First Car? Concerns?

Nissan Frontier XE
Hey all,
New to the Mazda forums. As the title suggests I am looking to buy my first actual car as an 18 year old and was looking for a reliable, RWD, fun sports car. Well, as always Miata Is Always The Answer (MIATA).

I've test driven 3 or 4 NAs (one of the NAs being a Mazdaspeed with a stock and rare turbo) and 1 NC for the fun of it. I fell in love with the driving experience of it. I have driven a Nissan Frontier truck for the past 2 years and want a fun little sports car to go to college.

So my concerns. What are some common things to look at when buying a used one? I test drove the 1.8L and 1.6L and didn't feel a huge difference (except more torque in 1st gear). Are the 1.8L models worth it? Is a 1.8L swap easy on a 1.6?

What about insurance yearly on these things? Im 18 and male (lol the worst f the worst in rates). Anybody know the price range for liability only or full coverage?

Also what are some common problems and upgrades begginers do to their car? I have maintained my truck for 2 years so I am not new to working on them, but I am new to upgrading. I just want a reliable and fun daily driver. Any tips? Thanks guys!

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
Last edited:


Certified Mazda Tech
2003.5 Mazdaspeed Protege x2
The Mazdaspeed is an NB, the NA is the 90-97 models. NB is 99-05, NC 05-15 and the ND is the 16+. Miatas are extremely reliable cars, all models of them. The NA had one of the lowest engine and transmission failure rates of any car. I highly recommend getting a Mazdaspeed as they are more powerful and are much easier to make decent power. They are not extremely fast stock, I believe they have 180hp but they feel a lot faster. I wouldn't mess with a 1.6, at least a 1.8 or look for an NC model. Definitely would not get an automatic. There are tons of parts available for Miatas, they have the largest aftermarket for any Mazda model. The only problems are you can only bring one person with you at a time, you can't carry much in them, and of course the Corky Romano factor.