1993 Mazda MX5 B package 1.6 L 16v from North America




The clutch master cylinder went soft at 64,000 miles; replacement cost $105 including installation.

General Comments:

First, this is a cheap car. My monthly payments are equal to what I paid for a new 1992 Corolla, and the term of the loan is three years rather than five. So if you can afford to buy a new economy sedan, you can also afford a low-mileage used Miata. Thus far it has been quite reliable (and my standards for reliability come from eighteen years of owning Corollas, which are indestructible!) It gets 28 miles per gallon, and insurance is actually slightly less than for a Corolla!

Though the engine was only rated at 116 HP, it goes fast enough to keep me entertained. Even at over 100 MPH with the top down, it feels secure and stable. Its braking is very good and cornering is superb, the best I've ever experienced. I've pushed it pretty hard through corners, but my nerve has always run out before I could get it to let go of the road; the one time I got it to slide was on sand-covered asphalt, and even then it recovered gracefully.

The interior is compact but not cramped for me at 5'-11", and it is laid out simply and attractively. This is the first convertible I ever owned, and driving under the open sky is delightful, especially at night. The manual top is very easy to raise and lower, and during two Florida monsoon seasons it hasn't leaked at all, even in the hardest rain. The power steering is effortless yet gives good feedback, and the shifter is fast and precise. All in all it is a very comfortable ride. As for the exterior, viewed from any angle, this is an subtly and flawlessly beautiful car.

It doesn't have a rear seat, and it won't keep up with Porsches or BMWs on the Autobahn or with Hummers or Broncos in the Baja 1000, but for what I want out of a car, I wouldn't want to change a single thing, my Miata is perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2001

1993 Mazda MX5 B Package 1.6i 16V four from North America


Softtop came loose from frame rail above driver's seat. The rare dribble from door window seal at the top of the doors where the roof folds back, and even then only in the worst downpours. Must take care to keep from scratching PVC plastic rear window. Nothing else went wrong.

General Comments:

Bought the car in October 97 on strengths of character, reliability, and performance. Another driver failed to yield right-of-way and took out my front end in April; the car was totaled. Although the seatbelt and airbag did what they were supposed to, I now have had second thoughts about driving something that small during rush hour.

The Miata is one of, if not the most engaging cars to drive on a winding road. Handling rates a 15 out of 10 and the 1.6l engine motivates the car decently (although I fitted a high-performance exhaust, header, and air intake). Great gear shift, too... feels like an electric switch.

I still miss the car terribly... could almost cry when I think about it. I will buy another but not as a commuter car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 1998