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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We took a Miata out for a test drive last night. :D :D :D

The dealer only had high trim Grand Tourings on the lot. We drove one with a 6 speed manual. The manual is very smooth and easy to drive. Reminds me of the tranny in the Z4.

But the car is very different than a Z4. This is a car you wear. Everything is very close. I drove with my right leg on the transmission tunnel. You feel the road almost like you would on a bike. Steering is quick and the car is nimble in a way the larger Z4 can't be. I'm not sure which car is going to be faster. If I had to guess, I'd say the Z4 is faster on the N-ring.

The Z4 is a luxury car. It has options you can't get on a Miata. Mazda went for low weight instead. Many parts are aluminum including the hood, trunk lid, front brake calipers and some of the suspension. Even the sun visors are plastic to save weight. The result is a car that is 500lbs lighter than a Z4.

The Z4 has more room both in the passenger compartment and in the trunk. Anyone larger than me (I'm 5'8" 160lbs) might have trouble fitting in an MX-5 but would be fine in a Z4. Underhood the MX-5 is cramped but the Z4 looks like it would be easy to work on. The trunk on the Miata is nearly useless. Forget about going to the grocery store. The Z4's trunk is just big enough and gets bigger when the top is up.

The manual top on the Miata is slick. You can put it up from the drivers seat. Down might be possible to, but you do have to push down on it to get it to latch in the down position.




We didnt' like the Grand Touring trim. Compared to our BMWs the leather looked and felt cheap. It also didn't match the rest of the car. The seats were brown but much of the rest of the trim was black. Mazda's cloth seats are better looking and more comfortable. I wasn't impressed by the 7 speaker Bose stereo. The Grand Touring uses a smart card instead of a tradional key. You carry the smart card in your wallet and the car unlocks when you pull on the door handle. The ignition key is replaced by a permanent black knob. Whatever. Not something I want to pay for and out of place on an MX-5.
 

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Not Wearing Pants
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The trunk on the Mx-5 is fine for groceries. My family has owned several through the years and the trunk works fine for grocery shopping, trips, etc. Not sure what kind of shopping most people do but we've never had a problem fitting groceries for a week in the trunk of a Miata.

The keyless system, for me, is the only reason I'd get the grand touring. After living with Comfort Access on my BMW I can't see ever going back to key-based cars. Like xenons, once you have keyless start/entry, you never want to go back to the old school fob/key world.
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Keyless feels out of place on a car with plastic sun visors. So does the leather.

Together they take a $21,000 car and turn it into a $26,000 car.

Anyway you look at it there is very little storage space in an MX-5. My old X1/9 had more.


I didn't say this before, but I prefer the Mazda over a Z4. They really are different cars though.
 

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Not Wearing Pants
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Andrew*Debbie said:
Keyless feels out of place on a car with plastic sun visors. So does the leather.

Together they take a $21,000 car and turn it into a $24,000 car.

Anyway you look at it there is very little storage space in an MX-5. My old X1/9 had more.

I didn't say this before, but I prefer the Mazda over a Z4. They really are different cars though.
The grand touring also comes with xenon headlights, LSD and stability control. To me that extra money is easily worth the LSD, keyless and xenons.
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #5
Actually the xenons, LSD, keyless are part of an option package. When you add that in, the car is about $26,000
 

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Here since day one
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I think $26,000 is pretty reasonable especially compared to what other 2 seater convertibles are getting. Mazda did a really nice job on the new Miata.
 

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Ubergeek
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For $26k you can get a very low miles S2K.

...which is why we have one of those in our garage instead. Actually, we only paid $20k - for one with 15,500 miles. Take a Miata and add 100hp :).
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #8
KrisL said:
For $26k you can get a very low miles S2K.

Take a Miata and add 100hp :).
The 3rd generation Miata is 170HP so the S2000 is +67HP. A new S2000 is +$12,000 too. That puts it into the Z4 range and out of the Miata class.

Used NC Miatas are still a year or two away.
 

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Not Wearing Pants
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Andrew*Debbie said:
Actually the xenons, LSD, keyless are part of an option package. When you add that in, the car is about $26,000
I realize that. Never said differently. :dunno: You must have the grand touring to get those things. Because it's a mazda 26k price = about 22-23k.
 

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zeddy
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I've driven the NC Mazda and I own a Z4.

The MX5 is more fun to drive around town, its close-ratio box has short, precise and solid throws. Engine and clutch feel great, too.

I liked the steering.

The uninsulated convertible top really sucks - it's extremely noisy on the highway and suffers from a LOT of wind buffeting.

It's smaller than the already small Z4, but whereas the Zed makes for a credible daily driver, the Miata is more of a second or even third car.

The Miata feels fast, but the Z4 is a lot faster.

Miatas are nice cars, though, if I were seriously going the third car route, I'd probably get one (or an S2k).

Ed
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
EdCT said:
.

It's smaller than the already small Z4, but whereas the Zed makes for a credible daily driver, the Miata is more of a second or even third car.

Ed
I agree.

This would be a second car for us. Even when it was running I only drove my 535 once a week. I usually walk or take the bus to work. We'd use the e46 for long hauls.

The MX-5 is a car that would be fine for my 3 mile commute to work and a blast to autocross on the weekends. We'd mostly drive it with the top down. The wind noise isn't bad with the top down. It is much quieter then the Fiats and Triumphs I've had. Mazda does have a hard top on the way.

I'm at a decision point. I can either drop $2,500 into my 535 or use the money for a new car.

Miatas are nice cars, though, if I were seriously going the third car route, I'd probably get one (or an S2k).
If I had the money, I might go for an Elise. How many other $43,000 cars go 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and manage 23/27 MPG?
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #12

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #13
EdCT said:
I've driven the NC Mazda and I own a Z4.

...
The uninsulated convertible top really sucks - it's extremely noisy on the highway and suffers from a LOT of wind buffeting.

...
Ed
How fast were you going? Cloth or vinyl top? I mostly drive top-down, but I got our NC to 65 with the top up today. There wasn't any buffeting and the noise wasn't bad at all. Maybe there was a problem with the top in the car you drove.

Andrew
 

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zeddy
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Andrew*Debbie said:
How fast were you going? Cloth or vinyl top? I mostly drive top-down, but I got our NC to 65 with the top up today. There wasn't any buffeting and the noise wasn't bad at all. Maybe there was a problem with the top in the car you drove.

Andrew
Fast, around 90mph in the rain. The rear window oscillated really badly and the noise level was very high.

At that speed, the car felt light and squirrelly too.

Cloth top.

Ed
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
gtx510 said:
MX-5 tranny is from an RX-8 and the engine is from a Ford ****us (Duratec 20 = MZR).
The MX-5 is not a BMW :) You do get what you pay for. The Miata is a $20,000 car. A Z4 is nearly double the price.

The Duratec is a Mazda design with input from Ford. The Duratec is built here or in Mexico while the MZR is built in Japan. I'd say the motor is related to the motor on the Focus, not from the Focus. Output from the Duratec 20 used in the Focus is 136HP.

The MZR has better performance then the Duratec 20.
2.0L 170HP 90% torque at 2500 RPM
Variable valve timing. Continuous Variable intake manifold. Computer controlled throttle.
Rev limiter at 7200 RPM

170HP in a car that is 500 lbs lighter than a Z4 is pleanty fast. Road and Track says the car will go 0-60 in 6.5 seconds.

Ford should put the Mazdaspeed 2.3L Turbo in the Ranger :)
Andrew
 

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gtx510 said:
MX-5 tranny is from an RX-8 and the engine is from a Ford ****us (Duratec 20 = MZR).
What conclusions are you drawing from this? Are you saying it's a good combo or a slight on the car? I guess I'm just confused about what your trying to get across :).

The Miata is on my short list (we get a discount through work) so I'm curious...
 

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AFAIK, the RX-8, MSM, and new MX-5 use the same Aisin 6-spd. Mazda's cheap like that.
The MZR engineis an extention of the Duratec family that resides in many a Focus.

Mazda makes a good car. I'm sure the handling and chassis ae top notch. I'm just say that they (like all automakers) cut a few corners.
If you look at the design of the RX-8 6-spd you can see their corner-cutting. Where an older tranny would have the "teeth" for the synchro machined into the gear so the shape was close to perfect, the RX-8 tranny gets by with a cast, unmachined peice that could be refined a bit. I've seen a torn apart RX-8 tranny. And I've heard from the rotary guys that it has problems with the synchros, and hi-power in general.
 

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resU deretsigeR
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
gtx510 said:
When did I ever compare a Miata to a Z?
That was me. My point was don't expect BMWs latest inline-six in a $20,000 car.

Mazda has done a very good job of building a simple, light, fast and fun car.

What you do get for $20,000 is a good performing, high tech 2.0L 4. Sure Ford owns Mazda. They share designs. I don't care one bit that a Volvo or a white Ford work truck might have a motor related to the one in my MX-5.

I have no idea if the 6-speed is related or identical to the 'box in the RX-8. The MX-5 is a lighter, lower power car so the RX transmission would be overkill.

The MX-5 is the best shifting car I've ever driven and that includes current BMWs. The throw is so short and light I can flip gears with a single finger. Its becoming addictive.

The MX-5 isn't for everyone. I won't argue with someone who doesn't like the car for what it is. Ditto on the Z4. I happen to like both of them. I just like the MX-5 more :)

Andrew
 
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