2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring new car reviews

There isn't much to be said about the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata that hasn't already been said or isn't pretty much common knowledge.

What we can do, however, is compare the current ND-chassis to the original NA.

Where the first-year NA Miata made do with 116 horsepower and 100 lb.-ft of torque in a body weighing 2120 pounds, the current ND Miata works with 181 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. That's an over 50% increase for both horsepower and torque.

As far as pricing goes, the original Miata sold for nearly $26,000 in today's money when new, compared to the ND's base MSRP of $26,830. Guess you could say pricing has remained relatively the same the Miata's introduction.

At any rate, you probably want to know what the newest MX-5 is like to drive. Read our driving impressions below to find out.

Other staff views

J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

The MX-5—okay, look, we all know it’s a Miata and I’m going to start calling it a Miata soon so let’s just get that out of the way—Is entering its fourth decade of production as the world standard for small, nimble, affordable roadsters. And that’s a tough position to be in, especially in a world that remembers the waves made by the first Miata back in late 1989 that changed the game forever. Unfortunately, that history or rocking the world put the Miata in the uneasy position of anything less that utter greatness seeming underwhelming.

Luckily, even entering its 31st model year of production, the nameplate still sets a high standard and essentially defines the class.

This was actually our second Miata is the press rotation in recent months. The previous one was a Club model that we treated to a track test. While it performed objectively well according to the clocks and data analysis, we found it to be less engaging than we had hoped due mostly to a lot of body roll which numbed the responses. It was nothing that a little effort and money expended on aftermarket parts couldn’t easily solve, but we definitely found even the sportiest version of the MX-5 to be a little distant feeling for truly hardcore track use.

The loaded Grand Touring version is plusher still, and while our schedule didn’t allow for a trip to the track, we can’t imagine the results being any different. But the Grand Touring is nice enough that we didn’t feel the need to measure its worth solely on track. Loading a Miata with every option in Mazdas’s luxury catalog may see counter intuitive, but shockingly the features integrate smoothly and turn the car into a tiny, sporty, personal luxury bubble that feels responsive and zippy on the road.

I’m not sure I saw the “Miata as luxury car” thing coming, but somehow it works. Riding around with the top down and the heated seats on seems decadent, but is also a great way to have your Miata cake and eat it, too.

I’m not sure how I feel about a near-$35,000 price tag on a Miata, though. But I think that’s my problem, not the car’s. I come from a world where Miatas are glorified tools. You figure out what you want your trophy to say and build your Miata to go get it. But even when completely unconcerned with lap times or awards, the darn thing still works its magic.

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Vajingo Reader
3/3/21 4:20 p.m.

My new favorite shot. It's like a puppy running after a ball. Just like the original.My new favorite shot. It's like a puppy running after a ball. Just like the original.

edit: Holy Toledo, what happened to the picture size?

z31maniac MegaDork
3/4/21 8:06 a.m.

I wish someone would crack the ND2 ECU.

E85 and exhaust would unlock some nice gains with that comp ratio. Add BBR cams and it would really be fun!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/5/21 9:48 a.m.

In reply to tom85 :

It is aging well, isn't it? 

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