2004 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata Consumer Review: Don't judge a book by its cove

2004 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

53 Total Reviews

Base Convertible (1.8L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Don't judge a book by its cover
By GSW on


2004 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata 2dr Roadster (1.8 4cyl Turbo 6M)


A very mercurial car. Fun to drive on smooth roads, but the shorter sidewalls of the 17" tires result in a very stiff ride and really hurt the front end grip on rough roads. The car has good power, but only at wide open throttle and under full boost, which doesn't kick in until about 4500 rpm. With a fuel cutoff at 6500 rpm, the powerband is VERY narrow, so expect a LOT of shifting if you're going to drive it aggressively. And don't make the mistake of shifting early - falling out of full boost on an upshift can really upset the balance of the car. Same brakes as the SE MX-5, so they feel underpowered with the extra weight of the Mazdaspeed. Lots of potential, but it misses the mark.

Best Features

Looks good. Handles well on smooth roads.

Worst Features

Fuel map is awful. Fuel pump is unreliable (my second is failing). Intercooler is too small. Powerband is too narrow. Shifter is too short and notchy. Even with a 6-speed, top gear is too short. 17" inch wheel/tire package is too heavy and detrimental to handling on uneven pavement. Brakes are weak.
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