Horsepower Face Off: 2016 Mazda Miata Vs. Subaru BRZ

Horsepower Face Off: 2016 Mazda Miata vs. Subaru BRZ

Everyone is talking about the 2016 Mazda Miata, which is making impressive waves in the realm of sports cars. It’s been a very long-awaited arrival, and fans are thrilled that it’s finally on the market.

The Mazda Miata line very rarely has competition, but the 2015 Subaru BRZ might be just that. It’s been engineered to rival the Miata in nearly every way, which brings us to a horsepower face off: the 2016 Mazda Miata or the Subaru BRZ? Experts have weighed in on several variables to answer that question.

On the Scale

Compared to the BRZ, the Miata is a featherweight. The smaller Miata weighs just 2,296 pounds, 436 pounds less than the BRZ. The Mazda comes with a naturally aspirated 2.0L four-banger with 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of twist. The Subaru is significantly heavier with 2.0L four-pot, 200 horsepower, and 151 lb-ft of twist. The Subaru is a larger car, thanks to that extra horsepower, but the Miata is lighter, which allows it to handle speed and curves more efficiently.

A Question of Speed

It’s true that the BRZ has more horsepower in its engine, but unfortunately, that’s also its downfall. The larger, heavier model means that the Miata is infinitely faster. Both are equipped with a manual six-speed shift, but the Miata reigns supreme with a faster zero to 60 mph. It comes in at just 5.8 seconds, while the Subaru manages 6.4 seconds. A close second, but not close enough to win out on the speed test.

Besides that, the Miata stops better, even at its highest speeds. It takes just 111 feet to stop when going 60 mph, which isn’t bad at all for the small sports car. Test drivers report that the brake is smooth and controlled.

Who Walks Away From the Crash?

Speed and horsepower aside, it’s important to breach the topic of safety and determine which car would come out on top in an accident. Subaru has long held the title of best car in crash test ratings.

In fact, according to, the Subaru line, particularly the Forester, has proven to be the top car for crash ratings. “Of the 13 small SUVs the IIHS tested, the Subaru Forester proved to be the best car in the small overlap crash,” the article reports.

The BRZ is in a similar boat. It has a 5 star overall crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). No doubt this rating is on account of the heavier frame than the Miata.

Unfortunately, there is currently no crash test rating information available for the Miata. If the safety rating is anything like last year’s Miata, it will come in at a little above 4 stars. Good, but starkly inferior to the Subaru BRZ.

Who wins in this face off? In reality, everyone is a winner. Each vehicle has its pros and cons, but both vehicles are attractive and powerful, and whichever vehicle you choose will most likely leave you happy. This horsepower face off leaves you deciding which elements are more important between the 2016 Mazda Miata and the Subaru BRZ.