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.
The Miata is really about as much "bang for the buck" that's available . . . basically everything a true "sports car" should be: high-revving engine, great handling, comfortable interior with nice, intuitive controls, nice low "sports car" stance, and the all-important Japanese dependability.
First of all, I am not a car person. I have always had Jeeps or trucks. I started looking for a car that would get better gas mileage for my commute to work. The only car that I came across that I liked the looks of was this Miata. Never haven driven one, I had no idea what to expect. When I first saw it, although I fell in love with the sporty look, I was a little concerned about how tiny it was. As soon as we were in and heading down the road...I WAS SOLD! This little car has so much personality! It loves the road and especially curves. It has great pep and shifting takes no effort. There isn't a lot of extra room on the inside, but I usually travel alone, so for me, it's perfect. Even with a friend, as long as you aren't worried about luggage space, it's fine. I call this car my "psychologist", because driving it is therapeutic....it is just a joy to drive!! I would highly recommend this car to anyone who is wanting a fun little car that gets great gas mileage!!!