Not For Me - 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda Miata: Not For Me

March 20, 2012

1997 Mazda Miata: Not For Me

The first time I drove a Miata was during the summer of 1989. It was one of the first MX-5s in America. It was blue, just like the one on the cover of Road and Track that March. I hated it.

Honestly, I don't remember much from that day behind the wheel. I just remember how disappointed I was. I was looking forward to the drive for months. But once I got behind the Mazda's wheel I knew immediately that it wasn't for me. It was too slow. Too small. And just too delicate for my New Jersey sensibilities.

Twenty three years later I'm still there.

Whenever I drive a Miata, any Miata, I'm always disappointed. Which is exactly why I dreamt up our Project Miata, because I'm still looking for a Miata I like to drive. A Miata I like to be in. I remember talking it up to the staff before we agreed to do it. "We can make it like a little Cobra," I said. Jay Kav bought in immediately and got to work.

But it still doesn't push my buttons, our car still leaves me cold.

It's not our car's fault. It's a cool little ride. Jay has improved it 1000% in every way. He did just what we talked about. But it still isn't for me. Every time I drive it I quickly wish I wasn't. It just doesn't do it for me. I can't help but feel like I'm driving something I'm supposed to like but don't. Something I'm talking myself into.

Where's the thrill? The tire smoke? The powerslides? Where's the intensity?

I still like the idea of a Miata. It just turns out that I like the idea much better than I like the actual experience. I always have and I'm pretty sure I always will.

Oh well, different strokes.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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