2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.
If you are in the market for a two-seater with either a hard top or a soft top, the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably going to make your list of cars to test-drive. And why shouldn't it? With its lightweight build, the Miata is able to hug a curve like nobody's business. Mazda's last redesign of the Miata in 2016 really saw a huge improvement in terms of agility and aerodynamics, which is what gives the Miata such a competitive edge over other two-seaters.
What does not give the Miata a competitive edge is its space. Two average-sized adults can fit into the seats just fine, but if you have a larger stature, then you're going to be hard-pressed for space. Most of its rivals are somewhat more generous on space, so if you are taller or wider, this might not be the most comfortable fit for you. You might also find yourself wishing for a little bit more space in the trunk.
It might not also be the best pick for you if you are looking for something practical. Mazda skimps on the creature comforts that most of us want in newer vehicles. There are a handful of standard driver aids, but a lot of minor details feel smudged. The cupholders seem cheap and flimsy, and they are prone to breaking down. That is not to mention the infotainment system. While its 7-inch touchscreen display is adequately sized for the little Miata, the controls are relegated to the corners and are extremely limited on functionality while you are driving. The standard smartphone app integration you get for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will come in handy. The speakers inside of the Miata are powerful and do serve to enhance the Miata's spunky driving performance.
The Miata might not be as fully loaded or as spacious as many of its rivals, but it makes up for that with its spirited handling capabilities. This vehicle was designed to be a sprinter, able to get from 0 to 60 mph in around 6 seconds. The brakes are equally strong, able to come to a panic stop in a safe distance. Smooth inputs create the best response from the Miata, but it sure can handle some wilder stuff. Zipping through corners is downright fun, and body roll only ever becomes an issue when you get extra aggressive with your steering.
Is the Miata the right fit for you? You will have to examine its three different trim levels: the Sport, Club, and the Grand Touring. Each one offers something a little bit different, so you will have to carefully scrutinize their lists of standard and optional features. What you will get across the board is a 2.0-L 4-cylinder that produces a power output of 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive (RWD, for short) is the standard drivetrain. A 6-speed manual transmission is equipped on all trim levels, but each one leaves you the option of swapping it out for a 6-speed automatic instead.
So, which trim level is going to be your best bet? Read through this comparison, and in the end, we will let you know which trim we think presents the best deal for the average buyer in this segment.
Compare the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport vs Club Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The Sport and Club are both equipped with the same engine, so don't expect to find too many mechanical differences in that regard. But there are quite a few things that separate these two trim levels. They both come with LED headlights and taillights, but the Club swaps out the Sport's halogen daytime running lights for LEDs. Both have windshield wipers that are variable intermittent and black power side mirrors. The front and rear bumpers and door handles are all done in your chosen body color. Also, you get an aluminum hood, aluminum trunk lid, a solar-control/tinted windshield, a rear mounted mast antenna (the Club does add a trunk-mounted shark fin antenna), black cloth convertible tops, and a trunk light. To that, the Club trim adds a black rear lip spoiler and a black front air dam. The Sport's wheels are 16-inch Metallic Black finished aluminum alloys, while the Club upgrades you to a 17-inch version of those wheels. Either way, they come with high-performance tires.
Exterior colors on both include Jet Black Mica and Arctic White. Soul Red Crystal Metallic can be added for a fee. The Club also adds the choices of Polymetal Gray Metallic (with no extra charge) and Machine Gray Metallic (which does have an extra fee). Both have only back roofs.
Comfort and convenience features read about the same on both of these trim levels. They share a standard air conditioning system, power windows with one-touch down on both front windows, side window demisters, a speed sensor with the power door locks, the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, cruise control, a push button start function, a remote trunk lid release, a steering column that is tilting and telescoping, vanity mirrors on the driver's and passenger's sides, a dimming function with the courtesy overhead light, a 12-v outlet, a de-fogger on the glass rear window, and a wind blocker made from mesh aero board.
Storage features are also the same between the Sport and Club trim levels. They both have two removable cup holders, covered storage behind the driver's and passenger's back panels, and a rear center console with a lock to keep things secure.
These are, of course, both two-seater trims, and both bucket seats come with a reclining and forward/backward sliding feature. The driver's seat has a tilt adjustment, and both seats have integrated headrests. A Light Gray stitching is what distinguishes the Club's black cloth seat trim from the Sport's. The Sport comes with black seat back bar trim while the Club gains a piano black color instead. The three-spoke steering wheel comes wrapped in leather, as dot he gear shift knob and parking brake handle. A driver foot rest, padded armrests, and carpet floor mats are standard on both trims. The Club also has upper door trim done in the chosen body color and heated seats that have three heat settings.
The Sport trim comes with many of the same infotainment features as the Club: Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, volume control that automatically senses your speed and adjusts accordingly, an auxiliary input jack, 2 USB audio inputs, smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and phone, audio, and cruise controls mounted onto the steering wheel. While the Sport has a 6-speaker AM/FM sound system, the Club gets upgraded to a 9-speaker Bose premium sound system with Audio Pilot included. It also has SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
Both vehicles have a 7-inch touchscreen display that fits the cabin to a tee. There is also a multi-functional command center, voice command with the infotainment system, program data for the Radio Broadcast Data System, HD Radio, a SMS text messaging function, an E911 automatic emergency notification, and internet radio integration with Pandora, Aha, and Stitcher.
The instrumentation panel looks the same for both trims, too. You get a full instrumentation display with a coolant temperature gauge, fuel gauge, and tachometer. There are also black gauges with white lettering on them and a trip computer that shows your distance until 'Empty', current fuel economy, average fuel economy, and average vehicle speed.
There are no optional packages for the Sport, but on the Club, you can add the Brembo/BSS Recaro Package. For under $4,500, this equips Brembo front brakes and Mazda rear brakes, all of which come with red calipers. It also swaps in BBS forged 17-inch Dark Gunmetal finished alloy wheels, an aero kit (which includes a rear bumper skirt in Brilliant Black and side still extensions), and heated black Recaro sport seats. Overall, it provides the Miata with an extra-sporty vibe.
Compare the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club vs Grand Touring Trims. What is the difference?
At the top of the MX-5 Miata line-up we have the luxury-oriented Grand Touring. This trim level makes some key upgrades, both inside and out. So, let's start with the outside and work our way in. The exterior comes with additions like auto on/off headlights, high beam control, and an adaptive front lighting system. The windshield wipers gain the ability to sense rain, and there are body-colored side mirrors instead of the Club's black ones. The Grand Touring also has auto dimming on the driver's side mirror and ditches the Club's black front air dam and rear lip spoiler. Its wheels are 17-inches in size but are done in a Dark Silver finish. Deep Crystal Blue Mica opens up as a no-extra-charge body color option, and, for a cost, there is a Snowflake White Pearl Mica option. You can also pay $200 for a gray top if the black one does not suit you.
Inside, you get more standard features. The air conditioning gets swapped out in favor of an automatic climate control system. Additionally, HomeLink comes on the auto-dimming rear-view mirror. There are stainless steel inserts with the black door sill trim plates, a Mazda Navigation System, and a SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link three-year subscription that displays current information for parking by destination or nearby parking, sports scores, fuel prices, traffic, and weather. You can also opt for add White Nappa Leather if you are not digging the standard Black Leather upholstery.
As is the case for the Sport, there are no optional packages available to equip on the Grand Touring trim level.
2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Which Trim to Choose?
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The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is definitely something of a mixed bag. For the price, you get a plethora of great features. But not all of them work as well as you might hope, especially that infotainment system. The bounty of driver aids is nice, although we really doubt you will need to rely on blind-spot monitoring system. Overall, though, the Miata can be fun and is really built for just that.
If given a choice, we would stick with the mid-tier Club trim level just so that we could equip it with the optional Brembo/BSS Recaro package. The only drawback to that is for taller drivers since the Recaro sport seats are positioned too high in an already-tight-squeeze of a cabin. Taller folks, you simply just will not fit in those Recaro seats. Also, if you opt for the manual transmission on the Club, you get a few performance upgrades that make driving the Miata a little bit more exciting.
The Club is genuinely the best deal since it gives you plenty of added features without jacking up the price tag. The black rear lip spoiler and front air dam make the vehicle look sportier than the Sport, and the faux leather inside of the cabin adds a nice touch of class. Plus the 9-speaker Bose sound system provides excellent quality while you cruise along the highway with the top down.
• Compare the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trim Levels