Mazda MX-5 Mitata vs Ford Mustang

See How the Sporty Mazda MX-5 Miata Compares to the Aggressive Ford Mustang

Mazda is known for building hatchback, sedans, and even SUVS that have surprising performance, but one of the most engaging to drive is the Mazda MX-5 Miata! This stylish roadster is perfect for weekend rides as well as daily commutes. Plus, it's quite an icon. Today, we'll see how the Mazda MX-5 Miata compares to the Ford Mustang. This is an interesting comparison, because while the two have performance on the brain, they each have their own flair. This page will help you see that the Mazda MX-5 Miata's flair is the one you'll want to drive home.


The Mazda MX-5 Miata (and the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, which is a hardtop version) all have the same engine: a 2.0L with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft torque. The Ford Mustang has two engines. The 2.3L has 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft torque, and the 5.0L V8 has 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft torque; clearly, there is no getting around the fact that the Mustang technically packs more punch, but it's a different beast.

The Mustang is more aligned with muscle cars and is meant to go very fast, especially on straightaways. Some may want that kind of performance, but the Mazda MX-5 Miata keeps things light and fun. Auto journalists all describe our favorite roadster as being a joy to drive, even when you're just in the city at lower speeds. With the Mustang you really need to set aside time (and space on backroads) to harness its power, but with the Mazda MX-5 Miata, every drive is a fun drive!



The Mustang is more directly aligned with vehicles like the Chevy Camaro or the Dodge Challenger & Charger siblings, but when you put it next to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the two do have some similarities. Both have an aggressive edge and they're sleek, though the Mazda MX-5 Miata is more overt with its stylish exterior whereas the Mustang holds tightly to its rugged side. To help conceptualize the aesthetic differences, we wouldn't be surprised to see a Mazda MX-5 Miata driving around the winding streets of Monaco, and the Ford Mustang would be right at home on the all-American Route 66. Both look great, but they appeal to different shopper tastes.

Other things that stand out are the roofs and the seating. The Mazda MX-5 Miata comes standard as a convertible (you can choose between soft or hardtops), but not all Ford Mustang models are convertibles. The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seater only, and the Mustang has room for four. That said, many people find the Mustang's back seat to only be useful if you're doing very short drives.


Fuel Ratings

After seeing the specs for the Mustang engine, we're sure it comes as no surprise that the thing isn't cheap to fill up, nor does it have high fuel ratings on any of the engines or configurations for manual/automatic. You'll get notably better EPA-estimated fuel ratings on the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This is important for day to day driving, and even if you only do weekend rides in your Mazda MX-5 Miata, you can take the money you saved and stop along the way at roadside restaurants and shops.

Simplicity & Ease

Shopping for a Mazda MX-5 Miata is very straightforward. You'll have three or two trims (depending on if it's a soft- or hardtop) and while one trim has three packages you can choose from, most trims just have one package. This isn't the case with any of the Ford models, including the Ford Mustang. Each trim has a long list of package options, and at a point it can feel very overwhelming when shopping. Instead, Mazda mostly gives you what you want within the trim as a standard feature.

To see how fun the Mazda MX-5 Miata is once you get behind the wheel, come into our dealership this week for a test drive! We're sure you'll fall in love with this iconic roadster after just a few miles of driving.


Mazda of Olympia

2201 Carriage St SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Sales: 800-678-9210 Ext. 4
  • Service: (800) 971-6596 Ext. 2
  • Parts: (800) 971-6596 Ext. 3


  • Monday 9:00am to 8:00pm
  • Tuesday 9:00am to 8:00pm
  • Wednesday 9:00am to 8:00pm
  • Thursday 9:00am to 8:00pm
  • Friday 9:00am to 8:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Sunday 11:00AM - 5:00PM
  1. Mazda of Olympia

    2201 Carriage St SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: 800-678-9210 Ext. 4
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