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!
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.
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.