1996 Mazda MX5 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Underpowered and overrated


Chassis rust, but can't complain as it's an old car.

Reliability is spot on, no problems whatsoever.

General Comments:

For me the best thing about this car is the gear shift - short throw, very positive and bolt action like.

I personally like the look of the mark ones - looks like a Lotus Elan. Quite like the simple layout of the interior.

Another cool feature on this particular car is the rubber centre of the steering wheel can be removed to reveal a Momo wheel.

That's the good points.

People often say that proper sports cars shouldn't be all about power and speed, but the MX5 takes the mickey. A 1.8 engine in a pretty light car should be so much keener than this. Even if you rev it to 6-7k, it still isn't pulling very hard and sounds harsh.

You're not actually sat that low. Granted it's a bit lower than a hatchback or saloon, but it's not sports car low. Not particularly comfy on longer journeys, but you can forgive it as it certainly wasn't built for that.

I don't think the feel from the steering and pedal box is anything special, just normal. People talk about the MX5 having almost telepathic steering. I disagree.

Fuel economy is terrible really. I've driven 3.0 V6s in much heavier cars that were maybe 5 MPG worse overall.

Lots of body flex going round bends or over bumps, which is a shame. Modifications can be made to improve this, but it would have been good if Mazda had this sorted as standard.

I thought it was a cool thing to bomb around in at first, but I'm bored now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th January, 2016

1996 Mazda MX5 from North America


Zoom zoom


Nothing, and if it did, it would not be costly to repair because there are a zillion parts available on the market.

The seats are worn a little, and it needs SP wires every now and then.

I have an honest mechanic, and he keeps the masterpiece on the road for under 300/year.

General Comments:

Awesome performance for under 3000 greenbacks.

Handles great, like on rails.

Acceleration is not bad at all, and braking is wonderful.

This is an awesome machine, and needs nothing but stock except a stereo and maybe headers.

I am so impressed with this car; it is amazing and awesome. The only better car I have driven is my Datsun 280ZX.

One of my brothers has a Honda roadster, and the other a Subaru. They both paid tens of thousands more than me, and are majorly jealous when they ride with me. The car does not outperform the Honda and Subaru, but is more awesome and over all, a superior ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2010

1996 Mazda MX5 1.8i 1.8 from UK and Ireland


MG without tears


Nothing much has gone wrong with this car.

Battery, two new tyres and a new exhaust.

Exhaust was only replaced because the previous owner bashed it on a kerb and the tail pipe fell off. I put a stainless steel big bore one on instead!

General Comments:

The 1.8 goes better than the 1.6.

Interior is a bit plain and plastic, but seats are comfortable even on long runs.

Hood is sound, but plastic back window prone to scratching.

Fuel consumption a bit heavy.

Handling is good, but original Japanese Dunlops are tricky in the wet. Michelins grip better.

The most reliable car I have ever had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2002

18th Mar 2006, 14:49

I have owned a 1.8i for around 4 weeks now. I always fancied one and finally got it. All Ill say is GET ONE NOW. They are fantastic, mine has 118,000 on the clock and is running better than the wife's 90,000 mile scenic!!! Yes I get the "hairdresser car" Jokes, but once they ride in it it stops... I commute 90 miles a day in mine with no problem. The roof is good even with a couple of blemishes that I have patched up, but will need replacing at the end of the summer. Brilliant car, best I've had.

5th Oct 2016, 20:25

I eventually sold this car in 2007 when we were moving house. As it got older the only issues it suffered were two broken coil springs. This is a relatively common issue as MX5 get older. The after market alarm fitted had a habit of draining the battery if left for 3 weeks, which was a nuisance during winter.

Other than that, it ran perfectly and was a joy to drive. I was sorry to see it go, but I needed the money at the time.

In 2014 I replaced it with a Mk3 MX5 2.0 litre, which is even better. :)

1996 Mazda MX5 Miata 1.8 from North America


The best handling car for the money!



General Comments:

This is the best handling car I have owned, and I have owned over 20 different sports cars in the last 13 years. This is the most confident feeling car I have owned. Only a BMW or MB would feel similar but at 3 times the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2000

8th Oct 2007, 16:48

Could you please write down these 20 different sport cars?I know that miata is a good car, but I couldn't imagine that it would be so nice... :)

1st Aug 2008, 22:52

Does the author of the last comment own an MX-5?

8th Aug 2009, 01:57

Well I own a 96 Miata and have driven the S2000, Porsche Boxster and 350z. I have got to admit that the Miata really is a great car. When it comes to top speed it can't compete, but when you take it on the curves... whoa...good times. It is a very fun car that I recommend to anyone that wants a sporty car.

1996 Mazda MX5 Miata PEP 1.8 from North America


Nothing yet in 30K.

General Comments:

A true sports car that can shyless compete with almost anything on the road when one knows how to get the most out of it. Sticks like glue without bad surprises at the limit. Amazing gear box on manual transmission.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th September, 1999

1996 Mazda MX5 1.8i 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland


Last six inches of the exhaust pipe fell off - replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

Great looks, great fun to drive, even better with the sun out, ran perfectly for the 18 months and 43,000 miles which I owned it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 1997