Such a fun little car. I look forward to finding an empty windy road whenever I can and just throwing it into the corners. The sense of confidence it provides and how solid and planted it feels in all conditions. Slowing down for a corner seems so antiquated now. I do have to think twice about making any purchase as the cargo space is extremely limited. Also the interior does get a bit loud on a rough road since with the convertible soft top you are basically driving in a drum. I don't believe there is such a thing as a perfect car, but this is as close as it gets. The few downsides are minor compared to all of the benefits such as Japanese reliability and the sense of fun this car distills in you.
This review is for a 2006 Mazda MX-5. I purchased this vehicle to drive during the summer season, and retained my truck for repair and use during the winter. Initially, the thought was for a motorcycle, but my true desire is road racing, so I opted for a sports car. During discussions with co -workers the statement was made, "if you're getting a car, at least get a convertible." Contemplating this, I thought, "why not?" My first choice was for a Mustang, but these are hard to come by with a manual transmission. During my on line search, I decided to open the search to just convertibles, which returned numerous selections. While reviewing these, four options for the Mazda Miata came back. I had seen this vehicle in the past, thinking how nice the car looked. Again, thinking out loud, I said," give it a shot !" I began calling on these four cars. The first was sold very shortly after my search started. Two of the remaining three were somewhat older than I was looking to purchase. The fourth, the car I purchased was newer, with more miles than I thought it should have, but decided to look at it anyway. When I went to see the car, my first thought was that this was much smaller than the photographs depicted. I am a "big" person, (5'9", 300lbs) and I wasn't sure I would fit comfortably. I started to walk away, but decided to test drive the car. My initial entrance into the car was awkward. Again, this is a two seat sports car. This is not a midsize or truck. Once in the vehicle, I felt somewhat cramped. Again, my thought was that I was too big. I went ahead with the test drive. The car is equipped with a 2.0 litre four cylinder engine mated to a five speed manual transmission. I have driven stick shift vehicles all my life. Many people tell me I'm nuts. When ordering my last vehicle, (2000 Dodge Dakota) the dealer thought I was crazy for ordering the stick. Bottom line is, I'm paying for it, so I get what I desire. My first start with the Mazda killed the engine. Where most vehicles the clutch has some room off the floor, the Mazda starts to grab right from the start. Once I got the car started again, we were off. The car accelerates well. the four cylinder engine produces plenty of power to move the light weight body. Even in fifth gear at highway speed, you can step on the accelerator and the car takes off. The transmission shifts smoothly and cleanly. It was a huge difference from my truck transmission, ( long throw on the stick). The car has a very short shift throw. You can bang through the gears by just using your wrist. Ride comfort is good. Many people who have rode with me comment that the ride is smooth, not bumpy or stiff as they might suspect for this type of car. I have to agree. The car handles very well. I have taken this car on two 'long' trips ( 700 mile each) and find the car comfortable to ride in. One trip was through some very curvy terrain. The car hugs through corners. It was very enjoyable to imagine racing through a road course, cornering hard, slamming through the gears, winding the engine up as you crest a hill, then get hard on the binders and start downshifting again. Gas milage is great. I have been getting 27 mpg in town, and 32 mpg during my long drives. Gas milage could probably be better on the road, but I can't seem to refrain from letting the car wind up and run. As time has passed, I have become very comfortable in the car. It is still awkward to get into with the top up, but the whole idea is to have the top down as much as possible. If you are looking for something that can save you some gas, and is fun to drive, I would recommend one of these Miatas. I have had numerous compliments on the looks of the car. Once you have one, you will start to notice all of the other Miatas runnig around that you didn't see before. I have been surprised by this fact, and am looking forward to joining a Miata club to share the fun.
All my friends love my new MX-5. The word used again and again is classy. Fun to drive, beautiful to look at, I'd definitely buy this car again! A bit difficult to get in and out for the bigger set...but still comfortable overall.