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Hello, my name is Jordan I am new to this scene. Currently I am a student, work almost full time and are running a car repair business on the side. I drive a 2000 Dodge Neon ES presently, it has about 119,000 miles on it. It has been a good car to me, when I am not driving the Neon I drive my Kawasaki Ninja 250. In the near future I am looking to get either a Mazda Miata MX-5 or a Lotus Elise. I hope to get to know everyone and learn more about these two awesome cars.
 

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welcome, jordan, lurk around here, there's a wealth of knowledge available.
also, aren't the 250 ninjas fun.
i've had a number of them in basket condition and got them well.
also had the first model ZX-11 at the same time. neat comparison!
good luck, sam
 

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Jordan,
I'm new here, but I saw your post and wanted to throw in my 2 cents. I've never driven a Miata, but you just can't describe the fun of driving a Lotus. (mine is the Exige) The salesperson told me I would have a smile on my face everytime I drive it. He was sooooo right!
Marshall
 

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Hey Jordan, welcome to the forum. I have been daily driving/tracking a Miata since 1998. I've had everything from a stock 1.6 setup, to my current 95 supercharged R-package. I purchased my 05 Elise in late September and can relay to you that though they are both small, lightweight sportscars they are very, very different. Not different in a bad way either. The Miata is very comfortable in more ways than one. The feel of the Elise is about as direct as you can get with the road without hanging your hands and feet inches above the pavement in an average car. It's sort of like reading text on a paper, and feeling the text in Braille. You can see the road, the bumps, the turns, but can you FEEL them?
The Miata in stock form communicates the road well, but no where near the Elise. I have not tracked the Elise yet (June 4th. =first event of the year), but I know from experience the Miata rear end slides out in a very predictable, progressive manner. From what I understand this is not the case with the Elise. It tends to be less forgiving. I think the lotus requires more skill to drive quickly. When it comes to $, obviously the Lotus requires more of it to maintain it properly. The Miata, especially the 89-97 are extremely easy to work on yourself. The engine is easily accessed and it is virtually bullet proof. You can beat the snot out of this car and it doesn't even blink. It's a great car to start with if you want to learn how to drive a rear wheel drive car and tinker on a motor on the cheap, no choice is better. You can pick up a nice 93 for $4,500. With that being said, you will still be driving a Miata and NOT a Lotus. The Elise draws a lot of attention. No more driving "under the radar". Lol. My wife (not really a car girl) thinks it is rediculous having two 2 seat cars in the garage. I think she's right, it's rediculous, we should have more! I have two kids under age 7, so she's not completely crazy with her thought process. As many times as I've thought about trading in my Miata for another SUV, I've resisted. I think that speaks volumes for what a great car it is in its own right. In Summary: Miata=Inexpensive to own and maintain, lots of them out there. Easy to drive at the limits. Blends In on the road. Lotus=More expensive to own and maintain. Very low volume, hand made car. (from what I understand) not as easy to drive at the limits, but unparalleled feel. Garners lots of looks/questions EVERYWHERE you go. Set 15 minutes aside for each fill up. Honestly Jordan, I don't think you can lose with either car. Congrats in advance and let us know what you decided to get.
 

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Everyone thank you for your replies and input, I greatly appreciate it! I really enjoyed reading all your opinions, they really gave me great insight. Ha-ha and yes the 250 Ninjas are fun! I actually have mine apart in the garage now, time for a tuneup... Bah. I hope to take a Miata for a test drive sometime in the near future, and if possible find someone with a Lotus to give me a ride! It will be nice to get the full picture. I will definitely let you all know what I decide! Oh decisions decisions! Thanks again! Also LotusCC and kestrel74 thanks!
 

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No problem. If you were in Massachusetts I'd take you for a ride in both within minutes of each other. I'm sure there is someone near you with one each. Remember, the earlier miata models are the lightest. A 94/95 is a good year to look at as well. Slightly heavier, but slightly more powerful engine and bigger brakes. Feel free to PM me with any other questions you might have.
 

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Hello Jordan. If interested you should go onto youtube and search Secret life of my lotus elise. There are 5 episodes, it's basically a guy who owns a lotus elise and he parks his lotus and puts a video camera on the inside to catch people's visual and verbal reactions to his car. It's funny seeing people oogle his car and hearing people talk about it while he isn't there and they have no idea they are being recorded lol.
 

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My suggestion: Unless you currently have the finances to purchase a Lotus, do *NOT* test drive one. LotusLust is a pernicious syndrome which can cloud the mind and drain your finances. The condition is only worsened by actually driving one. (You do not get it "out of your system" by test driving one). Later stages of the disease are LotusTracking syndrome and ChronicGottaUpgrade syndrome. Researchers have not found a successful treatment program for these illnesses, and are forced to let the disease process run the full course on those who are afflicted. The side-effects are benign, other than the permanent stretch marks around the side of the face from ear-to-ear smiling.
 
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