1995 Mazda MX5 SE 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Turbo ragtop fun fun fun!


Rear wheel bearing at about 110k.

The soft-top can leak (very slow drip) at the rubber join half way along the drivers window - but I have a hard top now instead.

Leather seats wear quite easily. Cloth seats are better in this respect.

Not much fun if you never get a bit of empty road to play on.

These are really minor niggles - in 60k of driving (with an aftermarket turbo) over 7 years it's been rock solid!

General Comments:

Great fun to drive when traffic is light - the 1600 is even better!

I read a lot about the image issues on the forums, but the only comment I've had was from someone who thought it was a Ferrari! (yeah it was dark at the time, but still)

It's been a lot of fun tinkering with it, going from a modest sports car to a turbo-terror which can out-do most factory turbo cars with ease. A lot of parts are interchangeable with RX7s (diff, injectors), 323s (engine, wheels) and even Toyotas (wheels, injectors) and Hondas (wheels).

Have done basic servicing myself - it's never *needed* to go to the dealer or mechanic, other than to buy the odd oil filter.

Engine is seriously tough, having put up with 7yrs/65km of turbo'd driving (10psi, and about double the hp) without a hiccup.

Fuel economy is OK, 10-12km/l. Only a smidge less than our Toyota bB, but a lot faster and more fun.

If I was doing it all again I'd get an early 1600, as they are purer, fun, rev-happy little puppies!

As much as I dislike being on display, the car really does shine :) when the top is down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 2008

1995 Mazda MX5 Power Equipment Package 1.8 Straight 4 from North America




Timing Belt snapped at 105k - regular maintenance is at 60k, obviously never done.

Dipstick handle broke off (common).

Pilot bearing on clutch starting making noise - went ahead and changed whole clutch.

General Comments:

Great little car. Fun to toss around in corners - is like driving a go cart! Maintenance and repairs is reasonably easy and fairly cheap; I changed my clutch in my garage with a buddy's help, complete setup for less than 100 bucks. Timing belt change, which is the major maintenance item on this car, including a new water pump, assorted seals and gaskets, was less than $200 doing it in my garage.

I use this car for commuting back and forth to work. It gets approx. 33-34mpg on the highway, a little less in city driving. Seats are comfortable, but driver's tends to wear on outside bolster. There are a ton of aftermarket items for this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2007

18th Feb 2009, 23:07

Update: I made this original posting a couple of years ago.

I am now at 150k miles on this car. Other than the timing belt and clutch, I've changed nothing else, and nothing since the last update (except tires). This has just about been the cheapest car to own I've ever owned. Nothing else has gone wrong, I've been completely satisfied with this car.

Tires make a big difference on this car. Originally I bought cheap tires to replace the originals that were on the car (they went 95k miles!!). They were lousy tires - got good gas mileage, but had crappy traction and wore pretty fast. The replacement tires I bought have dropped the gas mileage a little bit, but they're a lot stickier and the car's a lot more surefooted and comfortable ride.

All in all, highly recommended.

1995 Mazda MX5 1.8 from North America


Don t know how much fun I missed till I got one


Nothing, everything runs great although it has the typical Mazda HLA ticking until warmed up, and the top pinched itself.

General Comments:

When I got this car it was rough cosmetically. Mechanically the car was sound. After some minor bodywork, major detailing, and replacement of OEM parts, I have had a ball driving the Miata. Summer cruising top down is a blast, and the car is toasty in the winter. It runs like a swiss watch in all departments and looks like it will for lots more miles. Snowy/icy driving is totally out after some hairy experiences.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2004

12th Dec 2005, 12:12

I made the original post on the 95 Miata around 2 years ago.

This year the Miata has dedicated winter tires on all 4 corners. Driving on snowy roads is not a big deal anymore with the all-seasons in the garage and the new tech winter traction tires on.

17th Feb 2006, 03:27

The Miata, (or MX5 as we know it in New Zealand) is quite sensitive to tyre pressure on wet, snowy or slippery roads, it needs a bit less pressure than normal to handle the conditions, but will do so with aplomb so long as the tyres are good and the pressure is right.

That aside, it is always important to drive to the conditions.

20th Feb 2006, 11:10

Here in the States, if you don't have the right gear, (tire in this case) for the Miata in the snow, plus about 80 lbs of weight over the rear end, you better leave it in the garage when the white stuff appears.