1990 Mazda MX5 Reviews - Page 4 of 4

1990 Mazda MX5 Miata (A package) 1.6L twin cam from North America

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6L twin cam Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired144000 kilometres
Most recent distance149000 kilometres
Previous carSaturn SL

Summary:

Therapy on wheels

Faults:

So far, nothing. But the short nose crankshaft might be a problem. Something to keep an eye on.

General Comments:

This car is a therapy on four wheels. I can't drive it (especially with the top down) without forgetting about any problems I might have at the moment. Just pure fun and happiness.

The strong point of this car is definitely handling. You feel totally in control and you have to push it really hard to make it "misbehave".

The 118hp engine is great, with a red line at 7200rpm. To really enjoy it, you have to rev it over 5000rpm.

The interior is simple, nice and functional. The seats are comfortables and the driving position is good.

Surprisingly, this little 2 seater handles great in the snow (with proper winter tires) and is a lot of fun on moderately slippery roads. (let alone parking lots. ;) )

I can't really be objective when talking about my Miata... to me, it's just the greatest sport car on earth. If you like to drive, you'll like the Miata.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2002

1990 Mazda MX5 A package 1.6 DOHC from North America

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance55500 miles
Previous carPontiac Firebird

Summary:

A bargain sports convertible, worth every penny

Faults:

Nothing at all!

Only "normal" maintenance required.

90-93 version's crankshaft may break sometime after a timing belt change, but these occasions are rare.

General Comments:

This is a very reliable sports car that handles like few others. It's not a fast car, but is quick enough and very lively at high engine speeds.

If you don't like shifting, there are only a few automatics available (no 1990's however) as it is a much better car as a manual transmission.

It's perfect for a weekend driver, and great also for everyday as long as you don't mind only 2 seats and a small trunk. Also, this car doesn't like snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2002

9th Feb 2002, 00:21

With proper winter tires, the cars does good in the snow. (At least, mine does. :) )

Also, the "short nose crankshaft" problem only appear on 1990 and early 1991 models.

15th Feb 2004, 17:21

Just thought I'd add something to the original post...I see it mentioned something about there being no 1990 Miatas with an automatic transmission...Perhaps I read the post wrong, but I have a 1990 Miata, plus it has an automatic transmission.

2nd Feb 2005, 11:34

I own a 1988 Honda CRX Si, and I love it, but my girlfriend owns a 1990 Miata, and she as well as I also love it. Its manual tranny is great, because we both like shifting, and you can shift a lot in the Miata. We put 8mm plug wires in it and a racing beat intake on it.

When Miata sites say they sound better than Honda's, I'm ashamed to say that as much as I love my CRX to death, the Miata has a nice deep purr to it that never gets too loud. Not to mention how great the handling is.

28th Nov 2005, 13:42

I have myself a 1990 miata, and yes, those cars are very tricky to drive on wet or snowy roads especially when cornering. I think that by carrying 2 baggs of sand in the trunk (80-100lbs) I improved the handling as miata doesn't have enough weight on the back.

1990 Mazda MX5 Eunos 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired63000 kilometres
Most recent distance11200 kilometres
Previous carFord Ka

Faults:

Plug leads.

Hand brake sticking.

Door lock sticky.

General Comments:

Fabulous handling.

Reasonable performance.

Great build quality and very reliable.

Can't fit the kids in!

Great fun to drive at speeds which won't get you in to trouble.

The best value 'Drivers' car on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th March, 2001

1990 Mazda MX5 Miata 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 kilometres
Most recent distance158000 kilometres

Summary:

A car to own for a lifetime!!!!

Faults:

Spark plug wires.

General Comments:

9 years with my Miata.... I store it every winter and bring it out in the summer. Every year it puts a big grin on my face.

NOTHING has gone wrong since I owned this car... coming up on 160,000 km, I probably need to fix a front end oil seal and I'm on my 3rd set of spark plug wires (they last about 50,000 km.)

On long runs the Miata can be a bit noisy with the top up, buy it with the AC. I simply can't recommend this car enough. As long as you're prepared to live with its impractical configuation, it's a simply superb product. A great car and an even greater 2nd car.

As for performance... some may crave for more power (OK even I do sometimes) but there are TONS of excellent aftermarket kits available (the Miata drive train is EXTREMELY robust) and even stock, my 10 year old MX5 will get to 190 kph with very little drama (just did this in a fit of silliness the other day).

If you like the car you can buy it with 100% security.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2000

29th Jul 2001, 00:04

I recently purchased a 1990 MX-5 of my own and it's a great little car.

24th Sep 2001, 21:12

I wish I still had mine. 2 weeks ago I got hit head on by a Grand Am. I cannot believe how well this car held up and protected me. This was something I was always worried about with this car. I just had some superficial scrapes and was sore, but came out OK. And now I am looking for a replacement.

24th Jul 2008, 17:26

My mx5 had 113,000k when I bought it in 2000. It now has 250,000k and it still makes me smile...Dave.

26th Aug 2009, 18:54

I'm another proud owner of a 1990 Mazda Miata MX5 with 60k.

I enjoy driving it and in traffic too.

Any info would be helpful.

1990 Mazda MX5 1.6 inj from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 inj Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance76000 miles
Previous carFord XR2i

Summary:

Not the fastest car in the world but with handling like that it doesn't need to be

Faults:

Battery died, but this is very common due to the fact that it is extremely small. Catalytic converter had to be replaced due to the heat shield corroding on the original. Bought a new one through the owners club. Much cheaper than one from Mazda.

General Comments:

Excellent car. Buy one now. The only reason we sold ours was due to the birth of our daughter. These cars have a serious feel good factor. Only thing to make sure of is a full service history and if it's done over 60,000 miles make sure it's had its major service including the cambelt.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2000

1990 Mazda MX5 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 1.6
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10

Faults:

I have had no problems with this car. Only ordinary maintenance has been required to keep it running like new.

General Comments:

The MX-5 is a fun car. It is for tall people a bit small and trunk space is minimal. Smooth running engine. Seems very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 1999

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 19 reviews