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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)



  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I had two more litres - 1.8 - but I had the 6 speed manual *. Like you, I never put the top up. What's the point?

    *n.b.: While many assume the more gears the better, in my experience, the 5 speed in the base Miata was better than the 6 speed. In my experience, at least, the 6 speed did not help mpgs a bit.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    My apologies.

    The, 'What's the point?' question above can be misconstrued as being rude.

    I mean only to ask what is the point of driving a convertible with the top up?
  • typical mazda...they have some weird objection toward gearing for mileage. My protege got 30 mpg running 70-75mph. Running from sd to arizona my pro 5 speed got 24 mpg. I was only doing 85 but the engine was way up in the stratosphere. Flipside, my old Nissan Stanza would get 30+ in 5th gear running 85 and up.

    I just read that Mazda delayed the MZ6 because the idiots at Mazda decided to change the gearing away from fuel econmy and toward power in top gear. Totally stupid decision IMHO. One buys a manual to change gears. i'm more than happy to go from 6th to 4th when I need to pass someone and we're only doing 75-80.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mazda gears them for peak performance, not peak economy. Their motto is zoom-zoom, remember.

    Besides, Honda and Toyota have deeper pockets, so if they went head-to-head for the fuel economy awards they'd end up losing anyway. They might end up in doom-doom. :P

    Plus, if you want peak economy shouldn't you be going a little slower? 55 maybe?

  • Uh, you can have both. Nobody says BMW isn't fun to drive. Their 6th gear is a legit cruising gear. Gears 1-4 (or 5) can be ratioed for performance and make the top gear really tall for relaxed freeway cruising.

    Remember if someone buys a manual, he's probably inclined to shift. I'm still livid over news that Mazdaspeed6 was delayed so they could make the final drive shorter. As if a turbo 4 cylinder isn't already inclined to get bad mileage!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    " Were you driving with the top up?

    I almost never put the top up. I only rarely did better than 20 mpgs in mine. "
    :::::::::::END QUOTE::::::::::::::::
    Top up or top down, is was not all that different. Most of the runs recording around
    27 MPG were with top down. The 30 MPG was freeway, with mostly top up. If you
    got only 20 MPG, there was something wrong with the engine. May be in the sensors.
    It was really using too much gas. I don't think I could ever get it to go less than 24 to

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Why drive with a top up?
    Oh yeah, easier questions coming my way.
    - answers -
    1) Keep rain out of car
    2) Keep wind out of car
    3) Keep heat on the outside of car - cool inside car.
    4) Keep heat inside car
    5) Keep dust out of car
    6) Better gas mileage on freeway - especially when windy
    7) Keep sun from burning self
    8) Keep items inside car out of sun.
    9) P.O. other members in your club when driving that believe it is a top down only car.
    10) When washing car, keep in closed position.
    11) Keeps cats out of car.
    12) Keeps kids out of car.
    13) Keeps bird crap out of car.
    14) Keeps tree dropping out of car.
    15) As requested by passenger, with the long hair.
    16) Suggests the car was bought for its handling characteristics, and not drop top.
    17) Gives you arm exercise putting it up and down.
    18) Just too lazy to put it down this morning :D
    19) Sign at beach said, " topless not allowed "

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433

    1. Don't drive the Miata when it is raining.
    2. If you can't stand the wind, by a coupe.
    3. Wear a parka.
    4. See 3.
    5. Oh for heaven's sake.
    6. Yeah. But then, coupes handle better anyway. If you are not happy with top down character, buy a coupe.
    7. Sun screen really works. Vitamen D is necessary for healthy bones.
    8. Huh?
    9. Somewhat juvenile.
    10. Speed keeps cats out of car.
    11. See 10.
    12. See 10.
    13. See 10.
    14. See 10.
    15. Passenger either cuts hair, puts it up, or walks.
    16. Top up does not make much difference with ride and handling. Rigidity does.
    17. Bally's.
    18. Garage the car and do not put the top up in the first place.
    19. Silly.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    If you got only 20 MPG, there was something wrong with the engine. May be in the sensors.

    Given the sucky local Mazda service, I would not be surprised if they missed a sensor problem. But I brought the car in several times to separate dealers, all of whom gave it clean bill of health.

    From Miatanet and other buff sites, I gather my NB 1.8 mileage was not out of the norm. I don't drive often. When I do, I drive all out.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Mazda should make a Miata Coupe for USA market, but sadly they don't. is a good source for info. and the forums a place to chat about this n' that.
    I think you will find on a search there, that MPG seems to fall into the 27 to 30 MPG
    range for most people with the 1.8 engine. If memory serves me right, the 1.6 gets
    about that too. I take it the new 2.0 liter will get a wider range of MPG when mostly
    around town, or back roads? In first tests compared to Solstice it can out better in
    MPG. I think it is the Car and Driver mag?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    MPG just isn't a priority for them. Besides, what was the rating again? 19/28? That's not half bad given the performance.

    If they'd geared it taller the car mags would whine about turbo lag.

    If you want fuel effiency, you'd get the Mazda6 with the 2.3l engine anyway.

    For Loren I suggest a hard top, plain and simple. They seal better, offer some rigidity, and probably less aerodynamic drag than a soft top.

    The 1.6l was rated at 25/30 mpg by the EPA. That dropped with the 1.8l, but oddly enough with the 2.0l it's back up to 25/30 again.

    Maybe they could offer a de-tuned version of the 2.0l with more fuel efficiency, but I'm not sure anyone that wants an MX-5 would not want the extra HP.

  • I know it's not a mazda priority...and I don't for a second believe it would hinder performance. 1 ans 2 should be good up to 63-65 mph. From there mix up the gears and make six really tall. Just like Honda and BMW.

    Nobody complains about that setup with the Vette or the 330i, so I can't see it being an issue with a Mazdaspeed6.

    Sorry not buying decent, intelligent gearing would hurt the car's image or sales. Bad mpg figures do hurt the car. Why blow 33k on a Mazdaspeed6 that scampers to 60 in a startlingly bad 7 seconds when one can spend less than that on a 325i and get a more nimble chassis and better mpgs?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Vette has what, 6 liters, and BMW has 3?

    The MazdaSpeed6 will have just 2.3l, and low compression ratio at that. So off boost it will perform more or less like a 2.0l.

    They don't want the press too hit the gas and see zero results. Those guys go out of their way to look for turbo lag.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's take this discussion over to the MazdaSpeed6 thread.

    The Miata's MPG seems fine, in fact that would be a reason to pick it over a Solistice. So that's not an issue for this thread.

  • sorry miata folks. :)
  • OK for spinning in the country on a Saturday, or impressing the ladies on a Friday night, but for a 100 mile daily commute? Anyone have a positive experience using the car this way? Of course, the '06 might be a different story and I can't imagine anyone has that experience. :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I say no, you'd be taking the Miata out of its element.

    Go get a grand touring coupe/sedan or something more quiet and comfy. For a boring, 100 mile highway drive I'd rather have a Town Car or a Lexus ES330, floaty ride and all.

    A Miata is better at running quick errands, short commutes, going the long way (not that long), twisty roads, short weekend jaunts, stuff like that.

    100 miles in a straight line? Then it's cramped and you get wind burn. You'll be comfortable for the first hour, maybe, but towards the end you'll be anxious to get out and stretch.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I honestly suggest earplugs for long highway trips with the top down. The wind noise/pressure gets fatiguing. I wear them when riding my motorcycle which is noiser and even less comfortable than a Miata, but a long trip in a Miata isn't that fun.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interesting idea. I use them all the time for yard equipment, which can be obnoxiously loud.

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Ear plugs are illegal for obvious reasons. The Miata roar is not all that bad, even in the oldest of series. You can hear the tunes coming out of the tail pipe. Yeah, the noise cancels out any hope of good stereo, but that is not what the car is for. Personally, a long trip in a Miata is anything over 300 miles, but I am older now. Some people drive and drive in these things all day. For commuting and freeway, there indeed are better options. For the fun factor it is the little car that can. I own a PT now, so I mainly cruise, though it takes the corners better than expected.

    The new Miata adds a lot of the stuff which people had to add on before, such as grill and roll bar. I hope it is a roll bar. It says style bar on the Internet. Hard to tell from diagrams how beefy the roll bar is. Will it keep from folding backwards on impact? All in all, function wise a good redo of the car. Style wise it won't compete with the Solstice, so they will lose some sales along that road. Oh well, don't shoot me, I am but the messenger.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    you are flat out wrong unless you are referring to California, which has strange verbage about "custom" earplugs on its books:

    in all other states there is no law against earplugs. some do prohibit headphones.

    you can hear fine with earplugs, they only reduce extreme harshness. you would most definitely hear a car horn for example.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Even headphones are OK - for one ear. I used to ride motorcycles and investigated that, and found that I could use a walkman on one side. The concern is that they want you to hear ambulances.

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Oh my God, tell me this ain't so. You mean to tell me that people in other states do not have to listen for emergency vehicles. Yes, I live in California. Count one as correct on the books in California.

    The ear plugs for shooting which only lock out the dangerous range of noise are pretty neat. I got a pair, and they seem to work when watching the cars on the track. I got the other more basic plug types too. I guess you can hear a car horn with those, but I don't know. Seems to me it would cut down on hearing a siren at a distance. Yeah, on the freeway the sirens don't carry that far anyway, and you go mainly on sight. The CHP still do use the sirens though. In town, I always roll the windows down a crack so I can hear sirens. OK, we are talking top down? It is amazing all the things one hears on the roads with a Miata - top down. Personally, I don't like the plugs. It seems to be something which some people like or dislike more than others.

    As far as honking at cars, it doesn't seem to help much most of the time. Now I know when in other states, they may not hear me anyway. Always best to see and be seen more than honking anyway, and scramble out of harms way when possible. When I had the Miata people in other vehicles, particularly trucks and SUVs many times seemed not to see me at all. I was invisible. That beep-beep toy horn didn't work when they started to cut you off. I just looked to bail out of the situation. Whew, some got close!

    I bet the new Miata, being third gen, is a lot more quiet now. Test drive it and see if the stereo can be heard. They are not quiet like a Caddy, but I bet more quiet than first gen.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    yes, I'm talking top down. at >60mph, there is a whole lot of wind noise and air pressure. ear plugs help and are not insanely dangerous nor illegal as your less than open-minded posts have been suggesting. :blush:

    I'm glad you are speaking for a position of experience. :P I shoot pistols for sport and competitively and I bring plain old foam earplugs with me for guests. There is nothing magical about them and the same plugs work well when on a motorcycle or in a convertible at speed. I do have some fancy Peltor earmuffs with noise cancellation and I know they now make noise cancelling in-ear style (earbud) headphones, but none of that is what I'm talking about.

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    For a couple bucks more, you could by the better ear plugs which only cancel out the loud noise. Don't be so cheap ;) And the economy plugs work - yeap, they do. I got some at an industrial supply store. Those bright orange plugs, with a plastic string do work and are so cheap. Funny how the same plugs at a department store or drug store, become three times higher in price when packaged, but that's volume and packaging for ya.

    Hope you do not run into an emergency vehicle.

    Peltor muffs are good ones :shades:

    Now how is the New Miata compared to the Solstice for noise and wind?

    In California there is a new law requiring the dealer to install front plate brackets, beginning in Oct. Looking at the Solstice I see no place to put the plate. And yes, I never had a plate on the front of the Miata. Born in 1996, that car never did have a plate on it, I guess. Never spotted an holes.

    Does the New MX-5 meet the German requirements for pedestrian safety? Car are going to be getting taller, and I guess less sharp up front? New laws in effect yet? Won't this limit cars sold within Germany, as well as, those made within Germany?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dealers ought to have a front license plate frame.

    My '93 has one that comes out of the top of the lower grille opening and stick out to hold the plate. It used to aim upward, but any little bump would put dimples in my front bumper.

    So I flipped it. :surprise:

    By that I mean I moutned the bracket upside down, so now the plate sits a little lower but doesn't rub up against the bumper and cause those dimples.

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I see no place to put that license plate in the front. It will just look aweful. And by law, the dealer has to stick the darn thing on there. I bet they mount it to the bottom lip of the bumper where the screws coming out won't show, and you can easily rid the car of the hiddeous front plate. I like how they did it on the C5 Corvettes. If you had to put the plates on, it was right there incorporated into the front bumper design. When you did not add a plate the cover kept it slick looking.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That works if the bumper is US-specific. Euro plates are shaped differently (wider and not as tall).

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I drove my old 90 about 4000 miles (in a week) with a buddy, on desert SW trip about 10 years ago. Lot's of interstate and back roads. Noise wasn't too bad, but I'm not sure how I'd deal with it now. A day of driving my 93 now is pretty exhausting. At least the 93 has cruise and air... getting soft in my old age. ;-)

    I can hear fine with ear plugs. If I were doing a long trip, I'd wear them on the boring interstate sections. Probably not in the urban areas.
  • I'm looking for a 2006 Miata hard top. I recently purchased the 3rd Gen Limited edition which does not have an option for the hard top. Plus, I can't even buy it seperately as accessories or parts yet.

    Therefore, if anyone is looking to buy a 2006 Miata and do not intend to purchase a hard top with it - if you option for the hard top and sell it to me, I will pay you $300 CAD on top of the option price.

    I prefer if it's black, but will take any other colour. I live in Toronto Canada (that's why I need one for the winter). I prefer to deal locally, but will travel as far as 100 miles.
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