Used 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1990 Mazda Mx-5-miata - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

56 Total Reviews

Base 1.6L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual - (56 reviews )
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A Great Car with one potential problem
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rbarrwest
on

Vehicle

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 2dr Convertible


Review

A great car!!!! I have had mine since December of 1989 and have 115,000 miles on it. But as my wife points out, it's hell when your mid-life crisis car is 24 years old! There is one problem to watch out for if you buy a '90. Some of them have the infamous crankshaft problem. It usually appears after the timing belt has been replaced and additional miles put on the car. Mine appeared at about 95000 miles. The problem has to do with the design of the crankshaft nose, keyway, cam drive sprocket and pulley bolt. The key was designed too short. For a good discussion of this problem see www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html. I had to replace the engine with one from a '92.


Favorite Features

Handling. This car is flat out fun to drive. Not the fastest in the world but plenty peppy. The stick clutch combo is outstanding.


Suggested Improvements

Could use a slightly more powerful engine. The later models have upped the engine power but they seem to have lost the original spirit of the '90. Watch tire selection - the wrong tire can cause vibrations.


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Easily the most fun on four wheels!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ashb0891
on

Vehicle

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 2dr Convertible


Review

Having gone through the difficult choice of selling my 2011 Camaro V6 to pay for school, the time came to choose something that was equally fun to drive, cheap to insure for a 22yo guy, and easy for me to work on. I had always loved the Miata, and I found my little gem; an early build 1990 model with only 78,000mi. I couldn't be happier, I have yet to tire of driving it, and living in Texas, I can have the top down almost every day, which is a great thing for me. Aside from replacing a few worn out parts, it has been faultlessly reliable, and easily the most grin inducing car out of the many I have owned or fixed up. A highly recommended purchase for those who can accommodate such a car!


Favorite Features

Obviously handling takes premise over raw power with this car, 115hp won't blaze you through a stoplight, but it will grip corners like a limpet. Combine that with direct and communicative steering, a pedal-shifter arrangement from heaven, and a nice little 4cyl burble, and you've got the best driving experience this side of a Lotus Elise, with astonishingly cheap maintenance and an abundance of parts to boot. You can't help but crack a smile rowing through the gears on some twisty backroad on a warm day with the top laid back, and the radio off.


Suggested Improvements

Being 23 years old, one will inevitably run into some issues here and there, namely with spark plug wires, water pumps, slave cylinders, etc, but with simple mechanical knowledge and an abundance of inexpensive parts, it really isn't as big a deal as it seems. The short gearing means the little 1.6 is buzzing everywhere you go(4000rpm at 75mph!), the lack of sound insulation means a lot of road and engine noise with the top up. Also, those on the taller side may want to test drive first, I stand a lanky 6'2", and it is quite a squeeze to get in, especially with the top up! My head easily touches the roof if I sit up straight. But once I'm settled in, it's as comfy as can be.


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Miata is the best damn car I have ever owned
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By my90miata
on

Vehicle

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 2dr Convertible


Review

Bought this car with 182,000 on it and I have never looked back. What a great car. Not real fast but has plenty of giddyup and the handling is awesome. Very inexpensive to fix because there are so many still on the road. I live in Florida and the top is down on a daily basis. Got some wear on the top, but still not a lot out of the wallet to replace. It's like a go-cart on the highway. Fantabulous! :-)


Favorite Features

Convertible, mechanically very sound. Handling is fabulous


Suggested Improvements

Hmmmmm! Can't think of any!


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The Mazda Miata: THE Best Car Ever Built
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JC-MX5
on

Vehicle

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 2dr Convertible


Review

Since buying my 1990 Miata, I've been nothing short of satisfied. This fun, 2-door rag top is great from every angle and will leave a smile on your face long after you've stopped driving. It's reliable, fuel efficient (Mine sips to the tune of 36 mpg highway) and the most fun you can have in a car for the least amount of money spent. I recommend it to everyone, literally. I have yet to find a fault in my Miata and I don't expect to any time soon. After 20 years and 90k miles, she still has as much bite as the day she was born.


Favorite Features

My favorite feature in the Miata is the perfect driving experience. This is the only vehicle I've ever owned that I truly have connected with.


Suggested Improvements

I wouldn't change a thing. Mazda got the formula right and has continued the trend to this day.


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Reliable and UnderPriced
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By TAYLORPARTON
on

Vehicle

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 2dr Convertible


Review

I have owned my Share of Small Convertibles and This One by Far exceeds all expectations. Excellent Gas Mileage, Excellent Drivability, Very Hot Car and Never a Problem, Maintenance is VERY Affordable, Tires are Very Affordable and it Gets an Excellent Safety Rating. I give this a 10 RATING


Favorite Features

AM/FM CD , Speakers in Headrest of Seats, Cruise Control, Lead Reinforced Floor and Door Panels, Reliability


Suggested Improvements

Improve the Sound System by Putting a Multiple Changer in the Trunk, and Gas Tank Flap next to Drivers Seat or on the Dash, just put it in a Better place


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