Last post on May 22, 2009 at 6:52 AM
You are in the Honda S2000
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Mazda MX-5 Miata
#15 of 62 Used Mazda Miata
Jun 17, 2007 (11:49 am)
I'm considering buying a used Mazda Miata (1997-2000).
I test drove a 2000 Miata and liked the ride. How much are the typical maintenance and repair costs for this car? Also, I live in Chicago, so I would need to be driving this car during the three months of the year when there is snow on the roads. With snow tires, will the Miata be safe to drive or be losing traction on snowy roads? I know that all roadsters are rear wheel drive and are relatively light in weight compared to other cars. I plan to use the car for weekday commuting to work (50 miles round trip) and spring, summer and fall weekend drives into the suburbs. I appreciate any advice!
#16 of 62 Re: Used Mazda Miata [danjakubik]
Jun 18, 2007 (5:37 am)
A used Miata being driven daily 15,000+ miles per year in Chicago year round is asking a lot. Both of you, and the car.
My experience is with the S2000 and, even equiped with snow tires, it would make a challenging winter drive. The Miata has an advantge in that you should be able to get a relatively inexpensive set of winter rims and tires, compared to the S2000. But, if you haven't already done so, you should test drive a Miata for some lengthy commuter type runs with the top up. The S2000 was fairly noisy inside and would have been tough to live with commuting long distances in the winter months. Much more so than my current 911 Cab, which is a more comfortable daily driver.
Bottom line is that I think you can make the car work in light snow (<3-4"), assuming YOU are up for it. Forget heavier (4-5+ inches) of unplowed snow, you'll be bottomed out. And only you can decide if having a top up 50%+ of the time is tolerable on a daily driver as small and noisy as the Miata.
#17 of 62 Re: Used Mazda Miata [danjakubik]
Jun 20, 2007 (12:15 pm)
Snow tires will work well, but the catch is it's a tiny car and I don't want to be out there playing bumper cars with all the huge SUVs on the road, especially now that many of them are in the hands of inexperienced teens.
Get a winter beater, trust me.
Also, 1990-1997 was the NA.
There was no 1998 model.
1999-2005 was the NB. So you probably want a '99 or a '00.
2006 the latest ones came out.
#18 of 62 Miata v S2K
Jun 24, 2007 (10:24 am)
If you're considering these vehicles but unsure which one you want, you need to determine what you want it for. Both cars offer their own respective benefits and one must determine what those are before deciding.
The best way to decide is to drive both and see which fits you (or your husband). The S can be a tight fit, but there's tons of headroom. The Miata is roomier, but the seat doesn't support your legs properly.
I own an '01 S2K and my best friend just bought an '06 Mazdaspeed Miata. We agree that my S is the better all around car (I must disclaim, my S is supercharged, but nonetheless...). Fit'n'finish, power, convienence, styling, and resale are all in favor of the S. We both found his Miata to have poor build quality (the interior was surprisingly plastic, even the door panels). The thing is, the S will scare you at limit at first. Where the Miata is a tossable car, the S is much harder to master. Day-to-day though, they're both quite dossile.
#19 of 62 Re: Miata v S2K [estreka]
Jun 24, 2007 (10:31 am)
Thanks for your reply!
#20 of 62 Re: Used Mazda Miata [ateixeira]
Jun 24, 2007 (10:35 am)
Thanks for your reply. I have since reconsidered getting a roadster, as I live in Chicago. There is at least 3 months of snow here each year. And a roadster is small and light with rear wheel drive, so it will be skidding around, not be safe for winter driving. I am now considering a Jeep Wrangler. Something sporty and fun to drive, but also has 4WD for winter driving. Do you know about this vehicle? The jeep is the original SUV.
#21 of 62 Re: Used Mazda Miata [danjakubik]
Jun 24, 2007 (11:33 am)
A Wrangler is a great buy for its intended purpose. Few vehicles can match it offroad. Onroad is a different story. It's not very economical.
While any Jeep is rather expensive, it's still a good buy. Jeep owners are a very niche market which keeps resale values high. You might buy a used Wrangler for $17K and sell it in 4 years for $12K. They hold their value remarkably well as long as they're well maintained.
Jun 25, 2007 (1:38 am)
Thanks for the information. I was told there is a 2.5L engine version of the Wrangler, instead of the usual 4.0L. Fuel economy should be better with the smaller engine. Any feedback about the smaller 2.5L engine?
#23 of 62 Re: Jeep Wrangler [danjakubik]
Jun 25, 2007 (6:45 am)
That's quite a different vehicle. I considered one, but it takes too long to get the top up/down for my tastes.
It will be more practical if you can only keep one car, however.
I'd head over to a Jeep thread to ask your question.
#24 of 62 Re: Miata v S2K [estreka]
Jun 25, 2007 (8:33 am)
I would not say the Miata has "poor built quality". Just because there is plastic used in the interior, does not mean it has poor build quality. Even Lexus, BMW, Audi use plenty of plastic, as does the S2000.
Build quality is how well the parts fit, and are put together as well as how long they stay that way. Not the material used. The Miata has really good build quality. It is possible that the Miata uses more plastic then the S2000. Keep in mind, buying an S2000, you also pay for the use of better materials. Brand new fully loaded Mazdaspeed MX-5's went for $27,000. An S2000 started over $3000 more then that. In a sense, comparing materials in these two vehicles is like comparing the materials used in a loaded Honda Accord vs. Acura TL. Big difference....