Few things are as exciting as racing yourself through the gears of a sports car. It’s even more exciting if you can push it to the limit in a small, compact machine where you can feel every point, every body part, and every part of the road as you corner.
Now, imagine doing that for about $30K. Well, with the 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata and 2024 Subaru BRZ, you can. Let’s compare the last two models that stand out among traditional, affordable sports cars.
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Few cars on the road today are as easily recognizable as the Mazda Miata, or as it is technically known, 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata. And there are a few more that are more fun.
The Miata has changed a lot and very little during its decades in the U.S. It is one of the few cars the brand sells with manual transmissions rather than automatics.
It is a classic and cheap machine. Pricing starts at $30,150, including destination charge.
Highlights of the Mazda MX-5 Miata
Lots of fun: It is variable. What’s not fun about that? It also has wonderful driving dynamics: sharp steering and a responsive engine. It’s also fast enough to get your adrenaline pumping but not so fast that you break a lot of traffic laws to do it.
High quality: Miata has been around for three decades. This means they have had plenty of time to fix it. Not just in terms of how it runs but making sure it’s always ready to run. There isn’t much time to rest in these 2 seats.
Affordability: There are quite a few new cruisers driving the planet these days, and they’re all definitely more expensive than Mazda’s version. Also, it is cheap to run: no special brakes or tires. They build them in batches, so if you need to do repairs, there are lots of parts.
Check this week Fair Purchase Price or view MX-5 Miata models for sale near you.
2024 Subaru BRZ
The 2024 Subaru BRZ is the “black sheep” in the Subaru family. It’s the one that’s not like the others – and that’s okay. What’s the difference? It’s the only Subaru model that doesn’t come with all-wheel drive as standard equipment (it’s not even an option!). And when you get into this little four-seater, it doesn’t take long to realize that rear-wheel drive is the way to go.
Built in partnership with Toyota, which calls its version the GR86, the BRZ is a driver’s car. The focus is on driving dynamics, less speed. It’s not quite a “slow car”, more like a “fast car.” And the upside is that you can get this in manual, too, so you can push it as hard or as little as you like. Pricing starts at $31,315, including destination charge.
Subaru BRZ Essential
Pipe for your money: The BRZ is an anomaly: an affordable sports car. Subaru partnered with Toyota on it, meaning each spent less than usual to develop it, which is reflected in the price tag. Even the “price” tS model is just over $36K.
Lots of space: Subaru’s named BRZ a 2+2. You can fit a small child in the back, but in reality, all you get is extra room for a few weekend bags. That said, they beat the rear seats that are missing in the Miata. It makes the BRZ a more practical weekend car.
Saving guide: Who wants paddles in a car like this? Two of the three trim levels come with a 6-speed manual, and the third offers a 6-speed auto if necessary. We recommend paddling on your own in this small group to fully enjoy the experience.
Check this week Fair Purchase Price or view BRZ models for sale near you.
They are small sports cars with excellent driving dynamics and a standard manual transmission. They are also likely to be affordable while providing an engaging driving experience.
This is a bit of a rock-paper-scissors competition. If you really want to change, then the Miata beats the BRZ. However, the Subaru beats the Mazda if you insist on having four seats instead of two. Both are fun to drive at any speed, so which sports car is right for you comes down to your personal preferences as it relates to headroom and seat count.
|2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata
|2024 Subaru BRZ
|2.4-liter 4-cylinder Boxer
|181 hp @ 7,000 rpm
|228 hp @ 7,000 rpm
|151 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
|184 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm
|26 city/34 highway/29 combined mpg
|20 city/27 highway/22 combined mpg
|3 years/ 36,000 miles
|3 years/ 36,000 miles
|5 years/60,000 miles
|5 years/60,000 miles
|NHTSA General Safety
|Maximum Seating Capacity
|The base of the wheels
|Leg room, front
|Shoulder Room, Front
|Shoulder Room, Back
|Amount of Cargo
|4.6 cubic feet
|6.3 cubic feet