I bought my 2000 SE 4 months ago and I.m driving it for my daily commute.It still keeps me excited and makes me wake up early than I used to just so I can have more time to drive it. Problem is I've been putting more miles to it than I should, approximately 3000 miles a month, and I get to work late almost every time. But I always get to work with a smile on my face :-)
I live in south Florida and this is my 3rd Miata. I very rarely drive with the top up. I have been known to drop the top to drive to Publix a half mile away. I had a '93 and then a '95 which I sold with 190,000 miles on it. Bought my 2000 with 36,000 (almost brand new!). This car is much better than the type 1 cars. The trunk has finally been designed to hold something and I do not miss the barn door headlights. In my old cars the trunk would hold my Les Paul case but not an SG case. The new trunk is redesigned to easily hold a larger guitar case. Some people laugh at a musician owning a Miata but I can pack 2 electric guitars, 1 acoustic guitar, my amp, keyboard, tenor sax and misc. stuff.
This car has been a blast. Super reliable and fun to drive. This is my daily driver as well and the car saw an icy New Jersey winter last year. Was fine with a set of 4 snow tires. I only broke the end loose once. These cars are a great buy and will last well beyond 200k miles with some TLC. I think the 160-180hp range would have been better suited for the car as it feels kind of slow down low with lack of torque. If you're looking for a low maintenance, reliable 2 seater convertible, this car is probably for you.
This is my second Miata and the rush of endorphins that these car are capable of inducing has not waned at all in my almost ten years of Miata ownership. There's nothing on the road as inexpensive to own and reliable while being as much fun. You can't help but fall in love with these cars! Sublime handling, intuitive steering, shifting is a pleasure. Second generation (like the 2000) offers some nice improvements glass window, stiffer body, etc. while not being much (if any) heavier. I miss the pop-up lights though.
Miatas are pure driving enjoyment. Simple and lightweight they thrive on winding roads. My 2000 has 32000 miles on it and has been rock solid reliable. The body is rigid, with only mild cowl shake. Interior space is OK if you're under 6 feet. A tilt wheel would be nice, but otherwise, the dash layout is clean and easy to read. The manual tranny is easy to shift with short throws. One of the nicest benefits of a Miata is that you don't need to spend a fortune to have fun. I'm sorry I waited so long to get one.