Chris Harris and the Mazda MX-5 Miata have a bit of a checkered past. The infamous auto writer once sank his teeth into the little Japanese convertible and didn't stop until he drew blood, saying he was "completely ambivalent to the existence" of the machine, and that it drove "with all the precision of a boneless limb." For reasons that don't need enunciation, Harris has received plenty of flack over those comments. Now he's taken the time to give the Miata another shot to see if he was misguided in his derision.

What's the verdict? Harris says he may have been a little too hard on the Miata on the first go around. But that doesn't mean he's recanting his original point of view. He's still not sold on the fact that the Mazda is a legitimate sports car. We would counter by saying that may be true for someone who parks a Ferrari 599 in his garage every night. The rest of us are happy to get our hands on anything that even remotely resembles a proper-handling machine. Check out the video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      Cdnewt
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love Chris Harris, I really do.... BUT... my first sports car was a miata.... and as someone who currently parks a 2011 911 Turbo and a 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia in his garage each night... I can say that he is just plainly misguided about the Miata. I love the miata, and have contemplated adding another to my garage... it is/was magical, and I have very fond memories of it. The largest negative of it was that others considered it a hairdresser's car. To put a finer point on it.... while the 911 Turbo obviously obliterates it in performance, it does not approach the same feel the miata gave me. The Italia does... but damn, you can buy around 10 Miatas for the cost of it. That truly speaks to the magic of the miata.
        saturday
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cdnewt
        He also sounds really insecure. A bag on his head, really?
        TopGun
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cdnewt
        Nice post x2 Cdnewt. Usually, I like Mr. Harris, on this one though...he had to go a looooong way to prove his initial critique on the Miata wasn't completely wrong. Everything is relative...and usually relative to dollars. At the end, I think he agrees that for the dollars, you'd have a hard time feeling the way a Miata makes you feel.
      artso06
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chris Harris brings up some very good points. As a MX-5 owner myself I agree with many. There is a lot of short comings that get over looked with the fan club mentality. However, I think he misses a big reason to like the mx-5 and one of the biggest reasons to buy one. This isn't a car that will just make you appear to be a good driver (which I think is what he enjoys in a car). You have to earn that title with it and it is fully capable...THAT is why it always brings a smile. It is the perfect practice pony or the trusty dog. Cheap parts, super reliable, and easy to upgrade when your ready.
      JOZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      I own a WRX and a Miata, if I had to sell one I would sell the WRX in a heartbeat over the Miata. This coming from a person who lives in Colorado.
        dtyree77
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JOZ
        You might be my doppleganger, I live in Colorado and have an STi and a Miata, and the STi would be the first to go.
      tump
      • 2 Years Ago
      His car is more likley to combust.
      Stumpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata and I LOVE it. It is SO much fun to drive. I must say I am really only a fan of the NA and NB. The NC just never "did it" for me. Though, to be fair, I have never driven one. I am very much looking foward to seeing what the joint venture of the ND will produce. Hopefully good looks, light weight and back to its NA roots. ..
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stumpy
        Go drive a NC. Take one out for an extended test drive and you'll get it, they are fantastic as well. There hasn't been a single generation of the Miata that you can call a disappointment.
      LordDagmore
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is a roadster based on the old MG etc. Not a sports car to compare to a Porsche 911 or a Honda S2000. So is it good as a roadster. Yes very good and the price is right. It also gets pretty good gas millage. I have the turbo version and it is a bit more fun but still a sports car??? I will say this... Its faster than my 924S Porsche.
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      i just came back from croatia and austria in my mx-5 NB and i had the ******* time of my life on the narrow b-roads. i adore chris harris but he seems spoiled, that is all
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree with Chris Harris: the Miata is a sad excuse for a "sports car". If it delivers sub-Civic Si performance, then at least they sould price it beneath Civic Si levels. But it's not that way- a base Miata will cost you $25 k, and a loaded one will stray into prices you normally see on an Evo or STi. For the price of a base Miata, I'd much rather get a WRX. First off, it seats 5 comfortably, as opposed to the Miata's 2, and it is much more practical. It has a 2 second better 0-60, beats the Miata in handling and skidpad tests, and will wallop it at the track. Don't even get me started on real-world conditions like snow and ice, the WRX will crush the Miata in those situations.If Mazda had any brains at all, they would make the Miata so that it is like a convertible equivalent of the WRX,with a 2.3 turbo 4 with 260 hp, front and rear LSDs with a Torsen center, and fulltime AWD. But since Mazda has made the Miata so lousy, no true enthusiast will buy one. Only 16 year old daddy's girls.
        cbc1k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        sounds like you'd prefer an audi tt, which is a 16 year old daddy's girl car...
        mcdull
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Doesn't seem lik you know anything about sports car. Comparing FWD Si with RWD Miata? 2900lbs vs 2500lbs? Try dropping 400lbs from Si to see if it can still keep the seats and all safety requirement. Civic Si is better to compare with Mazdaspeed 3.
        Deslock
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        LOL, I don't think I've ever seen a negative 29 comment rating. I've driven 4 WRXes, 2 STIs, 4 S2ks, ~10 MX5s, a few Sis, a BRZ, and FRS. I disagree with Chris Harris. IMO, in terms of fun factor: BRZ = FRS = 10AE MX5 = S2k > 1.8L NA = NB = NC > 1.6L NA > STI > WRX = Si
        Typhon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        "it seats 5 comfortably and it is much more practical" Sounds like you're talking about a Camry. These are hardly the priorities or traits of a sports car.
        Dynamho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Trolls smell bad.
      mtbgrove
      • 2 Years Ago
      A Miata is one of the few true sports cars on the market. No Ferrari comes close. The Miata will always put a smile on you face, it does not want you for your money. It does not suffer from premature 0-60 times. Miata allows to use all its power all the time. A true sports car should be fun, inexpensive and reliable. That is the Miata. I own a 1991 Miata with few upgrades and I approve this message.
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wanker.
      lazybeans
      • 2 Years Ago
      I used to own a NA Miata. Anyone who owns one will know it is just about one of the most fun car you can own. It's simple, devoid of all the gizmos and modern computer safety equipment that was designed to keep you from killing yourself. Because of it's simplicity, you really have to be a good driver to extract the fun out of it. It's a car that can teach you how to drive a sports car because it embodies all the mechanics of a sports car. You'll won't beat an EVO or STI around the track, but what you learn will translate itself into more high powered RWD cars in the future.
        ravenosa
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lazybeans
        Well, even a regular WRX will lap it around a track, even before the HP jump. But I don't think the MX-5 is supposed to be about speed. Fun little car to drive, no doubt!
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is always always more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to putt around in a fast car. Driving a slow car balls to the walls, slinging it around corners WOT, and still not breaking the speed limit is what these cars are about. Just like beating on a little 50cc dirt bike like a rented mule is often much more fun than poking about on a CR500. If more power is what you want, then there are about 1 million ways to add power to a Miata.
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