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Mazda MX-5 Miata (2005 and earlier)



  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Well, I don't know about hero's, but the last movie I remember specifically remember a Miata in was Crash. It didn't look so good by the time they were done with it... but she did survive a rollover crash without a seatbelt on!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    While I'm still waiting for the garage insurance to pay up, I did get an estimate. It was a whopping $311 for the full power antennae unit, labor, and a rental car. Minus the rental it was still $280.

    Insurance had estimated $250, so not far.

    They said Mazda does not sell the mast seperately, though some dealers seem to offer it.

    Anyway, I just got a generic rubber antennae for $10, and it took 30 minutes to remove the old one and install it. Works like a charm, too.

    Also, with a phillips driver I can lower it and still use a cover.

    Any how, problem solved, thanks for the tips you guys offered.

    The funds will pay for some mods. I wasn't crazy about a power antennae anyway.

  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    "Also, with a phillips driver I can lower it and still use a cover."

    What do you mean, juice?

    Take care.
    Joe W>
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    going to ask a blasphemous question here. How is the 4 speed auto in the Miata? Does it perform at least as well as any other automatic?

    Has anyone does a test on RPM's at 65mph with the automatic? What about the 6 speed manual? And the 5 speed? I know the 5 speed probably revs the highest, therefore the loudest on the highway, right?

    Anyone out there willing to admit they have an automatic Miata? Does the tranny hold up as well as the rest of the car?

  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I don't have an automatic, Justin, but:

    I know of no problems specifically related to the automatic. It should be very reliable.

    If, howeer, as your post suggests, you are planning to do a lot of highway driving, I guarantee you'll be a lot more comfortable (a LOT) in a Buick.

    It's not "heresy" to talk about an auto Miata. However, an oxymoron, as you probably know, is a built in contradiction in terms. "True Lies" is one. Automatic Miata is another.

    Happy holiday.

    Take care.
    Joe W>
  • Automatics??? I dorve my Z-28 9 miles each way through miami city traffic every day. Traded it for a '94 corvette. Automatic. Oxymoron? Maybe. Practical? Yes!!! Traded the vette for a 2000 LS with 12k miles. I got kelly blue book for the vette and paid 19500 for the 2000..the miata is a stick. Should i stay with the stock aignment or tweak it a little? If i tweak it can anybody recommend some settings for street use?
  • It would be interesting to know what was behind trading in a Corvette for a Miata. And how you like it.
  • sach1sach1 Posts: 22
    can I ask the name of the dealer in question, as I am likely within an hours drive time?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,381
    Maple shade Mazda. They have locations in Maple shade and turnersville NJ. The sale car was a black base. They also had a white one with basically the same equipment. If they still have it (saw it in their ad a few days ago), they are certainly looking to move them out. I drove one of them a few weeks ago and it seemded nice.

    they also had an LS in burnt orange. Not sure if that is still available.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • sach1sach1 Posts: 22
    I was dissatisifed with a central Jersey dealership and will make the trip down Route 73 to check them out. I'm looking for a base car, with automatic. Thanks for the info.
  • vette for a seemed as if my vette had GM timeclock built into it's quality. At 80k miles everything started to have problems. I broke 2 different heater hoses wihin a week, one resulting in the replacement ofthe expensive optical distributor. On this website everybody talks about the fun pleasure of ownership, and reliability of the Mazda. On the vette web sites all tey talk about is how to fix them. In a certain way the vette is more fun because it has so much power, I was going to buy a newer one but the 5 year ownership cost is 45-50K, a little less for a Z-28 or T/A and every GM car I've ever oned with some type of removable roof panel has leaked. My Miata roof is leak proof and i can get 90% of the cars abilities working everyday, not the vette.
  • Which do I like better? I getting to like the Miata more and more each time I dive it. I miss the power of the Vette but I'm going to have more fun in the Miata, which i geuss is what you guys say its all about. Oh yea, I wanted another sportscar, a reliable one (miata) and i live in Miami (convertible)
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I keep seeing the same thing whereever I read up on the new Miata. Every test driver has the same view of the six speed tranny - nice, but they would all stick to the 5 spd by choice. Do they give you an options at all of getting the 5sp with the sport or leather package?
  • Freddy: I believe you can buy the sport & leather without having to buy the 6sp. Go to Go to 1999-? forum & you'll find all the info you seek.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Joe: the rubber antennae has an "elbow" at its base, so you can unscrew it from the base and lower it to any angle desired.

    justin: I imagine the overdrive gear on both gearboxes is practically the same. The 5 speed has more ratios, but they're a bit closer together so the 5th on the manual is about the same as 4th on the auto.

    I believe the 6 speed is setup in a similar mannner (6th=5th=4th overdrives).

    In other words, all will be loud. ;)

    Just did some more maintenance this weekend. That O2 sensor was kind of a pain to get to. Once it was loose, it came right out, but I had to cut the lead wire and splice it to the new one (aftermarket Bosch). Works like a charm.

    I also changed the Turret oil. More accurately, I added oil, since it was virtually empty.

    The diffy and trans are next, but I need (much) bigger sockets.

    It's getting cold. Bummer.

  • Seems to me that the 6-speed is the better choice for using the limited power, and that the only drawback would be more shifting. Is anyone familiar with the 6-spd and have a negative (or positive)opinion?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That depends on the final drive ratio. If they're both the same, then yes, the 5 speed would pull harder off the line.

    But I imagine the 6 speed has lower (numerically higher) gearing at the final drive, to make it about even.

    I have a question - anyone know what socket sizes you need for the tranny and diffy fluids? The instructions I've seen show photos but not those specs.

  • My view on the six speed after putting about 8000 miles on one.

    I applaud the fact that the six speed DOES improve performance. Test results indicate that 0-60 times improve by 0.3s for example (don't remember the 1/4 times).

    And the extra shifting is not really noticeable. Very quickly you get used to the extra shift and it's easy to get into the rhythm of rowing through all six gears. Some people report that their 6 spd is notchy/clunky when engaging certain gears. Mine is quite smooth overall and has gotten better over the first 3000 miles or so. In highway driving at around 60 mph, you save about 100 or so RPM in sixth gear over the five speed.

    But in the end, I don't think I would miss it much if I didn't have it already.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Shifting is fun with a Miata, so a 6 speed would just be more of a good thing!

  • It's mid-life crisis time, so I need something to liven my commute. Money's a big constraint, so I'm looking at either a used Miata or a 1st gen RX-7. (IMO, the second gen RX-7s look bland.) I figure I should be able to find an 85 GSL-SE for around $2-3k, which even after rebuilding the engine should be cheaper than a 93-95 Miata. (Newer costs too much, older doesn't have the 1.8L engine.) I test drove an '83 RX-7 new and loved it, but it was a little too small to be an only child; got a 280ZX 2+2 instead. Thirteen years of E Coast winters and there wasn't enough metal left to salvage... Now I'm on the W Coast, so that's not a concern.

    So which is better/more fun/etc.? My impression is that the RX-7s had more room, went faster, handled well. EPA numbers for the RX-7 were something like 20 city/26 hwy, which is not immensely less than the Miata (if true...). I almost never took the t-tops off, so I don't think the convertible will mean that much to me. Some of you have had both -- how do they compare?

  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Just so you know, I do not own and have never owned a Miata (though I have test driven quite a few) so I may be a little less biased toward the Miata than most here.
    The first generation RX-7 is a fun car but if you can afford the Miata, I think it is a much better choice. It's nearly ten years newer. The Miata will be much more reliable than the RX-7 (assuming you get a good one). I think the Miata will be quicker, handle better, brake better and get better gas milage. Convertibles are much different than t-tops. It's so easy to flip them down, you'll be doing it everytime the sun peaks through a cloud. I can't think of a single reason to get the RX-7 other than the initial price.
    BTW, I wouldn't discount the 1.6l engines. The cars were lighter in the early years so the 1.6l cars are just as quick, if not quicker than the early 1.8l cars. Also, I believe the 1.8l started in '94 not '93.
  • Test drive an early Miata (90-93) before you brush off the 1.6l. As someone has mentioned, the 1.6l cars are lighter and some people actually prefer them.
    Also, the B-series engines are pretty much bullet proof and the same can't be said of the rotary. How much does a rebuild on a rotary cost? I think it is around the neighbourhood of $1k to $2k. And for around $5k to $6k, you can find a very good example of an early Miata, which you probably don't have to worry about engine rebuild, and just gas and drive and enjoy yourself in it.
  • Well, initial price is pretty important. This is car #3 in a 2-driver family and I don't want to devote to much to a new toy (looking at years of private school plus college for two kids...). Right now on within driving distance, I see an 85 GSL-SE, "very good condition", fully loaded, leather seats, "high fwy miles" for $2,500 OBO; it's even the right color. From the RX-7 topic, I found a place that offers a 24-month warranty on a 13-B rebuild for about $3,500 plus local installation; 12-month warranty engines are about $1,800. So, if I need the rebuild, I'm looking at $4,300 to $6,000 depending on what the local Mazda shop says. There are 7 Miatas between $4,800 and $6k: four 1990s, one 1991, and two 1992s. Other stuff in this topic suggests an old Miata will be needing a new rag top. The miles shown range from 87,000 to 100,000 (two don't say). I'm guessing that none of them meet the RX-7 trim level, and I like bells and whistles (unlike our Host ;->).
    So here are my concerns about the Miata:
    (1) driver room/comfort. When I see Miatas on the road, the drivers look scrunched (or, perhaps, the car fits like a glove but in a good way). But then, an RX-7 isn't a Caddy, either. From those who have lived in both, is there any real difference? BTW, I'm 5-9 and 210 lb.; let's just say I'm "sturdy."
    (2) safety. RX-7 is hard top, Miata is convertible. Miata also looks smaller, but has the air bag. Significant other has expressed concerns about early widow-hood.
    (3) road noise. hard top vs. convertible, again. Sometimes it's nice to hear the radio.
    (4) maintenance. 85 vs. 91 is 6 years difference, but the 91 is still a 9-year old car. What am I looking at for suspension, transmission, electrical, etc., vs. the RX-7?
    (5) actual performance. My recollection was that the RX-7s dominated their class is SCC racing, way back when. I'm not seeing the same things here about the Miata (but this might not be the right place to look). Cars are better so the Miata COULD be better (quicker faster, nimbler) than the RX-7 but still not be competitive; is it? Can someone who's been in both compare/contrast?
    This is the Miata forum, so I expect a preference for Miatas. I just want some detail.
    Sorry for the length.
  • You've indicated that your purchase will be the third vehicle in the family. Assuming the initial two vehicles cover all aspects of your needs (utility, room, comfort, etc.), this third car is to be something of a toy, as you have stated. Keep in mind that toys don't always have all the creature comforts we're acustomed to.

    I haven't owned a RX7, and only this year purchased my first ragtop ever, an '00 SE. I can't tell you in words the fun and excitement this car has given me, and my family too. We've got the other needs covered with an Explorer Sport and Buick LeSabre. This "toy" is simply that - a means to get in an open top and enjoy the wind whenever I want (wifey doesn't drive it!).

    Personally, I think you'll be perfectly satisfied with the Miata. Everyone here says they're practically maintenance free, aside from the expected regular items.

    And, since you're already planning to purchase a depreciated vehicle, I don't see where you can go too wrong.

    My 2 cents.

    Jim M.
  • Just came back after test driving 2001 LS with 16 inch Bridgestones. Seems that these tires send every little road imperfection to the steering wheel. Lots of vibration. Just to be make sure it was not just one particular car, drove another with same feel. Then drove 2000 model with 15 inch tires, and noticed less vibration. It's as if the 16 inch tires which are 205/45 W rated are rock hard due to the lower profile. My wife also drove both cars and she felt tires on the 2001 model made it seem lighter in weight and come off the road more.
    Has anyone else tested a 2001 model and noticed same thing? Bear in mind that I am not a current Miata owner and this just the nature of the car.
  • I have not driven any 2001 so I can't help you out.
    But many a times, when cars reach the dealer, the tires are overinflated and the dealer may not have adjusted the tire pressure. A lot of people have found that when they pick up their new cars, the ride is very hard and turns out the tires are at least 5 to 10 psi over inflated. Check the pressure next time.
    After stating that, shorter sidewalls will also change the ride, as will bigger wheels.
  • shaw10shaw10 Posts: 14
    Has anyone had problems with getting door dings in parking lots? Seems like the car is a sitting target since it lacks side / door moldings...any ideas as to what can be - are moldings available after-market and, if so, are there any that blend in?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    My gawd, no way we allow such a thing .... instead:

    1) Park far away. Like, in the next county. Walking is good for you.

    2) Better yet, don't park. Just keep driving. Ahhh...

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • I would be interested in peoples' winter driving experiences in the Miata.My daughter will be driving soon and I am considering giving her my old sedan and using my '95 Miata as a daily driver.Not what I'd rather do but reality says drive it or sell it.Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ron - my tips:

    * park further away from the entrance
    * always try to find end spots (50% fewer dings right there)
    * if at an end spot park way, way towards the outside line
    * or parallel park if available
    * in a crowded lot, try to avoid facing driver doors (passenger seats are often empty)

    Dave: why sell? Keep it as an extra vehicle.

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