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!
I bought my 96 Miata two years ago. In good running condition with IÂm assuming 120K. Since then she has been across state lines, driven 103 MPH down deserted highways, been my daily driver and is the closest to heaven IÂve ever been I am not good at maintaining my cars, I forget until something goes wrong. SheÂs had an oil link since I bought her and once in a while she ends up bone dry and ticky but as soon as I add oil sheÂs right as rain. The speedo cable squeals..not a big deal. all in all she still runs like a powerhorse roadster should, has saved my life with epic handling. I'll never own anything but a Miata. ever.
Okay, It's not an MG - it's so much better but has all the things that made the MGB now sitting in the back yard attractive years ago but with added comfort, performance and reliability. Best sports car I ever owned, and there have been many.
I purchased this car from my in-laws who were having a baby and ditched the car for a station wagon. I never imagined myself owning a Miata. After one week of test driving, it had me hooked and I bought it enthusiastically. You can't find a comparable car in this price range. It has plenty of pick-up and hugs the curves like it's on rails. Haven't regretted my decision for a second.
This car make me smile every time I drive it. Wanted one for quite a while and a year ago found one in good shape cheap. Customized some of the exterior and put her up for the winter. Changed the oil and put a new battery in this spring. I am middle aged and had MG, Fiat, Triumph etc. convertibles from the 60's and 70's. Miata MX-5 has all the best characteristics and traits of all these cars with none of the problems. Starts, runs, super reliable, no electrical problems when it rains. Top super easy to use. Great exhaust note. Winds easily to 6500 rpm and get 27 mpg when you beat on it. Don't buy this car with a auto transmission. Quick fun to drive. My wife and I are reliving out youth.
You will be nothing but happy with this car, i have been driving Miatas since 1994, and never had more fun!
Other teachers jealous when I put the top down in the parking lot after school and drive 3 miles home. Students can't believe their old teacher drives this sweet car. Amazingly, a whole week's groceries or golf clubs(if I played golf) fit in the trunk. Super fun to drive! Even featured in a homecoming parade! Leather interior adds to appeal. Need larger car to accomodate ill husband.Regular maintenance- 5 speed shifts smoothly.
This is my second Miata - the first was a new 96, this one I got, loaded, with 58.5K on the clock for just shy of $9k. Have had the belts replaced - all other 60K servicing was done by the dealer I bought it from before they delivered. A really engaging driving experience, near-perfect handling, great gas mileage, thoroughly dependable. Never fails to bring a smile to my face top up or down, rain or shine.
I just like it. My wife wonder who i love more? Ofcourse the Miata... She will never let me down.
We got my wife's "dream car" with only 9000 miles on it. One block into the test drive told us this car is a blast to drive. It just scoots. The handling is unbelievable for a car that is not expensive. She drives it to work with a smile that has not left her face in four years. We relish summer here in the Northwest and this car just makes it all the more pleasurable.
The Miata is as close to a perfect car as I can find. Impeccable handling combined with great reliability cannot be matched. The car just begs to be driven at or past the limit of traction. Depending on your point of view, it is large enough to work as an only car.
I bought this car used but have owned it for nearly three years. Oil changes, radiator flush, and a new battery. What a reliable, fun, and economical car to drive. The M series, with its larger tires and ABS, is a reasonable choice for winter driving as well in most parts of the country.
This car is the most fun you'll ever have!
This is the second Miata for me; the first was a 1991 which I ran up to 125k and by accident found this one with 51k. You can't say enough about how fun these cars are to drive. The short throw shifter and overall balance make it a true treat to go to work in the morning. Quality build and ease of maintenance ensure the same ride year after year.
I enjoy my Miata very much. I used to drive short distances to work and it was my primary car but since I do heavy interstate driving now I have purchased a larger car ... feel safer when trucks and SUV's are racing by. Love to drive it to the beach with the top down. Excellent quality, have never had any problems with it. Plan to keep it for many years. From an enjoyment, reliability point of view I rate it highly. My only concern was driving the Miata in heavy, fast-moving traffic from a "feeling safe" point of view. You don't get the respect that a larger car demands from other drivers on the highway when driving a smaller car.
I like convertibles. Take that back, I LOVE convertibles. My last two where a Caddy Allante and a Mercedes 500 SL, respectively. They were both big, gas guzzling V8 powered "sports cars"... neither one could come close to the providing the day-to-day fun of my new Mazda Miata. I did my research. These cars are bullet-proof; something my high-line roadsters lacked. I am 6'5" and fit fine inside the car, a tad cramped on longer runs, but fine for under 100 mile trips. Bottom line ... if you are looking for a reliable, safe (dual air bags & aftermarket roll bars), economical and is a blast to drive and be seen in, your search is over. I bought mine 70+k in great shape for under $5k. I LOVE IT.
I just bought my '96 Miata a month ago and I am just loving the fun. it is everything people say it is. It is the most fun drive I have had the pleasure of taking. The clutch is light, the gearbox is smooth and the handling is impeccable. It does take a lil skill to drive ... it is easy to over steer and 180. But nothing beats cruising with the top down and darting nimbly around traffic. I have wanted this car for a long time and I am so happy I have her!
I wish they still made 'em exactly this way. It's a blast to drive and blows anything else in its range completely out of the water.
I have owned a '96 Miata M-Edition for 6 years. I LOVE THIS CAR! With 64,000 miles it has never had a single mechanical issue. It gets great mileage, about 30 MPG average. It is amazingly quick with responsive handling and is absolute FUN! I have driven MGs, Triumphs, and even BMW Z-3s, and this car out drives them all. I also think the $$$ value rating is way too low - but then that may be why they are so popular... you get a car that is worth way more then you pay for it.
This car is very underrated. I never really understood it, untill I took mine for a test drive. It just goes. It's not the fastest, not the sleekest, not the most expensive, not the most exotic but none of that matters in this little bad boy. It's alot like driving a big go-kart, only more fun.
Safety rating if older model, check air bags
This review is an update from one I wrote a couple years ago. This MX-5 continues to hold up well. I finally made my first repair at 110,000 miles. The slave cylinder needed to be replaced. According to other owners, this is a fairly common repair at around 100,000 miles. I replaced the 7 year old top but that was a personal choice - not totally necessary. Otherwise, no issues. I'm still on the original springs and shocks and it STILL performs better than nearly any car on the road. My one criticism is that, over the years, I've concluded that this car's full potential cannot be realized in daily driving. Thus, the car is rendered nearly useless. A more appropriate convertible might be a Jeep.
i think for the price i paid i got a great value i loved the stick shift experience
The car is a blast! It drives great, the mileage is remarkable and it never has had any problems. Above all it is a blast to drive with the top up and down. But i must say that nothing beats driving around on a sunny day with the top down and the headspeakers playing your favorite music. We love it!
Excelent car. Fun to drive.
A great car. Everyone should own one sometime during their life.
it is fun, fun fun! Also 28MPG