The Miata exceeded my expectations even though I read many positive reviews, which raised my expectations, before purchasing one. Granted the vehicle is a fun car and intended for just that. Handling and performance are outstanding and build quality is excellent. My wife and I enjoy this car so much that we always opt for it when we take short trips. The other vehicles we have at our disposal are both relatively new and very comfortable for travel. Just not nearly as much fun.
All I can say is that I LOVE THIS CAR! I've had it for about two months now, and it has been perfect. Even though it's a 2004, it had less than 28K miles on it and was in pristine shape. Body: Paint was flawless except for a few minor scratches on the trunk lid. Body panels and door fit and finish is perfect. The spoiler and flush mount headlamps, as well as the factory ground effects complete the look. Engine: Turbocharged 4-cylinder, and boy is it quick. All stock, and I'm still happy with the performance. There is a 1/2 to 1 second turbo lag in first, but if you keep the RPMs up, that's the only time you feel it. 6-speed took a little getting used to - almost jammed it into reverse a few times when shooting for sixth! Nice throaty exhaust note (wasn't expecting that). Interior: This is the only area that could be a bit nicer, but it is by no means a showstopper. Black leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bose sound system, power windows and locks are all nice. No cruise control, heated or cooled seats (cooled would be nice, but this car will not see winter roads). Fairly quiet inside for a convertible, but don't plan on cruising at more than 65 with the top down for extended periods - very loud. Top closed, not too bad even in the 70-80 MPH range. Stereo has two speed sensing modes (top up/down) and 3 ranges for each mode. This works well and keeps you from having to fiddle with the volume. The rear speakers, however, don't seem to work correctly - not sure if this is a quirk, a speaker issue, or an issue with the Bose system. Still troubleshooting. Overall: I really love this car. I test drove some 2004-2005 Nissan 350Zs, and the Miata is much more fun to drive in my opinion (like a big go-cart). The 350Z has some more creature comforts, but the interior seemed to be universally more cheap than the Miata. I also test drove a 2005 Miata (not Mazdaspeed) with sequential manual/automatic, and that was a lot of fun as well - paddle shifters were a nice touch and worked well.
Great Car, and fun, I will enjoy this car for a long time. It is necessary to be very careful with this car,being that the car is so small