1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda Miata: Limited Practicality For Me

January 23, 2012

 1997 Mazda Miata: Limited Practicality For Me

There are many things our Miata is good for, but family transportation does not happen to be of them. Of course, there's the obvious: two seats and small trunk. Less obvious: there's no cut-off switch for the passenger-side front airbag. That means the Miata's even less useful if you have small children (like me) and are concerned with airbag deployment.

Notably, the owner's manual doesn't make any exclusions for front passengers other than children in rear-facing safety seats; my memory of when automakers decided little kids and front airbags don't mix is hazy. But as far as our old long-term sports cars have gone, I got by better with the NSX and 911 (no passenger front airbags) and the departed Z06 (had a cut-off switch).

The Miata gained a cut-off in 1999.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 134,527 miles 

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