If you are a person whose passion is improving his driving skill set, this is a perfect tool. The MX5 will reward you with increasing satisfaction and fun as you learn to master driving skills. Routinely switch off traction control after engine start-up to obtain linear throttle response and to learn the car's traction characteristics. This car is quite capable even in stock form; resist the urge to modify its performance until you have fully utilized all it has to offer. When you are not in the mood for spirited driving, you can chill and enjoy the scenery and the MX5 will not annoy you with a bad temper. Some 2008s had a defect in the manual trans. Mazda fixed mine under warrantee. THX!
It is true what others are raving about this car...
written on 03-21-2012
Still kicking myself for not checking this car out earlier. This is not kind of Sport edition, SE of other pretend to be sport cars off the regular boring cars. It was built from ground up. I finally test drove a few and that was it - I had to have one. Manual is one of the best I ever drove, but for some reason, I just could not fully enjoy the car with manual. Fortunately, dealer had 2007 PRHT w/auto, besides the fact it had 60,000 miles on it, it drove same as brand new one. Both me and my wife were blown away with joy this car delivers. This car sent shock waves through my family. I never seen any other car to make such effect before. We own 2008 now and discovering even more joy.
This car has great handling but there's room for improvement. What it lacks in power makes up for taking turns at 40 mph. For what it is, it's a great value for the amount of fun you will have. Yes, the interior is a little "cheap", but you get what you pay for. If that bothers you spend couple bucks and put some nice leather pieces in it. I've heard a million times that the car is girlie. To be honest, I've only gotten compliments ever since. I've had it for 3 months (an automatic), no problems and smiles everyday. As a daily driver back and forth to work the auto is great.
Before buying my 2008 Sport Hardtop 5-speed, my main concerns were riding comfort and gas mileage. After experiencing my first long trip (5905 mi), both concerns are gone! Ride is firm, but comfortable, with exception of older concrete surfaces that can produce fairly harsh jitters. Driver seat is very supportive, especially the back. Overall ride is very good, not great, and very quiet for a convertible. If you're not a lead foot, you can get very good gas mileage. I've gotten 32.5 mpg in/around town, and 35.6 mpg total over the long trip above (as high as almost 42 mpg in slower mountain driving, and low of 33 mpg at sustained highway speeds of 70/75 mph. (All mileages calculated.)
I have had my Miata for 21,000 miles without a major problem, other than routine maintenance. I have been asking other car companies to put this formula together, but only Mazda wants to do it. Even if you already have a truck/van/SUV that you are happy with, I would strongly recommend this car. The fuel and maintenance savings alone of using this for regular trips would almost pay for one of the most dependable machines I've ever owned.