I bought my 01 LS Miata as my first car. Mine is an LS with a 6-speed which makes it feel even sportier! I bought it as a fun but temporary car until I was able to upgrade to something with more power, but I've fallen in love. The car is so light that when paired with my summer performance tires I can fly around corners! So far I have an aftermarket intake and exhaust and it sounds AMAZING! For those who want more power there are an endless amount of aftermarket parts for it from the intake and exhaust like I have to turbo's and even V-8's! Best car ever! NEVER getting rid of it! FYI if anyone's looking for an autocross car, look no further!
Handling, convertible, aftermarket parts selection, looks, responsiveness, reliability, simplicity.
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I flew across country (MN to AZ) to pick up my silver 2001 LS with 17" rims, chrome style bar and leather interior, and most importantly a rust free body. I drove it the 2,000 miles home in February with no issues and it has been a champ back here since then.
I had been looking at something fun to drive that didn't need to be that practical since I have a '97 Buick with 200k+ miles that's still running strong to fill in as my winter car. This Miata will take the pressure off the Regal and is WAY more fun to drive. I regularly go on rides purely for pleasure, and blasting the tunes from an iPod through a tape adapter works just fine for those jaunts.
Its inherent qualities - 50/50 weight distribution, low riding position, precise steering, independent 4 wheel suspension.
The silver with large wheels looks great; because the vehicle is so small it is really easy to clean.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the trunk space.
My gf and I packed for 4 days of travel and still had enough space for a gallon of washer fluid and gallon of coolant that I picked up on the journey.
Also, if you have the soft top up you can store a good amount of items on that back flat space.
Soft top can be difficult to close in cold weather - I strained my neck/back doing it this weekend.
Clutch engages a little bit late for my personal tastes; I preferred the Honda Civic Si transmission over the Miata's, but that was a 2013 vs a 2001 so not really a fair comparison.
Seats are definitely not that comfortable after a couple hours - I found it useful to put a jacket folded in half along my back to cushion it.
They're not too bad though if you're driving less than 100 miles at a time.
I started out just looking for something cheap to commute in on the mountainous roads where I live. I decided to go ahead and get a truly fun car, which meant rear wheel drive, which lead to the Miata. It's a fantastic car, well built with the goal in mind of emulating a British roadster-one that runs. Not much power but a lively, fun engine mated to a great gearbox and chassis. It has just enough torque to let you loaf along if you want, but loves to rev. Fantastic handling and feedback from all the controls. Very composed even if you push it hard. It's a joy with the top down! Solid design and extremely reliable. I got this one with 78,000 miles on it and expect to drive it for years.
Handling and performance, easy up and down manual top, comfort, fuel economy. Looks great. FUN FACTOR!
Transmission could have been done with an overdrive, it has the torque to run down the highway at 1000 RPM less than it does. Doesn't hurt anything though, this engine will run forever at 4000 RPM at 80 MPH.
This car is so much fun to drive. Red Exterior with Tan Interior (leather) combination is fabulous. At red lights people always remark how Great Looking the car is. (I do keep it in fantastic condition) Anyway, if you want a roadster with a low sticker price THIS IS THE ONE. You won't regret it.
Love the manual convertible and Red/Tan combination. The manual top, lets you put down or up in a matter of seconds.