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2016 Mazda MX-5 Takes on 2015 Subaru BRZ With Surprising Results

If you're looking for a cheap, fun car from a Japanese manufacturer, you're probably going to spend about $30,000 on either the Mazda MX-5 Miata or the Subaru BRZ. Both have 2-liter engines that send very little power to the rear wheels. But other than that, they are different.
2016 Mazda MX-5 Takes on 2015 Subaru BRZ With Surprising Results 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
However, the arrival of the all-new 2016 model year MX-5 changes the fame in America. Motor Trend decided these two Davids need to be put to the test to see who's better at sleighing Goliath.

The first thing we learned from their review is that the lightweight chassis of the new Mazda makes a world of difference. Despite having more power, the Subaru BRZ is slower over the quarter mile and on a figure-8 course.

MT is testing a Club version of the Miata, which is designed for track use and is equipped with Brembo brakes and a limited-slip differential. Despite these features, the suspension of the Mazda allows for more body roll than its Subaru rival. This is intentional, as the lean gives the drive an impression of speed.

Just like with the Mazda2 we recently tested, the Miata solves its lack of power with an extremely short ratio gearbox that features rewarding short throws. Over in Japan, the MX-5 and Mazda2 share a 1.5-liter petrol engine, but that's beside the point.

Driving the 2016 MX-5 makes you wonder how the Mazda experience is ever going to get better than this.

Obviously, not everything is rosy in KODO land. We find it hard to believe the MX-5 can ever be your only car. The trunk is about the size of a suitcase, and the interior isn't what you'd call roomy. On the other hand, plenty of people have bought the BRZ and enjoyed it on a daily basis over the past couple of year. There's even a tutorial online on how you can fit all four tires inside the trunk.

The Subaru BRZ is also a nicer drift car, but it does have a dead spot in the rev band and lacks that super-short gearing.

At the end of the day, the 2016 Miata takes the victory and the checkered flag. But you can't go wrong with either car. The

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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