In my experience, a buyer is in the best position to negotiate when they are willing to walk away. When the buyer does not have to have the item, the seller loses some advantage. This negotiation strategy works with private auto sellers, but I’ve found it particularly helpful with car dealers. But too much coming-and-going led to a problem for me.
Car sales folks are taught to not let the customer leave the premises. Conventional wisdom says that once they are gone the likelihood of returning is slim. The thinking is that the customer is on their way to the competition down the street, and they’ll probably buy there. However, some sales people understand that a deal can sometimes still be brokered after the potential buyer leaves, and a follow-up phone call is made.
A 1999 Mazda Miata is a case-in-point. I wanted to trade my Mazda Millenia COAL HERE on a barely-used Miata at the Mazda dealership in Tallahassee. I was there in person and we were too far apart in price. I went home, but the salesman called me the next day. We crunched numbers over the phone (The issue was my trade-in valuation). We seemed to be getting closer. I went back to the dealer but it was more back-and-forth. They had raised the valuation of my trade, but then raised the price of their car too! I left again.
I really liked this little second-gen Miata, but I couldn’t be obvious about it. The first-generation Miatas were sold from ‘90-’97. These were the cars with the pop-up headlights. I liked the looks of the second-generation cars better. These were slightly larger and heavier- and more powerful. They were sold from ’99-’05. Then, from ’05-’15 the third iteration was sold. These were slightly wider again, and power output and weight increased again. The newest, fourth generation has been selling since ’16. The size was virtually unchanged, and the car has actually lost a little weight.
Back to the story. The next morning the sales manager called me. We quickly agreed on values for my Millennia and their Miata. I went to my credit union and started working on the financing. They told me it would be two, or possibly three days before we could officially ink the deal.
Later on, I drove through the dealer’s parking lot, just to get another look at the car. We were waiting on the credit union. The salesman came out and said everything was good-to-go. The dealer had already talked with the credit union. Done deal. The salesman was screwing my license plate on my new Miata when I realized I had a big problem. Actually, two little problems. Well, not problems, just concerns. In the busyness of the day, I ended up with our four-year-old and six-year-old kids with me, because my wife was out with the other two. They were not part of my usual routine.
We had closed the deal while my two kids were in the showroom play area! When it was time to go, I realized there was no place for them! On the way home, my six-year-old sat in the front seat, and my four-year-old sat in the tiny spot behind the seats that didn’t exist if the top were down. We drove home with the top up.
This was the newer, second generation, larger Miata! It was tiny. Many times, when I got in the car I would subconsciously reach down to slide the seat back. The problem was, the seat was already fully slid back. There was a steel bulkhead back there, no matter how much I pushed, the seat was not going back any further.
But it was a good car, and I enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it even more – maybe because she is nearly a foot shorter than me. That Miata was one of the smallest cars I’ve ever owned. It is comparable in size to old MGs, Healeys, Lotuses (Loti?), and other little British cars, but it is also close in size to some Italian sports cars too. I don’t think everyone understands how truly small many exotic cars are. I’ve seen my share of exotics and the one thing they have in common is that they are tiny. At Mecum last year, I sat in a Countach, or should I say, tried to sit in it.
Remember Magnum P.I.? Ever wonder why Tom Selleck’s character always drove the Ferrari 308 GTS with the targa top removed? Because of beautiful Hawaiian weather? No – It’s because the actor was 6’3 and his head didn’t completely fit inside!
Perhaps the newest Miata is roomier than the generation I had. I don’t know. I’d like to drive one sometime. First I’ll go on a diet and maybe shrink too.
Which is the engine displacement of the mazda miata 1999
The 1999 Miata engine is a DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder 112 cu. in (1.8 liter) inline 4 with EFI and a cast-iron block and an aluminum head. It develops 140 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, 119 lb. ft. of torque at 5,500 rpm, and has a 7,000 rpm red line.
… and is a non-interference design.
thank you very much sir
Nice COAL. I bought a 2001 Miata last year and have been having fun with it. What is always impressive to me is that so much time and effort was taken with the design and engineering of the car. Mazda took the original sports car concept and perfected and refined it so that it retained all of the excitement of the Lotus and other brands but with modern reliability and just enough creature comforts to make it a good every day car.
Every drive is a joy. Wing it to near redline and snick it through the gears–sure to erase whatever is ailing you.
James, Here’s a trick to getting a bit more legroom on the passenger side. There is a metal stop on the inboard seat track. Remove the single bolt holding it down and turn the stop around 180 degrees and replace and tighten the bolt. That adds about one inch to the passenger seat legroom.
Sorry, this doesn’t work on the driver’s side. I’m 6′ 1″ and the fit is what I’d call comfortably snug. But I have to stretch my foot to floor the clutch, so I can’t complain. The seat is also reclined against the rear bulkhead for that Italian straight arm driving sensation.
That windscreen doodadd in some of your green NB photos would seem to reduce seat travel and recline-ability. If every half-inch counts, that would have to go.
Despite the lack of room, I was 6’4″ when I got my first Miata, a 97 I’ve never found anything else with 4 wheels to be so much Fun To Drive! I’ve had 5, including 1 Mazda speed Miata, and with hi-po tires they are simply terrific on twisty roads.
I drove my second one, a ’95 NA, down to SE KY with 2 friends on super bikes. Once down there on the mountain twisties they could NOT keep my taillights in sight!!
Unfortunately a butchered left hip replacement ended my days of manuals. I do miss driving those little go karts….DFO
My first Miata was a clean low mileage 1999 NB Miata….I loved it. Sold it. Regretted it. Then I bought a higher mileage 1991 NA Miata. I like the NA better. The NB was a better car, but the NA feels more happy.
My Son bought a nice 1st. generation Miata, didn’t take him long to add a supercharger to it, tweak the suspension and make it his track car .
I got to drive it now and then and yes, it was always fun to drive .
The main problem being : I’m 6′ tall and have short (32″) legs, all my height is in my trunk so the top of the windshield header was *exactly* in the middle of my vision =8-( .
When he tired of it after a few years he offered it to me and I had to pass, a sad thing indeed .
The Miata is indeed a barrel of fun. I have not been driving mine enough lately and need to do something about that. But then my regular driver is a Gen1 Honda Fit that provides 80% of the fun factor but with easier entry/exit and better air conditioning.
Once the weather cools down the Miata will come back out.
Hi JPC, Make sure the Miata’s temperature control is really all the way to cold. Some Miatas (definitely the early NBs) had temp controls that needed an extra “pull” to get to full cold.
A Miata web site remedy was to attach a pull cord (I used a white zip tie) to the heater lever and route it through the glove box. Giving it a gentle pull while turning the heater dial to cold would pull it all the way closed. Photo below.
So far, the a/c in my NB has been fine (knock on wood and tempting fate).
Agree with Jefray: NA all the way! No Miata is “bad”, but the NA design does feel the most “alive” and driver connected, IMhO.
I personally preferred both my ’95 NA’s the best.
The Mazda Speed might have been the best, but was badly let down by a balky 6 spd. The 5 speeds all my other Miata’s had were silky smooth. DFO
I bought a new ’99 – silver/black. It was a fun car but I tired of it.
Mechanically it was excellent. The lower edge of the top glass window separated and, after the warranty expired, Mazda would not deal with it. The interior was much too small for even local shopping. Finally, the car was utterly worthless with even the slightest bit of snow – though those tires were wonderful in the summer. I bought the car thinking I could make it work all year round – like my MGB did in college. I was wrong and traded it on a car I should have bought in the first place.
Driving that car in the mountains was the most fun I’ve had with any standard production car I ever owned.
If one is single or wants a second toy miata is a good choice. Its reliable to be a daily driver. I used to own a 1st gen long ago. But being on the tall side the miata was simply too uncomfortable. An alternative – as a toy car only- is an mgb or spitfire. Both offer lots of legroom. Spit is elbow room tight, but I bot one simply BC I think its prettier with its Italian design.
I’ve thought of buying a 1st or 2nd generation Miata a few times but folks on other websites have told me I really won’t fit behind the wheel. (I’m 6 ft 4 and currently wear a size 15 shoe.)
Because the 3rd generation Miata has an adjustable steering wheel or steering column (I forget which), I’m told I could probably fit in a 3rd generation car. Yet, when I went to take a CDL driving course recently, 1 of my instructors who was my size, drove a 2nd generation car. He said the other instructors teased him mercilessly about the contortions needed to get in and out of that car. His other car was a Ford Expedition.
Ah, to be younger and lighter, as I was when I owned a Spitfire.
Spitfire you say? Never forget the look on my fathers face first time I opened the “hood” on my ’64 in front of him. Then there was the time I took it to work, when I wore heavy boots. Fun to step on the brake and clutch at the same time!
I got rid of my Spitfire because I got tired of girls under the age of 14 telling me what a cute car I had. It didn’t help that it was that Hershey bar brown color. I eventually bought a TR3.
Alas, the tilt steering column in the NC does not have very much range at all, and the highest setting still puts the steering column at basically a 90-degree angle to the dashboard.
I’ve gt a 1990 MX-5 NA, and at just under 6ft, fit it exactly with the roof down. Sometimes, I feel like I’m stretching to see over or under the header rail, a feeling that gets emphasized with the roof up, when it does feel a bit confined. Cabin width is fine for 2 though.
I have the seat fully back and reclined against the bulkhead though, and there’s no space inside for anything bigger than a phone.
But GREAT FUN!
don’t let the internet tell you what fits. long legged 1.96m (6′ plus) here, daily driving the NA and going on a two week and 2000 mile road trip with a girl recently and for the occasional tour up to 400 miles, all painless.
originally i got put off badly by trying to take a seat in a then newly released NC for almost ten years, without even bothering to give its ancestors a shot, until a friend turned up buying a 1991 mx-5 four years ago and eventually leaving me have a quick spin in it.
first two generations are largely identical in their hardware but then NB aquired some fluff inside and out, which really makes the interior more cramped exactly where it hurts. my NA had to lose its inside door handle to leave room for my knee between steering wheel and door card and thats it.
also there has been a memorable shotgun ride in a Spitfire in my life, which i considered punishing up to the point, that i can’t imagine a way in hell for me to pilot one. everyone’s body is different, that is what those midget roadsters really make clear.
I’m 6′, 225 lbs., and I fit comfortably in my NA. The only challenge I have is the crossbar across the roof rubs against my helmet when autocrossing, but I almost always autocross with the top down.
I got my ’91 with 126,000 miles on it for just $3,000 two years ago. The car has been dead-nuts reliable with more than 140,000 on it now. The only things that have broken are the key (fortunately, it broke in my pocket and not in the lock) and the passenger side window regulator.
It’s not my daily driver, but I do drive it frequently, especially this time of year. So much fun, and definitely a happy little car. It’s the automotive equivalent of a Golden Retriever.
Miatas are indeed a barrel of fun I had a 1996 M-Edition from 2008-2015 and put about 65,000 miles on it in that time. It was very reliable and, of course, fun to drive…in the right circumstances. Unfortunately most of my driving involved freeway flying on Michigan’s lovely roads. but when I sold it with 152,xxx miles it still ran great and felt tight.
I have not spent and time in a NB (1999-2005), but from what I understand the NA’s (1990-1997) actually fit taller drivers better. At 6’0″ I was comfortable in my NA, but there wasn’t much seat adjustment left. If you are feeling tight in an NA or NB, look up “foamectomy.” People have come up with ways to modify the seat to squeeze out a little more room.