Used 1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Consumer Reviews
This is one fun car to drive, even stock. With aftermarket items (shocks, springs, etc.), it is even better! Although the EPA gas mileage is 29 MPG on the highway (for 1996), I get 34 to 36 MPG on the highway. Combined with the reliability of all Miatas, the cost of ownership is very affordable. Note that this is not a fast car. Even my 04 minivan can out run the 96 Miata on a straight road (0-60). However, the Miata has much more handling than speed, making it a fine canyon carver, autocrosser or city zip-zapper. If you enjoy modifying cars for appearance or performance, the first generation Miata has plenty of mod options. I'd spend the money on maintenance, tires and gas, though.
I've owned other roadsters, but the Miata is a blast for the bucks. After driving a Triumph Spitfire and an MGB, the Miata is like a high dollar exotic sports car. It will get up and go if you know how to drive it (keep your rpms up, kind of like driving a small displacement sports bike). The motor is smooth and I've never been in a car that connects you to the road like this one! No complaints, best toy I've ever had. I've been walking around smiling and humming the "zoom, zoom, zoom" song since the day I bought it. It's an absolute blast.
Bought car w/38,150 miles. Fix brokes are a clutch slave & inner shift boot, total of ~$56. Routine maint. includes wiper blades, plugs & wires, 2 oil changes, diff and trans fluid changes, total of ~$134 Total fuel consumption averaged 26.52 MPG, high tank of 32.87, low tank of 22.88 Fuel cost/mile = .04262 repair/maint. cost/mile = .019 total = .061 per mile I will have to admit it has offered about the least expensive 'smile per mile' of anything I have ever owned.
The Miata 1996 vintage is a wonderful car overall and amazingly reliable. Such dependability is probably due to the car's inherent simplicity. It is a fine example of balance. The power, weight, size, handling ability, all work together as a unit. Beefs about trunk size are unfounded. The wife and I have driven from Nashville to Toronto as well as various other trips to Ohio and Florida with no problems. Don't waste your time with "exotic" Eurojunk. Get a Miata.
I bought this car in Southern Florida and it made the perfect Florida car! Now I live in the midwest and have to store her in the Winter. There is precious little I look more forward to than pulling this car out of storage each Spring. Okay, maybe pulling my '58 Thunderbird out.... This car reminds me of all the MGB's my dad used to drive when I was a kid. I only have 55K miles on it and the only problem I've ever had is that I had to replace the clutch slave cylinder. Big deal - it was a 20 minute job. Can't recommend these cars enough!