An exciting car to drive, despite the lack of horsepower. Has the advantage but also disadvantages of a convertible. Advantage: top down+summer afternoons = heaven on earth. Disadvantage: More moving parts/joints = more creaks, leaks, and breaks, sub-par sound insulation, increased cost and weight with decreased rigidity. Supposedly has a manual shifter from heaven, but I live in a city with traffic from hell (LA) so opted for the auto, which I've learned to love, especially with the paddle shifter and engine braking capability. Compactness of the car has taught me to make do with less.
Through my brief history of owning an array of sports cars, this Miata is the least expensive car I've bought, yet it is simply the best out of them all... It may seem hard to believe, but I WILL NOT lie to you. I've owned a '06 Evo IX MR, '09 e90 M3 Sedan, '10 RX-8 R3... and this MX-5 Miata beats them all. I've matured into a smarter and more expererienced driver, expecially after attending several HPDE events... And this particular car is the pinnacle of pure sports cars. It has all the driving enjoyment you could ever want or need. Having the option of going top-down is an exciting bonus. This car really connects with the driver and becomes in harmony with one another.
I just love Miata. But I had to do a lot of modifications to the 2012 to make it right. The Stereo is horrible. Is it even stereo? The sun visors dont rotate, and are made of cheap plastic. I guess nobody in Japan drives south in the morning or north in the evening, because if they did, they would soon tire of driving with your hand up by your ear to block the sun! And there is a huge area in the corner of the window that isnt blocked by the visor. There are not USB ports! Lastly, the horn! How could they mis-design the horn switch?? It's this tiny little area in the middle of the steering wheel. That said, I couldnt help but get another Miata.
I bought this car this spring & have had the summer to drive it. I just love the way it drives and riding with the top down. Despite that, I probably won't buy another. The interior is very badly designed. The drink holders are directly in the line that your arm must move to shift, and so are unuseable unless you want to risk dumping coffee all over the interior. The door pocket holders will hold nothing but a plastic water bottle. The interior material stains easily and may not come clean. The carpet is very cheezy. I live in a rural area and limit how far I take it from home due to the lack of a spare tire. There is no way that I'd find a replacement tire in rural Michigan.
I'd never considered driving an MX-5 until I happened to walk past one at a Mazda dealership one day. I'd always thought of them as girly cars, as too small, too slow, too something for me. But I liked the look of this third generation and the price surprised me. I went home that night and researched the car. To my surprise, I found respectable publications and enthusiasts loved the MX-5 for its ease of operation, near-perfect handling and balance, quick acceleration, and reliability. I went back for a test drive and had the keys to one within a week. There are faster cars, bigger cars, and definitely pricier cars out there. But I don't think many below $100k are this fun to drive.