Still - 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test
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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda Miata: Still

January 31, 2014

1997 Mazda Miata

It's still in the fleet.

It's still trucking.

I still love driving it.

It still has the best steering. Still has the best seat. It's still pure. It's still mechanical. It's still good.

And if you still haven't driven one, and you truly love driving, beg and borrow a bit to get behind the wheel of a Miata for a day. You don't have to love it, but it will give you a look into a type of car, and a lot of the delicate, predictable dynamics, that just aren't so readily available anymore.

Oh, Scott Jacobs took that photo.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @144,654 miles


Comments

  • s197gt s197gt Posts:

    wonder how it compares to our 2000 Z3 2.3? couldn't bring myself to (and wife wouldn't) buy a miata so we picked up a lightly used Z3 for her 40th. we have been loving it. ever since watching "funny farm" with chevy chase years upon years ago i had wanted a roadster. (also got the idea to name my dog "brown dog" from the movie.) our last great road trip before becoming parents a few years ago was hitting all the new england states in fall. i hope to do it again some day in our Z3.

  • s197gt s197gt Posts:

    wonder how it compares to our 2000 Z3 2.3? couldn't bring myself to (and wife wouldn't) buy a miata so we picked up a lightly used Z3 for her 40th. we have been loving it. ever since watching "funny farm" with chevy chase years upon years ago i had wanted a roadster. (also got the idea to name my dog "brown dog" from the movie.) our last great road trip before becoming parents a few years ago was hitting all the new england states in fall. i hope to do it again some day in our Z3.

  • abuddy82 abuddy82 Posts:

    I bought a 1997 Miata about a year ago. I've driven it 9,000 miles and it's not my daily driver. After about a week of ownership and 1,000 miles I decided it will always have a space in my garage. I never really thought I would want one until had to test drive one for a friend that didn't know how to drive stick. At about mile number 6 I swore I'd find a good clean first generation Miata (NA) for myself. You can mock the car all you want, for it being girly and slow but it really is something special that's hard to find today.

  • abuddy82 abuddy82 Posts:

    I bought a 1997 Miata about a year ago. I've driven it 9,000 miles and it's not my daily driver. After about a week of ownership and 1,000 miles I decided it will always have a space in my garage. I never really thought I would want one until had to test drive one for a friend that didn't know how to drive stick. At about mile number 6 I swore I'd find a good clean first generation Miata (NA) for myself. You can mock the car all you want, for it being girly and slow but it really is something special that's hard to find today.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Holy smokes a post after 3 months! 650 whole miles during that time. How's the new engine? How about some real news? I washed all the salt off mine today and tore up the back roads for about an hour. It's like therapy for $4 worth of gas.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Holy smokes a post after 3 months! 650 whole miles during that time. How's the new engine? How about some real news? I washed all the salt off mine today and tore up the back roads for about an hour. It's like therapy for $4 worth of gas.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    I want dyno runs and road test results!

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    I want dyno runs and road test results!

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    @abuddy82 my son's friends call it a girly car too. I couldn't care less. Their loss. As long as it's not snowing, I'm going.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    @abuddy82 my son's friends call it a girly car too. I couldn't care less. Their loss. As long as it's not snowing, I'm going.

  • flapsmcgee flapsmcgee Posts:

    When is the new engine going in it?

  • flapsmcgee flapsmcgee Posts:

    When is the new engine going in it?

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    I've said this a thousand times but anyone who foolishly dismisses the Miata is missing out. I'm not even sure what the term "girls car" means as I know some women who can and do routinely outdrive many men. The simplicity and honesty of the Miata isn't to be missed. And if I'm being honest, a Miata provides just about as much real world sports car as most drivers can safely and legally use on public roads. Great cars. I hope Mazda is able to actually provide a lighter, more simple car with the next gen as has been rumored.

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    I've said this a thousand times but anyone who foolishly dismisses the Miata is missing out. I'm not even sure what the term "girls car" means as I know some women who can and do routinely outdrive many men. The simplicity and honesty of the Miata isn't to be missed. And if I'm being honest, a Miata provides just about as much real world sports car as most drivers can safely and legally use on public roads. Great cars. I hope Mazda is able to actually provide a lighter, more simple car with the next gen as has been rumored.

  • Would you mind sharing what seat the project miata has? I have the same year miata as well and am now shopping for a new seat. Stock seats just doesn't do it for R-comp tires anymore. I was very sore trying to keep myself on the seat.

  • Would you mind sharing what seat the project miata has? I have the same year miata as well and am now shopping for a new seat. Stock seats just doesn't do it for R-comp tires anymore. I was very sore trying to keep myself on the seat.

  • kirkhilles1 kirkhilles1 Posts:

    Yeah, I have a 2000 LS and find it amusing that its referred to as a girly car (of course, there's the Cars reference "Mia" and "T-a" which didn't help). My car has an aggressive masculine look and certainly does NOT have a soft, smooth ride and doesn't have other attributes that would appeal to women in general. My wife sometimes likes driving it, but certainly not at night. In terms of my seats, I did the "foamectomy" which was a big help, but it still feels somewhat cramped for a 5' 11" guy. Fun car though and is a great car to do maintenance on (my first that I've done ANY maintenance on). Plugs/wires, fluids, all very easy with great support from fellow owners.

  • kirkhilles1 kirkhilles1 Posts:

    Yeah, I have a 2000 LS and find it amusing that its referred to as a girly car (of course, there's the Cars reference "Mia" and "T-a" which didn't help). My car has an aggressive masculine look and certainly does NOT have a soft, smooth ride and doesn't have other attributes that would appeal to women in general. My wife sometimes likes driving it, but certainly not at night. In terms of my seats, I did the "foamectomy" which was a big help, but it still feels somewhat cramped for a 5' 11" guy. Fun car though and is a great car to do maintenance on (my first that I've done ANY maintenance on). Plugs/wires, fluids, all very easy with great support from fellow owners.

  • My Miata is the only car I've ever driven that I heel and toe shift in heavy LA traffic because it is so fun.

  • My Miata is the only car I've ever driven that I heel and toe shift in heavy LA traffic because it is so fun.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to ask if you fixed the A/C yet, or the wonky door speaker?

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to ask if you fixed the A/C yet, or the wonky door speaker?

  • dharbin dharbin Posts:

    I like reading about this car, but why don't the other Edmunds staff drive the car more often? (I thought they were supposed to be car people....) Look forward to hearing more about the new engine. I may be in the minority for thinking it should still be a roadster.

  • dharbin dharbin Posts:

    I like reading about this car, but why don't the other Edmunds staff drive the car more often? (I thought they were supposed to be car people....) Look forward to hearing more about the new engine. I may be in the minority for thinking it should still be a roadster.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    yesterday there were ten comments, today: 0 this is not the only blog post that comments are being deleted from. Nothing objectionable in any of them. Are you having more technical issues with the site? deleting posts really cuts down on credibility unless they are objectionable to the readers. Plus, a good way to lose the rest of the readers after the transition nonsense and inability to post for a week that happened last month

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    yesterday there were ten comments, today: 0 this is not the only blog post that comments are being deleted from. Nothing objectionable in any of them. Are you having more technical issues with the site? deleting posts really cuts down on credibility unless they are objectionable to the readers. Plus, a good way to lose the rest of the readers after the transition nonsense and inability to post for a week that happened last month

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    +1 noburgers Agreed I know that a lot of these issues are not from the editors but good grief I can't say that I have seen any changes from the initial transition and we ARE seeing a lot of bugs like this that go on sometimes for a day sometimes for a wee

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    +1 noburgers Agreed I know that a lot of these issues are not from the editors but good grief I can't say that I have seen any changes from the initial transition and we ARE seeing a lot of bugs like this that go on sometimes for a day sometimes for a wee

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    holy crummuolly 5 minutes ago there were just the prev 2 posts complaining about the deleted old posts, , I hit the back arrow and now all the comments have returned. looks like we might be fixed, at least for 5 minutes

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    oh and the last post was not there doubled 5 minutes ago. they had that new bug yesterday too

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