Mazda MX-5 1.8 (1998) review

10PerformanceSpeedsConstruction yearYear of purchaseKM-mode, when purchasingMileage last
MX-5 1.8
5, Manual
111000 km
159000 km
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  • 146000 km
  • September 6 2012 21:19

After four years have shared my experiences about my MX-5, the review is a bit long, so following a renewed story, hopefully short & powerful but also valuable for those considering the purchase of an MX-5 of the second type, NB (1998 -2005).

model History & buying tips
The MX-5 without folding headlights is the NB (second generation), which came in 1998 as successor to the popular and NA (first generation) on the market. Not only the look is an evolution of the NA, the same goes for technology. In fact, it is a further developed and improved (read: modern) version of the NA.

By development manifests itself in a galvanized bottom plate, better torsional stability, more powerful brakes and more safety features such as ABS, two airbags and new engines.

In fact, the type you prefer (NA or N more a matter of taste than purchase price. You better save some by a well-maintained and stainless copy that you're on deadline cheaper.

In 2006 the NB followed by the NC, which is still in production. The NC is technically a completely different vehicle whose chassis is based on the RX-8. Where the NA and NB are "old fashioned" mechanical sports cars are, in the present NC more electronics (like all current cars).

The MX-5 NB is a reliable car, the engines are virtually indestructible and are mechanically and electronically no or hardly any problems.
As for corrosion resistance is careful, however. Preferably go for a sleeper in the summer only is used, otherwise corrosion problems lie in wait!

Notoriously, the rear portion of the box girders, close to the wheel arches. The body exists there (and also the entire wheel cases) from two plate parts which are fixed to each other by means of a sealant joint. The sealant joint dries out over the years and can penetrate water inside. Replacement of the outer is (non-load bearing) than the hollow beams only structural solution. That cost, including syringes and good corrosion bra division approximately € 500 per bar.
The wheel arches should be free to be loved and mud after being treated with a cleaning lasnadenkit.

The bonnet and tailgate are made of aluminum, but may rust! Good waxing and treating the inside with anti-rust (like ML) is the motto.

Finally deserve attention doors. One weld point here is the culprit, it is hidden behind the door seal, in height just below the door handle.

When buying also old damage, check the vehicle on a bridge or the chassis beams are not bent and check the paint sprayer parts using a coating thickness gauge. There are plenty of MX-5 jes for sale, so if in doubt seek further!

Due to the high new price at that time in the Netherlands, for a fun motor, many mx-5 jes from foreign countries, many of Germany, imported. Those imports are doing well himself, in Germany you can arrange export Kennzeichen, then you can offer your car with this badge with a RDW inspection. The advantage of importing itself is that the margin is a trader in your pocket and you're closer to the source, so better know what you are buying. Preferably go for a dealer maintained cars whose mileage is controllable. Payable in BPM, you can check in advance over the internet.

Why MX-5?
I dreamed some time of fun and hobby car 'fit in' with the criteria convertible, affordable, reliable and good driving properties. Of course there is still plenty of choice but the MX-5 more than lived up to me all these criteria and is in my view also a timelessly beautiful design. That model is almost 15 years old you do not look down on!

Because driving pleasure comes first I chose the most powerful (1.8 with 140 hp). Thus, the car is spicy but no sports car through and through, to do this he comes still power shortage. The top speed is not so important for a cabriolet, the acceleration does. For me at least. Thanks to the low weight of 1,000 kilograms, the 0-100 sprint takes a second or eighth.
The rear wheel drive also contributing to the sporty character and dry road a pleasure. When rain or smoothness you have to be alert to a wagging ass when cornering.

The car drives like a go-kart, a direct steering and good handling. A wonderful short click-clack shift gear stick and fierce engine. Thanks to the low is in the bucket seats and the communicative handling each (road ride a feast.

The convertible ride is an experience in itself: you can hear the chirping of birds in trees, squealing the tires as you submit a sharp turn with enthusiasm and burning sun on your head. All the senses!
You sit with the windows and the wind also shot up the highway to roughly 110 kilometers at a speed considerably from the wind and the chilly as is the heater proves excellent services.

The car is driving in terms much inferior to modern. The steering wheel by today's standards a bit big and thin and the brakes require a relatively high pedal pressure to function properly.

Two weeks vacation Couple's fine as long as you do not go camping: two large holdalls fit back. The big difference with a closed car that your holiday starts as soon as you arrive home driving off in place at the place of destination.
With pleasure you take the back roads and you can enjoy the ride and the scenery.

The MX-5 club organizes regular tours at home and abroad and is the club too much technical knowledge available.

Reliability & consumption
When I imported the car in 2008 from Germany which drove 112,000 kilometers, now that 145,000 kilometers. In those four years and 30,000 kilometers the car has its reputation as a reliable absolutely fulfilled.

My car is always kept dealer in Germany. Just before purchasing the dealer has 100,000 km turn completely with a change of distribution and more than four new Brigestone Potenza's.
Since then the car goes every year whistling through the MOT without submit your comments.
My MX-5 is parked in a garage and have been fortunate enough to be allowed in the two previous owners. The bottom and rubbers for a car of 14 years and almost a ton driven still an impressive new. The paint I've dealt with a cleaning clay, polished and then put in the wax and sealed. At some inevitable stone chips on the bonnet after it is almost a showroom model.

In an older car can hear the necessary (preventive) maintenance. The key components friendliness and low prices at the stores in Germany (ILMotorsport) and Great Britain (Mx5 parts) that all means affordable.

- The left window was difficult to purchase open and close. The dealer in the Netherlands to replace the wiring harness (cable was the porter who strained his jacket). Furthermore, the central locking system is defective (relay). Too bad, but let's not worth repairing.
- The largest repair was last year behind the plate outer portion of the left box girder. That is a notorious place where have allee NB's expense. With 500 euros a costly repair. There is a 3 year warranty on Focwa so for recurring rust I'm not afraid. The right side is also to arrive soon.
- Furthermore, only regular maintenance: the slipping drive belt, I replaced and preventive oil gearbox and differential, the spark plug wires have been replaced, as well as the battery and the brake and clutch fluid

I use the car especially for longer trips, and in nice weather. The power consumption varies between 1: 13 and 1:14, quite acceptable for a sports (ive) car.

Implemented modifications
In the first year after purchase I have made several adjustments:
- to get a fuller sound, I installed a stainless steel sports exhaust and built a Pipercross open sports air filter. At idle and quiet ride sounds slightly fuller sound, when accelerating produces exhaust full but civilized hum and hear the filter sucking air.
- The interior I have been thoroughly: white dials with red pointers and aluminum rims, chrome interior door handles and air vents, an aluminum center console.
- In a convertible leather should not be missed, also addressed the same: a leather gearshift and handbrake (cover) and last but not least leather chairs.
- You really notice the difference that a stabilizer part under the hood, much less getordeer on bad roads. So they have to build the same car standard factory!

Pros and cons

The pluses:
- Sports, kart-like handling
- Reliable
- relatively economical
- low maintenance
- Fixed value

The minuses:
- Much engine noise and wind noise at highway
- Small and little luggage space, not very practical
- Not suitable for people over roughly 1.85m
- Rear-wheel drive and a low weight at winter conditions
- Watch for rust problems

experiences after seven years and approximately 50,000 km (159,000 km)

  • 159000 km
  • July 28, 2013 15:25

Last year pretty much driven the MX-5, nearly 9,000 kilometers. Almost half of the holiday, in eastern Hungary. Of course, again taken beautiful tour routes, among others, straight through the Alps! Moreover, the car to be completely right: with the top down through a winding mountain scenery driving on quiet roads. Delicious enjoyed this car!

Because convertible driving in temperatures of 30 degrees and higher less pleasant than it looks, I bought a cooling vest for the holidays. You put the (tight fitting) vest 2 minutes in cold water, wring it out a bit and you just can attract and shirt over it so that no one sees it. The material gives a constant cool off by a slow evaporation of the cold water. Recommended for convertibles (and motorcycle) riders!

Although the mileage was trouble there last happens a lot in the car. A combination of routine maintenance, optical and technical improvements. Because the car as regards bodywork / sheet metal is like new (is sometimes different from MX-5 jes this age) and I want a long time to enjoy it, I addressed the following issues:
- Cooling hoses preventive replacement due to age
- New shock absorbers all around. The old ones were not quite up but were less. I've done a similar upgrade to shock absorbers which are adjustable in four positions. If desired, the car springs are a lot more comfortable than standard (making the long holiday ride comfort) or you can choose a hard stand, for instance during a day at the track. The disadvantage is that you have to crawl under the car to put any damper manually into the desired position spring.
- Motor capacity is improved by placing a '' cold air intake '' a result of which there is colder (oxygen-richer) air is drawn in. This should provide approximately 10 additional horsepower. As my power was probably less than standard resulting in open air (which sucks hot air just beside the engine), and I'm right cleaned the MAF sensor, the difference was noticeable! The car accelerates quickly and hangs eager to gas than before. This procedure is the same as one of the fastest MX-5 jes country. Except of a few fanatics who have mounted a turbo, but that is technically and financially a very different procedure.
- Hub Caps were yellowed with age. I've sprouted in the original silver color for plastic with paint. Simple procedure, but the car snaps immensely on!
- Tires were bald, replacing Brigestone Potenza's Dunlop Sport Blue Response. Chosen for this band in connection with the test results for excellent traction, especially on wet roads (where the Mx-5 or can break out even in curves), and the very low noise level in that band.
- Wheels were oxidized and rough and dirt and brake dust on it got stuck. When the band change as the wheels 4 show powder coating. Great result, wheels like new.

Altogether approximately € 2000 spent last year. So quite a lot, but the car now looks almost showroom condition and has handling characteristics that are better than when he 16 years ago left the factory. For now I can against it again!

  • comfort 4.0
  • performance 4.0
  • reliability 5.0
  • cost 5.0
  • Would you buy a car from this brand? Yes

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