1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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213,958 Miles
103,829
Miles above average

Vehicle Details

Mileage: 213958
Color: BLUE
Body Style: Convertible
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Engine Type: I4
Drive Train: RWD
Location: Phenix City, AL
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Notes

Center Console,​ Multi-Function Remote - Trunk Release,​ Power Brakes,​ Gauge - Tachometer,​ Cassette,​ Radio - Am/Fm,​ Tire Type,​ Wheel Diameter - 14 Inch,​ Front Wipers - Intermittent,​ Front Airbags - Dual,​ Front Seat Type - Bucket,​ Upholstery - Cloth



Vehicle Rating & Owner Reviews

Overall Rating
4.7
  Based on 32 reviews

Second Childhood!!

4.9
grannycraft on 08/05/2014

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Bought my "97 in 2006. Have had more fun than I thought possible driving this car. Call it my "GrannyMobile." I use non-ethanol gas and get 32-38 mpg. It is my everyday car. Over 200,000 m and still going strong. I will probably keep 'her' until she goes to Mazda heaven. Had professional rollbars installed, gives her more solidity. Uses about 1/2 quart oil monthly, my mechanic can't find out where it is going. Chk. it weekly. Add an airscoop and a windblocker to the windshield, (when the top is down), and it keeps the low floor transm. heat out and my hat on. My granddaughters just love to ride with 'Granny' with the top down. Luv it! Luv it! Luv it!!!! ZOOM>ZOOm>ZOOM

Love My Miata

5
RPE on 04/21/2010

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I have only owned my little red Miata for 3 weeks...but I love to drive the car with the top down. It is a blast. I also have a '79 MGB..but this car hugs the road, the curves unlike the MGB. It has 128,000 miles on it..but motor sounds great. The get-up-and go is much faster that my '10 Corolla automatic. We have had several hot days in April and have been able to drive it, top down. Can't wait until Summertime. Will have to sell the MGB..that was the deal with my wife..but, oh well...I have owned it for 20 years..and I guess it is time to pass it on! A buddy of mine at work just bought an '03.....drive one...you'll buy one!!!

Update from Doug

4.8
Update on 10/03/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I have now owned the car for four-plus years and have 140k on it. I had to replace the clutch this summer. I switched to premium fuel (instead of alcohol blend) and mileage went from 25 mpg in town to 28 and runs better. Still great fun and highly recommended.

Love my Miata

5
SUSAN on 07/08/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Last weekend we went to Panama City Beach in my Miata with our dog. It was great. Loved not putting my money in the gas tank. We have a Navigator that we use to travel in, it cost over $100.00 to fill it up now. Only about $42.00 to fill up the Miata and can go over 340 miles on one tank. What more could I ask for from an 11 year old car with 48,000 when I bought it.

Fine Balance

4.6
Stuart on 03/30/2008

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Owned for a bit over two years and love the car. Outstanding reliability. Finely balanced ride/handling trade off. You feel the road, but it's not punishing. A bit on the noisy side even with the hardtop. Without the hardtop, visibility is so-so to the right and left rear. The hardtop also significantly stiffens the structure. As a result, I leave mine on all of the time. The engine is adequate from a power standpoint, and is responsive to throttle inputs, revving quickly. The stock exhaust strikes a perfect balance of tone and sound level- it's an audio delight. Shift action is excellent although if not careful, a rushed 2-3 shift may bypass 3rd and snick into 5th. Excellent car.

Mood Elevator

4.8
Omaha Driver on 03/20/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Take an ordinary day with time in the office, add a business trip or errand, take down the top on the Miata, and presto, instant mini-vacation. What a mood elevator. I bought the car with 100K and have added 36k over three years as my daily driver. I even drove it this winter (not recommended). Throw some sand bags in the trunk, make sure the tires are good, and be careful. Goes fast enough, stops fast, very reliable, depreciates slowly. Only thing that could be better is gas mileage (about 25 in town, 30 on the highway in a very small car). But, it's just the car to be in on a nice day.

My Life Long Dream

4.9
Love My "M" on 10/15/2007

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Had a 1967 MGB and never thought I could match the experience. My 1997 "M" Edition blows away the "B". I am the original owner and only driver of my "M". Still today stopped at a traffic light people roll down their window and say what a beautiful car. The driving experience at sundown or at night with the top down and the pipes purring is indescribable if you haven't experienced it. This is absolutely the most fun car to drive in the whole world. All the other two-seaters are "phonies" with their too-much power and comfort features. Yes the "B" was a classic never to be replaced, until the Miata, especially the last of the original breed, the 1997 "M" Edition.

Keeps On Tickin'

4.5
damdelion12 on 12/12/2006

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

This vehicle requires gasoline & synthetic oil & that's about all - I don't even wash it/last wash job was April 06. Four sets of tires. Two sets of brakes - 235,000 miles and going strong. Oh, my back windshield plastic yellowed up.

Fun in the Sun

4.9
Doug on 05/24/2006

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I bought this car for a daily driver one year ago with 100k miles. Now I'm at 115K and the only expenses have been a tuneup, new tires, and oil changes. It handles great, is fun to drive with the top down, and gets 25-30 m.p.g. Though small, it is solidly built. My son borrowed it for his Jr.-Sr. Prom, so my three kids (two teenagers and one married) like it too and occasionally ask to borrow it.

Excellent 2nd car

4.5
Stuart on 03/18/2006

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

This is the most fun-to-drive car that I've ever had the pleasure of driving. Not especially fast, but the chassis dynamics are an excellent compromise between comfort and control. The stock exhaust provides an aural symphony as you run through the gears. To maximize acceleration, you'll need to spin it >4k rpm. Shifting is a "snick-snick" proposition with short, precise throws. Don't expect a limo ride, but it's far from punishing. Handling is excellent - balanced, with moderate roll and good feel through the wheel. Trunk space is limited; it could use a 6th gear; rear-side visibility is limited with the top up; and the car is not quiet. These are the demerits.

BEST DEAL EVER

5
MM on 02/26/2006

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

The 97 model year marked the end of the "M1" style Miata which was first introduced in 89 as a 90 model. The 1.8L engine that this year includes provides more than enough thrust. The car shines in the curves. I have yet to drive (and I've driven a lot) a car that out handles the Miata. As the Miata grows bigger and more powerful, it loses some of it's charm that the M1 style had. The 90-93 model with the 1.6L engine and the 94-97 model with the 1.8L engine are far and away the best value and most fun you can have on four wheels. Three features missing on post 97 models are headrest speakers, pop-up head lights and chrome "finger pull" door handles. Drive it and you will never want to get out.

Sports car in its purest form

5
Applan on 08/05/2005

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

In terms of value for money in the sports car category, the Miata has no equals. It is quite simply a pure sports car. Like the British sports cars of the 70s but with excellent reliability. Other reviews have said it is lacking in performance - I'll bet that they are changing gear at under 4000 rpm. You see the Miata begs to be driven hard, you feel its power rising smoothly all the way to red line at 7000 rpm. You can absolutely throw it around corners, and it stays completely flat. Oh and don't believe it if somebody tells you it's a chick car. Take a look around and you'll see that most SUV drivers are chicks, most Miata drivers are not!

Fun to drive

4.6
billy bronco on 08/04/2005

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

This car is a ball to drive. Its like a high power go-kart. I know the younger crowd thinks it’s a girlie car but take one for a ride and you will be convinced otherwise. I’m 53 and wish I bought one a long time a go. Sticks to the road like glue, plenty of power. You feel like your going 100 miles an hour at 60 because you're so low to the ground. I don’t use mine as a daily driver; kinda tough because its so small, but it can be done. My wife loves being the passenger and lately has been taking her friends out cruising! I do my own work and it is built like a little tank, indestructible and cleverly done at that. Mine is a '97 with 94K miles and runs like new, zoom zoom!

Miata STO

4.9
Bodid on 06/13/2005

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Well I bought a 'special edition', and I love it!!! The STO version had just enough of the right stuff and not too much of the 'poofy' stuff, to make it attractive. It is totally reliable, totally fun, and good looking, even though I must admit its probably a 'chick' car (sorry). I love to autocross it and beat the Ford Mustangs, and the Cameros, and the other V8s with my little four banger. It handles incredibly well. Its a bit tight, and noisy with the cloth top, so I leave mine down most of the time. I've had MGs, Fiats, VWs, and this is the best convertible I have ever had. Would buy another in a heart beat. Life is too short to drive a mere sedan, get a convertible, and drive it

You'll Get My Miata...

5
azcat on 08/17/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

...when you pry my cold, dead fingers from the steering wheel. >102k miles, <$50 in unplanned maintenance, and a blast to drive. Plenty of room for two. Of >30 cars I've owned, this one is by far the best built, best running, and most fun to drive. You can't go wrong with one of these.

Holy Cow!

5
japman on 03/27/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

This car ain't a car - it's a way of life. How many cars have owners clubs, millions of accessories, newsgroups, shows, hats & T-shirts? There is a reason. Most other Miata owners on a sunny day will pop their lights to say hi on a crowded freeway. No problems, zippy engine, european pizazz with Japanese reliability & performance. Cheap to buy, operate & maintain. Not much pretention, but you can certainly feel the jealous eyes coming from SUV's on a warm Spring day.

The little red engine that could

4.4
imanah on 03/18/2004

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

it is my primary car and has been very good to me. Things I have learned; 1. Having it as a primary car in the Northeast is not so safe or practical. I reccomend having an alternative in the winter due to its low weight. 2. A Nice audio system and a plastic window is an invitation to have your car broken into with anything from a razor to a houshold knife. 3. People think you are rich if you have a miata, as if it was a porch :)

Excellent car!

5
amrsn on 03/18/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I got this car last year, I’ve always wanted it, and it’s even more than what I expected. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had while driving and it's a decent performer too. 8.x sec 0-60 not bad. One of the best things is that there are tons of aftermarket parts.

Favorite Car yet

4.9
Kimmyroo on 03/02/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I bought my Miata in 97. My first Mazda. I researched them completely and my Miata has lived up to the reputation of being fun, quick and most of all reliable. I have never had any problems with it, only performed the normal scheduled work. 96K miles and it still has a lot of life in it! I would recommend these cars to anyone. More than that, I would buy another one in a heartbeat! Super cars!

3 year love affair

4.8
Kiko J on 02/14/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I bought my used Miata 3 years ago and decided not to sell it when I moved from Florida to Michigan. In the snow I had my share of little problems but dringin top-down during spring/summer makes up for it and more. The Miata is an amazing car. Not only is it reliable but has a great design, I like the old box more than the new one but the new one still is cool. No problems except a failure with both the master and slave cylinder with the total cost being $400. For 3 years it ain't bad. I am torn between the RX-8 and the Mazdaspeed Miata for my next car; but I can say that Mazda delivers more performance for your buck than any other car manufacturer.

Capability Review

4.6
The Fudder on 11/27/2003

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

I had a Corvette before buying the Miata and honestly enjoy driving the Miata much more. The only problem is long distance. Cannot sit in the Miata much more than a couple of hours. Great handling on tight curves. Performance a little weak but expected. A fun sports car.

STO2GO

4.8
roknrol on 09/15/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

This is a great car. I'll echo the other review about being careful of the special editions. It's too easy to become so paranoid of getting the car dinged up that you'll just keep it in the garage and admire it. However, the car must be driven to truly admire it. I had wanted a true, classic convertible for a long time, but didn't want the maintenance issues of an MG or Triumph. The Miata is the perfect answer.

classic design

4
a.bledsoe on 08/30/2003

Performance: 3 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

the miata is a truly fun car to drive,own,and operate.if handling is your strong point this is your car.

Awesome Affordable performance

5
dbensyl@att.net on 04/27/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

This is my third Miata after owning a 1990 and then a 1994 model. I have owned many cars from cheap imports to a Lexus LS 400. In my opinion the Miata is the most trouble free car on the road to own and operate, and a joy to drive. I put over 100,000 miles on the first one and only replaced an $8 headlight (excluding routine oil changes, tires, and filters). The only weakness I have seen in these cars is that the OEM spark plug wires do not last that long. Replacement spark plug wire set will last for another 100,000 miles and cost around $30-35. This car is always a blast to drive and will never leave you stranded.

Couldn't be happier.

4.9
vectorwolf on 01/29/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I purchased this vehicle in July 2002 with 45,000 miles on the odomoeter. It now has nearly 70,000, and I've yet to have any mechanical, or other, problems. It's as quick off the line as any V-6, turns heads wherever you go, and is far more roomy and comfortable than it's exterior go-kart appearance lets on. It's terrific in bad weather as well. No leaks unless you're driving in horizontal rain. And, amazingly enough, with only a pair of snow tires on the rear wheels (any generic brand will do), you'll be passing by other poor souls in SUV's in the dead of winter. Well worth the trouble of actually locating one for sale. Zoom, zoom. :-)

Fun car to drive

4.8
Ceasar on 09/16/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

When I first walked up to the car I said, "Its so small, no way I could like this". When I got into the test drive I was sold ! The power is a bit lacking but I can not get over the handling. It is such an nice car to drive. I am planning to turbo it but stock it is GREAT.

not very practicle

4.4
jammer on 09/09/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

i cant seem to get where i am going, the car keeps taking me down all these back roads and alternate routes. cant get the car off my mind ,i just want to keep driving, its also getting expensive on gas doing 500 miles a week,am now late for work most days, so the car is not very practicle if you want to do any thing but have fun driving

Pretty cool little car!!!

4.9
Shaun C on 08/24/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I just bought a 97 Miata and I have to be honest and say I am hooked - hook, line and sinker! I have had other two seaters before (76 Fiat Spyder and 90 Fiero) but none of the have had the ride this little car gives. I have been very impressed with Junior's (what, you haven't named yours???) handling and top end pick up. It doesn't seem to have as much pick up on the lower end as I had expected, but it more than makes up for it in pick up at speeds over 50 mph. I drive with the top down as much as possible as this is how the car feels at it's best.

Miata STO

4.8
rhino1776 on 08/01/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I'm 57 years old with back sugury and was concerned with being able to drive a performance car. However, when I came across this STO Miata I thought I would give it a try. The deciding factor was the automatic transimission. The car cries out to be a stick, but I have to stay with reality concerning my back. With this in mind, the car has performed past expectations. I am just under 6' and fit just fine. The automatic it is like driving a go cart.

A great car

4.3
EddieJ on 07/05/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

This is my second Miata, and I still love it everytime I see it and get it for a drive. Build quality went down from my first (a 1990), but I may be nitpicking. I've driven alot of of other sports cars, but not many compare, because the Miata is so light and communicative. You don't need fancy electronics to get you out of trouble the miata tells you, and the car has the ability to get you out of trouble. Only when you start getting into the 50K+ range do you get something comparable, but still those drive so dryly and clinically. It just doesn't seem to be an experience.

A Fun Car

4.5
Daddyvet on 04/21/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

Car was 4 years old when I bought it. It had 5248 miles showing on the odomenter...I believe to be correct. Being 68 years old it is my boyhood dream come true. I have put 4500 miles on it in 1 year. Have had absolutely no problems with it. with my bad knees, I have a little trouble getting in and out of it. But if I didn't have that trouble it wouldn't be a sports car, would it? Hope you can have one also!

Big Time Fun

4.1
cwardlaw on 03/26/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 3 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 3 Reliability Rating: 5

When you buy a Miata, avoid the special editions. Why? See, you'll fall in love with the car, and when you own a special edition, every little scratch, nick and ding sends you over the edge. You'll end up storing the car rather than driving it. Get a regular Miata with cloth seats and drive the hell out of it. It can take abuse with a smile.



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