I have a theory. But first I have to put on my flame suit. Ok now I am ready, we always say the Miata is the answer, why is that? Why do we all cling to a car that is forever condemned by the public to be a girl's car? Is it because it is fun? Because racecar? Because the Miata is cheap? No. We cling to the Miata for a different reason. We cling to the Miata because we have nothing else to cling to.
I am just going to say it. The Miata is slow. Yes I know what you're going to say, "The convertible top and wonderful inline make the car feel fast!" I won't argue with that the car does at least feel fast. But at the end of the day even if you have a new shiny Miata you're still only getting to 60 in 6.9 seconds. Not to ruin your day but an overzealous soccer mom in a Ford Explorer can beat that time. Yet we still cling to the Miata like babies clinging to a pacifier.
We cling to the Miata because we don't have a choice. We cling to the Miata because other car companies don't make fun and affordable sports cars. Sometimes we get lucky however and the gods of motoring shin down upon us and give us better choices than the vanilla Miata. One of the greatest competitors of the Miata in recent years to fight against it is of course the Toybaru twins.
Faster, better looking, and they sell more cars combined in the United States than the Miata does. The twins are a great alternative to the Miata. And they could sell more. If they put a turbo on the car or cut off the roof the BRZ and FRS could easily outsell the Miata.
If you insist on having a roadster however there is another choice that is better than the Miata. The Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice. Those two great cars however became unfortunate victims of the GM bankruptcy. Combined these two twins outsold the Miata every year they were in production. If you didn't combine the two separate companies sales they still managed to outsell the Miata for several years. If you got the two-liter turbo the twins could hit 60 in less that 6 seconds! That blows the doors off any Miata ever made. Still think the answer is Miata?
The future of the Miata being the go to answer might be in question. With the rumors of an Alfa or Fiat roadster on the rise chances are the Miata could be in trouble. There are better answers than the Miata. After all just because it has been in production the longest does not mean it is the best.