The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a compact and well-balanced coupe, with proportions that provide drivers with great enjoyment. While all models are rear-wheel drive and come with a six-speed manual transmission, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is 13.8 inches shorter than its rivals (the mechanically related Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86) and has a double-wishbone front suspension. Conversely, the GR86 and the BRZ are assembled with a MacPherson strut front suspension, which can often be less effective at cornering.
Another highlight of the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is its excellent fuel economy, with EPA estimates stating that the manual versions perform 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The stick-shift variants of the GR86 and the BRZ are both less economical, returning 20 city/27 highway.
When you size up the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring with the GR86 Premium and the BRZ Limited, you’ll find that Mazda’s top trim is the overall better pick. Its exterior features include rain-sensing wipers and a driver’s-side auto-dimming mirror, while its interior gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, three-stage heated seats, and an infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. The GR86 Premium and the BRZ Limited only have two-stage heated seats, and they lack all of the Grand Touring’s other upscale refinements. What’s more, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata qualifies for unique Terracotta-colored Nappa leather seats, a distinction you can’t get with either the GR86 or the BRZ.
If you want to enhance the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata, you can order the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package, which delivers Brembo front brakes with red calipers, BBS-forged 17-inch wheels, side sill extensions, a rear bumper skirt, and black Recaro sport seats. Signature upgrades like these are not offered for the GR86 or the BRZ. Plus, for those who like to throw back the roof on warm sunny days, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is also available as a cloth-top convertible or a retractable hard top, while the GR86 and BRZ are only made in coupe form.
The three models in this comparison share many of the same advanced safety aids, like forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. However, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the only model that’s eligible for traffic sign recognition technology.