Buying A Used Mazda Miata – What To Look Out For – Boost And Camber

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Ask anyone that is into cars. The Mazda Miata or mx5 is one of the most well-known cars on the car modification community and you’re thinking of buying a used Mazda Miata! Great!

This car is super affordable, has great tuning potential, looks great and has a huge following. Meaning parts are going to be more readily available and there will be someone who knows what’s wrong with it before you even ask.

These cars have such a following it’s unreal, in fact they have 30 years of following. That’s as old as me!

So let’s look into what makes the Miata such a great car to put on your drive.

Disclosure: Posts on BoostAndCamber include ads and affiliate links where if a sale is concluded through the links, BoostAndCamber receive a small commission at no cost to yourself to help with the running of the site.

The Best Project Car Ever!

Because the Mazda Miata was built quite minimal back in the day, they really didn’t weight a lot. Making them quick to accelerate with fantastic handling. Making this car a demon on a track. These have been known to be engine swapped, supercharged, turbo charged, positive charged, you name it, these cars take a beating when it comes to silly engine mods.

Not only is the engine completely changeable, the chassis was something that was perfect for hammering corners.

With such a huge range of affordable and readily available aftermarket parts, you can literally do anything to this car. You can see Car Throttles YouTube for inspiration as they transformed one into an absolute machine.

Most people new to modifying start with the Miata, experienced modifiers even use these. If you’re thinking of getting one and pummelling thousands of pounds into one to get the perfect power to weight ratio, you will not be disappointed.

Affordable Fun

Nothing to do with cheap, but right now on Autotrader, the cheapest mx5 is £450. Where else will you get a roadster that weighs the same as a matchbox?

Although you might want to spend more and get something you know is more reliable, make sure you check it out properly before you buy it.

Luckily, because these cars have such a plethora of parts available and their all affordable, these cars don’t have to cost a lot of money to really stand out.

What you will get is a fun, great chassis, reliable car for a hundredth of what most people will pay for a modern car.

Great Tuning Potential

You can literally do anything to a Miata. Want a jet plane engine? Sure! Why ever not. But honestly the Miatas stock engines are brilliant robust engines that can take a beating and still get up for more. Meaning you can supercharge and turbo.

What other people have done in pursuit of a truly fast car, is engine swap. There have been Subaru WRX engines transplanted, v6’s, LS swaps, because let’s face it, the world loves an LS swap.

With the bigger displacement, this means the power to weight is in favor of the power.

As the suspension, chassis, wheels are already great from stock, whenever you upgrade a part, like the wheels or the suspension, you know it’s going to be absolutely awesome with everything you add.

The fun doesn’t have to stop there. As this is a stance site, it’s safe to say, these cars look great lowered to the ground, with their already low center of gravity, they are a perfect candidate for a show car. Wide arch kits are available, thousands of wheels to choose from and air ride can be done on one, to really make it stand out.

Common Faults To Look Out For

Like all cars there are going to be little fault, and you’re going to want to know what to look out for before you buy one. No one wants to spend more than needs be. Although this list of common faults looks bad, a lot of them is normal things to look out for with any car, so don’t be disheartened.

  • Rust, a big factor for these, especially around the arches
  • Roof mechanism, keep an out of rips and tears and that the mechanism works smoothly
  • Check for a good service history
  • Check the tires for any abnormal wear as the alignment can often be incorrect
  • Some have a strange buzzing from around the gearbox, but nothing to worry about.

Other than those things, the engines are pretty solid, especially if the service has been done every 10,000 miles. But they are a great reliable car, so long as they are looked after.

So long as you avoid the things in the list, you buy a 1.8 or 2.0, you’ll find you’ve found probably the most affordable fun cars you will ever drive in your life.

Get Buying!

If you’re looking for a fun project, these do it all. Speed, show, drift. They are a great all-rounder for the budding enthusiasts. If you don’t think you can afford it, you haven’t got much luck because there seems to be a lot up for sale under the £1,000 mark. Combining this with the couple a thousand and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone so far for their continued support on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Pinterest, it’s you guys that inspire us to keep writing.

Like this blog? Like and share it on Facebook and tell your friends or anyone looking to get a Miata. Stay tuned in for future posts. But if you have a topic you would like me to write about, feel free to drop a comment below and I will do my best to bring you great car content.

Thanks for your support


Founder of Boost And Camber

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