In Reply to: ditto posted by RichC on March 04, 2001 at 17:32:56:
And, it is very true that most parts on the Miatas are very much cheaper than corresponding parts on Z. However, that is good, because at the model year you are thinking about, a good number of parts will be breaking. In the Miata group with which we participate, this is a standing joke. Window mechanisms break, door handles and window roll up parts snap off, etc.
BUT...that is one of the reasons the cars were so inexpensive to begin with...and the replacement parts are affordable. (However, anyone who has complaints about any BMW service department should have to try to find a Mazda service department, let alone one that is adept at Miata work.
Still, our Miata is a great, fun little car. It is a black '96 triple black, and a good time to drive; a go kart with a car body attached.
One important exception to all the above...the plastic rear window on Miatas is 1000% worse than the BMW. It is widely known that the plastic used reacts with UV rays, and turns yellow and hardens, and then self destructs. It is even more pervasive than the gas gauge problem on the Z. That rear window is NOT an easy or cheap replacement, and apparently no Mazda service department even does that work. It is contracted out, and the body trim shops prefer (read 'insist') that the whole top be replaced, AND that they sell you the top. For a few, it might be a DIY project...but was NOT for us.
We took the opportunity to replace the entire top, and used a top of the line aftermarket top with glass backlight...a Robbins. Interesting to note that buying the top, and having it installed cost more than 10% of the amount we paid for the whole car.
So we like our Miata, we like Miatas in general, and there are plenty of good ones around. Just like anything else though, there can be problems; from our experience, particularly check out the window and the interior hardware.