1990 Mazda MX5 Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

1990 Mazda MX5 Eunos Roadster 1.6 petrol

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2014
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired90250 kilometres
Most recent distance92221 kilometres
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

You won't regret it

Faults:

Cracked centre console, caused by heat. They are quite thin, cheap plastic and a common problem I'm told. $130 to replace, so not a big deal.

After having the pop up headlights on for no matter how long, when turning them off, the driver's one pops up and down at least twice, and has carried on 9 times once, and I'm worried one day it won't stop. I think it could be the relay, and it's on my to do list.

General Comments:

Fantastic wee car; bought one after a friend convinced me to drive one after his liking of them for a few years, and have not regretted it one bit. I have the original 1.6 and I can see why most people comment on its short amount of powe, but it pulls along really well and has no trouble keeping up with traffic or passing them on the open road, and still does 0-100 in around 8.6 seconds, so not as slow as people make it out to be, but yes it would be nicer with a bit more.

The throaty little twin cam is a blast to rev up, and the snappy wee 5 speed box a joy to flick through. Really economical; I'm doing around 40 MPG town and highway, and it's around $75 to fill up from just over empty.

Handling is fantastic, go kart like, and I can throw it around corners with no fuss, and it just rewards you with huge grins every time. It's the type of car that will put you in a good mood every time you get in, no matter how bad a day you've had. I only use mine to go to work on Fridays and on sunny weekends, but always look forward to driving it. The power steering is well weighted, and not too heavy or too light thankfully, and very direct.

Not as noisy on the open road with the hood up or down as I thought it would be, and you don't have to have your music up loud to enjoy it. The headrest fitted speakers are a nice touch, but will be upgrading the whole system as the factory speakers don't quite cut the mustard sound quality wise. My car unfortunately has a couple of wee rattles present, but it is 24 years young, and with the stiffer suspension I'm not too surprised. I would recommend a hard top if it is going to be used everyday; it's bit quieter overall, and the heated rear window would be handy on wet days, except if you have an import MX5 with working A/C like mine.

I work for a 4 franchise car dealership (Mazda isn't one of them) and get to drive lots of cars of various ages, prices and mileages, and this would have to be in my top 10 or even my top 5 best cars to drive, despite its age and the little money you can pick them up for. It definitely is worth the bit extra to pick one up that's been well maintained, unless you want a bit of a project. Parts are a plenty and well priced. Overall I have not one regret, and my little 5 was worth every cent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2014

1990 Mazda MX5 1.6i

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.6i Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Skyline

Summary:

Ultra-reliable modern classic, pure sports handling

Faults:

Fogged-up/scratched rear plastic window.

Zipper on rear window frayed.

General Comments:

Fantastic driving position, you feel really like you are in a solid little sports car. The ergonomics are top-notch everything fits like a glove, steering wheel is excellent.

The performance considering this is a non-turbo 1.6 litre engine is excellent, once a few revs are on board the car pulls away quite well.

Handling is just pure sportscar, faultless really, easy to control oversteer, understeer if you wish, steering can be controlled in the wet in corners by the throttle etc etc... don't take any of this as meaning it is 'zippy' in the sense of a small commuter/family car that turns well or anything. What I would emphasize is that for a sports driving enthusiast there are not many cars that handle this well, you can go seriously fast through twisty roads on dry summer days! Loads of grip.

Exhaust sounds excellent, classic note.

Gearbox very smooth and 'snick-snick' style between gears. Very tight and precise.

The only down point is luggage space and wind noise on long distance drives.

It's not a problem day to day, but for 8 hour interstate drives it is quite noisy. I suggest earplugs! They work well and you can still hear the radio fine.

For very keen drivers, newer light weight wheels and performance tyres, packaged with an aftermarket sports suspension system would eat up just about anything in twisty driving!

Not to mention turbo and supercharger kits for straight-line urge.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2003

Average review marks: 8.7 / 10, based on 2 reviews