Researched a bunch of different roasters.
Drove the 350Z, Boxers, S2000 and bought a 2009 with 7k on it.
A compelling factor was the PRHT which works perfectly.
I just sold my Triumph motorcyce (much to my wife's delight) and I tell you, this little car is ALMOST as fun to drive.
I did do a 180 spin in rain, so be cautious in wet conditions.
I too would love to have about 50 more hp but you have to know how to squeeze the power out of it, mainly by shifting at higher rpms.
I think the build quality is better than a couple used boxers I drove...really tight.
The Honda S2000 used car prices were I think, over priced, the BMW I would hate to have to repair, as would be the Boxer.
Great snug seats, very confortable.
2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Sport 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
This is my second MX-5. I had a 2002 and traded it in in 2006 for a BMW 3 series sedan. I missed it so much, I bought a black Sport with PRHT. I love this car and can't get into it without smiling. It is fun to drive and to cruise the back roads as well as a daily commuter. The greatest improvements since 2002 is that this feels faster, less noisy with the top down and I do not miss having to put on that vinyl roof cover. It still drives like a go kart and handles like a dream. I took it to Stowe Vermont and it was great going through the Mountains with my 6 speed. To misquote Jeremy Clarkson, "The reason I gave this car 10 stars is because i could not give it fourteen."
The PRHT keeps the noise level down and adds added protection/safety. The cloth seats don't burn your legs in Summer. The 6 speed is great and gives the full sports car experience. The price. Not the top speed of the Boxster, but this is half the price. Besides I can't use that speed anywhere.
The stock GS Bose stereo is a little meek and can use some more power and another speaker. The GT may be better. Move the Gas Cap opener switch somewhere else. Keep the car small and light. No bigger.
2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I have had this little gem forever a year now but I am very disappointed with the quality of the Bose radio-- volume has to be tuned up to 24 where other Mazda owners have their radio set at 14 or 15--local dealer says it is normal--I figured with the Bose name on the radio it would be good--not so--can barely hear the radio when top is down--I think the radio is a factory defect but no one wants to admit it--would like a new radio but I don't think it is going to happen as dealer thinks it is a good one
2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
We have our MX5 8 months and it has been a blast. The little lady fell in love with it. While it's NO Corvette(we have a ZO6, also) in the power dept., it's just fun to zip around in. Just extremely well engineered and designed. However, I don't know why the 6th gear runs at such a high RPM, kills the mpg. And yes another inch or two of leg room would be great (I'm 6'2") but this is livable. We just love the pwht. When up, it fits the design and when down there's still a trunk. And the shift pattern (6M) is a delight and more fun than our Vette. Well maybe they're equal. We would strongly recommend the MX5 with the power hard top. It's dueling in the fun, top up or down.
Without question, the power hard top. The 6M sift pattern is a blast. And we love the overall design inside & out.
Again, a inch or two more leg room for us 6'2" people. And possibly a more fuel efficient gear ratio in the 6th gear for better mileage.
I bought this vehicle to drive both for fun and back and forth to work, and it is truly what I expected. It even loads my golf clubs in the trunk! The only real complaint I have is that somehow it could have a spare tire. I just feel real uneasy going out of town far without a spare, even though they do give you an air pump and sealit material. Overall, I definitely recommend this car and would buy one again sometime once i wear this one out, if that is possible.
Needs a spare tire - maybe a "doughnut" under the trunk! Possibly a folded "doughnut" that can be put on and pumped to size.