1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata User Reviews

1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 23 reviews

  • Performance:4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5
  • Appearance:4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5
  • Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 / 5
  • Overall: 4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 16 reviews
"handling" 9 reviews
"fuel economy" 6 reviews
"power" 5 reviews
"reliable car" 3 reviews
CONS
"power" 5 reviews
"fuel economy" 3 reviews
"storage" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 23 1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews.

RLRemmers writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
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Family Car:
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Overall:
5

Pros

Versatile little two seat sporty car. The light weight mean it can embarrass many sports cars on twisty roads.

Cons

I am 6'-2" tall, the leg room could be a little better. Access to the oil filter could be better.

RLRemmers
35

Exhilarating — This thing is a shifter cart on steroids. Compared to a Pontiac Solstice, this thing has a ton of storage space. The engine in this thing seems indestructible. I run full synthetic oil in it but it has thrown the accessory drive belts three times resulting overheating. It still runs and turns over smooth as if it was new.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Tom writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
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Overall:
5

Pros

Fun reliable runabout

Cons

If you need to run the family around.

45

A Cheap Blast For Those Without Kids Or As A Third Car. — I bought this car a year before my first kid was born, and I really enjoyed it. I had the "R-package" which was made in limited numbers an intended for those who planned to track it (I did only once or twice). I even kept it a couple years after my first child was born. Since I had the mainatenance manual, it was easy enough (although a little nerve-wracking) to take out the passenger airbag and leave it in the basement, but it left a pretty ugly gaping hole on the dash. I'll describe the performance as sporty. Good handling and better acceleration than the femily sedan, but you'd have to tap into the huge aftermarket to make it a screamer or a slot-car handler. The reliability was typical Japanese - never an issue. And even out-of-the-box, it was a pretty good setup. I had an accident that damaged two wheels, and I took the opportunity to replace the 15-inch stock alloys with some 16-inch OZ Racing wheels that looked fantastic, and were nice and stiff, but I was amazed at how much more than the stock wheels they weighed, which did not do much for the unsprung weight. Appearance-wise, I liked it. I ordered it in black, as I always do, to avoid it looking too "cute" as Miata's from that era are prone to. The R-package added a lip spoiler and air dam, which also helped it look a little more aggressive (and I think it may have been a tad lower on the Bilsteins). With the OZ wheels and when it was clean, it did not look half bad, or girly. It was cheap to own and maintain. I was spoiled by the gas mileage that my later sports cars could not match (save the lightweight Elise). Looking back on it and forward to buying my teens cars in a couple years, I'm thinking a used Miata might be a good car for them. It's fun enough and would be good to teach them some performance driving, and with only one other seat, the peer pressure to do something stupid should be reduced.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Caffeinator writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
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4

Pros

This car is fun to drive!  That is the main reason for its existence.  It's also very popular with a devoted following, which means that parts are still readily available.  It is fairly easy to work on if you are inclined to do your own maintenance.  Decent gas mileage even if you drive aggressively.  With a good set of tires, the handling of this car is excellent!

Cons

Two seats and a small trunk make it not very practical for hauling people or things.  As the first generation Miata ages and more of them are removed from the road due to accidents or neglect, the prices will go up as they become "collectible."

Caffeinator
25

A Lot Of Fun For A Low Price! — The first generation Miata is considered by many to be one of the best production sports cars produced in the last 50 years. And it is certainly one of the most affordable. While it does not have an abundance of raw power, it certainly has enough in a power-to-weight ratio to make for an all-around enjoyable experience. Very responsive handling and convertible top, in a classically styled package make this car just what it was meant to be - FUN!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Ernest writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
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5

Pros

Roadster

Cons

I did not have the right experience prior to pushing its limits on the streets which caused accidents. Know how to controll a track car

35

Sweeeet — Light, small wheelbase allows for a quick and nible, easy to corner vehicle, never has major problems, only common problems are the weather striping around the door. Both interior and exterior are amazingly designed and cost of maintnance is really cheap. Best feature of the car is the fun factor, i have never met a person who owned a miata and said "when you drive a miata, you experience a drive that no other person who will understand unless you have driven one with no limits".

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Thomas writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Excellent value to fun ratio

Cons

This car is no longer road friendly.

65

Was One Of My All Time Favorite Cars. Sad That It Is Gone But The Replacement Is Even More Amazing — If you can find a M edition at a low price do not pass it up. Miata's handle like a dream. Great on gas. Cheap and easy to work on. For such a small car everything under the hood was easy to get to.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Kara writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

MPG, Cute, Handling

Cons

Nothing that I can think of.

85

Zippy Little Thing! — I absolutely LOVE this car. I love it so much that I have two of them (the other is my husband's 1990.) She handles well, runs like a dream, and has needed little to no maintenance. I average about 28-29 MPG in the city and 30-32 MPG on the hwy. It's a very fun car to drive! The only downside is that it's SO low to the ground sometimes it takes some effort to get out of the car. :)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Amanda writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Convertible in AZ--what else can I say?

Cons

You will be uncomfortable if over 6 ft tall

105

Fun In The Sun — Performance ~ stock 4 cylinder manual tranny with quick acceleration and braking Build Quality ~ Built to last Appearance ~ Not a big fan of the pop up lights, but several mods are available for this. Cost of Ownership ~ Averages 30mpg and requires little maintenance to run perfectly Fun Factor ~ Definitely!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Brandon writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
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Parking:
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4

Pros

I love how well it handles and how much fun it is to drive.

Cons

The trunk space is really small and can't really fit anything in it.

25

Fun Little Car To Drive Even With 2 People — Overall the car is great its fun to drive and handles great. The performance is pretty good besides the lack of power but it makes up for some of it in its handling of corners. It looks great for a 96 and gets great gas mileage.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Sylvia writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

feel the wind in your hair

Cons

you need petrol

45

Its Fantastic - Very Girly — Pick it up on Monday - its immaculate and got it cheap it feel and sounds fantastic - new rear window and the hood is fantastic with a cover - windy windows and no power steering so will be fun = back to basics

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Alex writes:
1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

convertible.  handling, super reliable and easy to maintain

Cons

weak engine, small trunk, only two seats.

35

If Two Seats Are All You Need, This Is A Fun Bargain To Drive — If you don't need more than two seats this is a truly fun car. I had the R model, so the ride was firm, bordering on harsh. But it was a good trade off. The top is one other makers should copy for it's simplicity and ease of use. The so called tonneau cover was a pain but you should use it to protect the top from the sun. If you live where it is cold, consider getting the hard top with the rear defroster. You will be more comfortable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 23 1996 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

1989 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Get One. By Dave

Great fun because of the great balance between decent power, good handling, and adequate brakes. Didn't modify this one at all and it was the best fun of all my MX5s although it was never used on the ... Read More

The Ultimate Affordable Convertible By Raoul

I bought the '91 Miata as replacement for my Fiat Spider. The Miata was certainly a step up in reliability, performance, and handling. Sportier than the Fiat and more fun to drive, although not as con... Read More

Read all 5 1989 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

The Ultimate Economy Roadster! <3 By Claire

He's 25 years old and his styling has held up well. I was looking for a British car - being English myself- MG, Triumph, etc. and saw an ad for the Mazda. Decided to go and see him, drove him, fell in... Read More

Awesome Miata By reedersax

Love this car. It is better than therapy. I've even talked to my doctor writing a prescription for it so I could use it as a medical expense. Obviously, it is small. There is barely enough room fo... Read More

Read all 48 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

1991 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Cool Go-cart By LB4667

Many have offered to buy but she is my baby. Love driving with top down. Od course she is not a speeder but cool car to drive. Want to add some houndstooth to her to make her a Roll Tide car. Read More

Most Fun For The Dollar, Ever By brigantine

A lot of people have told me these early Miatas were underpowered. A lot of people don't know how to drive a high spirited 4 cyl engine. The engine had a red line of nearly 6,000 rpm and didn't even... Read More

Read all 36 1991 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

1992 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

The Most Fun For The Buck You Could Ever Want. By Sly_Fox

We were active in a Miata club. Weekend get togethers and junkets to the Keys were a big part of the fun. We once had Miatas stretched the entire length of Duval street. We now own a 2008 RHT but ... Read More

Fantastic By Frank09ec

This car drives really good, breaks are good, no bumps, clean tittle, no accidents, looks well take car of, no dents, you will have a amazing view, good for tanning, great to go to the beach and chill... Read More

Read all 18 1992 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

True Buget Sportscar, With Great Gas Mileage By Michael

We loved this car , it was so much fun to drive . If youve never experianced a Miata you out and test drive one with the top down and throw into a curvy road and see for yourself why everyone who owns... Read More

I Heart My Miata By Ariel

the miata has always been an iconic sports car. cheap, reliable and has some of the best handling out there. the acceleration could be better, but thats not what this cars about. the miatas styling ... Read More

Read all 15 1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

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