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Help me buy an MX5

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Lighters, 5 Apr 2021.

  1. Conscript

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: Kent

    Just my two pence, but I never once found the soft top of mine an inconvenience. I could drop it in seconds...just unlatch, give it a shove backward, and it folded and locked away under its own weight. I could put it up again just by releasing the roof, which popped it up slightly, then just reaching my left arm behind me over my shoulder, grabbing the roof and pulling it over into position.

    Granted, holding a button will be easier, but given how quick it is to do it manually, I think I would still go out of my way to buy one with a soft top.
     
  2. SKILL

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,936

    Location: Melksham

    This! :p

    Also with the PRHT don't you need to be stopped, with the handbrake on, for like 13 seconds or something? The softtop is maybe a second, I know which I'd prefer if it started raining :D

    I think with the PRHT I'd be far less likely to drive with the roof down in general. Plus it's now basically a trackday car so that 35kg weight saving is worth it :p
     
  3. wesimmo

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 Mar 2012

    Posts: 5,534

    My NB I could put the roof up while moving at very low speeds, certainly at the first time you stop at a junction or lights after the rain starts, and until then it just goes over the top until you drop below about 30mph anyway.
     
  4. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Nov 2006

    Posts: 19,911

    Manual roof much better and quicker. Also it can't get stuck while down, or half way lol. A few have especially on aging cars.
     
  5. DanF

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Feb 2004

    Posts: 3,898

    Location: London

    What do you think about the newer mx-5 rf models, ND series. The hard top looks pretty good on them.
     
  6. Lighters

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Jun 2006

    Posts: 1,523

    Outside of budget/what I'm willing to pay.
    I was only considering ND4 as the price at £8.9 It's already lost most its value but the gearbox/roof issues have put me off.
    MK1/MK2 could be an option but want heated seats and one which isnt rust prone (Winter use and no garage space means probably a no go, girlfriend may not get on with older models either)

    Mk3 seems to be the sweet spot but its getting the right one which will not lose to much value.
    Considering the MK3 and condition/prices available and fairly set on 2.0 sport / sport tech models.

    Will get some test drives in to see if I feel different than whats on paper.
    Aim is for minimal running costs with as much fun as possible. Mileage/Use will be low.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2021
  7. DanF

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Feb 2004

    Posts: 3,898

    Location: London

    yeah trying not to derail the thread, just been interested in MX5's as well.

    Some of the owners forums say the PRHT's are really reliable and generally have less issues than the soft tops. Maybe I'm on the wrong forums?
     
  8. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Nov 2006

    Posts: 19,911

    They are all really rust prone, even the current ones. Mazda seem to think everywhere is like Japan.
     
  9. Lighters

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Jun 2006

    Posts: 1,523

    Dont worry ha, think I did this myself going from 2.5k MK3 to a £9k MK4 ND lol with everything in between.

    By all means ask away!
     
  10. DanF

    Mobster

    Joined: 16 Feb 2004

    Posts: 3,898

    Location: London

    so I guess if you get a newer or clean car, then get a proper underseal applied. It gets rid of the major issues with the car?

    would like to get one, get some suspension/brakes work and something like the bbr super 220 tuning applied.
     
  11. visibleman

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,699

    Location: The South

    You're right in that the car has to be stopped and out of gear which is a bit of PITA and does make me wonder if I should grab a Smart Top, even though it's a costly addition.
    But personally I preferred it over the soft-top as it is a little quieter especially with wind noise (doesn't sort road or diff noise due to the lack of a solid bulk head between cabin and roof compartment unfortunately), feels a bit more snug and potentially the extra security (maybe...). They are a tad more expensive though, i found it was around £600-1K more, but it's a personal preference i guess.

    There isn't a huge amount in it for day-to-day driving and there's a handful of reviews that say the same - https://www.motortrend.com/cars/mazda/miata/2011/2010-mazda-mx5-miata-prht-test/.
    But as said, tracking or racing is where the 35KG (think small child weight) will make a difference.

    And if you're after straight-out performance, then there are better two-seater roadsters that aren't that much more in price any way.

    Undersealing helps sort one of the bigger problems but there are other known issues with each generation unfortunately, so it's well worth reading around various forums to get a better idea.

    And i would suggest testing driving the generation you're looking at as you may find that it's simply not for you, even if it's only to be used as a weekend car.
     
  12. SKILL

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,936

    Location: Melksham

    Yeah, I can see the benefits of the PRHT to an extent, noise/comfort etc, mine also gets quite a lot of condensation in the winter, especially this last one when not used for weeks at a time, (no major leaks at least :p) and at least once I've sat in it, closed the door and been drenched :D I guess that's not a problem, or not as bad, with the hard tops?

    But, saying that, I'd still go softtop, too many days I've had where it's overcast, been raining earlier, but warm and so put the roof down, sometimes making it home without having to put it back up but sometimes not, the main point being I don't have to worry too much as putting it back up is soooo quick and easy :)
     
  13. bainbridge

    Mobster

    Joined: 9 Dec 2009

    Posts: 4,082

    Location: Bristol

    A professional underseal and cavity injection will keep rust at bay, but if you're daily driving in winter the rear arches will need doing at some point.

    There's lots of suspension mods available, RX8 anti roll bars are a very effective cheap upgrade for the NC

    Brakes don't need doing, they're decent and it's a light car. I've painted my calipers silver (it's a silver car) but only because the rusty caliper faces annoyed me.

    The best value NA power mods are an upgraded decatted exhaust manifold and a custom remap. The OEM "maniverter" has pinch points where the 4 exhaust pipes join together at the cat, it really restricts gas flow. The new manifold let's the engine breathe and the remap took the power from 158bhp to 180bhp. 22bhp doesn't sound like much, but combined with the tinkering they did on the cam timing and the fuelling, it really wakes the engine up. I appreciate the mx5 isn't supposed to be powerful, and mine isn't, but it's just much more eager, like a fiesty little Jack Russell.
     
  14. SkodaMart

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Jul 2009

    Posts: 4,173

    Location: Manchester

    Can't beat simplicity.
     
  15. SkodaMart

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Jul 2009

    Posts: 4,173

    Location: Manchester

    No idea what happened there? Sorry.
     
  16. visibleman

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,699

    Location: The South

    Not inside but certainly on the NC i've found if it's been raining, water will roll off the roof and dribble in (lack of gutters i'm guessing) when you're opening the door and climbing in, which usually results in a bit of a wet patch on your right leg :cool:
    But other than that, no real issues.

    I get that and i do drive mine more as if it was a hard-top rather than PRHT. Although a lot of the time it's because i keeping forgetting the essential MX5 roof-down cap :(
     
  17. Lighters

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Jun 2006

    Posts: 1,523

    Hi all, quick update.

    Drove the MK4 and then the MK3 today.

    Such a tough decision.
    They were both really good and totally understand why everyone rates the mx5 as highly as they do.

    In short MK3 was very good for its age and excellent condition. Owner has definitely cherished it. The MK4 was faster and lighter but wasn't that much better in my opinion. Atleast not worth double the price and likely to depreciate more.

    I didn't fancy the idea of having to potentially fix the gearbox.

    Mk4
    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/783046959009027/
    8800 2015 1 owner fsh

    Mk3
    https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/263018861895271/?ref=facebook_story_share

    Edit - I didn't even say which one I went for. Mk3!

    I think high mileage and a few niggles with gearbox and condition could mean I lose too much value on a car that's just for fun and light use. I feel MK3 ticks all the boxes required at the cost with minimal worry and fuss.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2021
  18. wesimmo

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 Mar 2012

    Posts: 5,534

    I think the Mk4 is a stunning looking car compared to the Mk3 and with some fettling could be seriously quick.

    But like you say, the price is still too high when the Mk3 is a great, fun, cheap car to nip around in.
     
  19. SkodaMart

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Jul 2009

    Posts: 4,173

    Location: Manchester

    Looks MK4 all day long.
    Too wee though.
     
  20. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: 22 Nov 2006

    Posts: 19,911

    Mk4 in orange looks great in person. They are a better car all round than the mk3 tbh.