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Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86: costs

Fun doesn't have to be an expensive commodity, as the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota GT86 prove. Which is the more accomplished used buy? We find out...

Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

Over the pair's seven-year lifespan so far, their price difference has dropped from around £5000 to £2000, with the Toyota GT86 coming in at £14,000 and the Mazda MX-5 at £12,000. 

As well as being the pricier car to buy, the GT86 is also more expensive to run. Its official average fuel economy is 36.2mpg to the MX-5’s 40.9mpg – and that difference rings true in the real world, too. You’ll also find that the MX-5 is the cheaper car to tax, at £220 per year compared to the GT86’s £290 per year.

Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

In our original 2015 test, our three-year predicted running costs put the MX-5 at £790 for insurance and £924 for servicing, while the GT86 came in at £865 for insurance and £900 for servicing. 

The MX-5 may be a bargain but it’s surprisingly well equipped, too, with sat-nav, climate control, LED headlights, Bluetooth, a digital radio, 17in ‘gunmetal’ grey alloy wheels and cruise control all standard from new. The GT86 does without the sat-nav, but it does at least get dual-zone climate control, cruise control and Bluetooth.

A digital radio wasn’t available as an option at the time the car we’re testing was built, although this was added later, and Toyota will retrofit one to your older GT86 for £229.

Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

Although the GT86 is absent from our latest What Car? Reliability Survey, we can tell you that the MX-5 placed sixth out of eight entries in the coupé, convertible and sports car class. As brands, Toyota ranked fifth out of 30 manufacturers, and Mazda came eighth – both confidence-inspiring results. 

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