Details of the 2021 Mazda Miata have been revealed for the new model year. Like the previous three generations, Gen 4 continues to do a great job. The 2021 Mazda Miata is light, shell-like grip and lots and lots of fun. Yes, and they still cost less than a minivan.
Listen, I will not hide (again) my love (total prejudice) for the Mazda Miata. It's everything a sports car should be, with the added advantage of being Japanese. This means it will work every time you turn the key. Thus, the main motto of Mazda in the future should be: "Let's not screw it up." And they didn't.
The Miata - official name: MX-5 Miata - will get some minor updates in 2021, but nothing too radical. They're not trying to sideline it to make it more "practical" or add a hybrid powertrain to make it more "green." This is the same old magic of light, dense and correct control.
2021 Mazda Miata: engine and transmission
The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes standard with a 181-hp 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine. (7000 rpm) and 151 lb-ft. torque (4000 rpm). Depending on what you like, a Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters are available.
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. Photo: Mazda North American Operations.
2021 Mazda Miata trim levels
The 2021 MX-5 Miata comes in three main models: Sport, Club, and the more luxurious Grand Touring. Each is offered as a convertible, but the RF (retractable fastback) is exclusive to Club and Grand Touring. As a bonus, both the Club and Grand Touring include a limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers, a front shock tower strut brace, and sport suspension.
The MX-5 Sport comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth for seamless smartphone integration. This is really important for a car like the Miata. As a first-generation Miata owner, I can tell you there's never enough room for your stuff. Having Apple CarPlay and Android Android to have everything integrated into one neat package without wires all over the place (and looking for storage space) helps a lot.
On board is the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker AM/FM audio system including side speakers in the driver's headrest, HD radio, and two USB audio inputs. There's also a stylish push-button start, tilt and pop-up steering wheel, reversing camera, removable double cup holders and a three-spoke leather steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake.
The overall look of the Miata Sport is accentuated by a black fabric soft top, 16-inch Metallic Black aluminum alloy wheels, dual silver tailpipes, and LED headlights and taillights. Standard i-Activsense safety features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Smart City braking support, and lane departure warning.
The MX-5 Club features a nine-speaker Bose audio system (including passenger headrest speakers), SiriusXM radio, and heated black cloth seats with silver stitching. Mazda also added black interior accents and vinyl leather throughout the cabin. Club models include 17-inch Metallic Black aluminum alloy wheels, a black front air dam and a black rear spoiler.
There's an available Brembo/BBS/Recaro package ($4,670) exclusive to the manual-transmission MX-5 Club. This package includes Brembo front brakes, 17-inch BBS Dark Gunmetal forged wheels, heated Recaro seats, red rear brake calipers and a black aero kit that includes side sill extensions and a unique rear bumper skirt. For the MX-5 Club RF, this package includes a hand-painted black roof.
At the top of the list for 2021, you'll find the MX-5 Grand Touring with plenty of premium and convenience features. Deep Crystal Blue is the new exterior color option and White Nappa leather ($300) is the new interior color option, and together they look fantastic. I'm not a big fan of white interiors, but look, if you can keep it clean, go for it.
The Miata Grand Touring also comes with heated seats, heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic on/off headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink. (This video shows how to program the Homelink system).
Connectivity options include navigation, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, and SiriusXM's three-year subscription to traffic and travel links. Additional safety features include traffic sign recognition, adaptive front lighting and high beam control.
Mazda Miata 2021. Photo: Mazda North American Operations.
2021 Mazda Miata Prices
As always, the Miata is ridiculously affordable. They start at $28,000 and go up to around $36,000 for a fully retractable RF with all options. It's hard to go wrong with either version, but (obviously) I'd go for the MX-5 Club with the Brembo package.
Here's a handy price breakdown by trim level. The figures below include the destination and a handling fee of $945.
|Model MX-5||Transmission||Soft top||RF|
|Sport||6-speed manual transmission||$27,775||—|
|Sport||6 speed automatic||$29,125||—|
|Club||6-speed manual transmission||$31,235||$33,990|
|Club||6 speed automatic||$31,835||$34,590|
|Grand Touring||6-speed manual transmission||$32,715||$35,470|
|Grand Touring||6 speed automatic||$33,240||$35,995|
Even though the Miata's price is right, you can save a little more, depending on the incentives in your area. This free and simple search tool* will show you which dealers offer you the best price.
2021 Mazda Miata Warranty
Mazda's factory warranty includes bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 36,000 miles and a transmission warranty that lasts five years or 60,000 miles. Both plans include 24/7 roadside assistance for the first three years of the vehicle or 36,000 miles. To help you determine if you need additional coverage, see this free and helpful guide to extended warranty coverage for your Mazda.
Tony Borroz has been racing vintage and sports cars all his life. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of the Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.
2021 Mazda Miata Gallery
Photos and source: Mazda North American Operations.
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