1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Positives and Negatives

March 31, 2011

 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Positives and Negatives

First, the good news: The new Flyin' Miata clutch, which replaced the previous tired and dead-feeling unit, works great. And despite being rated to handle over 300 lb-ft of torque, it has a very light effort and an intuitive engagement point, making it simple to use in stop-and-go traffic.

Now the bad news:

The newly scooped-out driver's seat ain't working for me. I understand the intention, as you definitely sat a bit high in the stock configuration. But because the foam was simply ripped out of the center of the seat cushion, the sitting pressure falls primarily to my hips and the side of my legs which now rest on the bolsters, my right leg and most particularly my right hip socket taking the brunt. Ouch.

 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Positives and Negatives

Two upsides: First, you do sit lower. And second, there is some semblance of lateral support now (newly scooped-out driver's seat, above; untouched passenger seat, below).

 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Positives and Negatives

I also may be a little more sensitive to seat comfort issues than some of our staffers, as my 65 mile (one way) commute means I spent an hour and a half in the driver's seat on my way home yesterday. 

Unfortunately the modified seat cushion now combines with the too-narrow seatback, which was already forcing my back to rest more against the bolsters than the actual seatback.

Remind me never to take any of my cars to Scott's Custom Upholstery Repair Shop, Inc.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 130,275 miles.

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