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.
This car helped me get my mojo back. Its sporty and fun. Great in the rain but haven't driven it in the snow yet. The thing I like best is that I can work on it myself. Mazda seems to have designed the car to be worked on by their owners. Moreover, there a whole world of after market parts, blogs forums and info available. I was able to buy original shop manuals which are invaluable.
This is my fourth Miata - I have driven them since 1995. I really enjoy driving Miatas, and my latest one that I purchased this year is even better than the earlier ones. Very smooth ride, but what I have always liked best is the responsiveness of the steering and acceleration and the really good excellent way it holds the road on turns and curves. My current Miata is my first retractable hardtop and I like the convenience. I was pleasantly surprised to find a bit more trunk space in this car over its predecessors. People have started conversations with me about the car in parking lots and so forth which is a very pleasant experience. Good on gas, and among all four of my Miatas I have needed almost no repairs.