1990 Mazda MX5 Reviews - Page 2 of 5

1990 Mazda MX5 1.6 liter 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.6 liter 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance238000 miles


Best car ever made!


Nothing! Still has original alternator, water pump, A/C compressor (and freon!), etc., etc.

General Comments:

Best car ever made!

Feels like part of your body rolling down the road and in the twisties.

I get up to 35 mpg highway, and 28 lowest in the city.

Unbelievable handling, like the smoothest roller coaster you've ever been on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2009

1990 Mazda MX5 from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired208000 kilometres
Previous carMercedes-Benz 240D


The originals were best; hence back to a 1990


Used Japanese engine at 208,000 kms due to crankshaft key wear. Original engine was leaking a lot of oil when purchased.

Water pump at 217,000 km had the timing belt done.

General Comments:

I purchased this car as a project car on Labour Day 2006.

Major improvements included a used Japanese engine soon after purchase at 208,000 kms, short crankshaft problems, now have a long crankshaft engine.

New Yokohama AVS tires are a great upgrade from the Michelin X ones. 208,500 kms.

Water pump and timing belt at 217,000 kms.

New paint at 218,500 kms.

New shocks, springs and ball joints at 219,000 kms.

These were all improvements or upgrades, except for the water pump.

This is my third Miata; sold the first after a hip replacement, the 2nd was an import from the USA to make some profit on. The 3rd is a real fixer upper and still a great car to drive in the warmer months, March to Nov. I also ride a motorcycle during the same time period.

We also have a 2001, which is less roomy, smoother, quieter, but not as much fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2009

30th Mar 2012, 12:08

I have a right-hand drive MX5 and had a right total hip replacement 14 weeks ago. My surgeon says there is a serious risk of dislocation if I drive it. How do you manage to get in/out safely? Seems to me there just isn't space to thread my right foot in.

15th Jul 2014, 03:21

Sorry this is old, but I had a right hip replacement and I've owned a 92 and now a 2001, no problems whatsoever, I'm pretty rotund,

getting in... sit down 90° to the seat, once seated swing to the right. Getting out, swing to the left and stand up, couldn't be easier than that!!

That being said, I would probably wait a year after the operation...

1990 Mazda MX5 "A" Package 1.6 Liter Straight 4 from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.6 Liter Straight 4 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired124130 miles
Most recent distance125100 miles
Previous carToyota Camry


Best piece of machinery ever


Headlights won't go down on their own.

Alternator made a couple weird noises, but otherwise works fine.

Dash lights go out when you switch to the brights.

Spark plugs and wires need to be replaced.

General Comments:

First and foremost, everything anyone tells you about the Mazda Miata's handling capability is true. This thing can take any turn at almost any speed. The perfect balance of a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive car makes everyday driving or sporty sprints around town nothing if not fun.

However, acceleration is slow, due to the 1.6 liter four banger. The light weight of the car makes up for some of it, but it is not something to take to a drag race unless you've got some serious mods, or are racing a Geo Metro. However one has to understand that acceleration is not the goal with this car, handling is.

When you sit in the car, you feel like you're really sitting IN the car. Everything is within reach due to the small nature of the car. I don't even have to take my hand off the shifter to reach the stereo.

Aftermarket for this car is amazing. Body styling, interior styling, suspension and drivetrain upgrades are all readily available, and cheap. People are still making things for the NA Miata (model years 1990-1997) long after they've stopped production.

With the top down, it gets pretty noisy. Don't bother with the stereo until you're at a stoplight.

Overall this car is amazing, and i'll make sure to keep it forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2007

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 20 reviews