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My Miata vs My Solstice

There has been a lot of discussion about the comparison between the Miata and the Solstice. As an owner of both, I probably shouldn’t talk about a comparison, but I’ll do it anyway. My Miata was ( I traded it in on my Sosltice) a 2000 MX-5. I bought it in 2001 with 4200 miles on the odo. When I traded it in this year the odo had 85,000+ miles. My Miata was not a weekend car, it was a daily driver unless the snow got too deep then I drove my S-10. The following is my comparisons between my two vehicles.
Style: My Miata had great lines; reminiscent of old Jag XKE’s and even some Triumph Spitfire lines. The car looked great as long as nobody was in the car. With a person sitting in the seat the car looked too small. My Sol on the other hand looks huge in comparison. The first time I drove my own Solstice I thought I had gotten too large of a car. I cannot reach the passenger’s door, something I could do with my Miata. After driving for awhile the size felt really great. I think it was the four years of driving the Miata that made me feel the Solstice was too big.
Visibility: Visibility in the Miata was really good. I think this was because the car was small and the corners could easily be seen or estimated. There was a blind spot between the side window and the rear window that I had to get used to. Without always using the mirrors before I changed lanes, I would have been in many accidents. My Sol has less visibility that the Miata. The aero fairings on the trunk lid were a problem for me at first. The angle always had my line of sight askew. It took me the better part of a week to be able to back in straight. I use the mirrors more with the Sol than the Miata, but they are placed well and are large enough to make the drive comfortable and safe.
Power: My Miata was a dog with respect to power. As long as I was by myself the drive was fun but not overly powerful. With a passenger I always felt like the television commercial with the anchor dragging behind the car. I put an air intake on the Miata and that really helped with power, but it was still not what I would consider a performance vehicle. My Solstice came to life after 400+ miles on the odo. Power is great as long as the rpm’s are kept up. Even with a passenger the car runs well. The overall performance of my Solstice with a passenger is still far greater than my Miata with just me driving.
Handling: Handling on my Miata was really good as long as I didn’t push it too hard in the bends. An aggressive drive into a bend would bring out the rear end of the car. To bring it back around you needed to add brakes. It was funny, when I had a bag of sand in the trunk (for winter traction) the Miata handled better. My guess is that the balance was better with the extra weight in the back. My Sol handles very well on winding roads. I found out that if you push too much power going into a bend I do not want to hit the brakes. My Sol got very loose when I did it for the first time. The next time I purposely pushed the power into the bend and found out that the proper response is to give the car more acceleration. When I did that the car regained it’s stable platform and drive right out of the bend. I have yet to find out how far the car will go without loosing all traction. In some ways, I hope I never find out.
Body Roll: My Miata was prone to a lot of body roll and flex. In a bend you could actually feel the car really rolling. I was going to put a stiffener across the front shock towers and add a style hoop behind the seats to stiffen the car, but I never got around to doing it. My Sol loves the bends and really stays stable. I don’t notice the body roll like my Miata. In fact, I’m glad the seat design has such large side bolsters because that’s what keeps me in my seat on the turns, something I never had to really worry about with the Miata.
Brakes: My Miata was never great with respect to brakes. The car would really stop well four or five times in a row and then it would show signs of brake fade. I always drove the car differently at the end of a run down a winding road than at the beginning. The Sol has not shown me any problems with fade. I would really like to get my Sol on a track to check it out. I really think it would perform really well during a long run with very little experienced fade.
Interior: On this item there is no comparison. My Miata was showing signs of wear when I got it with only 4200 miles. Before I traded it in, I had already had to have the driver’s seat reupholstered. The cloth had actually worn through. The cup holders on my Miata were in the center console between the seats. You had to open the console and set you cup in a 2” deep recess at the front. If you needed two cup holders, there was a plastic hoop that you flipped back into the main console area that was supposed to hold the second cup. Obviously a disaster. I bought two flip down cup holders which I mounted on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel. They worked better than the ones from the factory. The Sol cup holders are okay as far as placement but they are a little short. If you have a standard bottle of water or even a medium cup of coffee, they look too short to properly support them. So far I haven’t had a problem, but I tend to be more careful whenever I have anything in one of the holders.
Top: The top on my Miata was a breeze to open and close. Two catches at the front and a quick flip and the top was down. The tonneau to cover the top never fit very well and as a result I hardly ever used it. The Sol top is more complicated but still is rather easy to use. I like the fact that the top is completely out of view when stowed. It just gives the car a more finished appearance.
Overall: I’m glad that I owned a Miata. It was a fun car that was easy to drive and fun to “play” with. I don’t like the new styling of the current MX-5’s as they look to me as if they were designed by a committee that didn’t have a common design theme in mind. I don’t think I would consider owning another MX-5 after having owned my Sol. The Sol has a quieter interior, a more aggressive exhaust sound, a more responsive acceleration, a higher level of fit out and handling that the MX-5 couldn’t compare to. My vote is in, I pick my Sol over my Miata. I hope my info has given you some food for thought. Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t write for a car magazine, or race my car on weekends; I just want a fun car to drive around bends 5 mph faster than everyone else. Enjoy!
 

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Very good review, fair and balanced, just the way it should be. I appreciate you doing the NB v Sol comparison, much the way Brentil and I approached the topic, I think the comparisons are very useful! :)

I see the "size" of the Sol v Miatas is common in these comparisons, not necessarily bad or good, a very definite "to each their own" - which makes complete sense since we come in different shapes and sizes, and have varying tastes.

That NB was a dog I agree, glad I can say that without offending, seems you agree with that. The body roll wasn't that bad in the 05 NB I drove last week, I wonder if they improved on that over time, it was actually pretty good. The NC has huge body roll, I read it even has a lot of body roll with the ugraded suspension.

Thanks for sharing, and I'm sure you're review will be recieved well (it should be as it was very fair). I'll be here to represent the MSM should it come up as the MSM is a big big step up from the NB. If you ever get a chance to test a MSM I'd live to hear your comments!

Gald you're enjoying the new Sol :)
 

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thanks you. while i never was considering a miata i've read quite a few comparisons between the two but they always had a slant on performance. i really enjoyed reading your review between the two for a "regular" drive and the positive and negative things about the solstice and the miata. no car is perfect, but i can't wait to get my solstice. :)
 

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Thank you,

ex -miata man:Great review!
this is the kind of thread i'm looking for on this site. Not the total rants. IT shows adults play here.

Rodeo really like your new avatar. Told my wife that the grand kids could have a sol before i did.
 

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whitefang said:
ex -miata man:Great review!
this is the kind of thread i'm looking for on this site. Not the total rants. IT shows adults play here.

Rodeo really like your new avatar. Told my wife that the grand kids could have a sol before i did.
:agree: Even my MSM v Sol thread was well recieved, I stuck my neck out on that one :)

Re: my avatar, here you like it................ and I was trying to be devious :devil: :lol:
 

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Thanks for the writeup, been waiting patiently for this review. Confirms some things (issues around size, mostly) to someone who ran to the local Maz dealer in 1990 but simply didn't fit and felt left out of a fun driving experience for a long time. Plan to remedy that situation shortly. ;)
 

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Xmiataman, would you please share your dimensions, or at least what you feel comfortable sharing, so we use it for comparison.
 

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:agree: Totally, with Birdliver, didn't know Rodeo was going to pop in there.
 

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Thanks Ex Miata Man, like Rodeo's those are the kind of reviews I enjoy reading.
 

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Fortimir said:
Good thing I like a big car that wraps around me.
Fort, I can't remember wether or not you've had the pleasure of sitting in one as I have. Let me assure you, at your size and from what you're saying... you're gonna love it. It does give a really sunken into the car feel, so that you can be part of it, not sitting ON it but IN it. But not so sunken in that you cannot get your arm onto the door if you so desire. See my pic in my thread as we are about the same size. You gotta lift your elbow up past your shoulder, but it's not uncomfortably high.
 

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Ex-Miata Man said:
Overall: I’m glad that I owned a Miata. It was a fun car that was easy to drive and fun to “play” with. I don’t like the new styling of the current MX-5’s as they look to me as if they were designed by a committee that didn’t have a common design theme in mind. I don’t think I would consider owning another MX-5 after having owned my Sol. The Sol has a quieter interior, a more aggressive exhaust sound, a more responsive acceleration, a higher level of fit out and handling that the MX-5 couldn’t compare to.
Even though you don't intend to buy one, I'd love to see your side-by-side comparison after taking a test drive in an '06 Miata, just like the Edmunds review used. Maybe something for you to do if you get bored some lazy Sunday afternoon. Even though you're a Sol man now, I'm sure you'd give the Miata a fair shake and a fairly impartial evaluation.

:thumbs: for a very well-written review. You actually gave good input and reasons for everything rather than speaking about intangibles.
 

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SlySol said:
Let's just stick to height and weight please, lest we get a bit too much information. :lol:
LOL :glol: :glol: :glol: :glol:

Well, some of the ladies might be interested :lol:
 

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Good review, but in fairness I think it goes without saying that the Sol is a better performer than the old Miata model.

With all of the improvements for 06, I think that the only fair comparison is with the new model. In my opinion, the new Miata got everything right except in styling. I don't know what the hell they were thinking with the restyle, but that is definitely not an improvement over the old one if you asked me!

Flagg
 
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