Bought this car with 182,000 on it and I have never looked back. What a great car. Not real fast but has plenty of giddyup and the handling is awesome. Very inexpensive to fix because there are so many still on the road. I live in Florida and the top is down on a daily basis. Got some wear on the top, but still not a lot out of the wallet to replace. It's like a go-cart on the highway. Fantabulous! :-)
A great car!!!! I have had mine since December of 1989 and have 115,000 miles on it. But as my wife points out, it's hell when your mid-life crisis car is 24 years old! There is one problem to watch out for if you buy a '90. Some of them have the infamous crankshaft problem. It usually appears after the timing belt has been replaced and additional miles put on the car. Mine appeared at about 95000 miles. The problem has to do with the design of the crankshaft nose, keyway, cam drive sprocket and pulley bolt. The key was designed too short. For a good discussion of this problem see www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html. I had to replace the engine with one from a '92.
I bought this car in '91. It was a new 1990 demo. This has been the most fun to drive car I have ever owned. I had Corvettes, 240Z's-300ZX's, Porsche, Benz galore....The only car even to come close was an old Afla Romeo Duetto. No, it is not the fastest..thought I did easily outrun an 82 Corvette and an 84 Regal turbo (not much of a speedster, haha) but the car is quick, not brutally fast. I could basically buy any car I wanted but speed is not the point with this car. It is just a "PURE" car. It is nimble, light, quick and easy to see out of and easy to park...I got 32 mpg on the highway and about 22 around town. If you do not love driving this car then you have may have problems!
Since buying my 1990 Miata, I've been nothing short of satisfied. This fun, 2-door rag top is great from every angle and will leave a smile on your face long after you've stopped driving. It's reliable, fuel efficient (Mine sips to the tune of 36 mpg highway) and the most fun you can have in a car for the least amount of money spent. I recommend it to everyone, literally. I have yet to find a fault in my Miata and I don't expect to any time soon. After 20 years and 90k miles, she still has as much bite as the day she was born.
I bought my 1990 just 2 years ago. It was an early Christmas present to myself. I had admired the Miatas but just never bought one. Believe me I am making up for lost time. Excellent commuter car, great gas mileage, easy to park, zips all over, looks fabulous and I always have a smile on my face. I gave it new rims and a new top. I have only had to replace a few minor parts that 25 years dictated needing to be replaced. But nothing major at all. This is the little car that next quits. I am in love !! Update: I sold my 1990 after 3 years to another Miata lover. I bought a 2008 Miata. Love the Mazda cars but just wanted a bit more power items. The 1990 was FUN car but it got hard to commute with a stick shift. Now I have an automatic but still get the zoom zoom fun.