This is a fun sports car to drive. Reminiscent of the MGs and Triumphs of the 60's and 70's. Although the suspension is stiff it handles very well and takes a fast curve as if it were a slot car. Very little extra room, although seating is very comfortable. It has been mechanically sound and purrs like the European cars of the past. Not for someone who needs luxury, a smooth ride, and supersonic acceleration. Raising or lowering the top takes ten seconds. Highway driving is smooth and it has no problem keeping up with traffic. A great second car. I probably won't drive it in the winter because of rear wheel drive and limited ground clearance.
In reverse, it goes "mooz mooz." I have a GT, manual transmission, cloth top. It's red. Mazda calls it "true red" but I call it either "very, very red" or just "RED." Okay, let's get the negatives out of the way...none of these are unexpected in the sweetest little roadster on the planet: (1) Poor rear-quarter visibility with the top up. Very important to adjust mirrors properly to compensate. On the other hand, with the top DOWN, visibility is pretty much unimpeded :) (2) Not much luggage space. Duh. Will be shopping around for a trunk-lid luggage rack. (3) Cabin's a bit noisy at freeway speeds. Cloth top and all. Duh. (4) With the top down at freeway speeds, there seems to be a bit of buffet in the cabin right around 70 mph. A little faster or slower and it goes away. Oh, a couple more things: (4) It's 2012, so how come no USB port on the stereo? Have to plug my iPhone/iPod in through the Aux port. (5) From a straight-on front view, the car looks like a silly Japanese cartoon character with a big goofy grin. Never mind that I'm wearing the SAME goofy grin every time I get out of the car, it's somehow just not right :) (6) Never had a car that required premium gas before. Did you know premium costs more? Now, the positives: EVERYTHING ELSE. The current NC MX-5 GT's have pretty much all the performance goodies as the 2004/2005 MazdaSpeed Miatas except the turbo, but the bigger motor almost makes up for it. It MOVES. It CORNERS. It STOPS in a hurry. It WANTS to be driven. It is engineered so well that the whole is simply much greater than the sum of the parts. You can almost feel the car break into that goofy grin when you start down a twisty two-lane country road. Can't wait for autocross season to start next spring -- the tires should be just about down to racing depth by then :) The top can be raised or lowered from the driver's seat in about 5 seconds with a little practice. I've been practicing :) I've never had a car with lots of luxury stuff before so excuse me if this is old hat to you, but I am learning to love: (1) Heated leather seats! Sounded decadent to me, but comes in really handy for driving with the top down in cool weather. (2) Remote sensor key! Still forgetting that I don't have to take the key out of my pocket to unlock the door, get in and drive off. (3) Auto-dimming rear-view mirror! (4) Steering-wheel-mounted cruise-control and stereo controls. (5) Thermostatic climate control. It just works. Again, handy for driving with the top down in cool weather :) I am getting better than the EPA 21/28 mileage -- right around 30 crusing at 75+ on the interstate. Yay. Not terribly practical as primary transportation. But did I mention that it's the sweetest little roadster on the planet? It's just plain FUN TO DRIVE and will put a grin on your face.
This Miata is a fun fabulous vehicle. As the weather gets warmer and I can ride around with the top down I just smile the entire time. It corners well and accelerates nicely. The top comes down and up in a few seconds.