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Old 01-26-2006, 06:58 PM   #1
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Question MX-5 vs. Boxster?

has anyone test drove the new Mazda MX-5? With accel. times at par with the early boxsters, and slightly better skidpad ratings (depending on tires of course) it would seem to be a pretty smart roadster choice. I drove one last week; steering was dead on, i would contend it felt better than my 97. Low and mid range torque was also better than my box. Top speed is not as high in the MX-5, but I rarely go above 115.
I love roadsters, and the new MX-5 seems to be a smart choice. Thoughts? (ps, i am surprised this forum didn't talk about this already!)
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:15 PM   #2
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I'd take a used 2.5L over a new miata anyday but maybe that's just me.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:40 PM   #3
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For me, it isn't jsut about numbers. It is also about style.


Drive into a gas station in a Miata...err...sorry, MX-5 and people might glance over. But probably not since Mia...MX-5's are common as dirt. Everyone and his brother owns one.

Drive into a gas station in a Porsche and heads will turn. People might even come up to you and say, "Nice Car", or , "How do you like your Boxster?"

I'm not talking about snob appeal. Especially since the Box costs about the same as most heavier-duty Pick Up trucks these days. I'm simply talking about a car that isn't seen every day like the MX-5, the S-2000, the TT Vert or the Z3/Z4's. I'm not knocking the cars; I've driven all of them, and i considered all of them when looking for my roadster.

But the Porsche is just a bit special, a purely subjective qualifier, but it is why I went with the Pooch.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:53 AM   #4
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I just traded my 92 Miata for a 99 Boxster (and the dealer is making a killing on the sale of my Miata.... I should have sold it myself ) so I think I have a good feeling for the differences (yes I also looked at the new MX5).

The Miata is a fabulous car. Mine had 130,000 miles on it when I traded it and NEVER, EVER had a problem. It would sit under a bank of snow for months and then start as if I just drove it 5 minutes ago. Heck the original battery lasted 128,000 miles and 12 years! Get the picture? RELIABLE. It was also fun to drive. Whenever I was depressed or in a bad mood I would drive it and it put a smile on my face. One person described it as a grown-up's go-cart and thats the best description I ever heard about the car.

The Boxster, at least from my readings on this board, will not be anywhere near as reliable. BUT it has a beauty that the Miata does not. The lines (IMHO) of a Boxster are much more beautiful than those of a Miata. As far as fun to drive goes.....well this is a tough one since it almost like comparing apples and oranges. The Boxster is as fun to drive as the Miata, but it does not have that go-cart feel. To me this is good to others this is bad. You get the "performance feel" from the Boxster but it does it in a much more "elegant" and refined manner. So it boils down to "elegance" vs. kid type fun.

Also, ride in a Miata for a long trip and you will start avoiding it on long trips. The Boxster will make you yearn for more. Just imagine driving a go-cart for a few hundred miles..... it wears on you!

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Old 01-27-2006, 05:13 AM   #5
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Great little car. Nothing at all bad to say about it.

Given the price differential, I would assert this is really an apples vs oranges issue.

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Old 01-27-2006, 06:24 AM   #6
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I have to agree with the poster who said the Boxster is better on long drives. I regularly drive mine from Indianapolis to my house in the lake of the Ozarks...about 450 miles. I am always rested and enjoy 30 mpg on the road. As a matter of fact after I take my luggage in the house and do the bio-break thing I'm usaully back in the Boxster to go for a ride on the Ozark twistys...my wife thinks I'm crazy....
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:56 AM   #7
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I drove the mazdaspeed turbo miata but not this latest 180 HP (or close to that, certainly with some mods) Not really a huge difference in ooomph over my 150 HP 1.8 handling was no more dialed in either. The new mx5 is pricey for sure. But its a car that has been in development for nearly 15 years now. Handling and steering is just as good as the S2000 or Boxster. Its low weight means accelration is plenty good. And the high revving engine is awesome. And to tell you truth it was more fun at the autocross because it had a bit of oversteer.
I wouldn't take a heavier 2.5 Boxster for this new Miata. A 3.2 now that's a different story!

From a driver's point of view its a top roadster no question but if you are interested in what other's think about your car or you are a status seeker its certainly not the choice. I dunno buying a car for others to think you are wealthy always seemed really tacky to me. Some people just appreciate finely made cars.

p.s.
rteichman, a few mods and I sold my 1994 Miata in November of 2004 for $7,000.
When I picked up my BoxsterS at the dealer I saw a 1996 M edition and the salesman told me it was a trade in they bought from the owner for $2,500
Some people's ability to reason and negotiate goes out the window when they walk into a dealership.
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:18 AM   #8
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i should point out that which ever car i choose next, it's going to have to be my daily driver. My 97 box isn't the most relaible daily driver in the world. ultimately this is going to be a hard decision.
You can mod the hell out of that mazda for far cheaper than you can our cars. That's also a plus.
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:24 AM   #9
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I think the S2000 is the best two seater if its going to be a daily driver.
Honda=Bullet proof
Or a very low mileage BoxsterS, hard to replicate the special something the Boxster has that the Miata and S2000 don't have on daily drives. I think it has something to do with the torque the Boxster put down in lower revvs (exact opposite of the S2000) , that grip is something I can't get used to. Hard on the wallet when it comes to gas station visits! I spend $60 a month and only drive it 4 times a month.
The Miata has such little trunk space, very impractical and I never really felt safe in such a tiny car. In an accident the S2000 would fair much better.
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggysubman
i should point out that which ever car i choose next, it's going to have to be my daily driver. My 97 box isn't the most relaible daily driver in the world. ultimately this is going to be a hard decision.
You can mod the hell out of that mazda for far cheaper than you can our cars. That's also a plus.
Get a sporty sedan (3 series BMW, VW 2.0T, Audi A4, Mazda 3,...) and keep the Boxster. That way you can have a practical daily car and a fun car
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:28 PM   #11
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jiggysubman,

i recently replaced my daily-driver miata ('97M with lower, stiffer suspension, sticky tires, etc.) with an '03 boxster. i considered buying a new mx-5, and for the money, a 2.7-liter, not a 2.5, boxster was the logical comparison. (My '03 cost about $2k more than the mx-5's msrp, while 2001 models started around $23k).

miatas of any generation are astonishingly reliable, inexpensive to buy and maintain, and great fun to drive. i don't think the boxster is necessarily any more enjoyable when sailing down a back road -- it's a different experience.

what made me ultimately decide on the boxster was its feeling of "mechanical sophistication." the miata, even if it's modded and making better numbers, just can't deliver the boxster's combination of handling, steering and braking precision.
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Old 01-27-2006, 02:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggysubman
You can mod the hell out of that mazda for far cheaper than you can our cars. That's also a plus.
If your gonna mod the hell out of any car I'd say stay away from the Boxster. Lots of money, little gain in performance, possible major nagging problems.
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Old 01-27-2006, 03:29 PM   #13
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Miatas are great cars - I owned my 97 M Edition for 5 years. Great handling, good brakes, so-so torque. Cheap to own, cheap to fix. A bargain.

The Boxster is faster, cooler, more expensive to buy, own, and repair. If I've got the money, I'll take the Box - but I agree with BruceLee, it's not really a straight line comparison. Hopefully the car that costs twice as much is better. Whether it's worth the difference is each individual's call.

BUT HERE"S MY GRIPE ON THE 2006 MX-5!!! They put in the new z-fold top, thereby seeming to eliminate any chance of putting in an SCCA rollbar to track the car! What's with that???? Miatas made their reputation on tracks across America, and the Mazda stiffs the enthusiasts. WTF? (stands for "what there for?" keep a clean site )

I have thought of getting another 1.8 and setting it up for track only. The NAs are cheap enough to do it. Save the Box for cruising.
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Old 01-27-2006, 03:57 PM   #14
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987 doesn't turn heads

[QUOTE=creseida]For me, it isn't jsut about numbers. It is also about style.


Drive into a gas station in a Porsche and heads will turn. People might even come up to you and say, "Nice Car", or , "How do you like your Boxster?"

[QUOTE]

Maybe I live among a bunch of jaded New Yorkers, but my seal grey 987S does not turn heads. People barely notice. By contract, I was always getting looks and comments when I had my 968 cab, right up until I sold it last June.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:38 PM   #15
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That's a very subtle color, seal grey. If it were a yellow or even my arctic silver you would get more looks I think. I've yet to go a day without driving where I don't get at least one comment or stares at stop lights.
Lately I've been impressed with the numbers of under 12 year olds that know my car is a Porsche and how excited they get. A couple of kids on bikes chased after me and when they caught one looked at the trunk and said to the other tween "yeah its the S".
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:44 PM   #16
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I think Mazda has done a good job with the new MX-5. They're cool. Why am I getting the feeling that creseida would turn heads no matter what car she is in?
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:06 PM   #17
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Before my recent purchase of a '98 Boxster, I drove the MX-5, Z4 and the S2000. I was very impressed with the MX-5, but it was too small for my 6'2" 185 lb. body. There were no manual trans Z4's in my area, but the automatic I drove was ok. The S2000 was a truely great and affordable car, a real screamer that was flat on hard curves, but I felt compressed in it. The day I bought the Boxster I drove the S2000 one last time and it was like breaking up with a girlfriend I really liked.
The Boxster felt right, not only the more spacious cockpit, but the overall performance. After 3 weeks, I know I made the right decision.
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