Is Miata still the answer? Or is it the GR86? Which one sold more.

By Colin Wood
Jul 8, 2024 | Mazda, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda Miata, Subaru BRZ, Toyota GR86

Photography Courtesy Toyota (GR86), Mazda (MX-5)

Miata is still the answer, right? Well, recent sales figures suggest otherwise.

For the entire month of June, Mazda sold 776 Miatas. In that same amount of time, Toyota sold 1500 GR86s.

This trend of the GR86 outselling the Miata isn’t just localized to June, however, as Toyota sold 7467 GR86s while Mazda sold just 4004 Miatas for the year through Q2–that’s a difference of more than 3400 models sold.

On the other hand, the Miata did manage to outsell the BRZ: Subaru sold 243 models in June and 1414 models for 2024 (so far).

Also something to consider: Mazda sold slightly more soft-top Miatas than hard-top RF models for June–453 sold vs. 323 sold–though the RF has proved more popular this year, with 2258 models sold compared to the 1746 soft-tops.

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J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
7/8/24 4:04 p.m.

Some more numbers, since I like those.

MX-5 Miata is down 27.4% to 2023.
GR86 is up 41.9% to 2023.
BRZ is down 43.7% to 2023

Make/Model - June/YTD through Q2 - % change since 2023
Chevrolet Camaro - 1732/5306 - <69.4%>
Chevrolet Corvette - 9338/17,914 - 5.2%
Ford Mustang - 13,737/27,444 - 7.7%
Nissan Z - ??/1457 - 50.8%
Toyota Supra - 272/1495 - <7.8%>
Subaru WRX - 1332/9295 - <39.5%>


Coniglio Rampante
Coniglio Rampante Reader
7/8/24 5:09 p.m.
J.A. Ackley said:

Some more numbers, since I like those.

MX-5 Miata is down 27.4% to 2023.
GR86 is up 41.9% to 2023.
BRZ is down 43.7% to 2023

Interesting how largely the same cars (GR86 and BRZ) are experiencing vastly different sales-number trajectories.  Maybe enthusiasts drawn to the twins perceive the Toyota to be more sporting?  Maybe Subaru clientele aren't looking for a small car like this?

Just a personal thought:  I wouldn't kick either one out of my garage, but I've thought that if I kept one long term, it would be the Subaru simply because Subaru technicians are used to flat-four motors and some of their quirks.  Whereas in 5-10 years, a Toyota tech may think "damn, not one of those again."  

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
7/8/24 5:19 p.m.

In reply to Coniglio Rampante :

I thought that was interesting, too. I really thought GR86 and BRZ sales would be almost identical.

I guess not.

Chaw704352 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/8/24 6:02 p.m.

Mazda went through a model changeover in 2024 to what some call the ND3. Some exterior changes, entertainment, steering rack, LSD and traction control changes. Sometimes manufacturers make fewer outgoing year models. Not sure if that impacted numbers above. 

Both are great cars for the track and well supported by the aftermarket and look great.

I shopped for both in late 2023...but could only find an MX5 Club Brembo in my area at a good price...the GR Manuals were marked 5k over sticker if you could find one. Maybe that's a sign of healthy GR demand?

I am very jealous of the back seat of the GR for more storage.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/8/24 6:41 p.m.

I know the ND3 is shipping, so I was surprised to see how much Miata sales are down.  I know it's certainly hard to find a dealer with some inventory on the lot in my area. Autotrader shows 19 RFs and 41 soft tops within 500 miles of me. I know the soft top is available at a much lower price (in theory) because the RF isn't available in the base model.

One thing I came across a while back is that the take rate on automatics is higher on the RF than the soft top. Total is about 1 out of 3.

Iusedtobefast Reader
7/8/24 6:48 p.m.

I've seen several articles about the Toyota/Subaru sales differences. Do you guys think a lot has to do with numbers of dealerships? I'd think there are a lot more and more convenient Toyota deadlers than Subaru

stan GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/8/24 7:36 p.m.

 Sorry to get a bit off topic, but only 5300 Camaros YTD?

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/8/24 8:11 p.m.

In reply to Coniglio Rampante :

I think part of it was subaru was a lot easier to deal with when the 2nd gen launched. I ordered mine, got it at msrp, and got the color choice I wanted. It was so easy. When shopping the toyota dealer wouldn't promise I'd get it at MSRP or that I'd even get one at all. It seemed like a lot of the early demand went to the Subaru camp. 

Purple Frog
Purple Frog GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/8/24 9:33 p.m.

By now all readers know I'm a GR86 bigot.   A DD soft-top in Florida makes little sense if you plan on owning it a while, and already have enough MOHs surgery scars to show off.   For like 6 months I shopped all of them that had a hard top; took a long time to pull the trigger.   I'm over 25K miles in the GR86.   I'm 5'11"  and the Toy was just so much more comfy sitting in it, much roomier, not claustrophobic like the Miata. At Challenge '21  I met a Miata guy my size that had spent like $1K to get a seat lowering kit on his drivers side.  I said. "Wat?"   I have inches above my helmet, and with a 32" inseam I can stretch my legs out while driving.

And maybe the Toyoburu looks a little more pleasing than the sharp angles of the Miata.   But, that is just a taste thing.  To each his own.

And Mrs Frog likes it enough that we have taken 3,000 mile road trips.  Especially how much luggage you can carry.

Forums tend to tell you the Toyota is more tail happy than the Subaru.  I concur.   

If they were making new S2000s...  or even new NCs... might have been different.

As always  YMMV

alfadriver MegaDork
7/8/24 9:51 p.m.

Even so, the more important sales number is the other cars using the engine. That's what has always kept the Miata reasonable (looking at you s2000). I also know how much effort was put into the 5.0 staying in the F150 so that the Mustang could have a reasonable performance engine. 

If the *86 motor doesn't sell well in reasonable volumes, it's days could be numbered. 

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