2023 Mazda Miata vs 2023 Toyota GR86

July 14th, 2023 by

The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Toyota GR86 of the same model year are impressive, compact, and powerful coupes. To find out which comes out on top, we’ll have to take a closer look at each below.

Trim Levels and Core Features

Here we’ll go into detail on what’s available on the lot and what’s available under the hood: the trim levels and engine core features of the 2023 MX-5 Miata and the Toyota GR86.

The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata

This stylish and well-equipped coupe is available in three trim levels: the Sport, Club, and Grand Touring. One engine powers all three of these trim levels: a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder providing 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. That may not seem like a lot of power, but it may surprise you how quickly that can ramp up the speed of a vehicle weighing only a little over 2,000 pounds. The average personal vehicle in the U.S. weighs between 3,500 and 6,000 pounds.

All three versions come with rear-wheel drive only. The Sport and Club versions come with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the Grand Touring is also available with a six-speed manual transmission. Those who favor classic manual transmissions will be glad to note that this Miata doesn’t come with one of the now common automatic transmissions with manual mode switching. This means that the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata will have the same feel to it as it shifts that enthusiasts have come to love in model years past.

The 2023 Toyota GR86

This coupe is available in two trim level variants: the base and premium versions. Both trim levels come powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine granting 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This may make the GR86 appear swifter, but the vehicle weighs close to 1,000 pounds more than its competitor above. Both trims come with a six-speed manual transmission. The shifting paddles that come with the transmission are of questionable utility.

Exterior Design, Features, and Options

You have to see the exteriors of these two sharp-looking coupes in person to appreciate them fully, but we’ll do our best to describe them here, along with the related features and options.

The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The exterior styling of the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is reminiscent of previous model years but with some sharp-edged changes along the body lines on its hood and flanks. Its teardrop-shaped headlight units come to their points just above the low-set grated black grille.

Standard exterior features include body-colored bumpers and door handles, 16-inch metallic black aluminum alloy wheels, a manually convertible top featuring a glass rear window and a fixed wind blocker, lightly tinted glass, auto-leveling automatic headlights with daytime running lights, and a fixed rear window defroster. Exterior options on this Miata include 17-inch versions of the wheels, a special version of the convertible top, versions of the headlights with preference settings and delay-off featuring directional adaptation programming, high-performance summer tires, rain-detecting wipers, and heated side view mirrors.

The 2023 Toyota GR86

The exterior styling of the 2023 GR86 is comparatively smooth, with a wider and more thickly grated rectangular grille, comparatively understated body lines, and old-school sporty-looking air intakes on either side of the grille.

Its standard exterior features include a tire mobility kit, LED lights, black side window trim, high-performance tires, lightly tinted glass, black bumper inserts, and 17-inch machine-finished spoked alloy wheels. Its optional exterior features include 18-inch matte black versions of the wheels, a lip spoiler, and sport tires.

Interior Design, Features, and Options

Mazda and Toyota have masterfully crafted the insides of these grand coupes as well as their exteriors. Let’s see what they have to offer in the passenger cabin area.

The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda designed the interior of the 2023 MX-5 Miata with user-friendliness and ergonomics in mind. The center console controls are offset toward the driver’s seat with the emergency brake to their right. The infotainment system is set high upon the main console above a compact array of buttons and dials for the Miata’s climate systems. The stitched leather upholstery is smooth and comfortable, and the pedals and driver’s footrest feature dotted traction marks to ensure that the driver’s feet don’t slide off during hard turns or sudden maneuvers. The thoughtfulness of this coupe’s interior design is impressive.

The 2023 Mazda Miata’s standard interior features include a leather gear shifter, manual air conditioning, and a 12-volt DC power outlet for powering large devices, such as tablets and laptops. It also has a vinyl interior trim, a day-night rear-view mirror, fade-to-off interior lighting, a proximity key allowing for push-button start, a leather and metal-look steering wheel, cruise control with steering wheel controls, and bucket seats. Its optional interior features include an auto-dimming version of the rear-view mirror, a HomeLink garage door transmitter, leather and leatherette upholstery, automatic air conditioning, and versions of the bucket seats with three heating settings.

The 2023 Toyota GR86

The interior of this coupe has an interesting interior layout with a very split look. Toyota has laid out the front seats, the center console, and the main console with central strips of plastic or similar material, giving the interior a very symmetrical design. The infotainment system is set low beneath the central air vents, and the main console buttons are very low set, below the level of the gear shifter’s knob.

This coupe’s standard interior features include a leather and aluminum gear shifter, sport bucket seats with cloth upholstery, a day-night rearview mirror, an air filtration system, a valet function, cruise control, a pair of 12-volt DC power outlets, a leather steering wheel, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, and simulated suede interior trim. Optional interior features include Alcantara leather upholstery, seatback storage pockets, heated versions of the bucket seats, seats with leatherette backs, and a pair of vanity mirrors.

So Which One Should You Choose?

These two sedans are similar in some ways, but the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata clearly comes out on top. Find out more about it by reaching out to us at Capistrano Mazda in San Juan Capistrano, California. Our experienced team members will gladly guide you through our immense inventory to your ideal Miata.

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