2017 Mazda MX-5 RF vs Toyota 86: Pressure Is On Toyota

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If you are looking for a brand new pure sports car that is also friendly to your pockets, your options may be limited to the latest Mazda MX-5 RF and the Toyota 86. So which would you pick?

We find this question to be pressuring Toyota more than Mazda, especially since the 86 has been the subject of many critics since it made its debut a couple of years ago. So, can the 86 outperform the long-serving MX-5?

If price tag is the priority, then the answer is a straight out yes. A fully-loaded manual-powered Toyota 86 cost about $29,000 and this is about $2,000 cheaper than the base manual MX-5 RF. Both vehicles are near-similar in size although the 86 brags a much bigger cabin.

Onto the performance front, the 86 runs on a 2L 4-cylinder mill that can develop 205hp and 158ft-lbs of torque. The MX-5 RF, on the other hand, has a 2L unit that can develop 155hp and 148ft-lbs of torque. While the MX-5 RF looks weaker, the car brags having a much lighter weight. The MX-5 RF can also return greater fuel economy figures.

We could have picked an ordinary MX-5 but we chose the RF because it has more style to offer. The MX-5 RF looks really good and we prefer it over the 86. But of course, design depends on the eyes of the beholder.

So, the Toyota 86 wins it on papers but on the roads, it looks like MX-5 RF is the better car. We say so after viewing the on-road test of both vehicles in the video below. What’s your pick?