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2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

With the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata, you don't have to break the bank for a thrilling driving experience. This sporty car offers exceptional performance at an affordable price - proving that great value and exhilaration come together in one neat package! Discover why this budget sports car is becoming such a fan favorite on both street and track.

What’s New for 2021?

To make the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata an even better value, Mazda has added Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration to its list of standard equipment. Meanwhile, white Nappa leather upholstery is a newly available option.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata – The Pros

1. An Affordable, Low-Maintenance Sports Car

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has always been known for its affordability. It hails as one of the sport car segment's best values. Prices for the entry-level Sport model start at less than $28,000. Very few sports cars offer as much fun for this amount of money. Drivers definitely appreciate the MX-5 Miata’s low cost of maintenance. Routine oil and filters changes won’t break the bank. Parts, such as tires and brake pads, will also be affordable to replace.

2. Good on Gas for a Sports Car

Some performance cars don’t return the best gas mileage. Fortunately, that’s not the case for the new 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It’s nearly as efficient as some economy cars. A featherweight design and small engine help ensure greater fuel savings. When equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, the MX-5 Miata has a frugal rating of 26 mpg town/34 mpg freeway. Opting for a six-speed automatic transmission slightly raises efficiency to 26 mpg town/35 mpg freeway.

3. Surprisingly Potent

Mazda has outdone itself with the 2021 MX-5 Miata, offering drivers a spirited yet surprisingly powerful driving experience. Adorned with SkyActiv technology, its 2.0-liter engine churns an impressive 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque to enable confident acceleration - 0–60 mph in 5.7 seconds! Paired with the car's low curb weight and you've got yourself one captivating ride that is surely up for any challenge thrown at it.

4. Handles with Extreme Poise

Sports car fans will love the MX-5 Miata’s nimbleness. It gracefully carves corners like a classic rear-wheel-drive roadster. While the standard MX-5 Miata handles extremely well, there are some worthwhile performance upgrades available. An available limited-slip differential and Bilstein shock absorbers transform the car into a more capable track machine. Fortunately, ride comfort will still be good enough to tackle city streets. Another highlight is the MX-5 Miata’s communicative steering system. Drivers will feel attached to the road at all times.

5. Drop-Top Fun

Among the MX-5 Miata’s attractions is its convertible design. When the weather is nice outside, drivers will love riding with the top down. Most of the other convertible cars in this class are far more expensive. For folks who desire a convertible that’s more suitable for year-round driving, Mazda offers the MX-5 Miata RF. Its retractable hardtop provides more protection against Mother Nature’s varying weather conditions. You’ll also appreciate the extra insulation when temperatures start to drop during the winter.

6. Iconic Styling That Never Grows Old

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a distinctive look. Cars fanatics will immediately recognize the MX-5 Miata’s singnature styling details. While the soft-top trims are attractive, expect the hardtop RF model to have an especially sleek profile. Because the entry-level Sport trim looks so cool, some people won’t feel compelled to upgrade to a higher trim level. Popular exterior features, like LED headlights and sport alloy wheels, are standard equipment. Mazda also offers the MX-5 Miata in some enticing colors, including newly available Deep Crystal Blue.

7. Driver-Focused Interior

There are many drivers who will appreciate the simplicity of the MX-5 Miata’s interior. A driver-focused cockpit helps minimize distractions. The Miata MX-5 allows you to truly focus on the art of driving. All the key controls are right at your fingertips. Whether you’re adjusting the climate control system or changing the radio station, every task will be easy. Although a fully digital instrument cluster is not offered, driving purists will actually prefer the car’s traditional analog gauges.

8. Highly Recommended Bose Premium Sound System

A six-speaker stereo with HD Radio comes standard on the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It gets the job done. However, most people will prefer listening to the available Bose premium audio system. This nine-speaker unit definitely brings a more exciting sound. Headrest speakers help you to hear every musical note. Even with the top down, sound quality is impressive. There’s also enough bass to keep rap and rock fans happy.

9. Active Safety Features Are Available

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is loaded with far more standard active safety features than in previous years. While low-speed automatic braking helps reduce the likelihood of an accident in city traffic, blind-spot monitoring enhances awareness on multi-lane roads. Lane departure alert is another standard convenience. Drivers who spend a lot of time on the road at night will appreciate the available adaptive headlights.

10. Advanced Smartphone Support on All Trim Levels

Drivers no longer need to pay extra for Mazda’s upgraded infotainment system. This means every trim level now receives Apple Car and Android Auto smartphone integration. Drivers can access their favorite mobile apps and music playlists on the unit’s dash-mounted touchscreen.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata – The Cons

1. May Not Pack Enough Performance for Some Drivers

The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is noted for its engaging performance. This sports car feels light on its feet. Nonetheless, some driving enthusiasts will still crave more muscle under the hood. Equipped with a standard turbo four-cylinder engine, Toyota’s GR Supra 2.0 clocks a noticeably quicker 0-60 time of around 4.8 seconds. Road tests show the turbocharged Ford Mustang is also a quicker performer.

2. Does Not Offer All-Wheel Drive

As always, the MX-5 Miata is strictly a rear-wheel-drive model. Many people love the handling characteristics of a RWD sports car. On the downside, traction takes a big hit in wintry weather. Folks who live in a region that gets a lot of snow may desire an AWD-equipped alternative. A good option is the new Subaru WRX.

3. Very Small Car

When first checking out the MX-5 Miata, there’ll be no overlooking its small stature. This is an extremely compact car. Some larger drivers will not be able to fit comfortable behind the wheel. There’s also no backseat, which could be an issue for drivers who have children. Another potential dealbreaker is the car’s tiny trunk. It provides less than 5.0 cubic feet of cargo space.

4. Infotainment Unit Could Use a Few Tweaks

The car’s infotainment unit easy-to-use design is a big plus. However, it does suffer from a few drawbacks. Glare from the sun can be a problem on bright days. Drivers will have trouble even reading the display. You also can’t operate the touchscreen while the car is in motion. Instead, drivers must use a controller knob.

5. Road Noise

Drivers should not expect the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata to deliver a quiet ride. This small convertible allows an above-average amount of road noise to enter the cabin. Things can get especially loud when driving over rough asphalt. A Porsche Boxster is a much quieter convertible sports car.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs 2021 MINI Convertible

Like the MX-5 Miata, the 2021 MINI Convertible has an iconic look. However, even more special appearance upgrades are available for the MINI Convertible. MINI also offers this car with a much stronger turbocharged engine. While the MINI has a lot to offer, it’s steeper price tag may turn away some people.

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs 2021 Toyota 86

The 2021 Toyota 86 is another budget-minded sports car to consider. It shares many of the MX-5 Miata’s same attributes, such as a simple interior and standard four-cylinder engine. Both of these cars also handle remarkably well. However, a backseat and greater trunk space add to the 86’s practicality. On the other hand, only the MX-5 Miata has a convertible top.

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs Subaru WRX

Drivers seeking a thrilling ride under $30,000 should contemplate the 2021 Subaru WRX and Mazda MX-5 Miata. The former offers four doors of practicality with an AWD drivetrain as standard equipment; however, its reliability scores are below par. While the latter provides unmatched top down driving enjoyment for those who seek to feel one with nature on their journeys. Both vehicles have unique qualities that cater to different lifestyles - each offering something special in return.

Final Thoughts

Boasting iconic styling, sport alloy wheels and a premium Bose sound system, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is an excellent choice for those looking to experience affordable and low-maintenance sports car thrills. From its 2.0L engine with 0–60 mph acceleration of 5.7 seconds to fuel economy optimization via limited slip differential - this vehicle has something for everyone! Not only that but it comes standard with active safety features such as lane departure alerts & Android Auto integration so you can enjoy all aspects of driving in one convenient package; making it no surprise why this fan favorite continues be crowned king among dream cars.

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