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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)



  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I think Mazda forgot about short people when they redesigned the Miata. My eye level is kinda low in the new one, and I'm not going to buy a car that I need a pillow for.

    Good thing I can't afford a new car anyway, but I've become so fond of the new look...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's because we tall folks whined about being cramped.

    They should make the seat height adjustable.

  • This week I placed on order for the 2006 MX-5 Grand Touring with Auto Trans and the premium package 2, in Copper Red. I will be taking delivery in April, just in time for warmer weather :shades: .
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They used to be few and far between, but with a paddle-shifting 6 speed, plus the fact that the automatics were actually running quicker times at Zoom Zoom Live, I think we're going to start seeing a lot more of them now.


  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Hey, question for you open top guys.

    If you drive in the rain with your roof down, what happens? How harmful is the water to the interior?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    If you drive in the rain with your roof down, what happens?

    Is this a trick question? :P
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    It did sound kinda dumb huh. What I mean is... how harmful is water to the interior?

    I've never spilled a lot of water in any of my cars, so I don't know. Here the rain's pretty schitzophrenic, but if I had a Miata I'd tend to err on the side of leaving the top down.

    I'm saving up.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It needs time to air dry, else it'll start to smell musty. I think a little sprinkle won't do any harm, but a good soaking will probably leave you with a stench.

    Keep in mind it takes 15 seconds to raise the top, no big deal really. Plus you shouldn't leave the top down overnight so that the vinyl keeps its shape.

  • jjoejrjjoejr Posts: 1
    My wife wanted a two seater roadster. I let her pick out the vehicle of her choice. She pays for it so what the heck. She wanted the mazda. We bought the touring edition. Was limited on colors and added leather seats. My complaint is the ride. Have 16in wheels. Is there a way to make the ride smoother? Not too worried about noise but sure would like a smoother ride. Tell me all the options I can do please. I don't drive the car much but she does. And she isn't complaining....yet.Thanx.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not much you can do besides choose a tire with a softer sidewall. People here are usually looking to go in the opposite direction, though.

    Maybe a seat pad? Dunno if you can do much.

  • I'm new to this board so my apologies in advance if this has already been discussed. I usually post on the Subaru boards since I own a WRX and an Outback, but I'm considering a used 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata. I live in the Bay Area and the traffic has been terrible on the Bay Bridge going into SF, so my fiancee and I are considering a 2-seater to be able to use the carpool lane.

    Anyway, one concern I have that people have mentioned to me is "cowl shake". I've never owned a convertible so I don't know much about it at all. How pronounced is this w/ the 2004 Miata & how much of a concern is it? A friend of mine who owned a 2001 Miata said this was a real concern for him so he changed his car to an S2000. Is this something that will compromise safety? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm also considering a pre-owned '02 or '03 S2000. How would you guys compare an '02 S2000 to the '04 Mazdaspeed Miata? Performance, reliability, safety, comfort, etc. These are the two cars I'm thinking of purchasing, so please fill me in if you've had experience w/ these two cars. Want to know the pros and cons of each car.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Basically, you chop any top, and you lose structural integrity. A chop-top therefore often has "cowl shake" because you see a bit of it in the dash and pillars, i.e. a bit of flex. You'll notice this on a Toyota Solara convertible if you test drive one.

    Miata was designed from the ground up as a convertible, note there is no coupe version of that platform. So it was never chopped to begin with.

    Try this - jack it up using the front jack point. What you'll notice is that if you go up high enough, the rear tire will also lift off the ground. That shows how stiff the unibody is. Not much flex at all.

    With my old Mustang, body-on-frame, there was so much flex that the rear tire never came close to leaving the ground!

    I can't compare the S2000 as I haven't driven one for any significant distance.

    These are in a different price class, but the Miata holds its own, and is affordable enough that you can get a much newer one for the same price.

    Caveat - try the leg room, see if you can fit, because it is tight.

  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    An earlier S2000 will probably be worse to drive in traffic, because it lacks low-rev power compared to a turbo'd Miata. It's a more hardcore car in general. But I've heard mixed reviews about the Mazdaspeed Miata's power delivery (turbo lag). If you test drive one, pretend to drive in stop-and-go.

    I've heard complaints of cowl shake in Miatas as they get old, but it's purely a noise issue... no effect on mechanicals, or safety. Most convertibles have a lot more cowl shake than the Miata anyway, as ateixeira said.
  • I am jonesin' for a Miata Coupe. I had a 94 Miata, loved it, but I tended to drive it with the hardtop on. I just liked how it looked, I think it looks better as a coupe, just a personal preference.
    Mazda, if you are listening, send a few of these beauties stateside, will ya? ;)
  • yeegayeega Posts: 3
    I have a different top related question:
    I just bought a 2006 mx5 miata. my vinyl top doesnt' just drop into the space provided. I have to smooth out the soft top about half way down, before it seats properly. Anyone else have that problem?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I replaced my top recently, and I have to do that when it's cold. On warm days, the vinyl seems to stretch more easily and it's not a problem.

    FWIW, you should not put the top down if it's 40 degrees or colder, because folding it can cause cracks.

  • 2006 MX-5 GT with Advanced Keyless Entry has a function that will Autolock the car when the driver moves out of operational range (smart card in his pocket). This function is Deactivated initially and the owners manual states that it can only be changed to Activate by an Authorized Mazda Dealer. Can anyone explain the procedure to Activate this feature with me driving 100 miles to a dealer.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    I was just curious to know if there are any major differences between the old 1.8-liter engine from the 1st and 2nd generations of the Miata and the 2.0-liter version from the current car (2006-up). Like, are they of the same cast-iron block, alloy head construction and share some interchangeable parts?

    Just interested to know the info. Thanks very much to all the Miata experts here (I'm not one of them!).
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    The new one has a higher compression ratio and aluminum block and head. So it's not easy to turbocharge like the old engine. But you could put the 2.0L head on the 2.3L block, according to Sport Compact Car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I believe they are different engine families, aren't they?

    I don't think the outgoing 1.8l and this 2.0l have much in common at all.

  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Right. It's the 2.0L and 2.3L engines that have a lot in common.

    But I don't know if the 1.8L engine offered in Europe is the old engine. Probably is, but I don't know it for a fact.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Yup. 1.8 is different than the 2.0 in the current Miata. The 2.3 in the 3 is similar to the 2.0.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That engine first came out in the Mazda Protoge ES, in 1990 I believe. It was also used in the Ford Escort GT and top-of-the-line Mercury Tracer, since those shared a Mazda platform.

    Then the Miata got it, and they kept refining it, until the 2.0l replaced it. It was time. 16 years on the market, basically, 1990-2005.

  • Hey, I had that feeling when I was "younger"! But to make my "manley" statement! This is what I did. Custom License plate: CCIM-IRR which means CERTIFIED COMMMERCIAL INVESTMENT MANAGER INTERNAL RATE of RETURN. AKA PhD of Commerical Real Estate! Only 11,000 CCIM-PhDs :) in the World! Makes me feel "bigger" than others.
  • yeegayeega Posts: 3
    Thanks for sharing. I agree that the warmer wx seems to be less of a problem, but I wonder if it would help to put some sort of lubricant on the metal bars that hold the top? Also, what about on the joints, for a smoother folding process? It's just annoying; I have to turn around, or get out, pull the vinyl through the bars to smooth it, and then it comes down.
  • Hi- I'm the proud new owner of an '06 sports model (w/ sports suspension). after having a ball driving it for a week i decided to read the manual. I was rather surprised to find that it recommends going into 6th gear at 41 mph (when i was just getting into 5th). i've never driven a 6 speed before, but in my 5 speeds i always thought of 5th gear as the "freeway cruising gear" and so assumed 6th gear to be the same. Is there a problem w/ waiting 'til 50 or 60 mph before going into 6th gear? i dont' notice much difference in rpms. thanks.
  • I just purchased my brand new 2006 MX-5 GT here in Toronto. Re: available accessories, I want to add the side sills, front and rear air dams and rear mud guards. Anyone have any experiences with these accessories, and did they make a huge difference in the look of the car? Thanks. (BTW, this is my 3rd Miata, had a 1997 automatic, then a 2002 manual [bad engine/transmission problems with that one] and now this one)
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Rev the heck out of it once the break-in period is through. I assume there's still a break-in period on the 06's? Manual is just for fuel ecomony.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dunno, but if you find out about what lubricant to use for those let me know. My new Robbins top had be a bit stiff on a cold day, but it's OK when it's warm out.

    6th is for cruising, just make sure you don't lug the engine. I like to keep my rpms up a bit, it doesn't have any guts below 3000rpm anyway.

  • aslmagaaslmaga Posts: 1
    own a 93 mazda miata, had an oil change done about 1 month ago, the other day the oil pressure was at 90 and stays there, checked oil it was clean and filled, checked spark plugs the 2nd one was dead replaced it. not to sure how to troubleshoot , what should i do to narrow the problem down to the bad part , not sure if it is an oil pump issue, but the engine runs very rough.
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