exhaust is unrivaled.

No other company has devoted more time to sport exhaust sound results. Deep, throaty and rich. That is the sound of ARK. You’re going to love the fit, finish, and performance of your ARK exhaust system. The sound is going to turn heads, including yours. No cutting, welding, or modification is required.


Tomei Expreme Full Titanium NC Axle-Back Miata Exhaust

tomei ti nb exhaust

Our comment: It may seem like a bargain, but this incredible offering from the legendary exhaust creators comes at a price to your eardrums.

This system is certainly not quiet but it’s an absolute work of art and a thing of beauty. If you’re building a serious weight-shedding track car, this is the exhaust for you. With a weight loss of 21lbs in this muffler alone, the full exhaust system takes off an insane 16kg total weight from the stock exhaust.

If you only want the best for your NC, combine it with their matching straight pipe and manifold for the ultimate performance, looks and sound. Admittedly, this may also cause a beating to your wallet too, but we think it’ll be worth it!

Manufacturer description:After extensive testing we’re finally able to deliver a no compromise exhaust manifold that offers significant performance gains especially at the top end. The new EXPREME manifold for NC MX-5 / MIATA improves upon the stock version in every way.

This kit includes all the components necessary for installation including the bolts and nuts. Bolt Smooth Paste is also included to help prevent the bolts becoming
seized under heat.


ISR Performance Circuit Spec NC Miata Exhaust

isr performance nc exhaust

  • Manufacturer: ISR Performance
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 101mm (4″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $329.95
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your ISR Performance NC exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: ISR Performance (formerly the rather unfortunately named ‘ISIS’) bring you this fantastically priced cat-back exhaust system for your NC Miata. With substantial weight reduction over stock, great quality and fit, it’s definitely good value for money.

As with many of the cheaper exhausts, it’s not a quiet system but it’s certainly not the loudest. You may notice some drone noise at around 2.5-3k revs which may not be for everyone. However, for the money, it’s a great product.

Manufacturer description:The ISR Performance NC Miata exhaust features a 3 piece 2.5″ brushed stainless steel piping and flanges, and a polished stainless steel muffler with 4″ tip.

This exhaust does not have an o2 bung, if your NC is fitted with an o2 sensors in the exhaust down stream of the header you will need to have a fitting welded to the exhaust.


HKS Legamax Axle-Back ND Miata Exhaust

hks legamax nd exhaust

  • Manufacturer: HKS
  • Internal pipe diameter: 54mm (2.1″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: Twin 75mm (3″) tips
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $612.00
  • Drifted rating:xxxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Legamax Premium ND exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: There’s no doubt that HKS are well known in the JDM scene, and they’ve decided to enter the Miata market with this stunning example. With a nice, clean, raspy sound from the twin tips, it delivers a deeper and slightly louder than stock sound. Once you step on the gas pedal it comes alive, but for daily driving it delivers no annoying drone or ‘boom’.

Despite being a similar weight to OEM, it’s an exceptionally clean and subtle design and the usual quality you would expect from the legendary Japanese manufacturer.

Manufacturer description:Legamax Premium mufflers offer the performance benefits of a sports muffler with the class and elegance of a premium muffler. Every tail pipe design is customised per application to ensure that muffler has impact and becomes a focal point in the appearance of the vehicle, yet blends with the overall design of the car.

Legamax Premium mufflers are constructed of SUS304 grade stainless steel to give a high lustre finish which is durable. Some applications also incorporate the latest automotive fashion trends by featuring titanium tail tips which adds to the premium appearance with its distinct look.


ISR Performance Circuit Spec ND Miata Exhaust

isr performance nd exhaust

  • Manufacturer: ISR Performance
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: 101mm (4″) tip
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $469.99
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your ISR Performance ND exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: ISR Performance (formerly the rather unfortunately named ‘ISIS’) bring you the only single-pipe offering for the ND Miata. With a weight reduction over stock, great quality and fit, it’s definitely good value for money for a full system.

As with many of the cheaper exhausts, it’s not a quiet system but it’s certainly not the loudest. You may notice some drone noise at certain revs which may not be for everyone. However, for the money, it’s a great product.

Manufacturer description:The ISR Performance ND Miata exhaust features a 3 piece 2.5″ brushed stainless steel piping and flanges, and a polished stainless steel muffler with 4″ tip.

The front pipe is 2.5″ and features brushed stainless steel construction. The rear pipe has a polished, stainless steel muffler that’s accented with a 4″ tip. In addition, NB Miata exhausts come with a secondary o2 bung and o2 bung extension made for drivers who use the factory ECU, and don’t want to use a CEL.


GReddy Supreme SP ND Axle-Back Miata Exhaust

greddy supreme sp nd exhaust

  • Manufacturer: GReddy
  • Internal pipe diameter: 63.5mm (2.5″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: Twin 82mm (3.25″) tips
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $660.25
  • Drifted rating:xxxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your GReddy Supreme ND exhaust at Enjuku Racing

Our comment: Another legendary JDM tuning house to step into the Miata ND market is GReddy, with their awesome dual-tip offering.

Featuring the typically impressive welds and design we’ve come to expect from them over the years, this exhaust certainly doesn’t disappoint. It delivers a clean and subtle yet deep rumble which opens up perfectly when you step on the gas. If you want to get the best out of it, make sure you check out their full exhaust system.

Manufacturer description:The GReddy Supreme SP for the 4th generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata was designed and engineered specifically to suit the USA spec 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine combination. Unique to this application is the availability of either the pre-resonated axle-back muffler system, for maximum sound control with enhanced flow.

Or there is also a full system, that includes a dual resonated mid-pipe for even more performance and a sportier sound. The full system showed power increase throughout the RPM band, with maximum gains, of 13hp/8ft-lbs, as low as 3500rpm.


Blitz Nur-Spec ND Axle-Back Miata Exhaust

blitz nur spec nd exhaust

  • Manufacturer: Blitz
  • Internal pipe diameter: 60mm (2.3″)
  • Tailpipe configuration: Twin 76.3mm (3″) tips
  • Primary exhaust system material: Stainless Steel
  • Price (At time of review): $720.00
  • Drifted rating:xxxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy your Blitz Nur Spec ND exhaust at FRSport

Our comment: Once again, it’s another huge name that graces the ND list, this time Blitz offer their well-loved Nur Spec system.

Often known for being louder exhausts, the ND version comes in at just 3db over stock at 89db. This will improve your exhaust flow and provide a nice clean sound and look over OEM.

If you’re feeling fancy, there is also a titanium tipped-version available for an extra $110.

Manufacturer description:The Nur-Spec VS exhaust draws all the knowledge from the Nur Spec series and fuses a stainless steel tailpipe with a stainless sus304 exhaust system.

The pipework is constant diameter throughout allowing superior flow to crush bent pipework. Blitz Nur-Spec VS exhausts are designed for maximum performance and amazing appearance whilst maintaining an acceptable JASMA/JQR compliant exhaust note.


Our NA choice

Our choice for the Miata NA is the APEXi N1 EVO.

This exhaust is the perfect all-rounder – combining great looks, great quality and a sexy tone.

There are certainly cheaper alternatives out there and if you don’t mind your car being louder and drone noise won’t bother you then make sure you take a look at those too.

APEXi N1 EVO Exhaust System

apexi n1 evo exhaust system na miata

Our NB choice

Our choice for the Miata NB is the ARK DT-S.

This popular offering from ARK boasts a pure, deep exhaust note whilst still maintaining a subtle noise level.

Combine this with ARK’s usual high quality and a selection of tips, it’s undoubtedly a great choice. If you’re after something a little cheaper, we recommend taking a look at the Megan Racing offering.

ARK DT-S Exhaust System

ark dt-s exhaust system nb miata

Our NC choice

Our choice for the Miata NC is the Tomei Expreme.

We know it’s expensive and probably won’t suit anyone, but this stunning system really is a unique offering for NC owners.

We don’t recommend it for street use, but if you’re planning to head to the track and cut down those valuable lap times, this is undoubtedly the choice for you.

Make sure you check out ISR Performance‘s offering if you’re upgrading your street car.

Tomei Expreme Titanium Exhaust System

tomei expreme exhaust system nc miata

Our ND choice

Our choice for the Miata ND is the GReddy Supreme.

ND owners really are spoiled for choice with exhausts, but the GReddy Supreme ticks all the right boxes and offers a full system if you’re not just after a muffler.

Our runner up would undoubtedly be the HKS Legamax, and if it’s just after a muffler you’re looking for we would highly recommend this option.

GReddy Supreme SP Exhaust System

greddy supreme exhaust system nd miata

Now you’ve got your exhaust note on point, why not add some forced induction? You’ll be wanting to read our Miata Supercharger guide.

Photo credits

We would like to thank the following websites for allowing us to use their images in this article:

  • http://www.madmike.co.nz/
  • https://frsport.com/
  • http://jdmaccessories.com.au/
  • http://forum.jdmstyletuning.com/
  • http://www.isrperformance.com/blog/miata-owners-/
  • https://www.enjukuracing.com
  • http://drifting.com/

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