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2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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$3,577 — $11,825 USED
8
Photos
Convertible
2 Seats
25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Handling and maneuverability
  • Fun to drive
  • Gearbox operation
  • Fuel economy

The Bad

  • Ride comfort on rough surfaces
  • Engine noise
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Snug cockpit

What to Know

about the 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Available six-speed manual
  • Optional suspension packages
  • Convertible body style

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2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Mazda is the automaker most responsible for the sports-car revolution of the 1990s, and the MX-5 Miata continues to provide driving entertainment at a moderate price. For 2004, Mazda’s rear-wheel-drive two-seat sports car gets restyled 16-inch aluminum wheels and two new body colors. Speakers are integrated into the restyled wind blocker.

Base and LS editions remain available, and a six-speed-manual transmission may be installed (the Mazdaspeed model comes only with a six-speed manual). During the 2004 model year, Mazda introduced a high-performance Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata with a turbocharged engine that generates 178 horsepower rather than the usual 142 hp. The Mazdaspeed model rides on 17-inch tires and has a body lowered by 7 millimeters. The Miata could be facing a significant redesign in 2005.

Exterior
Loosely patterned after an older British Lotus Elan two-seater, the Miata body still exhibits an amalgamation of curves that are offset by few straight lines. The manual-folding fabric top has a glass back window with a defogger. The back window can be raised or lowered from the driver’s seat without undue twisting, and a wind-blocker panel is included. A $1,500 detachable hardtop and a $295 rear spoiler are optional.

The fully independent suspension includes double wishbones, coil springs and stabilizer bars. Separate suspension packages with Bilstein shock absorbers are available for base and LS models.

Interior
Cloth bucket seats are used in the base model. ...

Vehicle Overview
Mazda is the automaker most responsible for the sports-car revolution of the 1990s, and the MX-5 Miata continues to provide driving entertainment at a moderate price. For 2004, Mazda’s rear-wheel-drive two-seat sports car gets restyled 16-inch aluminum wheels and two new body colors. Speakers are integrated into the restyled wind blocker.

Base and LS editions remain available, and a six-speed-manual transmission may be installed (the Mazdaspeed model comes only with a six-speed manual). During the 2004 model year, Mazda introduced a high-performance Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata with a turbocharged engine that generates 178 horsepower rather than the usual 142 hp. The Mazdaspeed model rides on 17-inch tires and has a body lowered by 7 millimeters. The Miata could be facing a significant redesign in 2005.

Exterior
Loosely patterned after an older British Lotus Elan two-seater, the Miata body still exhibits an amalgamation of curves that are offset by few straight lines. The manual-folding fabric top has a glass back window with a defogger. The back window can be raised or lowered from the driver’s seat without undue twisting, and a wind-blocker panel is included. A $1,500 detachable hardtop and a $295 rear spoiler are optional.

The fully independent suspension includes double wishbones, coil springs and stabilizer bars. Separate suspension packages with Bilstein shock absorbers are available for base and LS models.

Interior
Cloth bucket seats are used in the base model. Because the car is only 4 feet tall to the top of its roof, occupants have to drop down into the seats. The driver faces a simple dashboard, and all of the controls and gauges are within easy reach.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, intermittent wipers, a CD player, power antenna, digital clock and theft-deterrent system. The LS version adds leather seating surfaces, cruise control, power locks, a Tochigi Fuji limited-slip differential and a 300-watt Bose CD stereo.

Under the Hood
Base and LS models carry Mazda’s 1.8-liter dual-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. The engine develops 142 hp at 7,000 rpm and teams with either a standard five-speed-manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. A six-speed manual is optional on the Miata LS, which has a revised final-drive ratio for 2004. In the new Mazdaspeed Miata, a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine produces 178 hp and 166 pounds-feet of torque. This engine works only with a six-speed-manual transmission.

Safety
Side-impact airbags are not available, but antilock brakes are optional on the Miata LS. Dual second-generation front airbags include a key-operated deactivation switch for the passenger side.

Driving Impressions
The Miata is just as enjoyable to drive today as it was 15 years ago. The ride can be a bit stiff, which causes the roadster to bounce when traversing rougher pavement, but nothing seems to detract from the enriching sports-car experience. Engine noise is noticeable, and performance lags behind some rivals.

Though the snappy-shifting manual gearbox and positive clutch behavior add to the driving pleasure, even a good thing can become tedious in heavy traffic. This roadster is snug inside, and getting into the seat might be a bit of an ordeal if the top is up.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
12 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(3.8)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Best Bang for the Buck!

by J-MAN from Cold Spring Harbor NY on August 4, 2019

2nd generation Miatas are so beautifully designed and balanced. They drive like they're on rails. So much fun! Everything's easy to use. Reliable. Inexpensive to own. A short-throw shifter rips ... Read full review

(4.0)

So much fun to drive.

by crsmiami from Miami, FL on March 14, 2018

The handling of this car, for a car that is reliable enough and has good gas mileage is unbeatable. It takes corners at speed with a stability that comes with great design. I enjoy myself whenever I ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata has not been tested.

Latest 2004 MX-5 Miata Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The MX-5 Miata received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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