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      10-13-2018, 08:15 PM   #1
M235ForNow
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Extensively compared new (ND) MX-5 to my M235i

I've spent FAR too much time lately wondering "Should I purchase my M235i at lease end or get something else?" And since this car is 90 percent of the time just carrying me or me and my dog, I decided I had to seriously consider a two seater. Boxster means Porsche costs and that's a no for me. But the new Miata ...?

A cooperative dealer agreed to let me take a pre-owned '16 model out overnight. Drove it on the highway, in the city, on the fast tight twisties, slow tighter twisties and the just right twisties. Drove it enough to fully acclimate.

And at the end of the day, after getting back in my 235 and comparing, the only win that I could see for the Miata was that the off-throttle turn in at lowish speeds is more grin inducing than the 235. And surprisingly to me, that was IT. In every other category the 235 was the better car. Well, except for parking in a really tight space - I guess the Miata wins that as well.

But overall I was surprised at how decisively the 235 owned the Miata, even in those performance metrics that it's known for. Looks like I simply have to buy it.
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      10-13-2018, 08:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M235ForNow View Post
I've spent FAR too much time lately wondering "Should I purchase my M235i at lease end or get something else?" And since this car is 90 percent of the time just carrying me or me and my dog, I decided I had to seriously consider a two seater. Boxster means Porsche costs and that's a no for me. But the new Miata ...?

A cooperative dealer agreed to let me take a pre-owned '16 model out overnight. Drove it on the highway, in the city, on the fast tight twisties, slow tighter twisties and the just right twisties. Drove it enough to fully acclimate.

And at the end of the day, after getting back in my 235 and comparing, the only win that I could see for the Miata was that the off-throttle turn in at lowish speeds is more grin inducing than the 235. And surprisingly to me, that was IT. In every other category the 235 was the better car. Well, except for parking in a really tight space - I guess the Miata wins that as well.

But overall I was surprised at how decisively the 235 owned the Miata, even in those performance metrics that it's known for. Looks like I simply have to buy it.
I owned an '06 MX-5. I really enjoyed that car. My only gripe was a lack of power. The 235 on the other hand, I loved that car.
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'11 Z4 30i (sold);'11 X3 28i (sold); '15 M235i (recalled & crushed!); '15 28i X3 loaded (sold); '14 x328i loaded (sold) & Mineral Grey '16 M235i Perf Edition, Dinan Stage 3, CAI, FMIC, Res-Delete (sold), 2018 loaded X1, 2019 X3M40i (Dinan) due Oct 5
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      10-13-2018, 10:30 PM   #3
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I've owned each of the first three generations of Miata. And I think that the ND is the best of the best, BUT...

The ND doesn't come close to doing for me what the 2 Series does. The 2 Series has spoiled me, dammit.
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      10-13-2018, 11:49 PM   #4
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I test drove the latest Miata as well before buying my m240i. It was the only other car I cross shopped. Didn't take me but a few miles of chatting with the sales guy next to me before I realized some very obvious flaws that let me know it was not going to be the right car for me. The seating position and general ergonomics are piss poor for a touted "driver's car," mainly because of the cost-saving seat adjustment design they decided to implement. This was my biggest gripe for sure. The arm rest on the door card was literally flexible when I put a little weight on it to adjust myself in the seat, and the rest of the interior is just as flimsy. The whole car seems to "buzz" due to the vibrations going through it as you accelerate. That sensation along with the sound of the 4 cylinder engine and the nimble, light turn-in made me feel like I was driving a humming bird or bumble bee. Nothing about it felt exciting or visceral. Just kinda... disappointing all around.

I ended up buying the m240i sight unseen and without a test drive from an out of state dealership. It was worth every penny that it cost me over the Miata. No complaints other than maybe it should have come with a LSD and louder exhaust, but both of those can be fixed with factory M Performance parts or aftermarket alternatives... for more $, of course.
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      10-14-2018, 06:19 AM   #5
Ron Jeffries
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I have owned two Miatas (Miatae?), and I've always said they were more fun per dollar than any car I've ever owned. (Short list: XK150, 928, 944 Turbo, 911 Carrera 4, Vettes, SLK, M Coupe...)

As an aging (let's face it old) man who is only allowed one car in the garage (women, can't live with 'em unless they get half the garage), the M240i convertible xDrive was a far better choice for a year-round car.

But fun? Those little babies were tons of fun!
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      10-14-2018, 10:28 AM   #6
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I cross-shopped the Miata, Porsche Cayman, Audi TTS, before getting the M240i.

Agree 100% on the build of the Miata. Plastic everywhere and for me (6'1" 175) I could not get the driver's seat to go back quite far enough for me. Just one setting short of where it needed to be. Maybe as a dedicated Auto-X car or something like that (a friend loves his for that purpose), but for a second "sometimes" car, it fell short. Having a Mini S w/ a tune, I'd take it over the Miata every time. Heck, it is a BMW "lite"

Porsche was very nice, but expensive to buy and maintain, and lacked usable storage (grocery getter only if you stacked the bags in the "frunk"). Otherwise, a really nice car - my pockets would have to be a bit deeper to justify it.

Audi TTS had a nice interior-seats/exterior-overall look - and a nice hatchback - beyond that, I have nothing much more positive to say about the car. I found that car to be very unresponsive, unless you constantly manually dropped to a lower gear to feel any "oomph". Priced well above what I think it should be (and dealership feels they are doing you a favor selling the car @ MSRP)

M240i hit all the right notes. Nice interior, small enough to feel connected to the car but still large enough to do errands or a trip. Performance that exceeded all the other cars. Priced right for what you get too.
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      10-14-2018, 11:01 AM   #7
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Seriously? What did you expect comparing a car whose MSRP starts at $25K vs one that starts at $50K? Yeah you could buy one M240 for the price of two Miatas. The Miata is a great bang for the buck car that is an ideal roadster for what it is - a no frills car that carves the corners. There are thousands of folks tracking them and it has its own track class. The Miata is too spartan and noisy for my taste but it is still a great car. It's been for sale for 30 years - someone must like them.
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      10-14-2018, 11:35 AM   #8
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I was trading a 2015 C7 for a garage mate for my 2015 Mini Cooper S. Thought I'd cross shop cars and include the Miata w/ thoughts of the Grand Touring model as an option w/ a sticker of $33500.

I expected something more since starting price for my Mini S was a touch less than the base Miata (mostly optioned Mini S is similarly priced to the GT Miata). Car did not fit me, had no real utility, and just felt cheap overall. As I mentioned, I'd keep my Mini over the Miata.

I have no dog in this fight. Miata's a fine cars for Auto-x, other racing or wanting to capture the 1960 MG feel. Just not my cup of tea.
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      10-14-2018, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M235ForNow View Post
I've spent FAR too much time lately wondering "Should I purchase my M235i at lease end or get something else?" And since this car is 90 percent of the time just carrying me or me and my dog, I decided I had to seriously consider a two seater. Boxster means Porsche costs and that's a no for me. But the new Miata ...?

A cooperative dealer agreed to let me take a pre-owned '16 model out overnight. Drove it on the highway, in the city, on the fast tight twisties, slow tighter twisties and the just right twisties. Drove it enough to fully acclimate.

And at the end of the day, after getting back in my 235 and comparing, the only win that I could see for the Miata was that the off-throttle turn in at lowish speeds is more grin inducing than the 235. And surprisingly to me, that was IT. In every other category the 235 was the better car. Well, except for parking in a really tight space - I guess the Miata wins that as well.

But overall I was surprised at how decisively the 235 owned the Miata, even in those performance metrics that it's known for. Looks like I simply have to buy it.
While I wouldn't consider a Miata, I'm in the same boat with my lease being up in March. I love my car but I'm torn. I've test driven a 340i with PPK & ZCP along with an M2. Neither blew me away. The M2 Comp would be the replacement but prices are just ridiculous. It's hard to justify spending 50-65k on a replacement for the M235i when the buyout is 29k. Even considering a used F80 M3 which is around 45k is it really worth 15k over the M235i? That's a tough call.
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      10-14-2018, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Jeffries View Post
I have owned two Miatas (Miatae?), and I've always said they were more fun per dollar than any car I've ever owned. (Short list: XK150, 928, 944 Turbo, 911 Carrera 4, Vettes, SLK, M Coupe...)

As an aging (let's face it old) man who is only allowed one car in the garage (women, can't live with 'em unless they get half the garage), the M240i convertible xDrive was a far better choice for a year-round car.

But fun? Those little babies were tons of fun!
Yep...have had two Miatas..a NB '99 Sport Soft Top Convertible followed by a NC '08 Sport Power Retractable Hard Top; both with manual transmissions. Not too long ago, test "sat" in the latest ND model. Found it cramped; non-existant glove box and passenger foot well sized for...very small people. Miatas certainly feel connected to the road and are a blast to drive. Great driving sensations in corners even at legal speeds! Had a blast autocrossing the NB for years. Both very reliable.
However...
Instead of replacing the NC with latest ND, I opted for a '15 MINI Roadster S. More power, more interior human space and "boot" space, more/nicer amenities. MUCH less tiring on long drives than either Miata (both less wind and engine noise)

Am now strongly considering adding the 2 series..loved the BMW design, features and performance of our former F31 Sportwagon and love the size/performance/price point of the 2 series...

Good luck with your decision on your M235...
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      10-14-2018, 09:25 PM   #11
M235ForNow
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Originally Posted by NVHoo View Post
Seriously? What did you expect comparing a car whose MSRP starts at $25K vs one that starts at $50K? Yeah you could buy one M240 for the price of two Miatas. The Miata is a great bang for the buck car that is an ideal roadster for what it is - a no frills car that carves the corners. There are thousands of folks tracking them and it has its own track class. The Miata is too spartan and noisy for my taste but it is still a great car. It's been for sale for 30 years - someone must like them.
Yes - seriously. And apparently seriously by many of the responders and people out in web-land. People who opine that the Miata is superior to them, presumably considering price, to a Boxster. So of course I tested it with an eye to "is it so way more fun in so many ways that the deficits don't overturn the result". And the answer was "no".
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      10-14-2018, 09:26 PM   #12
M235ForNow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miata13 View Post
Yep...have had two Miatas..a NB '99 Sport Soft Top Convertible followed by a NC '08 Sport Power Retractable Hard Top; both with manual transmissions. Not too long ago, test "sat" in the latest ND model. Found it cramped; non-existant glove box and passenger foot well sized for...very small people. Miatas certainly feel connected to the road and are a blast to drive. Great driving sensations in corners even at legal speeds! Had a blast autocrossing the NB for years. Both very reliable.
However...
Instead of replacing the NC with latest ND, I opted for a '15 MINI Roadster S. More power, more interior human space and "boot" space, more/nicer amenities. MUCH less tiring on long drives than either Miata (both less wind and engine noise)

Am now strongly considering adding the 2 series..loved the BMW design, features and performance of our former F31 Sportwagon and love the size/performance/price point of the 2 series...

Good luck with your decision on your M235...
Decision done. Next up, getting rid of the ASD.
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      10-16-2018, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M235ForNow View Post
I've spent FAR too much time lately wondering "Should I purchase my M235i at lease end or get something else?" And since this car is 90 percent of the time just carrying me or me and my dog, I decided I had to seriously consider a two seater. Boxster means Porsche costs and that's a no for me. But the new Miata ...?

A cooperative dealer agreed to let me take a pre-owned '16 model out overnight. Drove it on the highway, in the city, on the fast tight twisties, slow tighter twisties and the just right twisties. Drove it enough to fully acclimate.

And at the end of the day, after getting back in my 235 and comparing, the only win that I could see for the Miata was that the off-throttle turn in at lowish speeds is more grin inducing than the 235. And surprisingly to me, that was IT. In every other category the 235 was the better car. Well, except for parking in a really tight space - I guess the Miata wins that as well.

But overall I was surprised at how decisively the 235 owned the Miata, even in those performance metrics that it's known for. Looks like I simply have to buy it.


I went from a 2016 Miata ND.
TRUST ME KEEP THE M235I!!!!
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