Never before had I had an emotional attachment to a vehicle. The Miata is not particularly fast, but fast enough with power to spare in 6th gear at 80mph, tops out (rev limited) somewhere beyond that. Power curve on the engine starts pulling at about 3000 rpm and doesnt stop til well over 6000 - engineers call it "jerk" (dA/dT for the nerds), such that you feel it pushing you into the seat in every gear. Mazda put VVT for wider torque the 2000+ cars, and IMHO, messed up the jerk curve. In 5 years of pushing the traction limits, I had only one mechanical problem; an electronic switch in the transmission was fixed under warranty. Traded the car in for a 4WD, I miss driving the Miata.
Tight Suspension and curvy roads. Topless freedom. Huge aftermarket variety. REAR WHEEL DRIVE. 0-60 in under 7 seconds in skilled hands. Waving to other Miata drivers. This is the world wide all-time best selling 2 seat sports car, and for good reason. It is all about fun.
This car is small, little headroom, legroom, or elbowroom. The trunk is tiny, cupholders are hard to use (fixed in 2000). OEM Michelin tires wore out at 30K miles and were kind of slippery. Switch to Bridgestone RE750 made the car run on rails.