Used Wheels Review: 1999 to 2005 Mazda Miata
|Used Wheels Review: 1999 to 2005 Mazda Miata|
99 to 05 Miata might be the market’s most reliable buy in an entertaining car
Model: 1999 to 2005 Mazda Miata
Vehicle Type: Two-seat convertible roadster
It’s a fact of life — supply and demand dictates that seeking out a used convertible in late summer or early fall can give shoppers access to a great deal they can take advantage of when next-year’s warm-weather travel season arrives. Remember, that seller who hasn’t been able to pa#s on that used ragtop all summer probably doesn’t want to store it for another winter.
So bid low, pay cash, and reap the benefits.
If you’re in the market and after something fun, affordable and cheap to run, be sure to check out the last-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The last generation of this popular two-seat roadster was available from 1999 to 2005 inclusive, and featured a lightweight body and four-cylinder engine for a pleasing combination of performance and fuel efficiency.
Thousands of owners enjoy the Miata’s driving character, maneuverability, performance, economy and styling. Of course, trunk space is limited, and there’s no rear seat. If these are issues for you, look for a bigger convertible like a Ford Mustang or Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Second-generation Miata’s got a 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine with between 122 and 142 horsepower, depending on the year in question. All units were rear-wheel drive, and shifted by a five or six-speed manual gearbox. A four-speed automatic was also available.
GX or GS designations were given to basic and mid-range models, while GT and Limited models topped out the model range. Look for features like antilock brakes, Bose audio, power accessories, leather seating and a CD-changer.
Note that a special high-performance Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata was available as well with a 178-horsepower turbo engine. These models are fairly rare, and will cost more to fuel, maintain and insure-- though they’re a hoot to drive.
What Owners Like
Not surprisingly, MX-5 owners say they enjoy agile handling dynamics, fun-to-drive performance, and nearly instant access to that ‘fun in the sun’ motoring experience their rides are famous for. Most report excellent shifter feel and fuel economy, too.
What Owners Hate
Larger drivers typically wish the MX-5 offered up more room for occupants and cargo, and some owners complain of a rough ride on some surfaces.
Inspect the convertible roof mechanism for smooth operation, checking closely for signs of rips or excessive wear. Does the roof or its storage area smell like mildew? If so, there may be a leak. A duct tape patch job is a bad sign, too. Double and triple check the roof mechanism for proper operation in both directions.
You’ll also want to check for signs of mildew, moisture or rust in the foot wells and under the carpeting in the trunk area. Have a look around the body for rust—especially under the rocker panels and on the bottom of the doors.
Under the hood, check for signs of oil leakage down the side of the block, which could indicate a bad gasket. Avoid models with extensive aftermarket upgrades unless you’re familiar with Mazda tuning, and have a Mazda mechanic give the car a once-over ahead of your purchase, just to be safe.
Finally, remember that sports cars are likely to have been driven hard— so check the condition of the clutch, brakes and tires before agreeing to purchase. You’ll want to know the vehicle’s seller isn’t trying to pa#s an expensive tire replacement or brake-job onto you.
A history of Japanese reliability and sports-car expertise has served Miata / MX-5 owners well. Find a good deal on a clean used Miata, and you’ll join a proud and happy community of thousands of loyal owners.
Source: Used Wheels Review: 1999 to 2005 Mazda Miata | The Chronicle Herald
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|09-08-2012, 10:33 PM||away - #2|
I hate seeing men drive this car yo...
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