2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata User Reviews

2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 26 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:4.9 out of 5 stars4.9 out of 5 stars4.9 out of 5 stars4.9 out of 5 stars4.9 out of 5 stars 4.9 / 5
  • Build Quality: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
  • 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
"power" 9 reviews
"handling" 8 reviews
"speed" 7 reviews
"fuel economy" 7 reviews
CONS
"small roadster" 3 reviews
"steering" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 26 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata reviews.

Scott writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shinsen Review
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5

Pros

Light, fast and fun. Super reliable and easy to maintain.

Cons

No AC or power steering.

25

Fastest Little Car Around! — I can't describe how much fun it is owning and driving this little roadster. I picked it up from a friend about a year ago for the purpose of Auto-X'ing with my local SCCA region. What I didn't know was that this little guy is super competitive and with just a set of extreme performance summer tires I typically finish in the top 10 drivers on any given weekend with usually over a 100 drivers.

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

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vl5150 writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS Review
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5

Pros

Open top sports car fun

Cons

Highway performance

vl5150
85

A Rear Sports Car In The Brittish Tradition — I learned a long time ago that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow. The 2nd generation "NB" Miata is peppy in performance, but underpowered compared to more modern sports cars. But to put it into perspective, it's a power house compared to the British roadsters is is based on and would have been a supercar in the 60's or 70's. The buying market today has confusion on what makes a sports car tick and most of the cars today miss the mark by a mile providing the grand touring experience. Make no mistake, if the MX-5 only had 50 HP, it would still be more of a sports car than 99% of the pretenders on the market. Specifically, the Miata gives the driver the gift of light weight. This reduces the need for huge wheels, brakes, engine, etc., and pays dividends in the road feel and handling. The smaller size has caused the uninformed car enthusiast to label this a "chick" car, and these criticisms remain. This has led to a lower re-sale and many nice Miatas with low miles can be found for a bargain. My conclusion is that if Women buy this car, they must know more about sports cars then men. So what is a sports car? For me, it must provide an elemental raw experience. The Miata's convertible top does expose you to the elements for sure, It's a roadster after all. The top is easily folded and if you have a strong right arm, can be raised and lowered from the driver's seat. Handy in the rain for sure. I experienced no leaks. The car sits low and has a willing engine. The chassis provides excellent feedback. The 5 speed manual transmission shifts precisely and quickly. All controls and displays are excellent. Trunk space is very good for it's class and the top does not interfere with trunk space The 1.8L engine us rated at about 140HP and puts about 110 HP to the road. It's not a power house, but it's only pushing 2300 LBS of car so it's good for around 7.5 sec 0-60 and somewhere in the 15's for the quarter mile. While slow compared to most sports cars today, the braking and handling coupled with the driving experience make this a really fun ride around town. Think of it as a motorcycle substitute. The engine is willing and able to rev so this gives you the illusion of being your own formula 1 driver without shattering the speed limit after rowing through a few gears. Faster cars require boring short shifting around town in comparison. So that's the key to the Miata. You can use all of it. Some other facts It requires little maintenance. Change the oil and fluids and it will keep running. It has a manual top. No pumps to break. It has manual seats to keep the car light and simple. The Bose system is simple and can overcome road noise. The seats are comfortable. Ergonomics are excellent. The 1.8 engine was built for a turbo, but it doesn't have a turbo. Result- Very over built with excellent longevity just begging to be driven hard. The car was built solely for the pleasure of driving and it is fun. Think of it as a 142 HP go cart. What I don't like With the minimalist approach to the sports car, Mazda made some compromises. The car is loud on the highway. Really loud. I would use the car on some business trips and would have to take calls while driving. Not too good over the wind noise and lack of insulation. I also didn't like the gearing of the car for the highway. The transmission is a close ratio 5 speed and even the optional 6 speed doesn't have a deep OD. Perfection would be combine the close ratio 5 speed with the deep OD for relaxed highway cruising. But I get it. My small displacement motorcycles rev high too and if Mazda engineers had to keep the weight down to hit it's targets. Knuckledraggers tend to bring this car down as well and that's a negative. In America where bigger is better, you'll have to defend this car continuously from people not familiar with small sports cars as opposed to GT's. So as you can tell, I'm a fan of the car. Small and light, it's a willing dance partner. It's good enough to supplement your Corvette or hyper car and will make you a better driver without getting your license suspended. If you are unable to ride a motorcycle, the Miata is the closest car experience. Just make sure you can get out of it!

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

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hleig845 writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS Review
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5

Pros

Small, fast, convertable, runs great,

Cons

Only two seats, not a lot of space

hleig845
35

Awesome Car! I Love It! — I would say this car is an awesome little car. Its great for someone who just wants to have a fun time on the road. Its small and great on gas mileage. Overall this is a great buy for anyone

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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nknk writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE Review
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5

Pros

everything

Cons

can't think of any

nknk
45

I Love My Miata! — This is a fun little roadster-convertible! Beautifully designed and very high quality! We have it for 3 years, used model from 2003, but never had any problems with it. I'm sure it will last for many years to come. To summarize: excellent performance, high quality build, awesome appearance, low cost of ownership and fun factor through the roof (pun intended)! :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Kris writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
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4

Pros

Gas mileage and reliability.

Cons

Only having two seats and very little cargo space isnt too great

55

Mx5 Miata — Preformance wise... accel isnt too bad, but once you get up there handling is great, up keep is fairly easy and pretty cheap parts, gas mileage is very good. Appearance wise, mine is mostly stock but still looks decent. But overall its a fun car to own as long as you have a backup because only having two seats isnt always practical.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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garney10 writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shinsen Review
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4

Pros

putting the top down and run down the highway!

Cons

A little bit low to the ground.

garney10
20

Sporty,impressive,boss Of The Road! — What is there to dislike about this Sharp low slung, wide rider sport car! This is the car that you want when you go out looking for a good looking woman. The car that you want to take when you feel like you just won the Indy 500!

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

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bill122055 writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
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4

Pros

Great little sports car,handles like a dream

Cons

no cons, it's a sports car

bill122055
20

Stylish And Sleek — Small roadster,handles very well in cornering and seems to have adequate acceleration for this size car.Fun to drive and takes seconds to put the top up or down. I opted for cold air intake and modified exhaust,car sounds awesome going through the gears.

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

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Christian writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base Review
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5

Pros

i love absolutely everything about the car itself

Cons

the only thing i cant stand is the stereotype that it is a "hairdressers" car. it is not

25

Bottom-line A Fun Car And Cheap And Easy To Drive — the performance of this car is great, the car sticks to the road and solid breaking capabilities. i have had to replace a small panel because of rust but that was the fault of the previous owner and nothing to do with the car at all. the car as you can sea is a beautiful design and for something that is very affordable it is quite luxurious. it doesn't cost the earth like others and is the most fun you can have in a small car

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

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Nick writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shinsen Review
Appearance:
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5

Pros

everything is positive

Cons

interior is a little plain. but great non the less.

35

Overall Great — everything is amazing.... interior needs a lil work... the mpg is great. the exterior is beautiful... mouse grey with a navy blue top. performance is amazing ( 5 speed manual transmition) its fun sporty... and a big head turner... this car can definitely get tuned up. i have a ractive performance muffler. i wanna put in a super charger and a cold air intake. idk for sure but i might wanna out in a catalitic converter..... also, a rear lip spoiler.. overall fantastically amazing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Debbie writes:
2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
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5

Pros

great handling, great looks, loads of mods available,

Cons

visibility with roof up, having headlights shining right in to your car at night as it's a lot lower than most cars, comes in some very unusual colours!

65

Fantastic Car, Easy To Handle, Great Fun To Drive! — The mx-5 is meant to be the biggest selling roadster in the UK and i can see exactly why. In the time I've had my mk 2.5 1.8i, I've lowered it, uprated the air filter, added a mesh grill, and fitted clear indicators. It is very much work in progress as i also intend to add style bars, uprate the brakes, upgrade the tyres, change the fuel cap to a chrome style. Eventually i will consider supercharging. I doubt i will turbo it instead although i will consider this nearer the time. This car is quick, responsive and really fun to drive. The other thing I've noticed is how people treat you as a person driving a car and not just another car on the road. When i say that i mean that, because people can see your face they tend to be more courteous, they let you out at junctions and thank you more for giving way to them etc. I've been bitten by the MX-5 bug and love this car to pieces. I've also had lots of positive remarks from strangers which is always nice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 26 2003 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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