Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

The Mazda MX-5 has long been the de facto source of cheap thrills on the used market. But the Toyota GT86 is now temptingly affordable – so which is best?...

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What Car? team
13 May 2017 06:00 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

What will they cost?

When these two cars were brand new, there was a hefty discrepancy between their list prices. That gap has narrowed with time, but the GT86 still costs a fair chunk more to buy than the MX-5 does.

You might argue that the GT86’s extra cost is worth it given that it has two years’ extra warranty; but, then again, you could buy a three-year-old MX-5 and extend its warranty to that level and still pay less.

Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86

What’s more, the GT86 will cost you more to run. Its official average fuel economy is 36.2mpg to the MX-5’s 40.9 – and that rings true in the real world, too. As a result, you’ll also find that the MX-5 is the cheaper car to tax, at £195 a month, compared with the GT86’s £250 a month.

The MX-5 further trumps its rival when it comes to servicing costs. A Toyota main dealer will charge £205 on a basic service; by contrast, the same level of service at a Mazda dealership will come in at just £109.

The GT86 does at least have the better reputation for reliability. While we have no data for the GT86 specifically, Toyota as a manufacturer performed exceedingly well in our 2017 reliability survey, ranking third out of 32 brands. Mazda finished in a much more average 16th position, while the MX-5 itself scored 71% – not bad, but not exactly exemplary, either.

Used test: Mazda MX-5 vs Toyota GT86