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.
Wonderful little car. When you get this car, you're not just getting a vehicle to get from point A to B. You're getting a lifestyle. You're getting other friends (Miata fanatics) on the road. You're getting looks from girls. You're getting an "in" to a worldwide base of Miata enthusiasts. You're getting exhilaration on your morning commute (I can't tell you how many coworkers complain about the drive to work...but never me!). Mazda has the right to put "pure fun" in the official list of features.
One of the finest driving cars I have owned. The only better driving experience I've had was owning a Lotus Europa. However, the maintenance between the two is worlds apart. I have had virtually no maintenance other than tune ups and tires. As far as handling is concerned, I have a hard time breaking the tires loose in the turns. It can be done, but not easily. This car handles like a slot car. Well built, and takes what you can throw at it!