The Mazda Miata first hit the US in June of 1989 as a 1990 model year. Its characteristic "cow-mouth" survived the redesign for the 1999 model year (permanent headlamps instead of pop-up; exaggerated body styling via curves, skirts, and a slight spoiler on the trunk).

After driving around in the Boss'es Miata for a little while, I am firmly convinced that the word Miata is Japanese for "Over 5 feet tall, not allowed". Nice little vehicle (the acceleration is nothing short of iinnccrreddiibbllee!), but I had to put down the ragtop just to fit in it in any sort of comfort.

As an aside, the Miata is sold in Japan as the Eunos Roadster.

As of 9/24/00, I've owned a 2000 Miata (in striking Emerald Mica--a color awfuly close to British Racing Green) for exactly one week. It is far and away the most fun vehicle I've ever owned.

In my research about the model, I came across several enthusiast's groups, which I considered a little silly. It's only a car, after all...

It only took me one week to become an enthusiast. So much so, in fact, that I'm strongly considering a Miata Metanode...

Here are the standard features of the 2000 Miata:


Engine        1.8 liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder
              Iron block; light-alloy cylinder head
Transmission  5-speed manual, optional automatic
Steering      Power-assist rack-and-pinion, with engine-speed-sensing variable assist
              Ratio: 15:1
              Turns, lock-to-lock: 2.7
              Turning circle, curb-to-curb: 30.2 feet
Brakes        Power-assist 4-wheel disc
              10.0-inch ventilated front rotors
              9.9-inch ventilated rear rotors
Suspension    Four-wheel double-wishbone, with gas-filled shocks and front/rear stabilizer bars
Exhaus        Sport-tuned


14-inch alloy wheels w/ wheel locks
Manual vinyl convertible top with vinyl boot cover
Class rear window with defogger
Dual body-color power remote mirrors, 2-speed intermittent wipers
Power antenna
Free-surface reflector halogen headlights
Front fog lights


Dual 2nd-generation front air bags w/ passenger-side deactivation switch
3-point safety belts with tension limiters
Reclining bucket seats
Black cloth uphostery
Windblocker (tm) antidraft panel with integral storage pouch
Carpeted floor mats
Lockable center console storage and glove compartment, dual cup holders, map pockets on doors
Power windows
Remote trunk-lid and fuel-door releases
Courtesy light on windshield header, passenger vanity mirror
Instrumentation: speedometer, tachometer, coolant-temperature gauge, oil-pressure indicator
3-spoke leather-wrapped NARDI steering wheel
AM/FM/CD stereo with two speakers and digital clock

Performance Specifications

Horsepower, SAE Net @ rpm:  140 @ 6500, 138 @ 6500 (NLEV)
Torque, SAE Net @ rpm:      119 @ 5500, 117 @ 5000 (NLEV)
Fuel capacity:              12.7 gallons; regular unleaded
EPA Estimated fuel ecomomy: 25mpg city; 29mpg highway

Transmission ratios          Manual       Automatic
1st gear                     3.136          2.450
2nd gear                     1.888          1.450
3rd gear                     1.330          1.000
4th gear                     1.000          0.730
5th gear                     0.814           --- 
Final drive                  4.300          4.100

Dimensions (inches)

Wheelbase/overall length:        89.2/155.3
Overall height/width:            48.4/66.0
Front/rear track:                55.7/56.7
Headroom/legroom/shoulder room:  37.1/42.8/49.7
Cargo volume:                    5.1 cubic feet
Curb weight (manual/automatic):  2,332/2,381 lbs

Source: Mazda's 2000 Miata brouchure, lovingly handed me by a Mazda salesguy just one short week ago.

MIATA stands for Masculinity Isn’t All That Anyway.

This is an observation on the lack of manliness in the Mazda Miata. It's small so its tougher for taller and fatter guys to get into it. It lacks a high horsepower and high torque engine. It's cute. It's just not what a typical beer drinking, football watching, manly man drives.

Click and Clack did a study on girlie cars. The Mazda Miata was number 3. Other cars that made the girlie list are the VW Beetle, VW Cabriolet, VW Jetta and the Dodge Neon.
Ah, the Miata is a sturdy little beastie, just a very cute tiny little thing as well -- a sports car. It is, after all, one of those utterly reliable and therefore boring Japanese cars. Since most of us who are of An Age think of "Fiat" or "MG" when the mind wanders to "affordable sportscar", we also end up thinking "Fix It Again Tony" and of Sir Lucas' famous "Gentlemen do not motor after dark." quotation.

It would be an even better car if it were more fitting for those of us who are tall in the saddle. I don't mind climbing out of it, but I prefer not to have to choose between rubbing a bald spot on my pate or risking permanent damage to my neck and spine from hunching down.

For the off-season, a hardtop is a nice accessory as it helps to keep the heat in and rain out.

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