2000 MX-5 Miata New Car Test Drive
Mazda Miata remains the benchmark in spite of an invasion of two-seat sports cars from other manufacturers. It offers truly outstanding, classic sports car handling. There's plenty of power for this lightweight rear-wheel-drive roadster. Amenities are traditional elegantly designed sports car: simple and functional.
It isn't the most powerful, or the most luxurious. It isn't the most exotic or the most sophisticated. But in terms of an affordable roadster, which is what the original sports cars from Great Britain were, the Miata is near perfection.
Mazda dropped the price of the Miata in March 2000 and added air conditioning and other features as standard equipment.
Three models are available: base ($20,545), LS ($23,545) and Special Edition ($25,055).
In previous years, the Miata models were organized as packages. The base Miata now comes standard with air conditioning. Also standard are alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, a CD stereo with four speakers, and power windows and mirrors. The base model comes with black cloth and a black convertible top.
LS adds leather upholstery, a tan convertible top, 195/50VR15 tires in place of the base model's 185/60HR14s, a Torsen limited slip rear differential, power door locks, cruise control and a Bose CD/cassette stereo with six speakers.
Mazda is also selling just 3,000 examples of a Special Edition model for that includes a six-speed gearbox, exclusive Mahogany Mica paint, parchment convertible top, parchment leather-trimmed seats and interior appointments, mahogany-colored Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake lever, white gauge faces, chrome accent rings on the gauges, chrome interior door handles, stainless steel scuff plates and polished 15-inch alloy wheels.
An optional Suspension Package includes a sports suspension with strut tower brace is available for the LS ($495); this package is also available for the base model ($995) and includes the Torsen LSD and 15-inch wheels and tires. Anti-lock brakes ($550) are an option on the LS. A removable hardtop ($1,500) is available for driving in cold climates, bad neighborhoods or on race tracks.
All Miatas come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 140 horsepower. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard; a four-speed automatic ($900) is optional.