Used 1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Consumer Reviews
I was only looking for a small manual transmission car to get out of the boredom of minivan, and bought a 1996 Miata. This little car surprised me in many ways. I didn't know that I had petrol in my blood before! The Miata is slow by the number, but fast once the road starts to curve. The handling capability surpasses my comfort zone, which is why I start to autocross to appreciate this fine roadster more. Needless to mention, one can turbocharge a Miata to get 200+ HP without harming the engine (which was designed to be turbocharged). It is also a practical car. I go to Costco in the Miata, and seldom need to put anything in the front seat. Try that with a Boxster or MR2!
Bought my white Miata w/140k miles on eBay. Excellent chassis. You wouldn't have a clue as in what a "good handling car" is like, unless you drive a Miata. Very forgiving near limits - gives you plenty of warning before it gives up. The car tries real hard to do whatever you are commanding it to do, and performs very well. Miata is nothing short of purebred sports car, designed from ground up to be impractical in all other aspect other than getting from A to B in the most exhilarating way. Underpowered, but don't afraid to rev it up to 5000+ rpm. The car soars when you push it hard. 27 MPG in abusive driving.
Yep, you read that right! My previous car was a '98 Boxster. The Porsche was superior in almost every way, except I enjoy driving the Miata EVEN MORE! Handling is second only to the Lotus Elise, on par with an S2000, and better than the Boxster, for a fraction of the cost to buy and maintain. You just can't go wrong with this car.
I worked as a valet parker for a year and a half, and I've driven anything you can think of. Ferrari. Porsche. Aston Martin. Mercedes. BMW. Name it. The bottom line? The Miata is more fun to drive. I wanted one for 2 years before finally finding the perfect car. I've had it for 6 months now, and everything is working as it has since I bought it. Crisp handling, that x-factor 'oneness' you feel, powerful braking. The Miata has them all and then some.
I sold my Cobra replica last year and was looking to get a little two seat roadster for commuting instead of just cruzing. I needed a cheap two seat roadster that got good mileage and was reliable. My search brought me to the miata which was not an enthusiastic choice at first. Upon purchasing this car I have found it to be the best of all worlds in that it is very affordable, peppy and killer in the curves, very reliable, and maintains about 30mpg. It is a fun car that I can drive all the time! instead of parking next to it during the week and hopeing that I can drive it this weekend if the weather is good.
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!