Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Boxster General Discussions

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-16-2016, 05:57 AM   #1
Registered User
geraintthomas's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 852
So I drove an MX-5 Mk3

My friend wanted to spend a few thousand on a new car, as his old Mk2 Clio turned a fish tank by the end of the stormy winter.

We both went to view an MX-5 MK3. Metallic blue, anthracite alloys and red calipers. Owner looked after it greatly, and was in superb condition. Originally I thought "Cool! MX-5. Nice little car that", while looking at the Porsche as a comparison thinking "...but it's no Porsche".

And then I drove it.

Wow! What a phenomenal car to drive. The steering is precise, driving position is low down and laid back, the gearbox is absolutely out of this world too. It's not quick, being a 1.8 it does 0-60mph in around 9.5 seconds, but I didn't care. It was such a joy to drive.

Obviously it's no comparison to the Boxster S at all, but if I drove both before buying the Porsche, it would have made it a very hard choice indeed - purely because of the way the MX-5 drove. It's outstanding.

Anyone else surprised by how good they are to drive?

Porsche Boxster S Type 986

Bi-xenon Headlight Upgrade | 987 S 18" Anthracite Alloys | Android Head Unit | 5000k 55w HID's | 5000k Cree DRL's | 5000k Cree number plate lights | Cree LED Indicators | One-touch roof operation | Bypass exhaust pipes | Parking sensors | Ambient footwell lighting
geraintthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 06:12 AM   #2
Registered User
DrCactus's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 452
I have never owned one or anything but I have been in the passenger's seat in one and it is pretty nice. It handles pretty well and little slow due to the engine size and all. The one negative I found was the size of the interior... Im 6'1 and I felt like I was being squeezed and when the top was up even worse... needed the window down to breathe! (little dramatic I know...hehe) I think the important part is to look at the costs and service issues - end of the day we all want to drive whatever car we have and not have it sitting in a garage.
DrCactus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 06:45 AM   #3
Registered User
Perfectlap's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 8,709
I don't think it's surprising at all because it's probably the most common previously owned car (or raced) among Porsche owners. Here in the U.S. it is a pretty rare occurrence not to see at least one generation of Miata at any SCCA (or other club) track day or autocross (our version of parking lot time trials). The new MX5 Cup car looks like a ton of fun for small money. I grew up with karting as a kid, I've not driven a Lotus Elise but I would say that of all the Porsches, BMWs, Japanese and Domestics I've drive, the Miata is still the closest thing you will find to a "go kart".

When I first got into my Boxster S, (it was the first Boxster I ever drove) one of my first thoughts was that it doesn't feel that much different than the pre-996 Carrera as far as feeling like a "full sized" road car. Part of me was hoping that the first purpose built Porsche roadster since 356A#1 (the first Porsche ever) would still have that more compact, shorter wheel base roadster feel that Miata and Elise drivers love. You know what I'm talking about, no waiting for anything to happen or come around, you turn the wheel hard and the car is already there before you. But instead the Boxster to me felt more like a 993 with the roof cut off. Until of course I took it to the local autocross that weekend and realized why mid-engine Porsches are the most special to drive. But still I can say without hesitation that the Miata is a lot more fun to drive than all but maybe one or two Porsches I have driven... which is only logical because the Miata is closest thing we have to a kart for the street with some presence of safety.
GT3 Recaro Seats - Boxster Red
GT3 Aero / Carrera 18" 5 spoke / Potenza RE-11
Fabspeed Headers & Noise Maker
BORN: March 2000 - FINLAND
Perfectlap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 06:58 AM   #4
Racer Boy
Racer Boy's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 933
Miatas are terrific cars! I've owned two, one of which was a Spec Miata race car. Not only are they really fun to drive, but they are pretty bullet-proof, unlike our fragile, and questionably-engineered Porsches.

I'm 6' 1", and when I drove the Boxster the first time I was frankly disappointed that there wasn't any more leg room than my '94 Miata had.

For the money, a MX-5 can't be beat, especially when you factor in the operating costs.
Racer Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 11:14 AM   #5
Registered User
Giller's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Listowel, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,120
I just watched a Top Gear episode from a couple years ago where they drove across the Middle East. Clarkson drove the Miata - and by the end thought everything about the car was 'nice'. Everything worked, it was comfortable - but as he said, he never bonded with it. It has no personality.
There is no doubt the Boxster and similar priced cabrio's have a little something special about them....but then you are paying 10's of thousands of dollars more.
2011 Boxster 987.2 Arctic silver / Black leather, PDK with Sports Chrono Package Plus
Giller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 04:51 PM   #6
2003 Base 5-speed
grc0456's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Stoneham, MA
Posts: 934
I like 'em. Cool little car. Neighbor had one that I got to drive a little. Extremely tossable and great shifter. But I'll choose my Box any day of the week - solid and precise, flat six power, torque and sound, and last but not least - two trunks. Important factor when going away with one's better half!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
grc0456 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 01:24 AM   #7
Registered User
BOOTLEG's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: WI
Posts: 94
Neither of my 2 MX5s ever even heard of IMSB issues. They are well behaved, easy to work on and cheap to keep. I keep the Box in a separate garage near my tools!
BOOTLEG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 07:10 AM   #8
Registered User
Retroman1969's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 856
Ive driven them a couple of times. The first time was back when the first one came out. I've always liked and admired the Miatas, but never loved them. To me, they drive like a very nimble and competent Japanese car. Nothing outrageous. Not brimming with personality. Because of the reliability and low maintenance cost probabilities of them, I had thought a time or two about getting one to replace my work Boxster for the long haul, but in the end, the seating is too cramped, and the cargo space is nearly non-existent, even for a sports car. I'd find an excuse to add one to the stable if it had that "gotta have it" factor.... but for me it just doesn't.
Doesn't stop it from being a very good car though.
"Remember, I'm pulling for ya! We're all in this together."
Retroman1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 07:55 AM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: May 2014
Location: S.California
Posts: 2,022
We have an NB and an NC Miata(& a BxstrS under repair-always!) .The NB is very different to the NC. The rare NB turbo with the Flyin' Miata upgrade(big enchilada) will shame many Boxsters for performance.
Gelbster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 09:02 AM   #10
Registered User
Finnegan's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 446
I owned an NB for a while. It was a very fun car, but felt vulnerable on the highways in a way that the Boxster never does. And as stated above, it lacks storage space for a weekend getaway.
'04 Midnight Blue Metallic 986
Finnegan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:02 AM   #11
Registered User
Porsche9's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 1,796
I wanted to drive one but at my height it's a no go. Too bad for me. Even the new, which is better with the seat going lower as you put it further back, doesn't work.
03 Carrera
02 Boxster S Guards Red, black interior with matching hardtop
89 Carrera 4
89 944 S2
78 911SC
Porsche9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:05 AM   #12
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,520
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
We have an NB and an NC Miata(& a BxstrS under repair-always!) .The NB is very different to the NC. The rare NB turbo with the Flyin' Miata upgrade(big enchilada) will shame many Boxsters for performance.
My cousin has one of the turbo special edition models that were offered from the factory a few years ago, and I drove the car for a half a day, on the SoCal canyons and also on the beautiful OC freeways (very heavy traffic…) I loved the car, the handling, etc., but honestly I would not consider buying one as I was pretty cramped inside.

Please note that this comments come from a guy that drove X1/9's for more than 20 years, but now at 6'2 w/ 235+lbs is too tight for me..

Regardless a nice little car indeed
Gilles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,745
I also have a NB, absolutely love it!!! Is it as good or as capable as a Boxster? Heck No! Is it as much fun, IMO undoubtedly yes.

[IMG] photo IMG_0514_zps9ec56067.jpg[/IMG]
coreseller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 01:12 PM   #14
Registered User
Join Date: May 2014
Location: S.California
Posts: 2,022
Huge difference between the Factory Turbo and the Flyin'Miata upgrade. The factory turbo was very underdeveloped and then a fire destroyed the separate plant where it was assembled. Mazda never bothered to fix it. Flyin'Miata did.It is an interesting story:
The smart guys are on to this - a properly upgraded Miata Mazdaspeed tubo is often higher priced than an S2000.
But it is too small - agreed
and Mazda did nothing to fix this objection in the new ND ! If they had made it just a little larger in the cabin for leg & headroom ,it would have cost nothing and opened up a good chunk of the Z4, Boxster, Mustang market to them.
To address this issue we've made radical mods to the interior just so we fit. Mazda could have made the same mods but... It is a common gripe on the Miata Forums -hence the slur - it's a girly car ?But not a 6 ft. girl!

Last edited by Gelbster; 03-17-2016 at 01:15 PM.
Gelbster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 01:25 PM   #15
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: LB, Germany
Posts: 1,370
Lately i test drove this MX5 version:

Drives very nice. Engine was a 1.5 with 131 HP. Can not be compared with a Box 3.2S. Not enough torque. There's also a 2.0 with 160 HP available, but the dealer had only a 1.5 test drive car available.

Interior also looks nice. But the car was too tight for me. Not really enough room for legs, arms and head.

And i'm not shure about the exterior. Didn't fell in love at first sight.

Regards, Markus
Smallblock454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 01:33 PM   #16
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,745
For anyone considering a Miata from whatever generation......I cannot recommend them highly enough!!!!

If you do indeed go that route Miata.net is a phenomenal resource. After many posts asking for suspension advice I finally called up the Guru Himself:

Mazda Miata MX-5 Performance Projects (Motorbooks Workshop): Keith Tanner: 9780760316207: Amazon.com: Books

Keith is an incredibly approachable guy, at least that was my experience.

I called Flyin Miata, asked for Keith, I told him what I had, what I wanted to do with it and he recommended specific packages. Give them your CC # and all is well, at least it was for me.
coreseller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 02:38 PM   #17
Certified Boxster Addict
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,665
I also owned a 2000 NB. Great car, affordable to buy, incredibly fun to drive, cheap to repair, cheap/easy to mod, tons of upgrades available, and very reliable.

With that being said, an MX-5 is no Boxster (IMHO).

But if Mazda ever gives the MX-5 275hp and a nicer interior, they could match the Boxster in performance and out shine Porsche in a lot of ways.
1999 996 C2 - sold - bought back - sold for more
1997 Spec Boxster BSR #254
1979 911 SC
POC Licensed DE/TT Instructor
thstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 07:43 PM   #18
Registered User
Join Date: May 2014
Location: S.California
Posts: 2,022
The Miata + Big Enchilada is 225hp but also gains 50 lbs-ft of torque low down. Not quite good enough - needs more displacement and space!!
Gelbster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 08:04 PM   #19
Registered User
jaykay's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: toronto
Posts: 2,541
What is dis .......enchilada?
986 00S
jaykay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 08:07 PM   #20
Registered User
flaps10's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tacoma
Posts: 430
I've owned two NA cars. Both were phenomenal examples of what the Brits had hoped to attain years previously: a car that was simple yet a complete riot to drive - Yet, Mazda succeeded in making the car stone axe reliable.

The engine and gearbox were fantastic and the thing was a go kart with a license plate.

The trunk was a joke, especially when a spare was in it. Manual top was a plus.

Not fair to compare it with a boxster of similar age if you factor in price and upkeep.

flaps10 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page