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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
edited March 2014 in Mazda
...of topic 25, which has now gone over 1,000
posts.

If you are a newcomer here, you may want to
review some or all of the posts recorded about this
wonderful little car, before you join the
discussion here. The link to the retired Part One
is here:


Topic 25, Mazda Miata MX-5, (retired)

Anyone else, please continue your discussion
here!

Thank you,

Host
«13456786

Comments

  • bordsourcebordsource Member Posts: 95
    Hey, I've been meaning to ask this for a long time. Are there any tall drivers (6' +) out there who own Miatas? Given how small the car is, and that it lacks a tilt wheel, I've always assumed that it would be too cramped for anyone over 6' to drive. Is that a true assumtion, or just one that depends on personal preference?
  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    I'm a 5'11" shrimp, but I used to sell Miazdas.

    Some tall guys say it fits just fine, others not. It depends a lot on whether your length is above or below the hip joint. If a lot of your height is in your legs, you can usually get comfortable in a Miata, especially the 2nd gen. Quite decent leg room.

    If a lot of your height is in your torso, neck and head, your scalp might be out in the airstream, or if the top's up, you might contact the fabric sometimes. If you're that tall though, I guess a bigger problem would be the top member of the windhisld frame blocking a big portion of your field of view.
  • vjdmx5vjdmx5 Member Posts: 5
    I'm 6'1" 215 lbs. and owned a Miata for 8 years. No problems what so ever.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'm 6-2, 193 lbs, BIG PROBLEM for me in a Miata. Major reason why I don't own one--I love 'em but oddly enough, my current two seater has way more room for me.
  • bordsourcebordsource Member Posts: 95
    Thanks for the answers. So, let me be more specific. I'm about 6'. But I have legs that demand a 36" inseam to avoid the dreaded "high-water" look. LoL. Anyway, I'm pretty evenly split. I noticed that Mr. Shiftright had a problem with it at 6'2". But vj didn't at 6'1". Based on what C13 said, would it be safe to say that Mr. Shiftright obviously doesn't have the long legs that Vj has?
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Best thing to do, is get a hold of a Miata and drive it around a little. Test drive may not be enough, as you would not be able to spend enough time behind the wheels to really tell. A friend leased a 99 one time and he turned the lease in after only 2 months. He is about 6'1" but he said it was very uncomfortable for him.
    So, see if you can find a rental place with a Miata you can rent. Or see if the dealer is nice enough to loan you one *smile*
    www.miata.net also have an article detailing how you remove some padding in the seat to gain some headroom for taller folks.
    People have also observed, that cloth seat gives you a little more headroom than leather seat.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    36" inseam? You're doomed, forget it.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Yeah, bordsource, Ihave to agree as per usual w/Mr. Shiftright. I'm 6'2" & 200# and pretty comfortable (for a couple of hours), but that's with a bit less than a 32 inseam.

    Is this the car for everybody? I guess not, sadly.

    Try on a new Toyota when they come out in a couple of months and let us know about the fit!

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • vjdmx5vjdmx5 Member Posts: 5
    Yeah, you may have a problem.....I have a 34 inseam. Granted I think "fits well" may mean different things to different people.

    I have been amazed at people that are considerably smaller in all dimensions to me say that cars like Maximas, Camrys, and Accords were too small for them, yet I have never owned a car bigger than a '93 RX-7.

    If you're used to bigger convertibles like Saabs, Sebrings, CLK's etc., you probably would think the Miata is too small. If you have driven smallish convertibles in the past, you will love the Miata, IMO, it has more interior room than any other vehicle with the same exterior measuements.

    Just think......the Miata is almost a foot LONGER and 6 inches WIDER than an A-H Sprite. Now that's small!!!!
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Actually the question was, I think, regarding the precise number of inches available for leg room. That poster would have trouble with a number of full-size cars, too, because of leg length -- the Olds Aurora and Jag S-Type should come to mind, probably.

    "Perceived" size, and its value, is a whole other can o' worms, as you say. When I was a kid, for my father and uncles, the bigger the car, the more prestige and status was attached. In the 'eighties, lots of folk decided that, because larger mass held up better in a head-on crash, a bigger vehicle would be the same as "safer." Not necessarily true, of course. Now comes the SUV: allegations of "prestige," the perception of "safety;" and, new in the 'nineties, the image of offroad "freedom."

    So: last week following our latest snowstorm a SUV where I could have parked my Miata in the back seat decided he had plenty of traction to pass. (You can see where this is going, right?) He did just fine, but then couldn't stop the damn tank at the stop sign, slid through the intersection, got hit by two vehicles (their right of way), went off the road on the other side, and tipped over. Prestige, safety, and offroad freedom no where to be seen.

    No one seemed too sympathetic. He wasn't hurt, but everyone was all too glad to stand around while the cop arrived and wrote him up.

    Waiting on spring? Take care.
    Joe W.
  • vjdmx5vjdmx5 Member Posts: 5
    He freely slid right off the road!
  • johnrobbjohnrobb Member Posts: 2
    1. I have a 94 M edition and love it. I also am 6'3" and weigh in at 250 but have not had too much trouble (other than friends telling me that I wear the car... but they say that about most cars I drive.) I removed the visors and covered the holes with an aftermarket piece of plastic and that really helped the view. Is not my everyday car but really is fun and worth the tight quarters for the driving fun.

    2. I have not tried the Miata through a carwash... I learned my lesson with an Alfa Romeo Spider. We got soaked and there was nothing we could do until it was over. My wife now makes fun of me whenever we drive by that carwash.

    3. Any body have any experience with the aftermarket windscreens? Some look real cheap and the Oris Windstop seems like it might look funny when actually attached to the car. Does the Oris help the wind? Get in the way of the top? Worth the $225?
  • johnrobbjohnrobb Member Posts: 2
    1. I have a 94 M edition and love it. I also am 6'3" and weigh in at 250 but have not had too much trouble (other than friends telling me that I wear the car... but they say that about most cars I drive.) I removed the visors and covered the holes with an aftermarket piece of plastic and that really helped the view. Is not my everyday car but really is fun and worth the tight quarters for the driving fun.

    2. I have not tried the Miata through a carwash... I learned my lesson with an Alfa Romeo Spider. We got soaked and there was nothing we could do until it was over. My wife now makes fun of me whenever we drive by that carwash.

    3. Any body have any experience with the aftermarket windscreens? Some look real cheap and the Oris Windstop seems like it might look funny when actually attached to the car. Does the Oris help the wind? Get in the way of the top? Worth the $225?
  • bordsourcebordsource Member Posts: 95
    I have to pay attention to whatever I drive because of skimpy space. The Toyota Celica I actually fit in- albeit with the steering wheel all the way up, the seat all the way back and down. I actually can't get really comfortable behind Chrysler minivans, either, because the seat doesn't go back far enough. My legs are fine, but my size 13s are cramped around the pedals. So far, the comfiest car has been a Chevy Suburban- sad, ain't it? I don't need anything that big. Anyway, thank you all for your posts. See ya around!
  • garthgarth Member Posts: 66
    i have heard reports from more than one tall person (6'5" plus) that the new Beetle is a great small car for tall folk. the styling gives it great headroom and legroom.
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    Well, for one thing, you sit in the middle of the Beetle. You can be 6'5" and still be able to wear a tall hat in there without hitting the roof. The backseats are another matter.
    One other thing when you consider the Miata, is big feet. If you have big feet, you may want to try and see if you can get your feet in the footwell and negotiate the pedals. I wear size 12 shoes and I try not to wear big sneakers when I drive. I have found comfortable Rockports are the only shoes that really fit in there.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    This is why the Chinese invented foot-binding, imo. It has nothing to do with attractive feet and everything to do with sportscars. Try it? (Film at eleven.)

    johnrobb, I don't have a windstop on my car, but I've seen product reviews (on www.miata.net) that indicate the Oris does a better job than most. You might want to check the reviews pages at the miata net.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • amishraamishra Member Posts: 367
    Hi,

    I have a '94 MX-6 which I love quite a bit, but it's starting to age (and I'm starting to get a bit bored).

    I test drove a 2000 Miata today, with the top up (4 degrees C), and wasn't overly impressed. From the limited drive, I got this: Yes it's low, it handles (how well, well.. the salesperson was with me), but it wasn't all that fast. I would say it's on par with the MX-6 or perhaps even a bit slower. Not to mention horribly impractical... (though I have another car which fills those needs)

    I've never been in a convertible with the top down yet, so I'm wondering if I really should trade in my MX-6 on this car. Is it really that good of a thing to spend an extra $14000 on? I'm heading out Saturday to try out the Miata with the top down (weather co-operating).

    Since I don't read this board much, I'd appreciate any responses also be sent to <<A HREF="http://[email protected]">mailto:[email protected]>

    thanks alot

    -- ash
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    1) If ash tries it out top down, he'll be back.

    2) If he reads much he'll find that, whatever he means by fast, he doesn't really want to try his MX-6 up against a Miata if he has to do anything other than go straight.

    3) If he can get a new Miata for $14k, he'll send the deal to me!!!!

    TAke care.
    Joe W.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I assume he meant $14,000 plus his MX-6, which would probably be about right.
  • amishraamishra Member Posts: 367
    (and I came back - what do you know...)

    I'm trying it with the top down on Saturday. Is AC really needed on a convertible, or can I save that extra money.

    Oh and the 14,000 is on with the MX-6 as a trade.

    I guess from your statement that the Miata outhandles the MX-6... well hopefully the salesperson doesn't tag along, and I get to find out with the top down!

    -- ash
  • karl1973karl1973 Member Posts: 89
    I would recommend getting the AC, especially if you are living in a place which gets rain in summer time. The AC would help a lot when you need to put the top up and when you try to defog the windshield.
  • zaqzaq Member Posts: 19
    In dallas, the local mazda dealer where I bought my miata from ONLY sells MX-5's with AC.

    A lot of people argue that it's not necessary in a convertable. They've never stopped in traffic or at a long light in a car that's been parked in Texas sun for a few hours.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    As they say, it depends a lot on where you live -- certainly it's not as important as, say, the engine. Or the transmission. Or, to listen to the chtter at some of the topics here, the radio.

    In New England, I could well do without the AC. But I do use it and, sometimes, in real muggy conditions, driving in town, put on the tonneau, turn on the AC, and let the cold air keep me pretty comfortable. But when I want to actually drive, I turn it off. I also turn off the radio.

    What is comfort in one situation turns into pollution at speed, I think.

    If you can find a Miata with the "R" package, now renamed the "sport" package I think (?), it will not only have a tighter suspension but, the local dealer once told me, no AC. Anyway, you might check.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Also find out if any dealers have any 99s left. Several here in So. Cal. do and they're discounting them by $6500 off MSRP. Which means you could get one for around $17K. Great deal!
  • jc9799jc9799 Member Posts: 70
    I've had 2 convetibles, one with and the other w/o AC. Although, I rarely use it, AC is really nice on those really hot days when traffic is bad. Even in Portland, OR we do get those kind of days. I wouldn't call it a must, but I would highly recommend having it.

    The R package, the 94 anyway, had AC as an option. It was one of the few options available for R.

    Later,

    Vic
  • zaqzaq Member Posts: 19
    AC is an option on the sport package, at least on the '99s.

    Since I already bought my miata, I haven't looked at the 2000 models, save for the little purple people eater. (The 2000 Limited Edition)

    -Z
  • 2000wahoo2000wahoo Member Posts: 1
    I have an opportunity to purchase a 10th Anniversary Edition with very low mileage for roughly the same price as a new 2000 would cost me. Any reason not to go with the 1999?

    Also, I'll be moving to Atlanta in May and am curious about any suggestions Atlantonians may have regarding security while owning a Miata.

    Thanks in Advance,

    SNB
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    I took a look at the trunk, it looks very small- well I guess it is very small - but anyway I just have one question. Can you squeeze a golf bag into it?
  • zaqzaq Member Posts: 19
    It's rumoured that you can fit a golf bag in the trunk.

    Since I don't play I can't tell you. But a few people have said they've done it.
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    And, if not, there's always the passenger seat.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    I just found a picture of a miata on the web with the trunk open and a golf bag inside :-)
  • bizbroker5bizbroker5 Member Posts: 9
    Vic, back on may 23, 1999 you had a post(now in the archives of topic # 25) regarding see a "golden yellow miata in Europe and in "sales brochures". I have a 2000 LS Evolution on order. Is this(you can compare with the 2000 model yr sales brochures and on-lines photos) the same "animal"? I could not locate your e-mail address to correspond directly with you.

    ira
  • bizbroker5bizbroker5 Member Posts: 9
    on second line "see" should have been "seeing"
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    I had pretty much decided that either the Celica or Prelude would be my next car. This was after considering the VR6, Integra, Mustang, Cougar etc. I never thought of the Mazda. I went to the autoshow and sat in it and was amazed at the quality, so I had to test drive it myself and found that suddenly the other cars I was considering seemed rather clumsy. Then I researched it on the web and couldn't find a bad word about it. Well, my mind is made up and when I do trade in my car, Miata will be it.

    Anyway, because I missed the entire first Miata section, and I don't want to read all those posts, maybe someone can tell me something I can't seem to find anywhere on the web. How is the Roof? Does it like in light rain? Pouring rain? Car wash? I'm also curious as to how it does in the snow. I can't see it being that bad with snow tires considering the good weight balance.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    that would be leak in the rain :-/
  • jc9799jc9799 Member Posts: 70
    Never had a problem with my Miata leaking. From I've read, the seals around the soft top are pretty water tight. Avoid automatic car washes.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    light rain, fine. Downpour, fine. Car wash, bad news (or so I've heard).

    In fact, in light rain there's no reason to put the top up so long as you plan to stay over 25 mph and don't have a stop light to worry about, I've found.

    Snow tires are essential, most people feel, if you're going to spend much time in poor weather. The rwd & light weight make for great donuts though if there's no other traffic around.

    I assume you know this: but plan to keep the revs up. The whole car is happier above 3500 rpm. (Another reason bad weather can be bad in this car.)

    Enjoy.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    Ground clearance is probably another problem. I don't care how good of snow tires you have, if you start dragging the chassis through the deep stuff it's only a matter of time until you get stuck.

    -Colin
  • squid65squid65 Member Posts: 2
    Since sitting in an orange 2000 miata at the car show, I can't stop thinking about buying one.The big problem is that my pocketbook would force me to use it all year long. I live near Toronto, Ontario and salt is used in the winter. Two questions? How do would the car fare with regard to rust and can I keep it outside in the winter.I plan to rustcheck the hell out of it but would hate to see roadsalt age such a beautiful car. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    I live in toronto, and have just gone through the same thing. The miata, though rwd, shouldn't be too bad in snow because the engine is very light, and it's not like we get all that much snow (plus that increased snow removal budget)

    Two things to keep in mind. First, get a pop top for it, they are not very expensive and will increase the life of your rag top. Two, the miata will not be worse then any other car for rust, make sure you buy it rust proofed, and get it oiled for about a hundred bucks every fall. Also purchase a good set of winter tires, and a compact snowbrush to save space in the trunk.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Rustproofing? I don't know about that -- there are mixed reviews on whether it helps or actually adds to the problem. I'd check it out.

    As for the obsession part: you might try Edmund's famous 12-step program!

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    winterizing the miata:

    you also need a shovel (go to a army surplus store, the folding military shovel is great) and a bag of kitty litter, the kind with big pebbles. and of course a warm jacket or blanket, put it all in the trunk.

    the problem that can't be addressed is that the miata's very low ground clearance is a real risk of getting stuck in deep snow, especially if you happen to leave the road surface. the best snow tires can't help you then, only a big truck can.

    -Colin
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Member Posts: 376
    Nah, if he's driving around the city, there shouldn't be any problem, and most people have cell phones these days. As I've said, Toronto winters are not bad at all, rarely more then an inch or two of snow on the road, and its usually plowed fairly quickly (maybe not as quick out in the suburbs)

    I do recommend not buying any addon skirt packages, which do get ruined easily in the winter.
  • squid65squid65 Member Posts: 2
    I just got back from the dealer , test drove an automatic ,they had three all auto,what's the point? Not sure about the colour seemed more gold than orange this time. I am definitely sold on the ride and handling. The car had more leg and head room than my 85'RX7 , a little tight for the left leg. I was only able to try the car with the hard top on, any idea if there is less headroom with the convertible top up? One last question; is the bulk of the winter wear on a convertible top from salt, and ice or from shrink and swell due to temperature extremes. Thanks again for the advice.
  • geemahgeemah Member Posts: 5
    Just got back fromt he dealer today. I'm in love! Gotta get the Miata! I had a 92 Miata, but sanity and kids dictated a change! Poof! Life change! Got another car! Back to the magical world of Miata. Question is how much is an appropriate amount? I'm looking for a 2000 Miata LS. Anyone willing to share actual prices paid and not just percentages...and yes, I've read the Edmunds report. Thanks in advance for help!
  • bizbroker5bizbroker5 Member Posts: 9
    Darwin, where are those dealers with LS evolution gold automatics in stock?.. none here: southeast Florida

    ira
  • iforgotitiforgotit Member Posts: 11
    I from Toronto and am interested in purchasing a Miata. Do you know the dealer invoice for the leather package? Also, do you know if the the leather package is equilvalent to the US sport package, ie. comes with Bilstein shocks? Thanks.
  • guidepostguidepost Member Posts: 2
    I'm a newbie here and planning to buy a miata thru' e-bay listings. I bid 20K for the following item and think that I got one hecka a deal, what do you guys/gals think?

    *************************************************

    '99 Miata - only 4500 miles...equipped with a professionally installed Jackson
    (Sebring) SUPERCHARGER ! This is a very special one of a kind black Miata with
    tan leather. 5 speed manual, power EVERYTHING...windows, locks, antenna,
    mirrors, icy cold air, cruise, AM/FM/CD/Tape, ABS, Cobra alarm, Stainless sills,
    luggage rack, wood dash, wood shifter, wood brake handle, fogs, molded mud
    guards, bra, custom made Aero type fiberglass boot, BSP duals, stainless high
    flow grill, air horns, custom made tan embroidered black floor and trunk mats,
    and a Mazda winter cover.
    *************************************************
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