Mazda Miata MX-5 Reviews & Ratings

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Mazda Miata MX-5 (36 Reviews)
1992 Miata with 114,000 miles on her- love this car- a pure delight to drive !
If you truly love driving curvy roads and want the experience of an old English or Italian open-top sportster without the cost to buy or maintain, look no further. He is my love story:

After renting a 1970's Alfa-Romeo Spider for a weekend, I HAD to have a little roadster for the awesome backroads where we live! My then 12 year-old son fell in love with cars that warm Autumn weekend as I drove him all over the twisty backroads in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia. The man who rented the Alfa said he'd sell it (or his TR6) for around $4,000-$5,000 each. I am old enough to remember the service nightmares of Italian and British sports cars, so I told this gentleman who had rented and worked on the old roadsters for a decade or so of his retirement from a "day job" that I was not handy and had no interest in spending time repairing a car; I just wanted the pleasure of driving a 2-seater open-air sports car. His advice was straightforward, simple, and 100% confident: Go out and find yourself a Miata that's 10 or more years old and you will have maybe $4,000 to $7,000 invested in something that's everything you say you are looking for. So I did... and he was right!

With the Miata being in the same class as any other modestly priced, small, 4-cylinder car, they are priced accordingly. I paid $7,000 for my 2004 base model with 67k miles (in great shape) 2 years ago (2014). Now 12 years old, I keep it polished and clean, and aside from being wonderful to take out on a warm day or night, it looks really spiffy too. I get compliments EVERY time I take it out and stop in a public place (grocery store, etc.), and yet owning a Miata is not exactly a status thing. It IS what someone who truly loves cars and driving them buys - if nothing else, on nights and weekends - and yet it is reliable and economical if you want it as a daily driver too.

I have had more enjoyment from my shiny little red sportster than just about anything I have ever owned in my 55 years. Hop in, start down the road, and I swear my blood pressure and heart rate drop almost instantly. It can be a total thrill of raw cornering fun and engine revving madness or a lovely and relaxing cruise in the country for some fresh air and sunshine. I call it my "street-legal go cart". It is 100% unadulterated fun and yet has all the comforts and conveniences of a modern motor vehicle. The Miata provides all the simple joys of driving that the older, bare-bones roadsters did, only without the constant worries and frustrations of predictable and constant "service issues". It just keeps going happily along, allowing the appreciative driver to do what he/she got into a 2-seater convertible for: Driving fun and pleasure.

And, I don't worry about "if" something should break. Mazda parts are cheap and so is service. No different than any other modest brand in that regard. I looked into Porsche Boxsters, a more refined and arguably more beautiful car, but the cost to repair a German sports car is triple or more, not to mention a lot more likely to be needed. I've changed the oil twice and the only time I spend doing anything but driving is pampering my baby. I put a great, "once a year" polish on it the first spring of ownership and wash it every couple of drives, shining up the great alloy wheels and refreshing the shine on the paint with a quickie spray polish here and there. This is a car you can use and abuse or love and pamper. Either way, enjoyment of ownership is off-the-charts high if you want open-air fun plus reliability at a ridiculously affordable price. This can be and most certainly is a car that even most "working class" folks can own as a weekender, vs. waiting for retirement to get a "fine" sports car.

I am 6'1", 220# and just barely fit, but for my purposes, its perfectly fine. I have long legs (32 inseam) and am somewhat short-waisted, so my head is not into the top on the few occasions I drive with it up. I agree with the assessment that you either should not get a Miata if you are over 6' tall OR do as I did and try one out first to see if you fit.

This car takes corners at speeds faster than I am skilled to take them on the backroads and if the back end ever does start to let loose, it is so naturally controllable to drift that you feel like a professional on the Nurburgring. With the top down, who cares about refinement or if there might be some road noise on the highway? The only sound that will matter is taking the little wonder smoothly from 4500 RPM to almost redline. This is where the power is and this is where the engine puts out a great sporty sound.

The service advisor where I took the car said (paraphrasing): "Go out and rev it all you want. Drive it the way it was designed to be driven (implication being quick and hard-cornering). Most people shift at about 4000-4500, but that is where the fun just begins. DO NOT WORRY about revving this engine right up to its limit. I never see these cars come in with engine problems unless they have super-high miles and are just worn out..." This is what I have done for over two years and about 6k miles of backroad fun and leisure. Me and my Miata are still just as happy and carefree as the day we first met.
Have owned this Miata since 1999 when it had 30,000 miles on it.
Ours has the fiberglass hardtop(best of both worlds). It has been a great little car with few problems. Have replaced the radiator, AC/drier and compressor, and seat covers. The biggest
problem we had was squeeling brakes. After 3 brake jobs, we discovered to grease the hold down pins and, presto, no squeal.
We have had it painted once and done 2 tune ups. Replaced water hoses, filters, battery, and tires. That's it! Now has 75,000 miles and running good still!
My 1999 Miata has been my only vehicle for 12 years and I have to say it has been the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. When I bought it in 2001, it had just under 16k miles on it. It now has just under 90K miles on it. Other than regular maintenance, it has not had any major problems until now. The water pump is about to go out and that can a major expense due what it entails to get to it and other parts you may as well replace while you're at it. But hey, my parts aren't as young as they used to be either. The only real complaint I have about owning this car is that it drives horribly in the snow. Having said that, I highly recommend this vehicle. Its definitely gets attention!
My 2010 Mazda Mazda has been going dead again and again. The dealer initially found a short in the computer codes but needed to have me run it with the trunk light off to isolate the problem. When I brought it back they denied a problem and have not fixed it despite multiple visits and calls to Mazda. My Christmas Present was a set of jumper cables to keep in the truck of this car with only 17,000 miles on it. Mazda apparently makes defective cars now and does not back them up.
I purchased my MX-5 new and for the most part it has been great. I have 18,000 miles I seem to have the same problem as others. The check engine light is on some of the time and the Dealer charges $92.00 to clear the error, several times! there is never anything wrong or so they say. There must be an electrical problem because the battery goes dead after sitting for a few days.

It's a fun car and it is a shame the Dealer won't try harder to get so of the issues resolved. I more I read what others have as problems the more I see a pattern of similar issues.

I love my 2006 MX - 5 with only 13,00 miles with one exception. Every since I bought the car I have had a check engine light that always seems to be lit. The car has been taken to the dealer for repairs numerous times. They have said i did not replace the gas cap twice, replaced the gas cap, replaced the gas filler pipe; but the light is still on 60% of the time. Now It has failed its Calif. emissions test, not for emissions, but a computer glitch related to a sensor.
Mazda has denied my emissions warranty.
When you steal a car from the street, it is called Grand Theft Auto; When you steal a car from a dealer, its called being a SHRUDE Operator!!! I stole my 1999 Miata. At $4K, 97K miles, flawless motor, interior/exterior horrid top, it was a good buy. But when someone cut the top on the dealer's lot AND it was replaced by the dealer's insurance AND they only wanted $4K for it---Stick 'em up, here's your money. I enjoy cheating stupid people---its just what I do. Like paying $150.00 for a signed Suwada in Museum Quality framing (it was marked down 6 times from $1,500.00). I can not express the joy in my heart when, having bought the Litho and put it in my car, the saleswoman and MANAGER chased me down and offered me $300.00 on the spot to give them their litho back. Tower Lithos is out of business now (any wonder why?!!!)

BACK TO THE MIATA REVIEW. Ladies & Gents---this is your Commuter Car/Weekend Bomber. At 58mph (5th Gear/3K RPMS) I routinely get 29-34MPH---that's hybrid territory for a 12 year old car!!! This is a backyard mechanic's wet dream-plugs are on top of the manifold, alternators can be changed in 4 minutes or less (if you put spark plug paste on the Ibolt), the car will go 300K & pass smog, you can drive it with one finger because it is PERFECTLY balanced, 12 years old and it still is a babe magnet, etc. etc. Wanna save money for your retirement? Drive into any Fast Food window and open your car door---them quarters add up and you are so low to the ground that all you have to do is sweep your hand to scoop up the change!!! You can park on a postage stamp, turn on a dime and it fits in tight places ( I'm a fan of things that fit into tight places...)

NEGATIVES: If you are OLD, FAT or over 6', this is NOT YOUR CAR!!! Sorry!!! Take the bus!!! Want to know what it was like being a JEW under the Spanish Inquisition? Drive a Miata over 100 miles without a stretch break and tell me about your back or your kidneys!!!
My miata 2008 auto transmission. On the transmission fluid pan has 2bolts, one is for drain and the other one is check fluid level and refill fluid. Is this right story???
I bought my '90 Miata new. It has been and still is a great car. Currently has 86k miles on the odometer. It has never had mechanical problem in all those miles and 22 years. I replaced the top about 2 years ago. New top has glass back window (much better than original). I only wish I had paid an extra $1,400 for the removable hard top the dealer had at the time.
Bought my '97 M Edition this summer. My Mom had the original year for 11 years and I had the chance to drive it often and I fell in love. I became hooked on convertibles when I was 8 years old. No I wasn't driving (haha). My Dad's best friend used to take me for rides in the hills of San Francisco and Napa in a '67 MG. Talk about Heaven. My Limited Edition had 164k miles when I got it but had been well maintained. It's my only car. Right now I have a valve lifter issue, but come to find out, there's all kinds of stabilizer bars on the under carriage, a racing clutch and the great roll bar that came factory installed. I just might change my name to Mario Andretti!
I have owned British sports cars off and on for the last 45 years. My last being a 1980 MGB that I re-did. When I retired I wanted to road cruze but was a little hesitant to travel far in the MG. I ran across a 1996 MX5 in great shape and fell in love. I sold the MG and settled in driving the Miata. It's a great little car that handles very well, corners nicely and has just enough power. At 65000 miles I replaced the timing belt ,water pump and brakes. This is a car that I would be willing to drive cross country ( a consideration ) and not have any qualms at all. Overall the Miata is a great sportscar that is reliable and very fun to drive
I've owned a 1992 mx5 for 10 years, I'm the second owner of the vehicle. I bought it with 65,000 miles on the odometer, it now has 230,000 miles on it and still runs strong. I live in Orange County, ca not far from Laguna Beach and use this car for weekend running around and love it. I can't say enough about this little car, and can't seem to let it go, that's how much I enjoy putting around in this little race car. Plain and simple, it's economical, and mostly, reliable.
I bought new,love the performance and handling, oem battery (panasonic) lasted only 2 years, and drainage tubes have plugged, filling the footwells with water.These tubes are located under the roof when retracted, and plug easily with debris from trees, etc.
Dealer charges 800 bucks to clear them, seems there are no permanent solutions available.You can try using a trombone cleaner to shove stuff down, and if you can get past the one way valve, everything comes out a hole on the underside of the frame.Really mickey mouse system.
I'm the original owner of my '96 miata, and I love it. Originally it was just a summer car in Vermont, but now out here in Oregon it's my everyday car. 170K miles, and have only had one set of brake pads and the clutch replaced(clutch #2 is coming soon unfortunately), no other maintenance except for oil changes. It's losing oil somewhere and the interior could use a major refresh, but no big deal. I'm going to hate having to give this car up some day!
Bought it with only 9800 on it in NH 11 years ago and drove in NY and now AL. Fantastic car. Have 75000 mostly city miles and do expected maintenance and always change oil every 5000. Did timing belt and water pump as a precaution due to age at 60000. (once you do belt may as well pull water pump). Other than that only brake slave cylinder has failed and exhaust due to salt in NY. No other failures at all, I did replace the plastic rear window for looks. Buy one of these and you will smile every day.
I did a lot of research on this particular mx5 before looking for one. It has surpassed my expectations and I love to drive this car, especially with the soft top down. After six months of looking at other sports cars, Mazda was the best choice. To drive one is to want one.
This is the first Miata(2004) I have ever owned. I was always afraid to do do-it -self add-ons with my other cars. Not so with this one I have put on a dual exhaust( approx. 45 min.) I have had the entire dash out and back again. Everything seems to be 10mm to 13mm sockets. As far as driving. I love it. There is nothing like crusing along main street or on a country road with the top down and tunes going.
As the former owner of half a dozen British sports cars, I came across a great deal on a high mileage slightly beat up Mazda Miata.
What a surprise! After doing several minor repairs and catching up on neglected maintenance by the previous owner I started to drive and enjoy my Miata more and more.
I asked myself the question do I want to work on my British cars during the week so I could drive the car at the weekend, or drive a convertible any time I wanted.
The Mazda has the soul of a MG or Triumph with Japanese reliability. I have put up nearly 180,000 miles not one ounce of trouble. It is a car I know I could get in and drive across the country in the morning if I had too. With minimum care these cars are fun, reliable, economical, cheap to maintain, and a great second hand bargain.
Zoom Zoom for ever!!!!

We have low mileage on this car, around 5000 at this time. Everything has worked great so far and have had no problems with it. We have the retractable hard top and love it. Gas mileage is around 30 to 34 highway.
still running strong at 269K+ miles. love this car to death ... dealing with a lot of rust issues though
Bought the car at 35k mi, now has 78k mi. Aside from regular maintenance, this car has been extremely reliable. Idle droop occurred at ~50k, fixed by cleaning the intake manifold. Torn lower shift boot found at 60k which may be contributing to some shift notchiness, but I bet it still shifts better than 95% of all cars out there. Other than that, nothing but miles and miles of smiles.
I have owned my 90 since 95. When I bought it it had 30,000 miles on it, now has 130,000. Love this car. Do the scheduled maintenance and give it the TLC it deserves and these cars will be there for you. Radio is a problem, had to replace it in 2001. Paint peeled starting in 1997, have talked to other owners, same problems. I am 6'3" with a 32" inseam and 300 Lbs, this car fits me better than most cars out there. I have major back problems and I can sit in this car much longer than any thing else I have ridden in.
I have owned a 1995 Miata since my divorce in 2005. I wanted something sporty and economical but only had $3,800 to spend. I got the best of both worlds with my Miata. The ladies love it...well most of them. Can't please everyone. I have never replaced the brakes when I get them checked the shop says they are fine. It had 60,000 miles on it when I bought it. It now has over 191,000 miles on it and running good. I have replaced the master and slave cylinder, new drive shaft (can't replace just the U Joint),new exhaust regular oil changes and today for the first time the thermostat is being replaced (running hot). It will be hard to give this car up so I will give it to my son when he graduates from High School. I will probably end up getting a newer Miata 2005? I would love to test drive a new 2010 Miata but I would fall in love with it and would have to sell my new Harley. Love Miata!
stop light in retractable top always with humidity.Anyone with this problem?
I loved my 94 miata. It had about 60,000 miles on it and was still like new. Whoever owns it now probably thinks the same.
1996 Miata bought new and follwed maintenance schedule.
Very reliable automobile.
Recently (2010) found that some tire manufactures are no longer have available the 14 inch tires in that size.
Red soft top 5 speed and 34,000miles - no problems great car. Have also had oil services. Replaced Air filter with K&N after 1000miles. Original tires.
Fabulous car. I've had it ten years now and (besides break ins) never any trouble. A bit too slippery in fresh snow, but it corners like a train and stops on a dime. A flashlight deals well with the lack of a trunk or glovebox light. Wish I had a real spare instead of a doughnut.

Now I am looking for the 60,000 mile service and replacing the timing belt. I love my car!
My Miata is an SE model with a 6 speed manual trans. It has 17,500 miles on it (Garage Queen). The only problem I've had is the clutch (chudders) and I can be difficult to shift into 5 and 6th gears at times. I replaced the trans. fluid with synthetic (Red Line) fluid. I also replaced the clutch fluid (SAE #3, brake fluid) and bleed the line. This has greatly improved the trans. shift problems. The original owner had not taken the car in for any recalls nor done any maintenance except for oil changes. I purchased the car in 2008 and everything was OER and stock. Love the car plan to keep it for my grandson (1yr old).