2001 Mazda MX5 LS 1.8 DOHC VVT from North America


Still the most fun you can have for any price!


PCM needs replacement for BS reason.

That's it...

General Comments:

So this is my third Mazda Miata. The cars are incredible! My first and second, 1994/1995 respectively, were both great cars, but this one is slightly faster, rides much better, has much better looking interior and exterior, and is quieter.

The car handles better than my old NA Miatas, but does not feel quite as snappy. The projector beam headlights are worlds better, fogs are nice if kinda pointless (car is like a foot off ground!) Stronger engine combined with Sport model bigger brakes and extra frame bracing make this car awesome. I have not had car long, but expect it to hold up just like my old NA Miatas. Speed tranny is just as brilliant as old ones. Glass window is nice touch too.

The problem is that ten minutes after driving car off lot I've got Check engine light! Apparently, 01-02 Miatas had misprogrammed computer that results in no VVT action in the motor. Drivability is fine but I'm jipped out of about 5 horsepower and it's $1500 for a properly programmed computer! Oh well, I'll get my hands on a 2003 computer and that should fix problem.

Also I've got the full appearance package which is growing on me.

Midnight blue Mica paint is stunning! I'll keep this car till I can afford a Mazdaspeed Miata!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2008

2001 Mazda MX5 1.8i from UK and Ireland


As advert says, "zoom zoom zoom"


Nothing has gone wrong with the car since I've had it. The electronic key fobs tend take a few presses before they open/lock the doors.

I have noticed on my MX5 (black paint non metallic) it's a very soft paint job. This means it's very susceptible to paint chips caused by road dirt.

The only other issue I have is heavy smell of petrol on startup. I believe this to be caused by the catalytic converter not being warm enough to burn the emissions off. Don't seem to smell the petrol once the car is warm.

General Comments:

The MX5 is excellent fun to drive. At first I did not like the gear box, as it made a lot of noise. (mechanical) It's now grown on me, and I really enjoy changing gear.

The engine is high revving and full of life. I would advise people to look at the 1.8 engines, as you get that little bit more power.

The inside of the car is nice; a lot of plastic, but makes you feel that you're inside a cockpit rather than inside a car!

The MX5 is made to last, and has been tried and tested; a great car all round.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2007

2001 Mazda MX5 SE 1.8 from North America


A car that keeps teaching you new things


Not a thing that wasn't covered by warranty, recall, or technical service bulletins.

Only replaced the battery (after original was over 4 years old) and a couple of small dashboard light bulbs.

General Comments:

Wonderful handling, reliability and ergonomics.

How did they miss not providing a tiny glove compartment light?

Vent windows that open would also be a welcome detail.

Also, maybe someday, a 2+2 model?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2006

6th Sep 2012, 14:01

My comment to the idea a Miata should have a back seat.. Is don't buy a Miata if for some reason you really feel like you need a back seat.

Also glove compartment light... really... no comment needed...

2001 Mazda MX5 1.8iS 1.8 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


A British sports car for the Noughties


One off weird problem. Came out to the car in the morning and it fired up immediately as usual. However, it coughed and stalled, then refused to restart. Tiny boot-mounted gel battery has virtually no reserve capacity so it went flat after a minute or so of intermittent cranking. Left it for the day (and got a lift to work). Came back that evening and put a set of jump leads on from my neighbour's car. It fired up immediately and has been fine ever since! Dealer checked it over and found nothing amiss.

General Comments:

Fun, good looking little soft top with a decent turn of speed and with amazing handling.

Real old-school fun car with a rorty engine note, hairtrigger throttle response, and a classic front engined, rear wheel drive chassis which responds exactly as such a thing should. Sharp, but not intimidating, with very quick steering and an absolute refusal to understeer. Reels in all kinds of more expensive machinery given a good set of challenging B-roads.

It makes me laugh to read about the all electric hoods on more expensive rivals. The manual system on the 5 is so easy it renders such a heavy and complex contraption completely unnecessary. The hood can be raised or lowered in about 5 seconds without leaving the driver's seat. Push a button on each of the two catches near the top of each A-pillar and pull the catches back, then simply lower the roof over your left shoulder. To refit, pull it up into place from behind you, make sure the catches are lined up with the holes and click them shut. Less than 5 seconds to drop the hood and less than 10 to refit it. Who needs electrics?

Apart from a weird starting problem that occurred once and never came back, it's been totally reliable. Doesn't need a drop of oil between services, returns an average of 30 mpg (not great, but not bad) and sounds fantastic. But the best thing is it's the only one of today's soft tops that captures the essence of what the traditional 60's British sports car was about. Lightness, simplicity, amazing balance, seat of your pants chassis communication, and of course, enough power to leave the average car standing, without being so quick as to be prohibitively expensive to run or insure. It's also a totally useable everyday proposition with a cracking heater, no leaks or damp smells, supportive seats, and the same level of toys as you'd find on any mid-spec repmobile. 60's fun with Noughties reliability and quality.

Why, oh why didn't the British think of it?!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th July, 2004

7th Feb 2005, 11:22

Thanks for a great no nonsense review, it's nice to read a review that isn't littered with childish expletives and references to how much better it is than this or that. I've always liked the MX5 and it really has a great interior, dashboard etc... and a lovely retro feel that is not at all contrived. Thanks again, very informative.

2001 Mazda MX5 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Clutch judder sometimes.

General Comments:

Great car, fast and superb to drive at any speed with a super little gear shift, perfect steering, quality controls and cockpit plastics.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2004

2001 Mazda MX5 Special Edition (6 speed) 1.8 from Spain


A babe-magnet!


The only slight problem is a scratch caused by an 8 year old pushing a shopping cart into the wing.

No complaint as you can't really see it.

Other than this the car is immaculate without having any faults.

General Comments:

Living in the Canary Islands it very rarely rains so the MX5 proves to be a great little convertible to own in this climate.

The car is a head turner - it is actually the 6 speed special edition - and benefits from extra performance due to the close ratio gearing. The car looks beautiful and is often mistaken for a Porsche.

The leather seats are comfortable and grip well, they do not collect heat meaning that the roof can be left down all day and you don't burn yourself getting in.

The cabin is well laid out with all components easily locatable to make adjustments without taking your eyes off the road.

The centre console is a great size and can be used to store all of those essential items such as the detachable Sony radio faceplate and in my case sun-tan lotion.

The glove box is lockable which means any thieving tykes can't make-off with the contents.

The best thing is its appeal to the fairer sex - women love the car and often stop and talk to me if I'm parked or waiting in traffic.

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

Review Date: 8th April, 2002