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Considering Ownership

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GayleJ Gayle Johnson
Montrose, Colorado, USA   USA
I am considering purchasing a 2016 Miata and wondered several things - must I always use premium gas? Is it really as much fun to own as I have read? What type of mileage do people generally get with this car? Thanks, Gayle J

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TRGT673 Avatar
TRGT673 Keith Bay
West Allis, Wisconsin, USA   USA
Hi Gayle,

I'll take a stab at this. I recently (last summer) purchased a 2007 with a slushbox and in the limited driving I have done (a little over 1100 miles) am getting around 27 mpg. I am using mid-range because that seems to be what is called for for this car. I don't know if the newer NDs are 'suggested' to use premium or not.

I traded up to the Miata after over 20 years of driving 6 cylinder Triumphs because of bad knees and a dicreasing desire to spend time "working on the cars" instead of driving them. I LOVE the Miata. There are other cars I might have preferred outright but for dollars (purchase and/or upkeep) to miles enjoyment I don't think you can go wrong with the Miata. You can always buy one, drive it for a while and then move on if you want to. But I don't think you will regret trying one.

So that what I know and I'm sticking to it.

Keith A. Bay
West Allis, WI


2007 MX5
Badgerland Miata Club, also on Facebook



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-02-26 07:13 PM by TRGT673.

jegliebe3 Avatar
jegliebe3 Gold Member Joe Gliebe
Cumming, Georgia, USA   USA
I have a 2016. Mileage is much higher than expected, over 32 mpg around town. I did not believe the Car
's computer so I checked it the old way. It was accurate. Premium gas is recommended and I use it. The book says regular can be used without damage, but power and mileage will suffer.

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jegliebe3 Avatar
jegliebe3 Gold Member Joe Gliebe
Cumming, Georgia, USA   USA
Forgot to say I sold a 2008 CaymanS and bought the Mx5. A bit slower but no regrets.

davzway David W
Fort McCoy, Florida, USA   USA
Currently driving Miata #3- In past have owned Datsun 2000, MGB, MGB/GT, Saab Sonett III, Fiat 124 Spyder, and more. The Miata, other than having NO room behind driver (IDEAL would be 18" or so jump seat like 911 or Fiat Spyder etc with slightly larger trunk,, and super if AWD); irrespective of shortcomings from MHO the Miata is the most fun to drive of ANYthing close to them is size/design. First was 1996 (NA),,, Second was 1992 (TOTALLY redone ($20k by PO) with racing engine, HD trans, brakes and etc which was ruined by mechanic doing routine maintenance who didn't know how to install timing belt. The current Miata is a 2011 PRHT Touring model (NC) and ALL of the short comings and MOST of the custom add-on being sold from NA and NB models are part of NC models (and more in ND which is totally new for 2016). The NC has the 2000cc engine like the new ND model (also has CHAIN for Timing Belt, removing issue of changing every 60k or 100k depending on who you are listening to for facts)..

YOUR Question on gas: Dealer put Regular Gas in the 2011 at dealership; providing the new customer with full tank of gas (two hour drive from Jacksonville to home, providing good initial run for trying Regular gas. The Miata ran just fine on Regular, NO pinging or valve clatter or hesitation showing no sign of 'problems' with using Regular. That said: MAZDA recommends PREMIUM gas (on sticker, inside gas fill door which obviously dealer paid no attention). Edmunds who rate and present themselves as car experts has a list of Premium Gas- REQUIRED vs list of cars Premium Gas (93 Octane) - Recommended but Cars work just fine on Regular gas (87 octane). The NC Miata going through 2015 cars is on the Edmund's RECOMMENDED LIST (Regular Gas is okay list.) One friend of 35-years+ who is a car mechanic says the computer adjusts for the type of gas used, gradually changing Premium to Regular and vice versa, no issues even the 1992 set up for racing drove just fine on Regular- see below. First 1996 NA Miata gas mileage for 21k miles, ran from 28mpg to 35mpg. The highly modified NA (1992) ran from 30-38mpg, depending on your foot, gas peddle and driving habits. The current NC (2011) is a little different; besides being a more 'powerful' engine.

What this owner DID document is the 2011 Miata for four tanks of Regular Gas, averaged 25-26.8 mpg. High end achieved when gas tank filled before going onto Interstate and filling gas tank AGAIN when leaving the interstate. Range of mpg was consistent and accurate. After initial four tanks, actually Fifth counting dealers fill up, changing gas to Premium (93) per Mazda, averaging 30-33 mpg. Car is a little MORE zippy (technical term) on the Premium Gas, calculating COST/MILE since Premium is .40 cent / gal more than Regular gas,, Cost per mile was cheaper using Premium. Driving better, cheaper cost for gas (cost/mile) this owner stayed with Premium after fifth tank full. Having driven 7000miles, nothing changed those numbers; driving is conservative, keeping rpm above 2000, shifting before 3500 (normally), driving 45mph is a 5th gear, staying in fifth; driving that is NOT the best for GAS Mileage but is better for your engine by avoiding engine lugging without acceleration from 1500rpm or so... last trip Ocala to Clearwater, 400 miles, half highway and half city (Pinellas County is SMALLEST County in Florida with THIRD largest population and TRAFFIC to prove it), putting gas in car twice (always fill up before coming home, even if only 1/4 tank is needed), averaging 30.1 - 30.5 mpg.

In closing, the NC 2011 Mazda Miata is a FUN car to drive with GREAT gas mileage...... this reviewer considers a car having the Miata's performance (whether going from 0- 60mph, or driving at 60mph and hitting gas to zip up to 80+mph while passing a slow car, having smooth shifting with comfortable seats for two t performance (having stainless luggage rack, looking like one from MGB on trunk lid with a waterproof BootBag in recess of trunk floor for when need arises so the Miata owner will be good to go on a trip for two ) while averaging 30mpg is a Great car) (vs the Nissan 4x4 Crew Cab truck with camper top which achieves 15mpg city and 15+mpg highway, driving comfort is better, cargo carry capacity is MUCH higher, the fun factor= not so much.

IF Miata ADDS the PRHT (Power Retractable Hard Top) to the current ND Miata,, this reviewer MIGHT consider the change to a newer Miata; having owned more than a dozen 'ragtops' , going from Hardtop to convertible with- a pull of latching lever at windshield, push and hold button on dash for under 15seconds while sitting behind the wheel IS A GREAT WAY TO OWN AND DRIVE A CONVERTIBLE SPORTS CAR. UNLESS SOMEONE OFFERS TOO MUCH TO BUY MY NC WHERE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY NO, THERE IS ONE PAMPERED 2011 NC PRHT TOURING MIATA WITH UNDER 28k MILES THAT WILL STAY IN THIS REVIEWER'S DRIVEWAY (with Best Moss Miata Stormguard Car Cover under a King Canopy covered driveway).


Talk with Miata owners, watch the Forums, and test drive any of the Miata years,, then decide,, Miata is the ONLY used car this reviewer ever purchased and Miata is the ONLY car where THREE cars (Miata's) have been purchased out of some 12 or so 'sports cars' in the ~ 50 new vehicles purchased over 50+ years of car buying ownership (driving 60-98k per year in construction, buying 1 or 2 cars per year, you WILL buy a few cars). but that's just ...... DAVZWAY



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-03-02 03:29 PM by davzway.

samsonsg303 Stanley Samson
Victoria, BC, Canada   CAN
1992 Mazda MX-5 "Red Lady"
After driving my 1992 Miata for 25 years, I decided to try premium gasoline. Man it really kicks ass. What an improvement! I am going to stay with premium for the few cents more per litre. As for gas mileage, who cares as it is a 4 cylinder.

davzway David W
Fort McCoy, Florida, USA   USA
I am not sure how much I love driving and owning a Miata; however, considering the 2011 PRHT currently owned is my THIRD Miata, following a 1996 (#1) , a fully custom set up for racing 1992 (#2), and the 2011 (3rd is dream compared to other two in ride comfort, and PRHT vs rag top,, never go back to again. ALL purchased used, and no issues (92 doesn't count as garage ruined engine by not knowing how to do a timing belt job,,, something the NC models don't have)

Dealer filled tank on 2011, not knowing gas (written on inside of gas door lid) or being cheap did with Regular,,, drove home 150+ miles,, then for next two tanks ran Regular (did fine, no pings, hesitation, etc) but gas mileage was 25-26mpg. Filled fourth tank with Premium and never went back. First, gas mileage is 30-33mpg and calculating cost per mile, despite higher cost of Premium, running PREMIUM is cheaper. Second,, the Miata's ZIP was noticeably improved on Premium gas, finding better responsiveness, acceleration, etc etc), Third.. Mazda recommends Premium (Edmunds has a list, Premium - MUST and another list Premium-Recommended. Miata is on Recommended list. Cost and driving better is enough reason,, NO reason to use Regular that I can see.

davzway
ps: previously owned 'toys' were: MG, MGB/GT, Datsun 2000 roadster, Saab Sonnett III, Fiat 124 Spyder, etc and Miata is best of them all.. IF Miata was 18" longer, having rear seat like 911 or others,, little longer and little more trunk would not ruin this small roadster... with AWD,, the Miata would be the PERFECT sports car.

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mlvei Michael Veirs
Stamping Ground, Kentucky, USA   USA
First question is "What do you want in a car?" A convertible (small)? Really fast or just quick? Are you self actualizing and do what you like or enjoy others pointing at your car in admiration? Maintenance costs unimportant or you want an ez care special? You can get a MX5 in any flavor of modification you want but let's talk about what I see as the philosophy of MX5. I was originally built to be a small, relatively lightweight agile sports car like the Brit/Italian versions of the 50-60's. Not fast but quick. And "modern day" comfortable and reliable. The normal progression for most car companies is start smaller and move, over the years, to longer/lower/wider with great increases in power and consequent weight. Mazda has stayed relative true to the original MX5 philosophy and if the values you are looking for are within the MX5 design parameters (inexpensive, quick, well built, comfortable, convertible experience) as opposed to (really fast, eye popping wow factor, perhaps even gawdy) then the MX5 fits many folks interests.

tim65mgb Avatar
tim65mgb Silver Member Tim Guntly
Cherry Valley, Illinois, USA   USA
1960 Daimler V8-250 "SP250"
1967 Jaguar 340
1971 MG MGB GT
1973 MG Midget    & more
I have a '07 Highland Green with PRHT and 6 speed auto trans. I get mid to upper 30s around town and 40 on the hwy.

Many don't like the auto trans but I love it. Quick shifts, manuals mode works great and best of all hwy driving I turn 2600 rpm at 78-80 mph

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davzway David W
Fort McCoy, Florida, USA   USA
YES.. NOT the FASTEST sports car owned,, Sunbeam Tiger is likely there,,, those unfair for v-8,, but Datsun 2000 roadster would go fast enough you needed a spoiler (front wheels left ground)..... and SAAB Sonett III likely handled better with front wheel drive.. BUT having owned THREE, current model is 2011 Touring PRHT which is way cool, push button and 12 seconds later, full convertible. 1992 (full blown race set up ,, STEAL and couldn't pass up),, 1996 (first two both NA,, current NC.. REALLY DO LOVE HANDLING AND RIDE OF THE MIATA. Added ss luggage rack to rear trunk lid (which with wp Roof Bag) takes care of trips for two (even when grocery shopping went out of control for too many 2:1 specials and used luggage rack )... fantastic ride, , super PRECISE handling, and gas mileage that is great..

ONLY things I'd change ,, would LOVE for inside to be a little larger, having jump seat area <like 911, Fiat 124 Spyder, and others),,,, trunk is small but luggage rack makes that a non starter here.. and would be the PERFECT driving machine for anywhere in country 24/7/365 would be having AWD ,.,All Wheel Drive would defeat snow, really bad rain and Colorado curve doing 180 with no guard rails....

NOT sure about Automatic,,, have NOT driven new NC or new ND with auto tranny,, some new Subaru with AWD and CVT get 15 to 20% better gas mileage than stick.. Mitsubishi in 86 dealer was trying pawn off AUTO version for 4cyl (had six) and only ONE stick,, auto was terrible in and out of gear and worse.. not that way any longer in most cases. IF you are comfortable with AUTO (or need auto, and after four spine surgeries, am getting there),,, GO FOR,, do what WORKS for you.. DRIVE the car in downtown traffic and on highway,,, then YOU decide.. don't worry about car,,,, happiness with a Miata is impossible to avoid.

TRGT673 Avatar
TRGT673 Keith Bay
West Allis, Wisconsin, USA   USA
I will definately second that '07 Highland Green with PRHT and 6 speed auto trans. Really like the paddle shifters for when I want to pretend I have a manual. It is no replacement for a manual on the downshifts as you don't get the same amount of engine braking but the shifts, both auto and manual, on the up shift are great. If I wanted a dedicated track car I would go manual. The PRHT is GREAT! I had Triumph GT6s for over 20 years (on and off) because I liked the feeling of a real roof over my head. I also had a Triumph CGT6 (GT6 drivetrain and a Spitfire tub with the softtop) and I definately like being able to go topless (and back) in 12 seconds flat without having to get out of my seat.

Keith A. Bay
West Allis, WI


2007 MX5
Badgerland Miata Club Home Page, also on BMC Facebook Page



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-10-15 08:08 PM by TRGT673.


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davzway David W
Fort McCoy, Florida, USA   USA
Fully agree, OLD cars bring back fond memories, nearly bought TR6 and ended with Saab Sonett III, First sports car was in High School, driving Caravelle with Renault track carbs AND hardtop which was on less than half the time. MGB was ragtop,, and had MGB/GT with full time hardtop (not nearly as much fun),,, 67 Mustang was not,,, and GAS cost doing 60k miles a year put me back into a Datsun 2000 was ragtop, Sunbeam Tiger ragtop, Fiat 124 Spyder a ragtop, Having children ended small sports cars until 90's with 96 NA Miata. Miata was a really fantastic driving car which DID bring back the MBG & Triumph days. Sister had Spitfire but too small for 6' frame.

Favorite car, driven and NOT owned, Porsche 911 and size with jump seat rear is perfect AND they make AWD for PERFECT sports car; unfortunately those are OUT of my price range due to circumstances.

Do not hesitate to buy Miata. Would go for NC unless some really fantastic deal comes by on earlier than 2006 Miata.(NC did correct most of 'missing' features which makes them so popular for Work On Cars crowd and racing). IF you really want speed, Flyin Miata has Supercharger for NC which will get you where you want to go, faster than what's legal. Miata has really good track record with owners,, a million of them cannot be a bad car. ND, not driven, but not enough changes over NC to make up for PRHT.; ND will have someday soon.

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