2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

Pros & Cons

  • Tremendous fun to drive, excellent steering and handling, glass rear window with defogger.
  • Small trunk, drones during freeway trips, tight cabin.
List Price Estimate
$1,891 - $4,164

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Edmunds' Expert Review

It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. The Miata defines the spirit of the modern roadster.

2003 Highlights

Only minor changes are in store for the Miata this year. Base models receive standard 16-inch alloy wheels, a strut-tower brace, larger brakes and a child seat anchoring system. Cloth replaces vinyl on the top of the LS model, and tan leather gives way to a lighter parchment-colored hide. Also, the LS receives aluminum-colored interior trim and, for the first time, black leather is available as an option. New options include a cargo net, an auto-dimming mirror with an integrated compass and outside temperature display and special bezels for the headlights and taillights.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Only possible car for short people
Kara,01/11/2010
I'm five foot and have the greatest visibility I've ever had with any car in the Miata. Has strong headlights, amazing steering, quick and easy to put the top down (at a traffic light. The Miata is small, elegant and always smiling. Greatest car ever and would recommend it to anyone who is under 6'2".
Saved my life... best little car
Sherylm,09/25/2007
I have driven this sweet little car for the last few summers, and enjoyed every minute. Today, I got t-boned on the driver's side by someone running a stop sign, and I'm alive. Really sore, but alive. The outside of the car was really damaged, but the frame protected me well enough, that I can write this review. Not only was she beautiful and fun, but she turned out to be the best car in the most important sense. Thank you.
The biggest go-kart in the world
DDR2,04/25/2009
The title sums it up. Extremely agile car and light on its feet, like a go- cart. It's about as roomy as one too. But those who appreciate this car for what it can do won't be concerned about that. Acceleration isn't very strong either but again, if you want straightline acceleration, go buy a musclecar. This car belongs on roads with tight curves. It's easy to drive and own so far. The only improvements would be bigger trunk and more grunt. Otherwise, this is a fine piece of machinery.
My Hobby
RLM,12/17/2008
I am a suspension and handling addict and this car answers the call and more. I have the six speed with Bilstein shocks and limited slip differential in triple black. For me the car has just the right horse power as I enjoy using the six speed to make the car go rather than just hitting the gas. I enjoy the interaction with the car and the road especially with the top down.

Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed manual
Gas
142 hp @ 7000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed manual
Gas
142 hp @ 7000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed manual
Gas
142 hp @ 7000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 26 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed manual
Gas
142 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Used 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

The Used 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata is offered in the following submodels: MX-5 Miata Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Roadster (1.8L 4cyl 5M), LS 2dr Roadster (1.8L 4cyl 5M), SE 2dr Roadster (1.8L 4cyl 6M), and Shinsen 2dr Roadster (1.8L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

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Which used 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miatas are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miatas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda MX-5 Miata for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,075.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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