This is the most fun-to-drive car that I've ever had the pleasure of driving. Not especially fast, but the chassis dynamics are an excellent compromise between comfort and control. The stock exhaust provides an aural symphony as you run through the gears. To maximize acceleration, you'll need to spin it >4k rpm. Shifting is a "snick-snick" proposition with short, precise throws. Don't expect a limo ride, but it's far from punishing. Handling is excellent - balanced, with moderate roll and good feel through the wheel. Trunk space is limited; it could use a 6th gear; rear-side visibility is limited with the top up; and the car is not quiet. These are the demerits.
Handling balance, engine sounds, shifting feel. Overall, this is an exceptional drivers car.
Stiffer chassis (but <20# weight), slightly firmer roll bars, and add 20 more each hp & torque.
The 97 model year marked the end of the "M1" style Miata which was first introduced in 89 as a 90 model. The 1.8L engine that this year includes provides more than enough thrust. The car shines in the curves. I have yet to drive (and I've driven a lot) a car that out handles the Miata. As the Miata grows bigger and more powerful, it loses some of it's charm that the M1 style had. The 90-93 model with the 1.6L engine and the 94-97 model with the 1.8L engine are far and away the best value and most fun you can have on four wheels. Three features missing on post 97 models are headrest speakers, pop-up head lights and chrome "finger pull" door handles. Drive it and you will never want to get out.
Engine, brakes, wheels, easy drop top, headrest speakers, pop-up head lights and chrome "finger pull" door handles.
In terms of value for money in the sports car category, the Miata has no equals. It is quite simply a pure sports car. Like the British sports cars of the 70s but with excellent reliability. Other reviews have said it is lacking in performance - I'll bet that they are changing gear at under 4000 rpm. You see the Miata begs to be driven hard, you feel its power rising smoothly all the way to red line at 7000 rpm. You can absolutely throw it around corners, and it stays completely flat. Oh and don't believe it if somebody tells you it's a chick car. Take a look around and you'll see that most SUV drivers are chicks, most Miata drivers are not!
Unbelievable handling, reliability and looks. Even the 16 year old ones still look like a new design. Good mpg.
None - it is perfect. Just go and drive one and you'll see what I mean.
This car is a ball to drive. Its like a high power go-kart. I know the younger crowd thinks itís a girlie car but take one for a ride and you will be convinced otherwise. Iím 53 and wish I bought one a long time a go. Sticks to the road like glue, plenty of power. You feel like your going 100 miles an hour at 60 because you're so low to the ground. I donít use mine as a daily driver; kinda tough because its so small, but it can be done. My wife loves being the passenger and lately has been taking her friends out cruising! I do my own work and it is built like a little tank, indestructible and cleverly done at that. Mine is a '97 with 94K miles and runs like new, zoom zoom!
Well I bought a 'special edition', and I love it!!! The STO version had just enough of the right stuff and not too much of the 'poofy' stuff, to make it attractive. It is totally reliable, totally fun, and good looking, even though I must admit its probably a 'chick' car (sorry). I love to autocross it and beat the Ford Mustangs, and the Cameros, and the other V8s with my little four banger. It handles incredibly well. Its a bit tight, and noisy with the cloth top, so I leave mine down most of the time. I've had MGs, Fiats, VWs, and this is the best convertible I have ever had. Would buy another in a heart beat. Life is too short to drive a mere sedan, get a convertible, and drive it
Color, wheels, stereo (in the headrests), performmance.
More HP, put back the pop-up headlights (bug-eye!)