Ultimate Mazda Miata Cold Air Intake Guide

Joe Terrell
08/05/20205th August, 2020
Filed under Miata Tuning

Not sure which cold air intake kit is best for your Miata? We’ve put the best CAI’s for each generation head-to-head in this guide.

Miata Cold Air Intake

Miata NA Intake Winner Miata NB Intake Winner Miata NC Intake Winner Miata ND Intake Winner
randall na kn typhoon nb aem nc mishimoto nd
Randall Cowl Intake Duct K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake Kit AEM Cold Air Intake Mishimoto Performance Air Intake
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Discontinued Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now

Mazda’s Miata has continued to set the standard for the affordable two-seater, rear-wheel-drive car market since the early 90s, and even in the present day, it deservedly maintains the throne as one of the most sought-after roadsters on the market.

With its immense popularity within both the grip racing and drifting scenes, the mighty Miata is almost a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to bang-for-your-buck fun.

Sure, the Miata has evolved leaps and bounds over the years, but even if you get behind the wheel of the classic NA these days, we guarantee it’ll put a massive grin on your face.

Although it’s not going to keep up with any supercars since it somewhat lacks in the power department, a Miata is about as close as you’re going to get to copping yourself a daily-driven go-kart.

Once you’ve had your Miata for a while, and enjoyed the fun that top-down motoring, and drifting, has to offer, you’ll probably be looking to carry out some upgrades.

Thankfully, due to its popularity in the motorsport world, the Miata offers some of the most comprehensive aftermarket tuning support.

With the wealth of information available online, such as our Miata Tuning Guides, you can quickly transform your humble stock Miata into a track-slaying weapon.

If you’re not shy when it comes to spending a few bucks to achieve the best possible power gains, we highly recommend taking a look at our Miata Turbo Kit, and Miata Supercharger Kit guides.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to improve the sound of your Miata, perhaps add some engine bay bling, and allow it to breathe a little more freely, there’s the option of upgrading your cold air intake.

CAI’s are one of the most popular off-the-shelf modifications for the Miata. Although the power claims from the manufacturers are often somewhat inflated, they can still be a worthwhile upgrade to consider.

It’s always important to get your engine breathing as freely as possible, and there’s no better way of doing so than relocating your air filter to inhale the coldest air possible.

As you’ve probably guessed, an engine bay gets pretty hot, especially when pushing your Miata to its limits. Hence, the job of a CAI is to provide additional cooling to the engine to improve its efficiency.

When a CAI coupled with an exhaust, this is when you not only get the optimum airflow, but you’ll also provide a much-improved soundtrack, which you can enjoy to its maximum potential with the roof down.

As you’ve probably guessed, there’s a wide variety of exhausts available for every Miata variant, so we highly recommend taking a look at our Miata Exhaust Guide where we break the best choices down by each generation.

Once you’ve got your Miata breathing efficiently, you can unlock the remaining bolt-on potential by purchasing yourself a set of coilovers. Luckily for you, we’ve once again broken them down by each generation in our Miata Coilover Guide to help you find the perfect solution.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the very best CAI options on the market, and once again be breaking them down by each generation to help you make the difficult decision when it comes to purchasing the perfect setup for your needs.

Whether you’ve got an old-school drift slag NA or a fresh out the showroom ND, we’ll cover everything you need to know to choose the ultimate cold air intake.

Miata/MX-5 NA (89-97) Cold Air Intakes

The Miata NA is the ultimate choice when it comes to fun motoring on a budget.

NA’s can often be picked up for an absolute bargain these days, which makes them the perfect candidate for a project drift or track car.

Thankfully, due to their simplicity and gaining a considerable aftermarket following over the years, there’s a vast array of aftermarket NA cold air intakes to tickle your fancy.

Racing Beat Cold Air Intake

racing beat na

Our comment: Racing Beat’s intake is one of the most popular on the market among NA and NB owners alike.

This cold air intake kit provides a vastly improved deep, aggressive sound over the NA’s stock setup, and also offers convenient installation.

Racing Beat’s CAI provides a reasonable price tag along with fantastic quality.

Many owners have claimed to achieve around 5 HP gains, with the kit relocating the air filter to a cooler part of the engine, taking in the cooler air behind the headlight.

When the formerly known Miata Magazine reviewed the Racing Beat CAI, they stated the following “Around 3500 rpm a new pull develops that increases with the RPM. Around 5,000 the power gain is easily noticed over the factory system. The Racing Beat intake will look good under any hood with its curvy aluminum elbow, but under its good looks is a performer”.

One of the main benefits of the Racing Beat kit is that it’s CARB legal, which means that you’ll be able to pass emissions testing across the US.

Manufacturer description:The Miata High Flow Air Intake Kit for the 1990-93 Miata combines the advantages of a low restriction K&N air filter with a smoother air passage into the factory air meter assembly to improve horsepower and throttle response“.

Designed, engineered, and manufactured entirely in the USA by Racing Beat, this handsome assembly, with its polished aluminum casting, positions the air filter cone away from the exhaust header to minimize the intake of heated air“.

Randall Cowl Intake Duct

randall na

  • Manufacturer: Randall
  • Fitment: 89-97 1.6 & 1.8L Mazda Miata NA
  • Value for money: ?????
  • Purchase link: Discontinued

Our comment: Are you looking to add some reasonably-priced carbon fiber bling to your Miata’s engine bay? Look no further!

Due to its imaginative design, the Randall Cowl Intake Duct often takes the crown as the best choice for those of you that are keen to achieve the maximum performance from your NA Miata.

Taking advantage of its unique design, the Randal Cowl Intake pulls the cool, high-pressure air from the Miata’s cowl area, unlike most CAI’s, which extract air from the front of the bay. Randall’s design is hugely beneficial in hot-weather scenarios and has repeatedly proven to keep engine temps down.

Flyin’ Miata claims that they achieved a 5 HP gain with this method, in a real-world test scenario with a closed hood, they also state that they noticed significantly improved intake growl under load, too.

The downside of the Randall kit is that you’ll need to cut a hole above the firewall, which may not be allowed in some competitions, so it’s certainly worth doing your homework if you’re likely to have challenging race restrictions.

Due to its popularity and simplicity, a common trend among the Miata community is to build a DIY Randall Cowl. If you’re doing a budget build, and aren’t looking for engine bay bling, then this could be a perfect alternative.

Manufacturer description:Randall intake replaces the snorkel from your stock airbox with a carbon fibre tube that gets cool air from the high pressure area in front of the windshield. Cold air is dense air, which means more power for you“.

Installation involves cutting a hole in the flange at the top of your windshield, above the firewall. This may not be allowed in some race classes, so do your homework. 1.25″ holesaw required, not included“.

Apexi Power Intake

apexi na cold air intake

Our comment: Apexi’s air filters are known for being the industry leaders, and they almost always take the win when it comes to comprehensive airflow testing.

This simple design, which integrates a heat shield to keep the temperatures down, provides a tried and tested method for generating maximum airflow and performance while also improving the look and sound of your Miata.

Although the Randall Cowl will arguably provide better cooling, the Apexi kit still manages to offer a significant increase in airflow without the need to cut into your firewall.

Manufacturer description:“The Power Intake is the premier air filter designed to create pure horsepower. The intake funnels used in racing machines take advantage of a characteristic where air travels along the side of the side of surfaces“.

New funnel design, element material and air flow channeling characteristics make the Power Intake one of the most efficient air cleaners on the market today“.

DDM Works Performance Intake

ddm works na

Our comment: There have been mixed opinions from the DDM Works kit, and although it’s excellent quality and looks the part, many people feel that they’ve noticed a decrease in performance after fitting.

We feel that this is partly down to their use of a foam filter, which isn’t a common sight these days.

Some owners have worked around this issue by fitting a universal K&N Filter. Still, we would personally prefer to buy a ready-made kit off the shelf rather than having to purchase various parts since there are so many worthwhile alternatives out there.

Manufacturer description:The DDMWorks intake replaces your Miata’s restrictive air box with a beautiful stainless steel heat shield and free flowing foam filter. It is a simple way to add a nice growl to your Miata and gives you some stylish under hood looks!


Jackson Racing Cold Air Intake System

jackson racing na

Our comment: Another unique tried and tested NA CAI which has stood the test of time comes from Jackson Racing.

Those of you that are familiar with the Miata scene will have undoubtedly heard of this one, and it’s undoubtedly one of the better options on the market.

Jackson Racing is known for its high quality and undeniable fantastic looks, and the kit comes in at the upper end of the price scale.

Unfortunately, this kit is often known for suffering from cracking issues over time. Although this is typically an easy fix, we’d instead take the more convenient route, especially given the price tag.

With that said, this is a great kit; it’s just unfortunate that it has its flaws. We’re also highly skeptical of their supposed 14 HP claims, alongside just about every other Miata enthusiast!

Manufacturer description:The Jackson Racing Cold Air Intake allows your car to breathe clean, cool air for maximum horsepower, up to 14HP in most cases“.

A strategically placed scoop brings cold air into the throttle body with increased velocity. The combination of cool air and pressurized air (at speed) will increase your horsepower“.

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit

kn na

Our comment: Although K&N has made some impressive kits, such as the Typhoon, for the later Miata generations, their NA is, unfortunately, a little too basic in comparison.

They may well be one of the highest-regarded filter manufacturers on the market, but this kit won’t offer much in the way of performance gains, despite K&N claiming so.

If you’re a fan of K&N, then Racing Beat has utilized their filter to make a more impressive kit, and that would be the one that we would personally choose.

The positives with this kit are that it comes with a 10-million mile warranty, which should last a few. Errm. Family generations.

Due to the design, they claim that it won’t need any cleaning or maintenance for up to 100,000 miles, either.

It’s also CARB legal in all 50-states, which is ideal for those of you in states where it’s likely to cause an issue.

A simple, convenient option for NA Miata owners, but not the one we’d personally be choosing for performance gains.

Manufacturer description:K&N is one of the leader in high quality performance cold air intake systems for car and trucks. We feel it is one of the best dollars to horsepower investments you can make for your vehicle. Our first air intake kit was built in 1992. K&N manufactures over 500 different part numbers and our team of engineers are constantly designing, building and testing new air intake systems“.

K&N starts with the largest conical shaped high-flow air filter that fits into the engine compartment using factory holes and mounting points. This extra filter size provides even more airflow at lower restriction than a standard K&N O/E replacement filter that is limited to the size of the factory air box. The oversized air filter also captures and holds more dirt increasing the service life before a cleaning is required (up to 100,000 miles)“.

Miata/MX-5 NB (99-05) Cold Air Intakes

Although the NA and NB share a lot of similarities, the CAI choices on the market are entirely different. Don’t panic; this isn’t a bad thing! There are excellent choices out there for all generations.

K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake Kit

kn typhoon nb

Our comment: After ending our NA guide on a bit of a negative note with their earlier K&N variation, the highly regarded brand have redeemed themselves with their NB offering, with a highly-effective design this time around.

This kit adds a premium-sounding intense, deep growl to your Miata, and features the typically excellent build quality that you’d expect from K&N.

If you’re after engine bay bling, then this is one of the best looking kits out there. While there are dyno claims of 3-4 HP power increases, this is much of a muchness when comparing to its rivals.

Overall, this provides significantly improved airflow, a small power increase, great looks, quality, and a reasonable price.

Many owners say they would happily repurchase it purely based on the intoxicating sound.

The K&N Typhoon is available in both red and polished variations.

Manufacturer description:K&N is one of the leader in high quality performance cold air intake systems for car and trucks. We feel it is one of the best dollars to horsepower investments you can make for your vehicle. Our first air intake kit was built in 1992. K&N manufactures over 500 different part numbers and our team of engineers are constantly designing, building and testing new air intake systems“.

K&N starts with the largest conical shaped high-flow air filter that fits into the engine compartment using factory holes and mounting points. This extra filter size provides even more airflow at lower restriction than a standard K&N O/E replacement filter that is limited to the size of the factory air box. The oversized air filter also captures and holds more dirt increasing the service life before a cleaning is required (up to 100,000 miles)“.

HPS Short Ram Air Intake

hps short ram nb

Our comment: Another fantastic option for the NB is this HPS Short Ram Air Intake, which uses a similar design to the K&N above, and also integrates the K&N filter.

HPS has also included a heavy-duty powder-coated heat shield to help keep the temperatures to a minimum, allowing for maximum cold airflow.

The HPS kit is frequently regarded as one of the best sounding intakes on the market for NB’s and comes alive in the upper rev range.

Some owners have mentioned having to do minor trimming to the silicon elbows and pipes, which may be worth a consideration.

Overall, this is a fantastic kit, and the K&N filter is always a welcome addition. For the money, we feel that the K&N Typhoon is likely to be the better buy this time around.

Manufacturer description:Built for performance and show, the HPS Red shortram air intake kit with heat shield for 1999-2005 Mazda Miata 1.8L Non Turbo offers a free-flowing mandrel-bent aluminum tube induction system designed to increase horsepower, torque and improve throttle response while maintaining safe air fuel ratio“.

The heavy duty powder coated heat shield included in the kit blocks out the heat from the engine and maximize the cooling effect. Compare to the cold air intake, HPS short ram cool air intake is a convenient way to change your intake in case of rainy days where water might be inducted into your cold air system“.

DDM Works Performance Intake

ddm works nb

Our comment: Despite us not being huge fans of their NA kit, DDM Works have released a superior ‘Stage 2’ kit for NB owners, which no longer features a foam filter.

DDM’s new kit certainly provides adequate bling in the bay, with its full-polished piping and airbox, and there’s no question that it looks the part and has the exceptional quality to match.

We’ve heard plenty of good things about this kit, but it comes with a rather hefty price tag compared to the two previous variations, which is why we felt that a 4* rating was fair.

If bling is your thing, then this could well be a suitable choice - it certainly stands out!

Manufacturer description:It’s finally here and it doesn’t get any better than this! The DDMWorks Stage 2 is a fully enclosed Cold Air intake for the naturally aspirated 1999-2005 Miata“.

The DDMWorks Stage 2 intake replaces your stock restrictive air box and crossover tube with a high quality stainless steel enclosed intake box and stainless steel cross over tube, along with all the necessary silicone connectors and clamps to install it on your car“.

AEM Short Ram Intake

aem nb

Our comment: AEM has frequently performed highly in our various intake guides here at Drifted, and their NB Miata CAI is no exception.

Combining excellent quality with a fantastic sound and a similar pipework route to the K&N and HPS kits, this proves that the design has been well-refined over the years to provide maximum performance.

Expect a mild sound increase in the lower rev range, before an aggressive growl comes into play between 2-3k revs.

One of the best features of this kit is that it’s CARB legal, which will be useful for those of you where it’s likely to be a concern.

Whether you go with this or the K&N Typhoon, we’re sure that you won’t be disappointed.

Manufacturer description:Our dynos are used to estimate power gains and to test various lengths and diameters of the intake duct that will meet our stringent performance standards“.

AEM uses CAD design to produce their intake systems and they use dyno results, on-road evaluation, and race tracks to validate the results“.

Racing Beat High Flow Air Intake Kit

racing beat nb

Our comment: Racing Beat opted for their unique design again for the NB, featuring a 180-degree bend that points away from the engine.

This intake is quite noticeable even in the lower rev range and comes alive in the upper revs.

Racing Beat has once again opted for using the K&N air filters for their kit, which we hold in extremely high regard.

Although this isn’t the best looking kit, it’s excellent quality, CARB legal, and Racing Beat claims up to 6 HP gains, although we think you would need more supporting mods to accomplish that.

The Racing Beat kit is a solid choice, but not one of our personal favorites.

Manufacturer description:The Miata High Flow Air Inlet Kit for the 1999-05 Miata (non-turbo) combines the advantages of a low restriction, reusable K&N air filter with a smoother air passage into the factory air meter assembly to improve airflow. Designed and engineered by Racing Beat, this attractive assembly, with its polished aluminum casting, positions the genuine K&N air filter element in the area behind the headlamp“.

The High Flow Air Inlet Assembly replaces the stock air box and positions the air filter over this body panel opening. Not only does this unit look great, but the sound of the air rushing through the inlet tube gives the Miata a decidedly more aggressive sound!

Miata/MX-5 NC (05-15) Cold Air Intakes

Although there are fewer options for NC compared to the previous generations, there are still some fantastic choices to be had.

One of the main positives with NC’s is the ease of access to airflow from behind the front bumper, where most kits remained within the bay for NA and NB’s.

The improved location allows for cooler air to reach the engine, but the downside is that it requires longer piping.

Racing Beat Cold Force Intake

racing beat nc

Our comment: Racing Beat returns with a completely revamped design for the NC, which utilizes the forced air through the NC’s central grill opening.

They’ve certainly thought this design through, and it features unique white piping with a custom-engineered K&N air filter.

Although this is once again an excellent choice, it comes with a higher price tag than most of its competitors.

If you like the look of this product, we’re sure that you won’t be disappointed.

The Racing Beat kit is a solid choice, but not one of our personal favorites.

Manufacturer description:Cold Force MX-5 Intake for 2006-2011 models – Racing Beat introduces the Cold Force Intake for the MX-5 NC. The Cold Force MX-5 intake system is designed to maximize the cold airflow and allow entry of pressurized, cool ambient air into the intake system. Each Cold Force High Flow system includes: a machined aluminum air mass housing, a flow-insulated inlet tube, a high-density plastic ram air duct, an original K & N air filter element, complete mounting hardware, and detailed installation instructions“.

The high throughput ram air inlet duct is securely located behind the front bumper and positioned to draw air through the MX-5 NC’s main grill opening. Inside the ram air inlet channel is a K & N filter element attached to the sturdy intake manifold for directing air to the air mass meter. The passage through which the intake tube enters the engine compartment is tightly sealed with a three-wave neoprene foam gasket“.

AEM Cold Air Intake

aem nc

Our comment: AEM returns to our list with another unique offering, which is arguably the most popular choice among NC owners, and quite rightly so.

This positions the filter in the lower part of the front bumper, where it’s capable of extracting the maximum possible airflow.

AEM’s kit is fantastically designed, and also crafted with their typically high standards.

We think that this is the best thought-through NC kit on the market, and it comes at a reasonable price, too.

Although we somehow doubt their claims of 10 HP gains, we’re sure that its ideal location will provide some much-needed cooling for your NC’s engine.

Manufacturer description:AEM Cold Air Intake Systems are designed to produce horsepower and torque gains. They replace the restrictive factory airbox and air filter to give you better performance and better engine sound“.

AEM cold air intakes relocate the air filter outside the engine compartment so cooler air can be fed into your engine. Cooler air carries more oxygen, which translates into a more intense explosion in the combustion chamber for more horsepower and torque“.

DC Sports Cold Air Intake System

dc sports nc

Our comment: For those of you that are after a cold air intake kit on a budget for your NC which is 50-state CARB legal, look no further.

DC Sports have by far the cheapest kit on our list, but as with most car parts, you’re likely to get what you pay for, so be prepared to have to make some minor adjustments.

The instructions with this item aren’t the best and don’t feature any pictures, but it fits similar to the AEM kit, so we’re sure that if you’re handy with a spanner, you’ll find your way around it quickly enough.

If not, professional installation may be an ideal solution to ensure the perfect fit, in which case you would probably be better of buying the tried-and-proven AEM CAI above.

Manufacturer description:DC Sports intake tubes feature lightweight aluminum alloy construction with a silver powder coated finish that is corrosion resistant. Designed to improve throttle response and increases horsepower and torque“.

Our Cold Air systems re-locates the air filter outside the engine compartment for cooler air ingestion, providing lower air intake temperatures to the engine“.

Miata/MX-5 ND (15+) Cold Air Intakes

The ND is the modern-day Miata, which is still being rolled out of car showrooms across the world to the present day.

It’s certainly gone through some transitions in its lifetime, but it’s certainly still one of the most exciting and affordable two-seater sports cars on the current market.

Over its lifetime, Mazda has continued to improve its intakes, and you are going to struggle to see significant improvements over the well-refined stock unit on the ND.

Still, you can certainly enhance the sound and add a unique touch to your engine bay with these great CAI choices.

AEM Cold Air Intake System

aem nd

Our comment: We’ve held AEM in high regard throughout our guide, but their ND offering, unfortunately, falls short of the mark compared to their previous efforts.

Not only is the air filter in a less desirable location with a lack of protection from hot air, but there have also been some quality issues when it comes to the provided aluminium coolant overflow reservoir, which has been prone to leaking.

Given that there are several better choices for the money for the ND, we’d personally recommend passing up on the AEM this time around.

Manufacturer description:Air enters the system through an oversized AEM Dry flow synthetic washable air filter for outstanding air flow, filtration and performance“.

The air filter is located in the original air box space and is protected by a heat shield which is designed to reduce intake air temperature and increase horsepower. Attached to the heat shield is an aluminum coolant overflow reservoir that replaces the stock reservoir so that the air intake will fit properly. The air intake tubing is constructed from mandrel-bent aluminum featuring a durable gunmetal gray powder coated finish“.

Mishimoto Performance Air Intake

mishimoto nd

Our comment: Mishimoto enters our guide for the first time, and they certainly haven’t disappointed with their fantastic air intake kit.

Despite coming in cheaper than AEM, they provide a fully enclosed powder-coated airbox for keeping the temperatures as low as possible.

Although they don’t make any excessive power figure claims, they say it may help you achieve up to 3 HP; you’ll undoubtedly notice some improvements from a sound perspective.

Mishimoto is happy to stand by their quality products, which is why they offer a lifetime warranty for this fantastic piece of kit, which comes highly recommended.

Overall, this is a fantastic piece of kit, especially for the price, which we’re confident won’t leave you disappointed (unless you have unrealistic power expectations, of course!)

Manufacturer description:The Mishimoto 2016 Miata intake creates a sound that enhances this driving experience even more while looking amazing in your engine bay“.

The stock intake duct is utilized to supply cold air to the intake filter, while the CNC-machined MAF housing makes for accurate sensor readings. This ND Miata air intake features a high-flow filter to let your engine breathe, as you rip down back roads with the gas pedal mashed to the floor“.

Injen Short Ram Intake

injen nd

Our comment: Although this is one of the more popular kits among ND owners, we felt that it fell short of the mark this time around.

With a previous design to the last AEM kit, it’s not in a great location when it comes to cool air, nor does it have adequate protection from the engine bay heat.

For this reason, both intakes have mocked for being ‘hot air intakes’ by ND enthusiasts.

There have been some in-depth tests carried out by ND owners, where they established that the Injen runs warmer than the stock intake on the ND, so for that reason, we’ve had to reflect that in the rating.

There are many happy owners out there, though, and the Injen certainly provides a deeper, more aggressive tone that comes alive in the upper half of the rev range.

Manufacturer description:Is your engine choking for air and in need of some additional horsepower? If so, Injen has exciting news for you! The SP series of cold air intakes from Injen Technology will allow your engine to breathe deeper and enhance the performance that youve been craving“.

The SP series of cold air intakes is Injens flagship system in their lines of traditional aluminum cold air intake systems“.

Corksport Cold Air Intake

corksport nd

Our comment: It was a tough decision between this and the Mishimoto since they both feature similar designs and have both opted for a completely different route to Injen and AEM.

We highly recommend doing your research on this and the Mishimoto to see which kit suits your needs best. They certainly look similar under the hood, and they both provide noticeable growl and minimal power enhancements.

You really can’t go wrong with either kit, so it merely boils down to personal preference.

Manufacturer description:The CorkSport CAI combines the OEM cold air ducting with a high flow intake system for the best of both worlds“.

The CAI box and lid is CAD designed for a precise fit in your engine bay. The CorkSport CAI also utilizes the OEM rubber isolators for mounting, so installation is a breeze“.

Our winners

As you can see, there’s certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to cold air intakes for Mazda Miata’s. Here are our recommended products for each generation.

Our Drifted Mazda Miata NA Intake Winner

Our Mazda Miata NA Cold Air Intake winner is the Randall Cowl Intake Duct.

The Randall cowl provides a simple yet highly effective design with a fantastic-looking carbon fiber snorkel. The Randall Cowl is an excellent choice for those looking for maximum power gains without needing to worry about competition legislation.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer has now discontinued the Randall Cowl, so you may want to try and source a used option, build a DIY version yourself, or check out the alternatives on the market.

If you’re looking to compete in your Miata and can’t cut into the firewall, or don’t like the idea of doing so, we’d recommend checking out our runner up, the Apexi Power Intake.

Randall Cowl Intake Duct

randall na

Our Drifted Mazda Miata NB Intake Winner

Our Mazda Miata NB Cold Air Intake winner is the K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake Kit.

K&N pulled through to offer what we feel is the best choice for the Mazda Miata NB with their Typhoon Cold Air Intake Kit.

Great looks, an intoxicating sound, a fantastic filter element, and the typical K&N quality at a reasonable price have made this our winner.

Our NB runner-up goes to AEM’s Short Ram Intake System which features a similar tried-and-tested design.

K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake Kit

kn typhoon nb

Our Drifted Mazda Miata NC Intake Winner

Our Mazda Miata NC Cold Air Intake winner is the AEM Cold Air Intake.

AEM has perfected their kit for the NC, and they’ve released two different variants for the NC model years to ensure the perfect fit and performance.

The AEM kit positions itself inside the front bumper to extract maximum possible airflow to provide efficient cooling along with a nice, yet not overly-aggressive sound.

Combined with a reasonable price tag, we’ve opted for this as our personal choice.

If you’re looking for something a little different, or if the AEM doesn’t suit your needs, then the Racing Beat Cold Force Intake is another excellent contender for the NC.

AEM Cold Air Intake

aem nc

Our Drifted Mazda Miata ND Intake Winner

Our Mazda Miata ND Cold Air Intake winner is the Mishimoto Performance Air Intake.

Although Mazda has done a fantastic job with their stock ND intake, there’s no harm in improving the sounds and aesthetics in the engine bay, and the Mishimoto Performance Air Intake is the perfect choice for this.

If you’re looking for an alternative intake for your ND, then the Corksport Cold Air Intake is a serious contender for the crown.

Mishimoto Performance Air Intake

mishimoto nd

Thank you for reading our Best Miata Cold Air Intake guide.

We hope that this guide has given you the confidence to find the perfect product for your Miata. There are some fantastic options to choose from on the market, whichever generation Miata you’re lucky enough to own, so we hope we’ve helped you make the perfect choice for your needs.

Photography credits

We would like to thank the following sources for the use of their images:

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author avatar Written by Joe Terrell Drifted.com founder, motoring journalist and all-round car enthusiast. Read more about Joe and the Drifted team on our about us page.

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