The Miata took on a more aggressive look last year, with a new front fascia, and a grille opening that adopted the corporate five-point shape. Headlights were made larger with projector beams and multi-surface reflectors. The taillights were redesigned as well and echoed the appearance of the headlights. In spite of these changes, the Miata remains a classic-looking roadster. Its appearance has not changed for 2002.The Mazda Miata is the contemporary embodiment of the 1950s sports car spirit, minus the irritations that went with the MGs, Triumphs and Austin-Healeys of the day. So you won't need to worry about oil stains on the driveway nor having to spend every weekend wrenching.
Throttle response is instantaneous. Acceleration is brisk, and the exhaust note conjures up memories of Watkins Glen and the roots of American sports-car racing. Miatas have won a number of Sports Car Club of America national championships. And the Miata is one of the most entertaining and one of the most reliable cars in SCCA Showroom Stock (unmodified) competition, as I can attest. Compared with the more expensive roadsters, and some of the front-drive compact coupes, the Miata's relatively small 1.8-liter engine does not provide a lot of torque. But it loves to rev, and there's plenty of power to satisfy most enthusiasts.