MR2 Spyder or Miata?

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by tweakmonkey, Sep 19, 2008.

?

Miata or MR2

  1. Miata

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. MR2

    21 vote(s)
    87.5%
  1. Dustin

    Dustin Junior Member

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    If I was to buy any Miata I would pick a 94. Reasons being: Not as light as the 1990-1992 but still below 2300lbs; new 1.8L motor, optional Torsen LSD (yay), reinforced chassis, larger brakes and the stock wheels are 14x6 vs 14x5.5 and also lighter. There was also several optional packages like the R-Package which came with the LSD, aero package and Bilstein shocks as well as unique colours. Also another edition that came with super light (9lbs~) BBS wheels.

    1994 was a good year for Miatas :D

    The newer body style are good, but not AS good... heavier and larger overall. If you wanted a newer one you might as well go for a Spyder instead because they're not THAT cheap vs how cheap you can pick up a 94 or older for
  2. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I'm looking at the 1st generation Miatas and noticing that the 1990 and 1991 models are either really worn out (dents, paint, interior) or were gutted for racing. This seems to be the case with some of the 1992-1994+ models as well, but this was expected. :)

    There's a lot of red ones!

    Price breakdown for used Miatas (California, Arizona):
    $1000 gets you a well running 1990 Miata (maybe w/ some mods, like it or not) 150k+ miles. May not smog, may have gutted interior. Likely no power steering or air conditioning
    $1500 can get you a cleaner, well running 1990-1993 Miata. 150k+ miles
    $2000 gets you a 1992+ Miata with fair-good paint, no dents, 120k+
    $2500 gets you the same but lower mileage, nicer tops and interior. Some options. Maybe a 1994+
    $3000 gets you really clean and well kept <1994 cars over/around ~100k miles. More 1994s at this price.
    $3500 they're about perfect, sometimes under 100k. Some are 1994+ for this price, as new as 1997+ with higher mileage.
    $4000 is out of the price range I'm looking at now if I buy a Miata. I prefer <1999.
  3. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Changes over the years to Miata

    From 1990-1998 Mazda Miata - Consumer Guide Automotive

    So the 1994+ looks like a must-have. I don't know if I want to spend that much money though. How good is the ABS on the 1991s? It doesn't rain here much but I think ABS is generally a good option for a sports car. :D

    Are the bigger brakes on the 1994 are a big improvement?

    Wikipedia didn't list the horsepower when I checked, but (
    1990-1998 Mazda Miata Specs & Safety - Consumer Guide Automotive

    1990-1993 116 / 100 torque
    1994+ 1.8 liter 133 HP / 110-114 torque

    I've fallen in love with the yellow ones.
    Both blue colors are pretty neat too, especially the brighter one.
    White's okay.
    Tired of seeing red ones but I would drive one.
    Don't want black, but it looks nice.
  4. Dustin

    Dustin Junior Member

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    Bah ABS is for fags :D
  5. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I just went and looked at an MR2 Spyder. It was a 2002, pretty well kept, ~77k miles, at $9800. My roommate was the one who actually wanted to see it... he's the one that suggested I take a look at them in the first place and then all the sudden he's like "I might buy an MR2".. wtf

    We drove about 20 miles to see this thing. It was dark out and we both had flash lights to examine the car, but figured if it was nice we could come see it in the day tomorrow. We didn't drive it because it was pitch black and cold out.

    After looking over the car for ~30 minutes, sitting in it and opening/closing everything, I don't think I want one. Partially because to buy it I'd have to make it my only car (get rid of my Insight). I guess I thought it would be better constructed and feel higher quality.

    The top is nice. The glass rear window is nice. The seats aren't bad. The gauge cluster is okay. The wheels look good.

    Everything else in the interior felt like a cheap Tercel or something (shifter, gauge position, dash, glovebox, etc.). The plastic was thin and the door handles looked like something you'd buy at AutoZone. The rear deck lid looks cool, but all the plastic pieces on the car looked really cheap (the ducts, front bumper cover vent, rear diffuser area). I just think even my lowly Insight felt like a Lexus compared to the MR2. I know the older ones are well built, but the 3rd generation didn't feel like the same Toyota quality was put into it.

    I was surprised at the amount of luggage space. Sure it's small, but it's not as bad as I would've guessed. I could probably get by on just that as my only car. Hopefully I can get a chance to drive one, but I'm leaning toward the Miata more now. I figure for ~$10,000 (hell, even if it was $5000) vs $3000, the Miata just seems like so much better bargain even if it's older. I can get the Miata and keep my Honda with no problem.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Junior Member

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    This was my biggest complaint about the Spyder at first glance and you just reminded me of it.. Fit and finish are TERRIBLE and it looks awful inside. The Miata on the other hand (even a 1990) is really solidly built inside with a nice simple design. Even after 19 years, the doors still have that reassuring sound when they close without a lot of hollow rattling like you would find in another car of the same age.

    There's a reason why a modern car like the Spyder can only weigh 2100lbs; have to sacrifice somewhere.

    So like I said, check the cars out in person and that will decide for you. And it did!

    (He decided to turbo the Insight)

    Fingers crossed.