2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. Its Competition

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

There’s really nothing else on the market quite like the Mazda MX-5 Miata—especially if you consider its super-affordable price point.

The Ford Mustang, in V-6 form especially (or now in EcoBoost four-cylinder form) keeps the price down as well.

But the Mustang, even with this year’s refinement-minded update, remains a bigger, heavier vehicle than the Miata.

The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are closer to the Miata’s form and feel; they’re small, rear-wheel-drive performance coupes, although they’re still not offered as convertibles, so the packaging is quite different.

But they share a back-to-basics approach and excellent steering.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is a considerably more expensive car, with a mid-engine design and just a hint of Ferrari pedigree.

But we think that despite that it’s a formidable rival to the Miata as it offers a light, lean driving experience that isn’t really matched by any other model on the market.

Heading back in the opposite directioin, toward more affordability, there’s the Mini Cooper Coupe, which is a stylish alternative and quite fun to drive; yet it’s a front-wheel-drive hatchback and far less of a true sports car.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT3502016 Ford Mustang
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2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible2016 MINI Cooper
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2016 Scion FR-S2016 Scion FR-S
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2016 Alfa Romeo 4C2016 Alfa Romeo 4C
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2015 Subaru BRZ2015 Subaru BRZ
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Quick Specs
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata shouldn’t disappoint driving purists, yet it’s been reformulated for a new generation to enjoy.
The Ford Mustang keeps its newfound finesse and pony-car attitude, blasting past its 50th year with a rorty new Shelby GT350 variant plus more ways to stand out from the crowd.
The 2016 Mini Cooper is as cheeky as its retro style implies—and its three-cylinder engine is a charming surprise.
The 2016 Scion FR-S is the perfect affordable sports car for many, with just enough in the way of creature comforts to keep it livable as a daily driver as well.
The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C is a dazzling purist's sports car with great power and handling but little in terms of space and comfort.
The 2015 Subaru BRZ has the same excellent steering and handling that you can find in significantly more expensive sports cars, making it just as much fun in many cases.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
27 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy
Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded V-6Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3Premium Unleaded H-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded H-4
EPA Class     
Two SeatersSubcompact CarsSubcompact CarsMinicompact CarsTwo SeatersMinicompact Cars
Style Name     
2-Door Convertible Manual Sport2-Door Fastback V62-Door HB2-Door Coupe Manual (GS)2-Door Coupe2-Door Coupe Manual Premium
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
ManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2016 Ford Mustang2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2016 MINI Cooper2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2016 Scion FR-S2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2015 Subaru BRZ