VIDEO: Four Mazda Miata and Fiat 124 Spider Tips For Shoppers and New Owners

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The new Mazda Miata and Fiat 124 Spider have some quirks that buyers should know about.

Convertibles all have their secrets, but the new Mazda Miata and Fiat Spider have a few that everyone shopping for a new convertible this spring should take note of. If you already drove your new drop-top home, congratulations! You still might benefit from these easy tips that make living with a Miata or Spider a bit easier.


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Secret Storage Compartment

Behind the passenger’s seat in both the Miata and Spider there is a storage compartment perfect for things you want to keep in the car, but not within immediate reach. There is no glove box in these convertible cars, so cabin storage is important. To access the compartment, simply tip the passenger seat forward and then open it as shown in our video below. This area is not locked in any way, but only your fellow Miata and Spider owners know it’s there. This is a great spot for a hat and extra pair of sunglasses, two things your passenger will need and may not have with them.

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Cupholder Hack

The cupholders in the Miata and Spider are an obvious afterthought. When you take delivery, they are going to be mounted in the worst possible configuration. They will be behind your right elbow. That’s your shifting arm and if you are tall, when you rest your arm on the armrest it will hit the cupholders. There is also no practical way to reach them while driving. As our video shows, you can move them. Grab them and pull up harder than you think is reasonable and they pop out. A dust cover then closes up the hole, which is cool, and also signals to us that Mazda knew this was an issue.

If you look over on the passenger side of the center console ahead of the shifter you will find a slot into which the passenger side cupholder can fit. Once in, the cupholder is much sturdier than it appears. It will hold a 20 oz drink without any fuss and in practice, it is easy to use while driving the car. Store that other one in the trunk or in your garage, it won’t be much use.

Flat Tire Kit

If you watched the video you will notice we have a bag in the trunk with some items inside a Zip Loc bag. That is a can of fix a flat and a plug toolkit. The Spider and Miata don’t have a spare tire and they don’t have run flat tires.

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Instead, Mazda provides a small compressor and a can of tire sealant. The kit may well work, but a can of fix a flat is a cheap, and easily replaceable way to make sure you have a way to deal with a simple puncture. The plug kit may be of limited use. There is no jack in the Miata or Spider, so accessing punctures on the inside of the tread may be tricky. Why the double bag system? So you never have to clean up a trunk-load of tire sealant if the can overheats and pops.

The Locking Console Storage

Since there is no glove box, Mazda designed a simple locking compartment in the console just above those cupholders you removed. We trust your dealer showed you how to access the hidden key that opens and locks that box, but just in case we have this simple image explaining the obvious. Some keys are inside the keyless entry fob and that little detent is how you get the key to emerge. We trust you can figure out the rest. This is where your registration and proof of insurance go. You’ll find that this is an important storage box because when you hop out of your convertible on a road trip to grab a tasty beverage you may not want to bother closing up the roof every time.

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