1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful 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.