NEWS: ND Mazda Miata is Japan Car of the Year

ND 2016 Mazda MX5 Miata white 02

As if the ND Miata needed any more accolades, it has just won Japan Car of the Year. Praised for its purity and sporting driving experience, it earned 442 points, beating out the second-place Honda S660, which garnered 401. The BMW 2-Series came in third with 177.


This is Mazda’s second win in a row, having taken the crown for the all-new Mazda Demio last year. In fact it’s Mazda’s third win in just four years, taking the prize in 2012 for the CX-5 as well. It’s pretty rare for a sports car to win JCOTY. In fact, the last time a sports car won was in 2005 when the NC Miata debuted.

The accolade is well deserved, especially in an automotive climate that constantly tells automakers there’s no market for a true sports car. Enjoy this one, Mazdafarians.

Here’s a list of every Japan Car of the Year Winner since the prize was issued.

  • 2015–2016 Mazda Roadster
  • 2014–2015 Mazda Demio
  • 2013–2014 Volkswagen Golf
  • 2012–2013 Mazda CX-5
  • 2011–2012 Nissan Leaf
  • 2010–2011 Honda CR-Z
  • 2009–2010 Toyota Prius
  • 2008–2009 Toyota iQ
  • 2007–2008 Honda Fit
  • 2006–2007 Lexus LS430
  • 2005–2006 Mazda MX-5
  • 2004–2005 Honda Legend
  • 2003–2004 Subaru Legacy
  • 2002–2003 Honda Accord
  • 2001–2002 Honda Fit
  • 2000–2001 Honda Civic
  • 1999–2000 Toyota Vitz
  • 1998–1999 Toyota Altezza
  • 1997–1998 Toyota Prius
  • 1996–1997 Mitsubishi Galant
  • 1995–1996 Honda Civic
  • 1994–1995 Mitsubishi FTO
  • 1993–1994 Honda Accord
  • 1992–1993 Nissan March
  • 1991–1992 Honda Civic
  • 1990–1991 Mitsubishi Diamante
  • 1989–1990 Toyota Celsior
  • 1988–1989 Nissan Silvia
  • 1987–1988 Mitsubishi Galant
  • 1986–1985 Nissan Pulsar
  • 1985–1986 Honda Accord
  • 1984–1985 Toyota MR2
  • 1983–1984 Honda Civic
  • 1982–1983 Mazda Capella
  • 1981–1982 Toyota Soarer
  • 1980–1981 Mazda Familia
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7 Responses to NEWS: ND Mazda Miata is Japan Car of the Year

  1. Spudenater says:

    I was going up the list from oldest to newest like “Mazda, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, uh-huh, uh-huh” and then I got to 2013-2014 and it was like *needle scratch* “VOLKSWAGEN!?”. Seriously, color-me-surprised to see a German manufacturer winning Japan’s car of the year.

    Hey you know what’d be funny? If the version that one COTY was one of the ill-fated diesels. Talk about having egg on your face, but it was probably a hybrid or something.

    • Scotty G says:

      I was wondering about that, too! And, bummer to only see one Subaru on the list.

    • Ant says:

      I believe the Golf’s win was for the vehicle overall – 2013-2014 would be about the time the seventh-generation car was available in Japan.

      I doubt diesel played a big part in it though. Diesel in general isn’t popular in cars sold in Japan. Both the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE and all-electric Golf-e may have assisted it though.

  2. james says:

    Congrats to Mazda for a decisive Car of the Year win.

  3. Michael says:

    Is the US the only place where these are called the Miata? It’s such a wussy name, which doesn’t help with the hairdresser stigma attached to them.

    Well done to Mazda on the win!

  4. Tom Westmacott says:

    Hang on… Two sports cars, the MX 5 and S660, took nearly all the votes? Maybe there is hope for driving enthusiasts after all 🙂

  5. wantyerknobbies says:

    there’s quite a few forgettable cars in that history

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