1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Things To Like
April 16, 2012
Below is a list of things I like about our Miata project car, starting with the one I find most appealing.
- Pedal placement. Cliche, right? Maybe, but every time I drive one of these cars I'm in awe of how right this is. That's a relatively small size 8.5 Piloti covering a good portion of both pedals. Sure, I'll admit I didn't drive it hard on a track so I can't comment on the effectiveness point like Kurt did. Still, during street driving, heel and toe use is awesomely easy.
- Bump travel. It's an often-overlooked yet critical component of making a first-generation MX-5 work right when lowered. And, holy crap, is this thing ever lowered. Yet it can still be driven hard into an unexplored corner with little concern. It's a trait my boosted Miata distinctly lacked back in the day.
- There's some measure of chassis rigidity. As long as we're crapping on my old Miata, here's another area where it fell measurably short. Now I'm not saying this car is a structural masterpiece -- no, there's still some twist in there -- but it's certainly better than stock.
- It's not perfect. There are years of patina both inside and outside this car, which makes it somehow more endearing. I see the value in items that are well worn but still work right and this car is a perfect example. Kudos to Jay Kavanagh here.
- There's no urge to drop the top and sunburn my scalp -- something I did far too often when I owned a soft top Miata.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor 136,655 miles