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The 2023 Chevy Corvette is a world-class sports car with a powerful V8, a mid-engine layout, and innovative styling. On top of that, it’s a solid value. The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a lightweight roadster focusing on driving experience instead of performance figures. And with its excellent fuel efficiency, it’s a smart pick.

Both vehicles scored well on Kelley Blue Book’s “Best Convertibles of 2023.” But you might be surprised at who came out on top. Let’s look at the results.

Chevy Corvette vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata – how Kelley Blue Book scored each

A gray Mazda MX-5 Miata turning on a city street in front of some buildings
Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

The winner might seem obvious in comparing the Chevy Corvette and the Mazda MX-5 Miata if you’re going by horsepower figures and lap times alone. After all, the ‘Vette’s 6.2-liter V8 with 490 hp has a significant advantage over the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0-liter inline-four with 181 hp. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

In their “Best Convertibles of 2023” list, Kelley Blue Book considered factors beyond raw performance, like fun, affordability, and efficiency. And once they tabulated the scores, the Miata came out the winner. The retractable hardtop version of the MX-5, the RF, took second place, with the Corvette placing third.

With a score of 4.8 out of 5 stars, the MX-5 Miata impressed reviewers with its fun driving experience, excellent build quality, and pleasing manual transmission. They gushed about its quick handling and peppy engine that offer go-kart performance. And with an MSRP of $28,050, this elegant roadster offered hard-to-match affordability.

The $35,350 Miata RF received an identical score of 4.8 stars, and KBB lauded its quick-folding hardtop that switched between coupe and convertible in seconds. With its additional weather protection, the RF made the Miata more of an all-season vehicle. And, like the regular Miata, its 34 mpg highway was a strong selling point.

Barely behind the Mazda Miata was the Chevrolet Corvette with a score of 4.7 stars. With its supercar looks and performance, yet a reasonable $64,500 MSRP, this American work of art offered a rare combo of excitement and value.

KBB raved about the Corvette’s driving dynamics, with its muscular V8 serving as the centerpiece. Steering and balance were on par with the world’s best supercars, and the well-designed interior provided an ideal environment. The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission offered quick, precise gear changes. And with 24 mpg highway, the Corvette offered respectable efficiency.

Why Kelley Blue Book preferred the Mazda MX-5 Miata

Kelley Blue Book rated the Mazda MX-5 Miata ahead of the Chevrolet Corvette, but just barely. Reading their review, it’s apparent the MX-5’s appetite for fun—rather than the Corvette’s supercar performance—was the deciding factor.

Throughout their Mazda MX-5 review, KBB shared their enthusiasm for the roadster’s singular design. From its high-revving engine to its go-kart handling, the Miata provided a driving experience second to none. And while it couldn’t match the outright speed or cornering G’s of the Corvette, the emotions this roadster evoked seemed more than a substitute.

For those in the market for a convertible, picking between the two comes down to preference. Both feature sports car style and driving thrills but go about it differently. The Miata’s amusing personality and affordable price make it hard to pass up, but the Corvette’s dramatic looks and stunning performance offer their own appeal.


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