Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)

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Comments

  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Well, it's not really "bad" -- just that the new Toyota MR-2 seems, if local anecdote be true, to be cutting into Miata mania. A good friend was in the market for a roadster and just put the deposit on the new Toyota! He's very excited, of course.

    Shades of 1990: when he went to the dealer, the MSRP was 23500 (I think) and they wanted 31900. He said he told them that was ridiculous, liked the Miata, and was going to go buy one. He walked out. The gm jogged to his car and asked him if they could deal. His "deal" was msrp -- given there will be so few I'm surprised he was able to cut it.

    The good news: some of my new suspension stuff is on order -- for budget reasons I'm doing it in three steps. Step one is completed: I waited since 1992 for the original equipment to get worn enough that I could feel okay about discarding it. Step two is that I've ordered Bilstein shocks, a tower brace, and new tires -- I'm wondering what the effect will be. Next year will be some extra (mild) bracing and springs (to bring it back down the inch that the Bilsteins are supposed to raise it.) FYI: Toyo has their T1S tired out in a 14" size now (I wanted to keep my light weight original rims), and though they are a 45 aspect (194 X 14) I'm thinking these will be a lot of fun.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    This is probably off topic, but I am going to say it anyway :P
    Some dealers are selling MR-2 at ridiculous markup, but some are not. There are dealers posting on MR-2 forum on here and they have said they will not sell any cars at 5k markup. Most of them claimed they are selling their MR-2s at about 500 above or at MSRP.
    Personally I think it still look weird (especially if you get a light colour and so all the black trims show up as if it got bunched and got bruised. Then again, each to his own I suppose. A local Toyota dealer sold a few and someone traded in a 99 Green Leather package Miata for a silver one.
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    No, the sixth gear doesn't make much difference. It shave a couple of hundred RPMs at 60mph but it's still buzzy.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    In a review, I think car and driver - but maybe motortrend, they said they found that it was harder to find the right gear in the twisties with the 6 speed, and that they would definitely choose the 5 speed tranny over the 6. I think they should have made 6th gear a very tall cruising gear.
  • glengleglengle Member Posts: 57
    I was hoping that the 6th gear was a bit taller. This car will be my driver, and I travel a 70 mph interstate at 85 mph every day to and from work. Looks like I'll keep looking. :o)

    Thanks again,

    Greg
  • mgmidgetmgmidget Member Posts: 1
    Mazda has changed the optioning and pricing of the base prices of the three Miata versions.

    For example Edmunds and Mazda's web site show that AC, floor mats, and windblocker as standard on the base model. They no longer are. It seems that the option packages are priced the same.

    A dealer claims they were changed in March.

    I feel like this is a high-tech bait and switch technique.

    Where can I get the revised invoice costs?

    It seems that the invoice prices for options are %20 less than MSRP and Base price is about 10% less.

    Also, the dealer claims the rebate is only $1000 but I suspect it is $1500.

    Does it not seem strange that you cannot get cruise control if you get the suspension package?

    Thanks,
    Craig
  • abloom2abloom2 Member Posts: 2
    Hi Greg, I have a 99 Miata 5 spd and it revs at 3150 rpm at 60 mph. I drove the 6 spd and noticed no difference. In fact, both top gears have the same ratio. I also drove the S2000 and didn't like it that much. I'll admit it has great looks, great sound, but you got to rev the hell out of it to use its 240 hp. Below 6000rpm, it felt slower than my Miata. Above 7000 it was incredible. The point is who wants to drive down the highway at 60 mph in 3rd gear so power's on tap immediately. Enjoy your new toy!
  • lemurtxlemurtx Member Posts: 6
    Woo-hoo!

    I waited--and looked and found the right car-- a 96 M edition!!!

    :-)
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    abloom2: At lower RPM's the S2000 IS slower then the miata. If you don't rev up the engine all the way before letting go it does an unimpressive 11 sec. 0-60.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Good timing! Just the time of year to put the top down =-- enjoy.

    TAke care.
    Joe W.
  • iforgotitiforgotit Member Posts: 11
    Can the side view mirrors on a M2 be folded in? They appear to be two pieces but I'm afraid of breaking it if I push too hard.
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    (nt)
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    The side mirrors can be rotated in both directions. This is to gain access to the two screws holding down the mirrors so you can install the snaps for the tonneau.
  • dominicdominic Member Posts: 8
    Picked up a white 2000 LS on Friday (will be wife's car). 1 mile on odometer. Considered the special edition (love the wood trim and the wood Nardi wheel), but the chrome wheels, etc... seem a bit tacky. The car is great, and is our (combined)5th convertible. I want to address some of the criticisms I have heard about the car. People have posted that it is not an appropriate car for highways, long drives, next to trucks, etc... but it is no worse than my Celica GT convertible - which isn't bad at all. I guess if your last car was a minivan you might think the Miata wasn't a good highway vehicle. Storage space; with the top up you have the shelf behind you, the area behind the front seats, and the trunk (fit all our grocery bags). Again, this is no worse than other sports cars / convertibles.

    Question for everyone; has anyone tried a bike rack / carrier on their Miata?
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Well. I finally test drove a Miata (actually three of them) this weekend. It is as much fun as everyone suggested. I found that at 6'1" and 200 lbs, I'm about as big as you can fit in a Miata. My air brushes the roof with the seat all the way back and tilted. I also have to lean forward to see the traffic lights when I'm at a stoplight.
    I drove two 96s and a brand new 2000. What surprised me was that I didn't feel the 2000 was any better from a performance standpoint than the older ones. The road tests all show the new model should be a full second faster 0-60, but I couldn't tell the difference using my butt dyno. Now I'm torn. I really like the new body style, the glass window, the passenger air bag switch and th prices are now really good (This dealer was selling very well equipped 2000s for $17998) but I really started out looking for a toy for around $10K.
    Other observations - someone complained a long ime ago about having trouble operating the pedals with his size 12 feet. I have size 14 feet and had no such trouble. I even wore my clunkiest basktball shoes to make sure.
    One thing that bothers me is that quite a few of the used Miatas I've seen have a large gap or misalignment at the front of he hood where it meets the headlights. Has anyone else noticed this? It really makes the car look bad.
    On one car I drove (a 96) the clutch engagement was near the top of the travel. Does this mean the clutch has about had it?
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    I guess that highway driving depends on your level of comfort. It does help to have a progressive/defensive driving style and a positive attitude. Compared to my other car...Audi A4 (not a big car to begin with), the Miata is positively loud, crude, buzzy, jittery uncomfortable and too low. After a stint at the wheel of the Miata, I feel exhausted as it definitely requires more effort to drive. *note* this is not really a bad thing as that was what I was expecting....it's just that I prefer the Miata as a sporty runabout that's great on winding technical roads rather than a car that's great on interstate cruiser.
  • zaqzaq Member Posts: 19
    I've got one on my car. But I'd have to go digging around in my garage to give you the name. It's a standard one that has straps that attach to the trunk in four places and also the shipping tie downs in the back of the car. (HEY! A use for them) It will given time scratch the finish on the top of the trunk, but if you keep the trunk and the foamy bar very clean it should be minimal, the other perch rests on the plate so it has very little chance of doing damage.

    I've had two bikes, one Full Suspension and one hardtail mountain bike on it at the same time, and it's rock solid up to 65 MPH.


    Additionally, there is a tail hitch style bike carrier that doesn't rest on the car, but requires adding a hitch. It costs more, is a modification I don't want on my car (since it lowers rear clearence) and the rack cost more too.

    Now if I had the 59,000 for the Boxster S I wanted, I'd get the very very cool Porsche bike/ski rack that mounts over the car top, keeping your finish shiny, your bikes overhead, and I don't believe it interfers with the top. At 1800 it's an expensive rack, but I'd like one similar for the Miata.

    -Z
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    Dgraves,

    If you drove a 2000 with sports suspension (15 inch wheels, Pilot tires, gas shocks, LSD) you should have noticed distinctly sportier handling, maybe a little bit too sporty compared to a base Miata. But you're right, the performance differences between the last generation should be minimal. Mazda refined a few things but the current Miata is clearly a evolution of the last one. 5% better this, 20% better that, 10% better this etc. Engine power has gone up nominally and the performance numbers do prove it...but seat of the pants feel should be very similar. The engine design is the same and the increased power comes on mostly at higher revs.

    Anyway, since you're in the market for cheap used....the 96's are a good compromise. I love my Miata so much that I had no problem justifying stretching my budget and bought a 10th Ann model even though I would have been perfectly happy with a base version.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Actually, I might go even older. I was very impressed by how tight everything was on the two 96s. They felt every bit as solid as the brand new one. I'm going to drive some 92-93 models and see how they feel. That way I can avoid the whole passenger side air bag issue.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    dgraves, re: size -- first of all, put the top down, then if more is eyespace is needed, unscrew the visors and ditch them (useless in a roadster anyway). Aftermarked suppliers sell little blanks to cover the holes if the cosmetics bother you.

    I like driving mine just about anywhere, but comments above re: the highway were to make sure no one thought posters here were confusing this with a Lexus. As you say, it's a roadster -- you like it or you don't.

    As far as buying used is concerned, if you're patient and willing to look around there are a lot of good older "toys" available for $10k and under in many parts of the country. If you're in the north you can find some especially good deals as there are quite a few drivers who have garaged them in the winter. My "new" one is a '92 black/tan that had 22k on it when I found it.

    But the nose should certainly be lined up pretty well. The nose, as opposed to the hood, is glass (on older ones you'll find that the paint has faded at a different rate!) and two things come to mind: one is that it has been punched by another vehicle and needs a better bodyman to check it over; the other is that the front end has only about 5" clearance and can get caught on the cement parking bumpers -- so when you pull out the parking bumper will "realign" the front cone. The build quality of the car is excellent and it certainly didn't come from the factory that way!

    TAke care.
    Joe W.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Thanks Joe. My comment on the misaligned hood/nose wasn't regarding any one car but rather that I've seen a lot of them that have this problem. Maybe it is from dragging them on the curb as you suggest.
    Any thoughts on the high clutch engagement? The car only has 48K miles on it but a clutch rider could wear one out that fast. I haven't had to replace a clutch on a car since the seventies. What does a clutch replacement on a Miata cost?
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    Sounds like the little miata suits you well. They're allot of fun for the money. I'm getting jealous. I think i need to get out there and drive some also. What about the 911? Have you seen any that could be a potential for around 10k!?!?!

    The hood alignment deal. Sometimes with older, small and light cars tend to get a misaligned look from gorillas opening and closing them. It happens. They also get little dents in the front of the hood from folks leaning on it to get it latched. Although, these are fiberglass? so it won't dent. Either way, if you're unsure, your best bet is when you see one you like and WHEN you take it to your mechanic for the inspection, he should be able to tell you if it was worked on. ANy mechanic worth his salt should be able too. Otherwise, a body shop is the ticket.
  • dominicdominic Member Posts: 8
    Zaq, thanks for the input re: bikerack. I haven't seen the Porshe system, it sounds excellent.

    WarpDrive, I hear what you are saying. I am so used to small noisy cars that the Miata seems fine to me. Before my Celica GT Convertible (92,000 miles and NO repairs), we had a Saab 900S convertible (suprisingly unrefined), an Audi Coupe GT (sold it with over 220,000 miles - you should have heard that with open exhaust!), and several muscle car convertibles (again, suprisingly loud). No doubt, a Lexus will deliver a more peaceful ride - but the Miata is better than I expected.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    The Miata was about just what I expected. I was hoping for an overwhelming feeling of "Man, I gotta have one of these" but it was more like "Yeah, this is a nice litle car" Maybe I just need more time in it - I only managed to squeeze two hours of "go play" time out of my wife.

    I haven't given up on the Porsche yet, but I'm sure I can't touch anything decent for less than $12-14K for a targa or $16-18K for a convertible. I might be able to stretch to that if I get the aforementioned feeling when I drive one. It's just that spending that much money for a 17 year old car that's expensive to repair is somewhat frightening.

    As far as the Miata hood goes - it is steel but it is flimsy. I felt like I could easily fold it in half with my bare hands. But that's how you make a lightweight sports car.
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    What exactly was missing from the miata experience? It's a roadster, nimble handler, great shifter, what's missing? There are other alternatives.

    I don't blame ya with the 911. Hey, there's always time.....
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I just thought of something. It wasn't what was missing. It was something extra in the car that I didn't want - the 275 pound babbling idiot known as the salesman. Seriously, both salesman were BIG guys. That's a substantial weight penalty in a little car. And their constant sales banter was really annoying me. It was just an unending stream of trying to find the "hook" that would get me to buy the car today. Most of what's coming out of their mouths are misinformation, outright lies or stale lines of sales pitch I've been hearing my whole life. One guys opening line was, "You can call me Charles, Charlie or Chuck, just don't call me late for dinner".
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    You need to post that over at the smartshopper conf under, inconsiderate dealers!

    What losers. I've been known in the past to ask these guys to keep quiet so i can get to know the car in peace. Maybe, one of these places will let you take it out alone if they think you're serious. Or, bring a buddy, you know, two seats, where's he gonna sit, where?
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Good idea. I thought of bringing my 9 year old with me. What can I do, I can't leave him there and he only weighs about 70 lbs. Only problem is I don't want him to see how dad usually drives when he's not in the car. I don't want to set a bad example.
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    Just don't get in an accident. What do you do to be ashamed of? The sooner he learns to DRIVE a car, the better!

    I'm not gonna hide my driving from my kids. So many people are afraid to break traction in a car let alone manuever it into a 4 wheel drift! These cars are built to be driven sportily. Have fun!

    I hid this cause we're straying way off topic!
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Unless the car is in bad shape, or you are in competition circumstances -- and you're not, since you're on the street where the rest of us have to drive! -- the weight of the salesperson shouldn't make a truly noticeable difference in the performance of the stock setup. (It really is a car, not a gokart, and you're not going to feel the few 1/10ths that the extra weight will add.)

    The yakking is more of a problem. Tell him you won't know if you're interested until you get to drive without listening and that you definitely won't if he does anything more than answer your questions while you're on the ride. Then drive it.

    I can't help you about the clutch, but that's what the mechanics checkup is for.

    At $10,000 the Miata is at over half its value; the 911 is at 1/8. Nuff said?

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    maybe i'm more sensitive to it, but, i could tell in my integrs gs-r when someone else was in the passenger seat, whether they were yakking or not.
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    In a 2200-2300lb car with a low-torque engine, you bet there's a huge difference adding another 250-300 pounds.

    -Colin
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    That's what I was thinking. I thought I could tell the difference in my old MR2 when I was carrying a passenger even if it was my wife who only weighs about 110 lbs.
  • rmenesrmenes Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a '96 Miata -- base model, Montego Blue, alotta miles (96K) but a great price (7,500). And I love it -- even on the highway. Of course, here in Northern Virginia the highway is likely to be a "crawl-way." But on a warm day with the top down even being stuck in traffic isn't so bad.

    I had good and bad interactions with people selling Miatas -- and private citizens could be worse then used car salesmen. (Like the operator in Sherman Oaks, CA selling the '96 with the salvage title for $12,000!) The guy who finally got my money was a car dealer in Laurel, MD. I found the car on the internet, drove to the dealer, and when I walked in he handed me the keys and told me "Take it round to the mall, pop the hood, and have a look. If you like what you see, come back and we'll talk."

    I had a list of stuff to check out. I found a guide to buying a used Miata on Miata.net. If you are planning to buy a Miata DEFINITELY check out this site.

    With a quiet 45 minutes and no salesman hassle I was able to decide that this was the car for me.

    So if you are in Maryland or Northern Virginia check out "No Hassle" Castle at Henry Gay Oldsmobile in Laurel, MD. Only problem is they don't sell many Miatas. (Then again, if they did they'd know that $7,500 was way too cheap, even with 96,000 miles.)

    I used to drive an Accord, and before that a Volvo and a Dodge. I was curious about the Miata for a long time; it's a cute car. But I wasn't sold until I drove one for a week. Wow! I am definitely very happy with the Miata, especially for the price.

    And I carry lots of stuff in it. I brought home a wheelbarrow last week. Had to have the top down to do it, and I got a few funny looks. But so far I haven't found the small size a real drawback.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Did you bring the wheelbarrow home in the Miata or vice-versa? :)
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I guess this is off-topic but my earlier post was a slam at certain salesman. There are good and bad as in every profession (I think that in car sales the distribution is somewhat skewed). The new car salesman I dealt with was really cool, very professional, no pressure. He let me drive the car even though I was right up front about the fact that I was 99% sure I was going to buy a used one.
  • blackcurrantblackcurrant Member Posts: 152
    I promise you, if they could have gotten more for the car they would have.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I agree, the pricing guides are just that, guides. A four year old car with 96,000 miles is going to be very difficult to sell at any price. Don't get me wrong, rmenes, I'm not saying that you overpaid, just that the dealer was lucky to find someone willing to buy a car with that many miles. Congratulations, there should have quite a few years of fun driving left in that car.
  • thiefthief Member Posts: 9
    Just bought a Special Edition last week and am looking for a good way to keep the gorgeous floor mats in this thing from being ruined. Am thinking about some cocoa mats but need enough protection to weather moisture from rain/snow. Any ideas-especially where can I get some GOOD cocoa mats.Thanks.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Let me get this straight. First, we have floor mats to protect the carpet, now we need something to protect the floor mats? Am I missing something.
  • justinjustin Member Posts: 1,918
    considering taking the plunge and getting a base 2000 Miata - just leasing it and keeping my current car.

    Does the Miata require premium fuel? What are you average city mpg's?

    Thanks a bunch!
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    I saw a newer style Miata with brushed steel roll bars installed onto it, in the style of its high end competitors (ie Z3). I have to say they looked amazing and single handedly made the car look more expensive and performence oriented. I'm usually not big on aftermarket products, but I think this will be an exception.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    What you saw was probably just "style bars". Purely cosmetic, not real roll bars. They do look good though.
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Member Posts: 506
    Regular fuel is what the Miata runs on...no need for the premium stuff unless you want to make the oil companies richer.

    I understand your desire to keep the floor mats in good condition. My blue 10AE ones are starting to look a bit used and I only have 2000 miles on it.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Just to be sure dgraves point is clear, freddy k, it's important that you know a style bar is only for looks and won't protect very much in a rollover. They are pretty but kind of like a spoiler, a descendant of something that actually had a purpose.

    And justin, the Miata in stock form takes regular. Many people advance the timing a bit and most people are still able to use regular. If you are interested in mileage, you can nurse the car probably to somewhere over 30, but you really ought to drive it w/the revs up over 3500 in which case you might get closer to 25 mpg. It's not an economy car but a "fun" car. Enjoy.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    There must be a way to have real roll bars installed properly? Maybe the price wouldn't be worth it. I love the look, but I don't like non-performance oriented modifications.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Not only that, you'd damn near ruin the resale value of the car with the professionally installed Real Thing rollbar. Besides, how could you roll a Miata unless you drove it off a mountain road or something. I've never ever seen a rolled one in the last ten years.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    If you still want one after reading Mr. Shiftright's post, there are several on the market, the most advertised coming from Hard Dog. Unless you're going to put the car in competition, however, there's really no point to it. It supposedly works with the top up.

    While I haven't actually seen a rolled Miata I did hear of one. The guy had the car sideways -- on a street mind you! -- and claims he hit a curb hard. Serves him right, I think.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • zaqzaq Member Posts: 19
    They are supposed to work with the soft top either 89-97 or 99+ model years. But you do need to do some cutting of sheet metal and drilling. All best done by a garage that's done it before since holes in the gas tank are a very bad thing.


    And I'd agree with Shifty, if you put a rollbar in the car, you're going to kill its resale. I'm not doing it because of the modifications necessary, the fact that it's really not necessary in my case, and you can't use a hardtop with it.
  • thiefthief Member Posts: 9
    In my post I asked if anybody knew where I could find good cocoa mats for the Special Edition I just got my wife. DGraves rhetorically replied "What am I missing?"(i.e floor mats for floor mats). Mr. Graves,the floor mats are CREAM colored-my state (Vermont)is MUD colored,and my wife-afer two bouts of cancer-wants only this car-and wants it clean. That is PRECISELY what she will get. Thank you.for your most constructive input.
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