2020 Toyota 86 vs. 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Compared to metal, the 86’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda MX-5 Miata has a metal gas tank.

Both the 86 and the MX-5 Miata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 86 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the MX-5 Miata.

There are over 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 86’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 86’s reliability 11 points higher than the MX-5 Miata.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mazda is ranked third.

Engine

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The 86’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (200 vs. 181) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The 86’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (205 vs. 181) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (156 vs. 151) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 86 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability (That’s why Porsche uses boxer engines.). The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The 86 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the MX-5 Miata (13.2 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A standard “hill holder” feature keeps the Toyota 86 with manual transmission from rolling backwards on a steep slope. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a hill holder feature.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 86’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MX-5 Miata:

86

86 TRD Special Edition

MX-5 Miata

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

12.8 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.4 inches

12.4 inches

11 inches

The 86’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 86 stops shorter than the MX-5 Miata:

86

MX-5 Miata

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

127 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 86 has larger tires than the MX-5 Miata (215/45R17 vs. 195/50R16). The 86’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MX-5 Miata (215/45R17 vs. 205/45R17).

The 86’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MX-5 Miata Sport’s standard 50 series tires. The 86 TRD Special Edition’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the MX-5 Miata Club/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 86 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the MX-5 Miata Sport. The 86 TRD Special Edition’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the MX-5 Miata Club/Grand Touring.

The Toyota 86’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 86 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the MX-5 Miata; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The 86 has vehicle speed sensitive 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 86’s wheelbase is 10.3 inches longer than on the MX-5 Miata (101.2 inches vs. 90.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 86 is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the MX-5 Miata.

The 86 handles at .96 G’s, while the MX-5 Miata pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The 86 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the MX-5 Miata can only carry 2.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 86 easier. The 86’s trunk lift-over height is 25.8 inches, while the MX-5 Miata’s liftover is 32 inches.

Ergonomics

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The 86’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.

Consumer Reports rated the 86’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the MX-5 Miata’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The 86 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.

The 86’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 86 GT/Hakone’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 86’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a filtration system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 86 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 86 with a number “1” insurance rate while the MX-5 Miata is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The 86 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 86 will retain 49.21% to 50.41% of its original price after five years, while the MX-5 Miata only retains 43.6% to 45.39%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 86 is less expensive to operate than the MX-5 Miata because typical repairs cost much less on the 86 than the MX-5 Miata, including $5 less for a muffler, $1 less for front brake pads and $504 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota 86 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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