Cheap and fun
Clutch slave cylinder failed.
This is absolutely the best car in the world. It bought it as a fun third car. I have taken it with me from California, to Michigan to Texas every time I have moved for work. I have sold other cars so I could keep this one. Every time I think of how impractical it is to own, I think, well I'm going to sell it... so I take it for a spin, and realize I will never sell it.
It has been my driver when my "new" cars (Mercedes and chrysler) were in for repair. Since I use it for fun only (unless my newer cars are in for repair) the battery has required replacement twice in 8 years. The clutch slave cylinder also sprung a leak, and required replacement. The headlights are the originals the car left japan with.
I was motivated to write my review by the people that complain about the trunk, and the other people that complain this isn't a real sports car; you my friends are HATERS. The Miata isn't about 0-60 times or fitting golf clubs in the trunk. The car is an absolute joy to drive. This car doesn't exist to get you somewhere, it exists to drive simply for the pleasure of driving. The shifter is perfect, the pedals are perfect, the steering is beautiful. It's also a convertible to boot.
I've taken this car on trips up and down the California coast, Angeles Crest highway, Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina, and even into Mexico as far south as Ciudad Victoria. It's a joy on short tight roads, nothing can beat it.
It is a chore to drive on the interstate, only because idiots like to tailgate you, even if you do 70mph in the slow lane.
I replaced the shocks with Tokico shocks to try to improve the handling, but frankly the stockers were better.
Besides the batteries and slave cylinder, I've only replaced brakes and tires. After 14 years and one rear window replacement, the top is due for replacement, but so what? The paint still shines like new, the interior is holding up really well, the car still feels "tight".
The only time the AC couldn't keep up with the heat was in 105f / 75% humidity in Austin Texas, in bumper to bumper traffic.
I'm a big 5' 11" guy, and I haven't had too much trouble driving it 500 miles a day. I've taken naps in it. It is a 2 seater, so there isn't space to lay the seat down and chillax like in a station wagon. On those 500 mile days, it does get monotonous to not be able to change seating positions while on those long trips, but again, it would be stupid to complain about this knowing about it going in.
I've made some modifications to the car; parts are easy to get, and the popularity of the Miata means there are lots of parts to choose from... cheap tops, better tops with glass windows, beautiful stay fast canvas tops with glass windows, wheels, tires, everything you can imagine. The car is easy to work on, I do my own maintenance on it.
My car had the noisy lifter problem, but I solved it by using Mobil 1 synthetic oil, and a Mobil 1 oil filter with a good anti-drain back valve, unlike the parts store cheap filters.
The engine is zippy and peppy, but being the first across the intersection isn't what this car is about. Girls love the way it looks, and love to ride in it, what's not to like? People that complain about this car would find faults with the Sistine Chapel.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th November, 2008