Pros: Incredibly compact, upgrade affordability, awesome handling, great looks, peppy acceleration
Cons: Cons? What cons? :) Maybe a little more horsepower, but new Miatas have it.
Now, as you're reading this review, keep in mind that a 150" long, 4-foot tall RED-red convertible looks totally different in the eyes of a teenager than it does in the eyes of, say, someone with practical considerations such as how in the world they're going to get two suitcases and a passenger to the airport, in their mind. ;)
With that said, I begin by saying the Miata is definitely a car in which you will stretch the boundaries of your imagination as far as storage space is concerned. The most I have ever had to carry in it is a passenger and four replacement tires. The Miata's trunk isn't THAT small [I could fit maybe one and a half dead bodies in there], but it sure as heck won't fit two tires. What ended up happening was, one tire went in the trunk, two on the parcel shelf [with the soft top removed from the car for replacement], and one on my passenger's lap. Suffice to say, I made sure that ride was as short as possible!
I had mandled my 2002 Toyota Camry Solara pretty badly [read my review on it!], and as soon as it was repaired I took the first opportunity to say, 'Hey dad. How about you drive the Solara and I'll take the Miata?'
I hold a firm belief that the Miata was my dad's mid-life crisis car, and if I was his age I couldn't have made a better choice myself. This car is /fun/. The most fun I have ever had in four wheels, and even in my short driving career I have had the opportunity to scoot around all sorts of neat stuff - BMW Z3s, an Audi S6 Avant, even a Porsche Boxster. Though the 1.6 liter engine my Miata is equipped with only sports 116 horsepower [making my choice to, say, drag race a turbocharged Talon the other day quite foolish], it still has plenty of pep due to the light weight [mine currently curbs at just a little under one ton unloaded] and handles like a dream. If there's one car to take to an autocross event to enter in stock class, this is it.
Hovering four inches off the ground, the Miata will hug to curves like no one's business and for five- or six-hundred dollars you can upgrade the suspension to 8-way adjustable race quality. The steering wheel is unfortunately not adjustable in any way shape or form [making things complicated for my friend Luke, who is about 6'5" tall] but the seat, which only adjusts forward or back and tilts the seatback, offers fair compensation -- personally, I find that the steering wheel is exactly at the right position for me [I'm 5'6" and 145 lbs] and the soft top when folded down just clears the top of my head by a couple inches. Keep in mind that if you are about 6 foot even, you won't be able to see around the upper edge of the windshield as it will lie directly in your line of vision.
The Miata is the car I learned to drive manual transmission on, and after driving a stick shift Civic, a Beretta, and a Ford Explorer, I'm glad I ended up with it. It's got a nice, sharp shifting action which doesn't leave you with any sort of insecurities about what gear you're actually going into, and the transmission [which comes from the turbocharged Mazda MX-3] can stand up to even the abuses of a leadfooted teenager.
One of my first 'upgrades' was to replace the stock headlight bulbs [by the way, children LOVE the pop-up headlights] with brighter 90-watt bulbs. The stock bulbs, in my opinion, are simply TOO dim to be safe, and the clear super-white [blue added to white] of my replacement bulbs adds far more visibility to your driving. This is a good thing when other cars on the road aren't looking out for a miniature roadster with dim headlights. Gas mileage is pretty darn good for a 13-year old car -- I average around 29 miles or so per gallon. The Miata was handed to me with 52k miles on it and I've brought it up to 55.5k right now with zero problems.
Well, seeing as I've now run out of things to say, I /definitely/ advise you to run out to your nearest Mazda dealer and give a Miata a try. If you can find a 90-97 variant, test that one out to see exactly what I've been talking about this whole time. If you see a newer 'M2' [99-02] Miata, test drive it and tell me how it is, I've always been curious [too young to test drive! :(].