2020 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Corvette and the MX-5 Miata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Chevrolet Corvette weighs 1039 to 1296 pounds more than the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The Corvette’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MX-5 Miata’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Corvette’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 309 more horsepower (490 vs. 181) and 319 lbs.-ft. more torque (470 vs. 151) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Corvette Z51’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 314 more horsepower (495 vs. 181) and 319 lbs.-ft. more torque (470 vs. 151) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

In a Road and Track race course test, the Chevrolet Corvette Coupe was clocked 11.81 seconds faster than the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club (82.83 sec. vs. 94.64 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Corvette’s fuel efficiency. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Corvette has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the MX-5 Miata (18.5 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Corvette has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Chevrolet Corvette comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the MX-5 Miata.

An eight-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Chevrolet Corvette, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MX-5 Miata.

The Corvette offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer an SMG.

The Corvette’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Corvette’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MX-5 Miata:

Corvette

Corvette Z51

MX-5 Miata

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.3 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

13.8 inches

11 inches

The Corvette’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MX-5 Miata are solid, not vented.

The Corvette stops much shorter than the MX-5 Miata:

Corvette

MX-5 Miata

70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

97 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Corvette has larger tires than the MX-5 Miata (F:245/35R19 & R:305/30R20 vs. 195/50R16). The Corvette’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MX-5 Miata (F:245/35R19 & R:305/30R20 vs. 205/45R17).

The Corvette’s 245/35R19 front and 305/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MX-5 Miata Sport’s standard 50 series tires. The Corvette’s tires are lower profile than the MX-5 Miata Club/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the MX-5 Miata Sport. The MX-5 Miata’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Chevrolet Corvette’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mazda MX-5 Miata only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Corvette has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Corvette can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Corvette offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The MX-5 Miata’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Corvette has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 16.3 inches longer than on the MX-5 Miata (107.2 inches vs. 90.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 6 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the MX-5 Miata.

Chassis

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The Corvette LS/LT/ACTIV/RS uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Servicing Ease

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The Corvette uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The MX-5 Miata uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The Corvette has a standard under hood light to help in making nighttime maintenance checks, adding fluids, etc. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer an under hood light.

Ergonomics

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The Corvette has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Corvette, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position, suspension setting and outside mirror angle. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Corvette’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Corvette’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The MX-5 Miata has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Corvette’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The MX-5 Miata’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The Corvette’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The MX-5 Miata’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Corvette has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The MX-5 Miata has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Grand Touring.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Corvette has standard extendable sun visors. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Corvette’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The MX-5 Miata’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The Corvette’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the MX-5 Miata Grand Touring.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Corvette keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Corvette’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Corvette’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Corvette’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation which can trigger allergies or asthma. The MX-5 Miata’s air conditioner doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Corvette offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Chevrolet Corvette comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Road and Track performed a comparison test in its December 2019 issue and they ranked the Chevrolet Corvette Coupe first. They ranked the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club seventh.

The Corvette was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 16 of the last 23 years. The MX-5 Miata hasn’t been picked since 2019.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Corvette as the 2020 North American Car of the Year. The MX-5 Miata has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Corvette outsold the Mazda MX-5 Miata by over two to one during 2019.

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