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Deciding on MotorBiscuit’s Car of the Year was a tough decision. Each one of the finalists had something (or many things) that made them special and worthwhile. However, at the end of all, only one of the best cars of the year had enough of that special sauce to spark our team’s hearts. The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is MotorBiscuit’s Car of the Year winner!

The 2021 Mazda MX-5-Miata in grey with our Car of the Year award Logo
The 2021 Mazda MX-5-Miata is MotorBiscuit’s Car of the Year | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

We just can’t help but adore the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Many of us pick our dream cars from a very young age and posterize them on our walls (or our phone screen or whatever young people do these days). These dream cars are almost always of the sports car (supercar) variety. I’m not sure why that is exactly, but it is what it is. Although we often dream of owning these poster cars, most of us end up driving a sensible Toyota Camry or a Honda CR-V, and for good reason. 

The problem with the dream of owning sports cars is that we are constantly told that we’ll never afford one, they aren’t actually good cars, blah blah blah. So we grow up wanting something we believe is actually silly to own. Well, thanks to the Miata, that conditioning is patently false. 

Is the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata really that good? 

The new Miata has damn near completely bucked the trends of the modern automotive world and still made a sports car that is sophisticated, exciting, affordable, and reliable. This is simply not done; rather, it hasn’t been done in a long time. 

Mazda’s little ripper comes correct with a delightfully eager 181-hp 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with your choice of a six-speed automatic transmission (please don’t) or – one of the defining features of the MX-5 – a six-speed manual gearbox begging for the next upshift. 

Miatas don’t know how to miss a corner

You simply cannot talk Miata greatness without its greatest ability; superior handling. My first time on the racetrack, our instructor came in a stripped, ’90s spec Miata making a vague 100 hp. I was in a 350-hp Ford Focus RS, while others on the track were in 911s, Audis, and other such tools to cover up a lack of track skills. 

The instructor looked at the fleet and simply said, “try to keep up.” He climbed into his tiny racer and took off. Between his skill and Miata’s ability to shred corners like an angry hog dog, he stayed well ahead of all us knuckleheads driving our poster cars. His lead would have grown exponentially were our track leader in a 2021 MX-5. 

In our review of the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata, Joe Santos wrote, “To say that the Mazda MX-5 can carve corners like a “hot knife through butter” would actually be an understatement.” The Miata has always been known for its jet fighter-esque maneuverability. Still, the folks a Mazda keep refining the suspension and chassis to rip faces off skulls even harder in the corners. 

Are Miatas safe? 

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the MotorBiscuit Car of the Year
2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata side view | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

It’s fair to see the Miata and worry about what happens if a truck merges on top of one. However, it earned a respectable four-star rating with the Euro NCAP in 2015. The 2021 MX-5 has yet to be rated by the NHTSA and the IIHS. 

However, the cheap little sports car does come with a pile of safety features. It may be a sports car, but Miatas come standard with dual airbags, side airbags, and side-impact door beams. Technologically speaking, the MX-5 comes standard with Smart City Brake Support, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and a rearview camera. Opting for the higher trims will add traffic sign recognition and blind-spot monitoring. 

How much does the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata cost? 

2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the MotorBiscuit Car of the Year
2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata left rear view | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

This is one of the most appealing aspects of the Miata. Brand-new, the 2021 model starts at $26,830 and stretches up to $31,770. What this means is that you can get an honest-to-God sports car, something that is capable of beating six-figure Porches (if you know how to race) on track for less than a quarter of the price. Let that sink in. 

We are truly pleased to announce the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata as MotorBiscuit’s Car of the Year

Cliches are named such because a phrase is used so often, so ubiquitously, so (even if annoyingly) unanimously that the metaphor is no longer seen as creative or profound. However, just because cliches are overused to the point of near meaninglessness does not negate the fact; in fact, it proves that it so completely worked that it was overused. 

I’m not saying that the Miata is a cliche, but some may find it an uninspired choice due to its popularity. However, we do not believe this. We believe that the Miata is so complete and lovely that picking anything else from the pile of cars we drove this year would be silly and disingenuous. Take a bow Miata; you lovely, endearing, fun, little sports car.


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