1998 Mazda MX5 Reviews

1998 Mazda MX5 SE 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired110850 kilometres
Most recent distance110980 kilometres
Previous carFord Focus

Summary:

The perfect dancing partner

Faults:

Air con needs a re-gas.

Right side soft-top latch won't lock down.

Leather seats are frayed/worn.

Centre lockable console hinge broken.

Gear whine (will have it checked at mechanic's).

Radiator replaced.

General Comments:

This is my 3rd (and final) MX5 that I just bought, replacing my "daily drive" Ford Focus.

I have owned the 1993 and 2006 models prior, and had regretted selling them both times.

After owning an NA and NC series, this 1998 NB completes the MX5 range ownership, and what a cracking little car this middle child is.

The NB strikes a nice balance between the simple, pure and raw NA, and the much more refined and everyday livable NC.

I think the NB is the most fun to drive, it has the rawness of an old school sports car like the NA, but with a bit more chassis composure and more go. The curves of the body flow beautifully, and the symmetry is just perfect. It may not have the outright performance of the NC, but it makes it up with even better steering feel and feedback, and it feels a little lighter on its feet with even faster directional changes. That's what I love about the MX5, it's a pure old school sports car that can be used every day, without worrying if it's going to break down on you.

To truly appreciate this great machine, YOU need to drive it! It requires some effort, and rewards by doing everything you ask of it. Look where you want to go and it's there. It accelerates quickly only when you drive it like you mean it, so that means lots of revs because it LOVES it!

Find yourself a super tight road with lots of turns, and you will be in Driver's Nirvana with the perfect companion. Accelerating hard down the straight with the tacho at the pointy end, hard on the brakes with a little tap dance in the foot-well, slotting home the rifle bolt shifter as you turn the wheel, you and your MX5 will be swinging like two dancing champs around the bend, and burning up the dance floor.

A motoring journalist once said "You don't drive an MX5, you dance with it" and that sums up the MX5 perfectly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2012

18th Jan 2012, 09:14

Your second to last paragraph is a poem worth of citation.

1998 Mazda MX5 1.8 EFI DOHC from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.8 EFI DOHC Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired8500 kilometres
Most recent distance9500 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Magna

Summary:

I found myself a bargain

General Comments:

For the past year I have been looking for a 2 seat convertible for under AU$30,000. Thus limiting my options to either a Smart Roadster or a Daihatsu Copen in the new car market. My problem was that I wanted sports car performance with strong reliability and both of these cars performed poorly in road tests in Wheels magazine earlier this year. After taking a Copen for a test drive I found wheel's review to be accurate. The doors and the roof rattled at every bump as well as bouncing around the road like a ping pong ball. The Daihatsu dealer offered me a demonstrator model copen on road for AU$30,000 and after much consideration I refused. I never did like lemon juice! Wheels did recommend in their review of the copen to try a one owner mx5, with about 30,000km for the same price. I started looking in all the car yards for anything that suited this description. My criteria for choosing the MX5 were then, Convertible, one owner, and as new as possible for less than $30,000. I also kept the Toyota MR2 in mind, but never found one with low km's.

I happened to find my Mazda MX5 in a car yard about a month ago, it had been previously owned by a collector who had it since 1998 new, and only drove it on weekend strolls. He was someone with just far too much money! Worth $40,000 brand new I snapped it up for just $28,000 with as many km's as the demonstrator Copen.

The Mazda is simply fantastic, no rattles good seats. However with two people in the car elbows can sometimes clash. The radio is excellent to the point where I am now selling over AU$1,500 worth of car audio equipment, because I just don't need it. Handling is firm, giving me the confidence to corner at full speed. Engine power is satisfactory given the low weight of the car, however the turbo model now available new would go better, but I think it may sacrifice reliability.

I work at a supermarket as well as run my own graphic design business, and the response by the staff at work as well as clients has been WOW. People at work wonder how I can afford a $40,000 car on my slender wage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2004

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 6 reviews