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1999 Mazda Miata

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1999 Mazda Miata Review

Simple and sporty style with speed.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata has been one of the most recognizable cars since its introduction in 1990. It takes a page from the stripped down British roadsters of the 1950s and 1960s and combines it with modern design and engineering. The final result is a sleek, agile, reliable vehicle, which still manages to be more practical than most of its competitors.

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata is an example of a vehicle so well designed that the final product is superior to the sum of its parts. In terms of specifications, nothing seems particularly amazing compared to many other vehicles on the market. In fact, the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine seems puny compared to the six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines in its competitors. However, the specifications are very deceptive. It's a fast, agile convertible with excellent acceleration and performance that can outperform vehicles with larger engines with ease.

The 1999 Mazda Miata also manages to be a fairly practical vehicle, especially compared to other roadsters. The price is only a little more than an average car and less than most of its direct competitors. It also has decent fuel efficiency, which is usually a weak point on roadsters, especially those with eight-cylinder engines. For drivers that do not need to carry passengers, it manages to be a viable vehicle option rather than an overly extravagant luxury item like most roadsters.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, six-speed manual
Models: Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mazda MX-5 Miata 10th Anniversary

What's New

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata has no noticeable design changes from previous models. There have been numerous design level changes, but the overall features are consistent with previous models. The higher-priced M-Edition is not available, but the 10th Anniversary model takes its place.

Exterior

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a sleek, two-door convertible with the total length is only 155 inches, making it smaller than most cars on the road. A hardtop roof and rear spoiler are available as optional features.

Interior

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata does not have much in the way of an interior, as a two-seat convertible; the only standard feature is a CD player. However, the optional features are fairly robust including leather seating, cruise control, power steering, leather trim, air-conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, and Bose audio. Most of these features are not very useful without the optional hardtop, which is likely why it's not standard.

Performance & Handling

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata manages to deliver on this with ease. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is very deceptive. The small size and excellent design allow it to deliver a higher top speed and better acceleration than many six-cylinder engine vehicles. It's one of the rare instances where a four-cylinder engine is not a compromise for the sake of cost reduction.

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata's maneuverability is extremely impressive, even outperforming far more expensive vehicles. Outside other roadsters and sports cars, there are few vehicles that can match it in agility. The small size also works well to its advantage in this regard.

Safety

The 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata is similar to most roadsters and safety features are fairly minimal. In fact, the only standard safety feature is the dual front airbags, which is a little unusual for this style; four-wheel anti-lock brakes are an optional feature. Overall, this is less of an issue than it would be heavier roadsters with more powerful engines. Like most roadsters, safety is largely based on the driver being able to maneuver out of danger.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda MX-5 Miata: 20/26 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Low price roadster
  • High performance
  • Numerous options that are rarely seen in this price range
  • Fairly practical compared to similar vehicles

You Won't Like

  • Small interior, even for a two-seater convertible
  • Standard features on most vehicles are only available as options
  • No automatic transmission option

Sum Up

Simple and sporty style with speed.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • BMW Z3
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
  • Porsche Boxster

See the New 2015 Miata.

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