One of the most thrilling aspects of some smaller sporty vehicles is the speed that some can muster. Two of the most popular roadsters available today are the 2020 Mazda Miata and one of its newest rivals, the 2020 Toyota 86.
Both vehicles offer breathtaking rides, and both can be purchased for less than what most SUVs cost nowadays. Car and Driver reviewed both vehicles and shared what they thought of each of the Mazda Miata and the Toyota 86.
What makes the 2020 Mazda Miata so great?
The Mazda Miata is a sports car, but you’ll find it in a different league than the high-performance vehicles that take the limelight nowadays. Instead of plunking down a hefty $100,000 or more, this little roadster costs you a mere $27,525 for the base starting price.
Mazda designed the interior to fit you like a glove, creating a cozy cove of riding space. They keep the amenities within the cabin to the essentials, so the focus stays on the driving experience. That’s what sells the vehicle in the first place, after the price.
The Miata’s engine, tweaked for the 2019 model, is an Inline four-cylinder motor that puts out 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. This enables the vehicle to deliver an acceleration time of 5.7 seconds for the soft-top version, which also returns an EPA rating of 36 mpg on the highway. The hardtop model clocked a 5.8 second time with 37 highway mpg using the manual gears.
Paired with the engine is a standard six-speed manual transmission. An automatic gearbox is still available for those who prefer not to use the stick shift.
What’s good about the Toyota 86?
The Toyota 86 is another performance vehicle packed into an affordable price package. Costs range from $27,940 TO $30,825, as reported by Car and Driver.
The Hakone Edition is their top-of-the-line package, new for 2020, that brings 17-inch wheels and exclusive green body-paint color. Other premium package options, available with the Hakone trim, offer more performance equipment, high-quality Brembo brakes, upgraded shock absorbers, and 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
Powering the roadster up is a 2.0-liter flat-four motor that gives the 86 model an acceleration time of 6.2 seconds for a 0 to 60 run. Of course, this is managed with a manual transmission. The six-speed automatic isn’t all that bad either.
Crash testing for the Toyota 86 earned it good ratings for both NHTSA and the IIHS. However, its lack of driver’s assistance features held it back from achieving one of IIHS’ Top Safety Pick awards.
Which one is the better buy?
Both are affordable sports cars, and you can pick up each one for approximately $31,000 or less if you stick with base models. They’re both relatively roomy and drive pretty well.
But they do have their differences. The Toyota 86 won’t be coming with much for standard features that are helpful for safe driving. The Mazda Miata has an impressive list of safety features, such as lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning system, and an adaptive headlight mechanism that the 86 lacks.
The Miata lacks roominess with the back seat and the cargo area. The Toyota 86 has one of the largest cargo spaces available with a sports car. It seems one vehicle has what the other doesn’t.
Choosing one will come down to what features are important to you. If you’re looking to get a speedy vehicle that you can have fun with, you or one other passenger, go for the Miata. The price point will offer you the most value for your buck. If your wish list has speed, comfort, and storage space, then the Toyota 86 is the one you should check out. It will not disappoint you at all.
The Mazda Miata and the Toyota 86 are both great little speedsters that offer a thrilling ride. For an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with either one.