Many of today’s drivers simply can’t afford to purchase a high-dollar sports car. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to have fun. The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata remains one of today’s least expensive sports cars. Not only is the MX-5 Miata affordable, but it’s always a blast to drive on the street and track. Let’s take a deeper look at why the MX-5 Miata is such a great option.
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.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 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
All versions of the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata use the same four-cylinder power source. Although the car’s 2.0-liter engine is small, Mazda’s SkyActiv technology helps squeeze out the most performance. The engine generates a pleasing 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Because of the car’s low curb weight, it can move out quicker than some people think. Recent road tests show the MX-5 Miata clocks a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. This is quick enough to promote an engaging driving experience.
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.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 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
When searching for a fun ride under $30,000, drivers should take a serious look at the 2021 Subaru WRX. This four-door performance car is more practical than the MX-5 Miata. It also comes standard with an AWD drivetrain. However, only the MX-5 Miata allows you to experience driving with the top down. Reliability scores for the WRX are also below average.
Drivers who desire a sensible and affordable sports car should take the new 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata for a test drive. It scores well in terms of driving fun. Many people also like the MX-5 Miata’s cool exterior design. Before buying this car, be aware of its limited passenger and cargo space.
• Why buy a 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata? w/ pros vs cons