1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

There's something to be said for rear-wheel-drive sports cars. It simply makes cars like the 1999 Mazda Miata more fun than a barrel of monkeys. The Miata combines the fun of its spiritual predecessor, the British sports car, with Japanese reliability and modern technology. Since its introduction in 1989, these attributes have enabled the Miata to become a favorite of sports car enthusiasts everywhere. With more than 430,000 units sold around the world since then, the Miata is now one of the best selling sports cars built today.

For 1999, Mazda's adorable little roadster receives a host of upgrades, including a thorough reworking of the car's exterior. The new Miata has a larger trunk than first-generation models, increased chassis stiffness, and an improved four-cylinder engine that now produces a zippy 140 horsepower.

From the factory, most British sports cars of the 1950s, '60s and '70s never made near that much power, but one thing they had in common with the Miata is rear-wheel drive, one of the essential elements of a classic British sports car. A typical vintage British sports car has narrow tires and rear-wheel drive — a combination that yields easily achievable oversteer. That is one of the most enjoyable traits of the Miata. It, too, has limits that are easily achievable.

Fun, and forgiving

Want to induce oversteer in a corner? Simply apply the throttle in the proper gear and the tail swings out appropriately. Had enough fun? To correct your newfound rear-end swagger, merely remove your foot from the throttle. Try that in a Camaro, Mustang or Porsche, and you stand a good chance of winding up in a ditch. By comparison, with its more balanced 50/50 weight distribution between front and rear tires, the Miata has wonderful stability and is much more forgiving.

For that reason, we are not sure why anyone would want anything larger than the 14-inch tires that come standard on the Miata. Sure, the available 15-inch wheels might look better, but those bigger tires push the limits of the car to a higher level — something we think detracts from the car's appeal.

The Car Connection Consumer Review

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Sunday, March 20, 2016
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2-Door Convertible Manual Club

I love it!

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My last car was a 2010 Miata PRHT which I really liked but when I saw the new one I knew I had to have it. I am not disappointed this new car is faster much better looking and just a blast to drive. Some... + More »
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2-Door Convertible Manual Grand Touring

Went from a 2010 Porsche Boxster and couldn't be happier.

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This car weighs 640 pounds less than my Boxster and boy can you tell the difference. The Boxster is one of the best driving cars, and I tell you I enjoy my new Miata every bit as much. The feeling of driving... + More »
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2-Door Convertible Automatic Grand Touring

Old Man's Review

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I owned a 1999 Miata and loved that car. I did have an accident in it when a Caravan decided to pass a car in front of it and entered the oncoming traffic lane and hit me. I was able to drive away from that... + More »
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