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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)



  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    using the remote release or the key, or both? is there slack in the remote latch? is the key turning?

    need more info.

  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Bear down on the rear of the deck lid, above the lock, while turning the key.
  • Has anyone used a cover to protect his Miata from tree sap, bird droppings, etc? Is it worth the hassle? Any suggestions on where to buy and what kind? Thanks.
  • kkievitkkievit Posts: 1
    time to buy a toy for the wife. we looked at a couple of used '99s yesterday as well as the '01s. salesman was very nice. he just handed us the keys to all three and said "have fun". so, here's the dilemma....i've pretty much ruled out the two used ones and i am leaning toward the '01. 5-speed, green, tan leather, power package, etc. sticker was about 24,500. i've been able to get him down to 21k. he also offered us 0% for 48 oms., but then said he made a mistake. supposedly the 0% deal ended about a week ago. he then offered 4.8%... which is still very good. i found this web-site last night and have found it very helpful. i have a couple of questions. 1) to those of you who seem to be in the know - how does the price sound? 2) do you think i might have a little more leverage based on this hp thing? the invoice price was around 22k, so i'm already below. i was thinking of trying to get another make up for the difference in finance charges. any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. BTW...i'm 6'4" with a 34"-36" inseam and with the seat back and reclined, i was able to drive all three just fine. i admit, i was thoroughly impressed. way too much fun to drive.
  • davidb72davidb72 Posts: 174
    That sounds like a good price, I think you will have a hard time with the HP thing. Mazda is offering deals to those who bought 2001's (buyback, or some money toward accesories I think.) and I'm not sure if you would now qualify because the issue is known. The financing sounds good too. Why don't you check out the forums at

    That is the best and most informative web site in the Miata world. There is a forum for price discussion there too. I'd go for the new one, I have a 1997 M Model in that exact color combo and it looks really sharp. Good luck!
  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    That's excellent deal, as good as it comes. If you don't get him down any further. If you are already below invoice, then don't expect much more since nobody like to see with so little profit unless the dealer is busting at the seams with Miatas (if it's the end of model year, then that's another story). To be able to get a great deal on a Miata in mid-year is not as easy.
  • eddiesvr4eddiesvr4 Posts: 41
    I took my first long road trip in the Miata this weekend ... from NYC to Washington DC, along route 95. I guess I knew this when I bought the car, but the Miata is definitely NOT a long distance vehicle.

    The worst part has to be driving at tire level of the 18-wheelers, and having to wake up maniacal women driving SUV's who don't seem to see small cars. Is that a physiological thing? Do they drive like that intentionally? Is it a power thing to push around a smaller car? Or do they simply NOT see a smaller car. I could count on my hands and feet the number of times I had a near fatal experience because some insane woman in an SUV didn't see me or got a case of the truck-tuffs. I don't get it.

    In any case, you guys did warn me about highway driving. But I'll tell you, after I got down to northern VA, taking the back country roads on the Miata was a dream. The winding roads were simply made for this car.

    I figured that I'd just share the thought. It was a great weekend to take the top down...

  • Eddie, I agree about SUVs. The careless petite lady drivers don't bother me so much as the men drivers who do see me, but don't care. I want to get one those LOUD air horns.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Visibility is key. I swapped to E-codes with better bulbs for lights, then changed the horns too. My paint is white so that helps.

    Still, a lot of folks just don't see you, so drive defensively and assume that you are invisible.

  • eddiesvr4eddiesvr4 Posts: 41
    Are there options such as louder Safety Horns which would allow larger cars to see us? I have the same problem on a motorcycle ... but the motorcycle has tremendous throttle so I can avoid larger cars. The Miata doesn't have the power to instantly change speeds.

    What about a brighter bulb for the center stop light? Would that catch people's attention?

    Just a thought. It gets scary when I can see a huge SUV barrelling down behind me, pulling up to within inches of my rear.

  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    It's a tough issue. the best thing to do is be aware at all times and expect the other vehicle to do exactly what you wouldn't at any time.

    For the tailgaters, if you're in the left lane of the highway then get the heck out of it! If not then what I do is let off the gas and let the car slowly lose speed untill the fustrated driver behind me gets fustrated and changes lanes. If I'm in the mood to be a real [non-permissible content removed] I'll stomp in it after he changes lanes - the miata may not be fast but it's quicker then most SUV's. Of course I don't recommend this second move since we all know about road rage.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Yes, enraging guys in 6000 lb trucks is not a wise move when you are in an open top wheel chock.
  • Something about heading down the interstate and in the rear view mirror all I see are seven vertical bars of a Jeep Grand Cherokee I intimidated...damn straight.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just remember, the left lane is not the fast lane, it's the passing lane. There is an important difference - no matter how fast you think you are going, someone else always wants to go faster.

    Better to let them pass than to play bad cop.

    Besides, slow down a bit and smell the roses. I avoid highways any way.

  • eddiesvr4eddiesvr4 Posts: 41
    ... are definitely not made for one another. I agree on the safety procautions. It's just that I had to take route 95 from NYC to Washington DC.

    But I'll tell you, once I hit the back country roads of northern VA, it was amazing. That was land made for the Miata. Here in NYC, there really aren't too many cruising roads, but the long stretches of hilly backroads in northern VA were a dream to drive.

    I may take a little roadtrip up to Danbury, CT this weekend. Maybe the country roads of CT would suit the Miata's tastes as well.

    A buddy of mine at work has his sights on a Miata. He was asking me how I felt about using the car as a commuter car. He drives in to work in bumper to bumper traffic 2 hours each way. I told him not to expect luxury, but that it's probably no different from his old Nissan Sentra as a commuter car. What do you guys think?

  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    If you ever drive down to the states and end up in the Boston area, be sure not to pull that slowing down in the left lane bit. I know a guy with an older 98 olds that will gladly rear end your matchbox nascar style. Just do yourself a favor and get the heck out of the way.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    From Automotive News, thought some of you may find this interesting:

    2002 MPV 3.0l V6
    2003 new 626 sedan
    2003 626 wagon
    2003 RX8 4door
    2003 RX8 coupe
    2004 Protoge sedan
    2004 Protoge hatchback
    2004 Miata

    Future possibilities: 626 hatch, MX Sport Tourer.

    The Protoge will share the Focus platform, and the next Miata will be on the RX platform, but keeps a piston engine. I hope they can keep weight down.

  • djspndjspn Posts: 1
    Howdy, I'm new here, thinking about getting one of these contraptions that you're all raving about. I went to the dealer in Sioux Falls, SD, the other day, they didn't have any, was told they were getting their first 01's in shortly. Also told this is normal 1st delivery time everywhere. Sounds like horse pucky to me. When do the new models get to the dealers elsewhere. Thanks........Denny
  • dstinydstiny Posts: 12
    Okay, it is a given that driving a Miata on interstates can be nerve-racking since most everyone else is bigger than you, but my question is this: Removing this biger than you issue, how tiring is it to drive a Miata over extended periods of time? Does the road/tire/engine noise become a major factor in fatigue? Are trips over an hour at 65 MPH+ dreadful?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,454
    I think you have to appreciate more the concept that a real sportscar in this price class is not supposed to be really comfortable for long trips or to be of any substantial size. The whole idea of the Miata is to put you in touch with everything, and this includes some bumps and wind and engine noise and all the rest.

    Since most modern cars are built to isolate you from everything, you have to accept the Miata, I think, as a compromise in the OTHER direction, of a real "sports" sports in general, they aren't meant to be comfortable, it's supposed to be risky and fun and difficult at times, you trying to master the machine and testing your limits.

    What one person might consider "tiresome" in a sports car, I find really great...that's what it's all about IMO.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree, and nowhere is this more true than in the early, lighter and less insulated Miata.

    I have a '93, and it's pretty loud and cramped. With the top down, having only the driver's window down helps a lot, since it reduces wind buffeting. I don't have the wind baffle, but I've heard those help.

    Add a good hat and proper string-backed driving gloves, and you're good to go. I still avoid highways when possible, though.

    Also, note that the '99 model I drove was definitely more comfy than my '93. Probably more insulation in some places, but it felt both quicker and quieter.

    And speaking of comfort, I finally put spacers under the front of my driver's seat track, to give me more thigh support. I used two washers, which yielded about a 3/16" lift. Three would not fit since the bolt was not long enough.

    I even went to Home Depot with the bolt, but could not find a longer bolt with the same thread pattern (which is very narrow). So this meant that 3/16" was the max I could go, though I feel like I could use about double that amount. Anyone recommend a place where I can find a bolt with the right threading?

    Here are close-up photos and tips, if you're considering doing this yourself. I'd say anyone over 5'10" could possibly benefit from this very simple mod (disclaimer: do this at your own risk):

  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    qustion about the seats...

    first off. how in the heck did you get the seat's anchor bolts free from the body???? i tried using every trick in the book when i was installing my rollbar. nothing would budge the bolts.

    second... do you feel like the seat wants to "rock" or wobble because of the spacers? i like the idea of a "slightly" higher seat in order to get some thigh support.

    third... now i'm no structural engineer or metal fatigue expert, but i'm thinking that there may be some forces at work that may not be too good for those bolts. are they getting much purchase into the threads in the body? just curious.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Talk softly and carry a big stick! ;-)

    Seriously - I used the long-shaft torque wrench. Mine was too tight for the ratchet.

    The seat is very sturdy and does not move at all. I'm happy with them, but I'm in the middle of a search for longer bolts.

    As for your 3rd question - exactly the reason for longer bolts. I checked and there is room for them to go all the way through, so I'm definintely getting longer bolts. I may try a 5/16" lift, but that might create the wobble you mention.

  • WarpDriveWarpDrive Posts: 506
    I took a five hour road trip with top UP, windows closed through back roads and some interstate type highways. The interstate part was fine. It's noisy but if the highway is smooth, I didn't have a problem. The backroads is another story with the rutted and cracked roads. That part became tiring as the stiff suspension bounced and heaved over the cracks. Meanwhile, every time I hit a crack, my top would make a slight crackling sound and you can feel my 1999 model chassis flex (less of a problem with 2001 models). I was pretty tired by the end of it. If you do any sort of highway travel, the sports suspension is definitely overkill. A base 2000 model with the 14 inch wheels is plenty good for "typical" crusing. So, it's not the noise, it's the ride that bothers me most about the Miata's highway cruising ability
  • davidb72davidb72 Posts: 174
    You can take a look here

    to see my Miata. Do you like it???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,454
    Any car with a short wheelbase is going to be a bit choppy in the ride. It's a design compromise unless you want a gigantic sports car.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nice, David. Is that an original BRG?

  • There are a few visual clues, but you can tell its not a '91 British Racing Green Edition. One is the color is not quite right, second the mirror stalks are too thick (power mirrors not manual), it has the Mazda toilet seat emblem on the front fascia, instead of white MAZDA lettering on the front bumper. It's a '97 M, Marina Green. It has all the bells and whistles though. :o)
  • davidb72davidb72 Posts: 174
    Wow, good eyes Mark! You are exactly right!
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