Buyer's Guide 1996

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Miata is a litmus test of human personalities. Anybody who doesn't like this car is a doomsayer of human spirit. In our society, this car represents youth, freedom, mobility, and a reward. This trim roadster should bring out smiles to full potential each time you take it on the road. Driving this car makes you want to pay your taxes, bring flowers home, spend time with your least-favorite relative, and recycle your garbage. It got a new engine two years ago that now produces 133 hp, 17 hp more than the first Miata, helping to make up for the weight of added side-impact protection and chassis bracing. The steering is crisp and quick, and the brakes, the manual transmission, and all other controls work like a fine watch. Few options are offered, but a leather interior and anti-lock brakes are available at a steep premium. The exhaust note is all the music you need.

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