1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata User Reviews

1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review Ratings

  • Rank your car

Average Ratings from 22 reviews

  • Performance:4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 / 5
  • Appearance:4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars 4.3 / 5
  • Build Quality: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
  • Overall: 4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars 4.6 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 16 reviews
"power" 5 reviews
"handling" 5 reviews
"fuel economy" 4 reviews
"big car" 4 reviews
CONS
"power" 5 reviews
"space" 4 reviews
"storage" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 22 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews.

writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata STO Review
Cargo Capacity:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:

Pros

Great ride, very fun to to drive and looks very cool.

Cons

At 15 years I bought it with a lot of maintenance issues, but the fun part is that I am learning about the cars.

ADude
35

Fun — I really like driving the car. Wind in your hair, tight turns, quick acceleration. For $4500 its a fun ride, but unfortunately I bought it at a point there it needs some work - flushing all fluids, replacing all emissions components, etc. Nonetheless its a fun ride and hasn't broken the bank yet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Safety:
Looks/Style:
Weight:
Overall:

Pros

Cheap, cheerful, discreet, reliable and fun. Try getting that in any other roadster. Next best driving experience to owning a motorcycle.

Cons

Cowl shake (when you get one, you'll understand). Lack of uber fast straight line performance. No factory roll bar.

205

You Want A Reliable European Open Top Roadster? Buy A Miata. — Performance - out of the box these cars are ready for a great deal of street fun. Older Miatas are plagued with heavier add ons like Power Steering, Air Bag, and Air Conditions. Most of the accessories serve a good purpose and you can still improve handling by getting a coil over kit and sway bars that will make it an instantaneous fun track car. NA engine is weak for muscle car enthusiasts but plenty powerful for sharp cornering. Brakes are great, racing pads and SS lines make them even better. Build Quality - It's a Japanese car, however because Miatas were supposed to be the affordable British roadster, things like the mirrors hood and exhaust shield vibrating are very common. Appearance - Styled to mimic the old Lotus Elan, the Miata looks awesome in every color. Plus the huge market of aftermarket parts makes it very easy to customize and any Miata's appearance. Cost of Ownership - With mid grade gas and averaging 28 mpg, the car is surprisingly economical for something people take to the track. Parts are available, there are a few common mechanical issues that pop up at different mileages but overall, if you keep a Miata properly maintained, it should outlast a lot of newer cars with more ECU guided systems. Fun Factor - It has it.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Convertible, Asian reliability, blast to drive

Cons

Automatic transmission, just your and a friend

85

This Is The Classic Sports Car To Own, Love, And Drive For Years And Years. — There isn't a whole lot more to say about the Mazda Miata that hasn't already been said, but you haven't heard it from me! I purchased my Miata from a dealer with 50,500 miles in 2008. CarFax listed the car as having 3 previous owners: 1 year lease, dealer-owned for 2 years, sold to a private owner who put 10,000 miles on it in 7 years. At time of review (11/2010) I have 75,0XX miles. My Miata is a bit more uncommon because it has an automatic transmission. This eliminates the stunning manual transmission the Miata is famous for, and the acceleration suffers greatly from it. It will not be winning any drag races any time soon. However, this is never what the Miata was about. It was always meant to be the small, top-down roadster that had disappeared from the landscape. It handles very predictably, and changing tires from a Grand Touring to a Summer performance tire has payed in dividends. Performing a panic swerve at 65 mph to miss a deer on the freeway at night with little more than half a second notice can only be done in this car. It's almost like driving a go-kart. The same goes for braking. With discs at every corner, it comes to a stop quicker than most everything else on the road. My car does not have the optional ABS, but the pedal is so responsive, that you know exactly how far you can push until they lock. Mazda has been known for much better than average build quality, and the Miata is no exception. I have had no major repairs on the car, other than regular wear-and-tear items. There have been minor, non-essential electrical issues, but it's to be expected with it's age. With an automatic transmission, 87 octane gasoline, K&N air filter, summer tires, and synthetic oil, I am averaging around 25 mpg. This is mostly urban highway driving, and it changes with AC usage and temperature change. The 1.8L enging is very sensitive to change, and it will let you know, good or bad. Another misnomer is that it is too small to be functional. I am 6'1" and I drive this car daily. I also managed to pack an amazing amount of things into it for a two-week road trip through the Rockies. Pictures to prove it!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

It's a really fun to drive with the top down

Cons

sometimes slightly loses traction if turn too fast on wet road

25

Cool Car — 1.8 engine, manual transmission. Great car, had the MX-5 Miata for 7 years and I love it. Got it to go 100 mph last week, fun fun fun. Sometimes slightly loses traction if turn too fast on wet road.

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

fun zippy convertible

Cons

2 seats, its a convertible

55

I Like It And It's A Great Deal For The Money I Paid — I enjoy the car, mechanically it hasn't given me hardly any trouble and I've taken it on a 2000 mile road trip. It gets good gas mileage and the power isn't terrible, but isn't anything to brag about either. I would like to upgrade the suspension and replace the top, as they are both getting a little worn after being used for close to 14 years. Altogether though a great little car, corners great and would be an amazing driving experience with some serious money put into the engine (perhaps a supercharger or v8 swap?).

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Handling

Cons

shoddy wiring

55

Ideal For Auto-x Easy To Make Competitive On A Track... Never Bring To The Drag Strip — Acceleration is so-so, most expect better than 0-60 in under 8 seconds, however this car truly shines in both braking and cornering. Build Quality is generally high, cast iron block thats well assembled, no rattles or missing parts and has yet to need repairs aside from replacing a serpentine belt. However, the wiring is...poor. I've had a number of fuses that need replacing and my small lamps relay went out. Interior styling is fairly basic. two cloth seats, two speakers, a steering wheel, necessary pedals and shift knob. vinyl dash, [pseudo?] leather doorpanels and a basic FM unit(highly recommend an aftermarket radio and new speakers). exterior styling is not the most aerodynamic (.30 coeff of drag, if i recall correctly) but is easy on the eyes and shares some styling cues with the FD rx7. KBB on a good miata is around 2500 and Aftermarket support is very strong.mileage averages to about 31 combined city/highway. Car is a blast on winding roads just dont much when driving in a straight line.

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

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

"British" roadster with Japanese quality.

Cons

You are filthy rich, so you can by ANYTHING you want. (I would still bought a Miata MX-5)

25

Best Value For Money Roadster. It Puts A Smile In My Face, Anytime I Drive It. — Medium acceleration and top speed. Fair braking, good handling. Great built quality, excellent appearance, good driving position. Extremely low cost of ownership. If it "had" a "European badge", it would have been much much more expensive. Fun factor? Sky is the limit!

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

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata M-Edition Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Endless Fun

Cons

Limited Practicality

25

Impracticality Rules — It's a driver's car like no other, and one that can be thoroughly enjoyed on regular surface roads without being too dangerous to one's self or others. It may not be terribly fast in a straight line or practical but it is far and away more fun than just about any car on the rod. Doesn't hurt it's very reliable.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

handling & reliability

Cons

trunk space & underpowered motor

35

Up Til Now — high revving motor for an NA- four wheel disc- low center of gravity- any Jspec car will serve you forever if u take care of it- for a 12yr old car with 133000miles on it it's as strong as can be....fun too!- nostalgic look everytym i park and walk away- hardtop fastback with a wide body kit iz in order after a stroker motor slidez in boosted- will definitely need 16x10s in the back- 31mpg highway- Japanese so low maintenance coz it waz built right with flip up lights to boot- total drift machine and hugs a corner at 60mph without flinching- perfect weight distro with the right suspension setup- DO NOT BUY THE 89 to 93 b4 upgrading crank and diff...everything else after that...Have @ it! love this car! ill buy another one just like it for fun!

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

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
writes:
1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

lots

Cons

not much

35

Mx5 Mk1 1.8 — Simple to tune, plenty of trick stuff out there for them. Being an 1.8 it's got some stick, and handles too. Boot is a bit small for a week's groceries. Wanted one for years, finally got around to it with no regrets.

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

Is this review helpful? Yes | No

Displaying 1 - 10 of 22 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews.

Rank your car

Reviews From Other Years

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Great Third Car By Tacosell

I was waiting for the new ND design but I want the retractable hardtop and not canvas. So I bought a 2012 Special edition for $a measly $20600 with 19K miles. The car is really fun to drive and handle... Read More

Read all 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Phenomenal Genuine Traditional Roadster By Tacosell

For those who remember the roadsters of the 70's MG,Triumph, Fiat this is a great reliable representation. Great third car - I was waiting for the more masculine new ND design but I want the retracta... Read More

Fun Ride With A Hard Top Convertible & Not Expensive To Maintain By 3nails4me

Fun ride with a hard top convertible and not expensive to maintain. The ride is very good & the 6 speed shifting has a very good sync. system, even for my wife, who loves driving it. The heated seat... Read More

Read all 3 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Fun To Drive! By Jcar

Bought this looking for a fun to drive car for the mountains and weekends - delivers on all counts! Super fun to work the manual transmission on mountain and curvy roads - hugs corners unbelievably... Read More

Best Roadster I Have Owned. By Heavenlyway

I have owned a toyota celica gt, mazda rx7 gxl, mazda rx7 turbo II, Porsche boxster, Porsche Boxster S, Porsche 911 Carrera, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and a Toy Corolla XRS. While a few of these w... Read More

Read all 4 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Fun Reliable Roadster By miza

The Miata is the most affordable compact sporty convertible. Great for everyday use or as a second car. It is fun to drive and handles great. Decent acceleration for such a small motor. Not made for t... Read More

Awesome Little Attention Getter Hardtop Convertible! By whitey169

Nothing much I disliked about the car real clean fast little sporty ride. Great gas saver no matter if your going on a long trip or s short supermarket sweep! Make sure you know that a hardtop conv... Read More

Read all 10 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Reviews

Fantastic Car To Own! By JWStewart

Love owning this car!!! My wife and I enjoy taking a late night spin with the top down and looking at the stars or off to the beach on the weekend or just driving around town while others check out o... Read More

'09 Miata Gt Prht By Rich

Fun car. Handles like a dream. Hard top has a little more body roll than the soft top. Stability Control and traction control work great, though you will want to shut it off if you want the rear to... Read More

Read all 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews

People researching a 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata contacted a dealer about

Picture of 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata, exterior
Mazda MX-5 Miata
51% of the time
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
5% of the time
Toyota Celica
5% of the time
BMW 3 Series
5% of the time
MX-5 Miata
Looking for a Used MX-5 Miata in your area?
CarGurus has 2,039 nationwide MX-5 Miata listings starting at $2,995.
ZIP: