Well, I've owned both. A '93 del Sol Si brand new and now I own a 1990 Miata. Not really fair comparison since one is now 14 years old but I'll try.
The Honda was very quick (esp for it's time), the interior was roomy and you could talk with the targa top off. The ride was kind of floaty (probably needed better springs/shocks) and when taking lots of twists/hills (I lived in West Virginia at the time), you could actually feel the car twist/flex. I knew nothing about mods at the time so I'm not sure what's available to upgrade. Had to sell when my first little one was on the way.
My Mazda is stock and has 162k miles on her but it's still a blast to drive. The steering is very quick and it will turn on a dime. It had a lot of shudders in her when I bought a year ago so I added a front upper/lower brace and a rear subframe brace. I feel every bump in the road but it's a toy car so I don't drive it everyday. The engine is like a rock - it still runs great and I've heard of people of miata.net with 250 - 300k on the same engine. With the stock engine, you will NOT blow the doors off of anyone but the car is suited for twisty roads like route 61 in Dahlonega. That is a great road trip............
Hope this helps - IMO the miata is a better all around car for driving.....
I'll echo td's comments.
I have (unbelieveably) been in both cars.
The DelSol is more of a GT type ride, rather than the sports car the Miata is.
The DelSol felt much more deliberate and flexed when being pushed, the Miata just motored wherever you guided it with no fuss.
Both cars have a huge aftermarket, but I believe the miata gives you more roadster flair for your money. The RWD is better suited to attacking the twisties and handling any aftermarket power increases. You can buy bolt on S/C and T/C units that'll give you anywhere from 170-200+ HP for about $2500. That extra power transforms the car pretty well :wink:. I love the late model Miatas (when they switched to projector-lense type headlamps), and wish I could afford one as a summer toy :thumbup:.
Incidently I also recently got a '92 Miata. I din't have the Del Sol, but I've driven one on the road course, and I think I much prefer the 2nd gen CRX more (del slow is technically the 3rd gen CRX). The Del Sol feels very much like an EG hatch, infact it's even slightly heavier, but one of the Del Sol trim includes the B16a 160hp vtec motor.
Personally, I think the Miata corners a lot better and is a much more fun car to drive than the DS. The CRX is a lot more fun to drive than the DS. It's diff for me to say whether the CRX or the Miata are more cars, but I do feel more confident pushing the CRX more. I think the Miata is a bit more demanding to drive (but prob also more rewarding). I will have to try auto-Xing and RR both cars in the future to see which suits me more.
However, comparing motors, the B16a motor is one of the best small displacement motors out there. IMO, if you're into smaller displacment N/A motors, the Honda B and K-series are unbeatable in termns of potential and customability. I myself am in the process of building a ls/vtec motor. 200whp N/A is not difficult to acheive Some of the stronger tuner motors out there have made up 260whp (but the cost is well over $10k). With turbo cars, there have been b-series making over the 700whp mark, which is not difficult to do, given the vast options in forged internals, cheap pricing for bore & sleeving the block, ECU tweaking w/ hondata and so forth.
The mazda 1.6l ('89-93) or 1.8l ('94-'97?) are rated at 119 and 128hp iirc. There is aftermarket for the miata motor and the B-series motors. However, as far as I know from what I've researched, the aftermarket options for the honda B-series motors are substantially higher than the mazda b6 motor, regardless of whether you go all-motor (b-series greatest strength imo), or forced induction. The impression I get is that the B6's potential in the N/A route tops out at 200whp (and you'd prob be spending close to $6k to build the motor. With turbo cars, I get the impression it's around 300whp. I havent seen the iron sleeving aftermarket option for the B6 motors yet, so i think it may be dangerous to put too much boost in that motor. I've also heard that the Miata B6 is derative from the 323GTX turbo motor, so it responds to a moderate amount of boost well. Seems like 12psi is the limit. With Honda B-series, the aluminum block b16a, b17a, b18c, and the b18c-r don't respond to boost well without internal work. The b18a/b iron block are good, and can take around 10-12psi. I think a fellow clubb5/honda-tech member Blade is doing this and he's getting good results w/ a turbocharged b18a/b @ 10psi in his EG hatch.
I don't know for sure, so someone pls correct me if I am wrong.
Otherwise, If you had to get a civic I think there are better models out there than the Del Slow. Personally, I think the lighter EF civics or the EG hatch are more fun to drive, and are considerably more practicle (you have enough space to put a set of track wheel/tires in the hatch). It's hard to say which car is best for what though. Off the top of my head, I'd prob opt the Miata for auto-X and a better handling car, but the civic for a slightly faster car for roadrace, and if its something you want to customize a lot as it has huge aftermarket.
I really love both cars (the CRX and the Miata), so I have both.
i have owned miatas in the past. love them, want another one.
del sol (to me) is a civic with a targa and a roll down window.
my sister in law had a del sol si for a few years that i drove quite a few times. i had a 90 miata at the same time and could not believe how much more i liked the miata.
there's just something i like about rwd in a nicely balanced small convertible! dang, i need to find a nice low mileage 93 with lsd and a hard top. i almost gave myself wood thinking about my old miatas!
So I'm like getting way too much free time on my hands and I don't really think anybody here cares, but eh I'mma post anyways. This is as close to chronological as I can get it. TL;DR at the end of this post.
My dad wouldn't let me get my license unless I learned how to drive a manual. So when...