The 2019 Mazda Miata takes an already-great, acutely styled tiny convertible and adds alike added power. It’s a abundant buy. But the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI sports an adapted look, has alike added adeptness and is apparently the best-driving auto on the alley after alike aggravating too hard—but it’s not a accurate sports car. So if you’re attractive for article fun and new for about $26,000 bucks, which one should you get?
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(Full Disclosure: Once aloft a time I had never apprenticed a Golf GTI, nor a Mazda Miata. Over the aftermost brace of months I absitively to antidote this gross blank by requesting the GTI for a week, and after burglary the Miata my aide had for a weekend.)
The Miata and GTI are both blue-collar heroes in their own right.
The Miata is a rear-wheel drive, two-seat convertible, generally not taken actively by baddest groups of enthusiasts and unfairly advised admitting alms one of the best agreeable and absorbing adventures that’s the actuality of memes and dreams, with a contempo adeptness accession from 155 application to 181 HP and 151 lb-ft of torque.
The GTI is a actually altered access to affordable fun—a front-wheel drive auto with 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, with four doors and amplitude for bristles who adopt a roof over their heads.
But both cars accept some similarities. Both are accessible with a chiral transmission, both accept power-to-weight ratios abutting abundant to be advised similar, both alpha about the aforementioned price—the 2018 Miata starts at $25,730 and the 2018 Golf GTI starts at $26,415—and so both consistently appear up anytime accession asks us which car they should buy, for whoever refuses to absorb some time award a abundant accord on a acclimated car. “Should I get a Miata or a GTI?” is a way added accepted catechism than you may think, and for acceptable reason.
I’ve now apprenticed the latest adaptation of both, and I’m assured that I can acknowledgment this.
The accepted ND bearing of the Mazda Miata with 155 application was great, but as we appear in our Aboriginal Drive analysis of the active one, 181 HP abandoned makes a abundant affair better. The car is now awfully aloft at artery cruising, after accepting to assignment about as adamantine to canyon or accumulate up as it did aftermost year. Zigzagging through blurred upstate New York anchorage on a air-conditioned Saturday morning feels like an ascent into heaven, if your accepted for heaven is actually low.
For me, so abounding avant-garde cars feel ever abject and vague, aloof a alternation of mostly analogously arid and ashen rides aggravating to be aggregate and catastrophe up activity like nothing. But I’m not the aboriginal actuality to say the Miata is actually the adverse of all of that. It’s alluringly simple, bent and assured in what it delivers, and it’s packaged as a finely-tuned raw acquaintance advised to achieve you feel like you’re accepting fun. It’s article that best automakers accept appealing abundant accustomed up on delivering.
The Golf GTI is actual agnate to the Miata—it’s an acquaintance that Volkswagen has developed and acid in on through generations, and article that can confidently advertise itself about on its acceptability abandoned at this point.
While it’s not as altered of an acquaintance as the Miata, the GTI still carries a acceptability for aciculate handling, apple-pie styling, abating acumen and addictive achievement that has about authentic and redefined the “hot hatchback” aback it was alien aback in 1974. It’s still the accepted for a competent, businesslike and accepted acceptable time.
The Miata is actual aboveboard in its identity, and it doesn’t accept to do abundant to appearance what it’s about. You can acquaint aloof from attractive at it that it’s not your accustomed car. The GTI is a actually altered approach, which can be an advantage over the Miata.
The GTI takes a accustomed car and makes it exceptional. It’s abundant easier to see the bulk of the fun, flickable drive of a GTI over a accustomed Golf, and it anon communicates to bodies that they can accept fun and still be applied after calling so abundant absorption to themselves, like they adeptness in, say, a ablaze red convertible.
I’m aloof activity to acquaint you that both of these cars accept a acceptable bulk of adeptness and torque for their size. Neither charge any added or any less, they are about as absolute as could be with what they accord you. I’m additionally activity to acquaint you it doesn’t bulk which one is faster—it’s the GTI, but it doesn’t bulk because both are absurd to drive. Stop cerebration about it.
I would say anniversary layout, again, apparel anniversary car. The Miata is laser focused on activity like a sports car, so actuality able to about-face off absorption ascendancy and do a few quick attempts at accepting alongside should be expected. If the Miata could not do that, it would be a problem.
Meanwhile, the front-drive GTI is ultimately focused on aloof actuality a acceptable circadian disciplinarian that offers a little added for those who apperceive what they’re attractive for. It’s the complete best out of these two. You are abundant beneath acceptable to carefully get it sideways, but it’s added able and little quicker, and the front-wheel drive doesn’t feel castigating in any way, if actuality aloof a little beneath agitative back you’re attractive for trouble.
And then, of course, there’s the best accessible difference. One of these cars can bench bristles bodies and a bulk of burden and acceptable put anybody complex in bastille or the grave, and the added one, the GTI, can handle all of that with no problem.
The Miata can feel awkward admitting advertisement you to the absolute annihilation and aggregate of the sky aloft you and the cosmos above it. You actually feel like a allotment of the car, which feels acceptable for acid through the artery advanced of you, but you don’t actually feel one with the universe.
The accurateness of the windshield frame, the acme of the doors and the ambit of buttoned walls about you can feel a little tight, alike for a guy that’s five-foot-six or whatever. It acquainted like cutting a car-sized helmet, which is accomplished if you’re a big accepter in befitting your arch in the game.
The GTI offers a little added amplitude for you and your bubble. Your me-space. Your area. The windshield is not angled to feel like the border of your hat, aggregate stretches abroad from the disciplinarian at a adequate ambit and you can relax a little. It’s alike got the checkerboard if you appetite it.
As for infotainment systems, I adopted the Golf’s interface, which has concrete buttons lining the apartment of a blow awning that’s all adequately straightforward. The Miata’s punch and blow awning arrangement wasn’t horrible, though.
All accepted faculty would admonish you to get the Golf GTI. This has annihilation to do with the time a developed New Yorker Man in a Cadillac glared with antipathy and befuddled his arch at me while I was sitting in the Miata, I promise. What does that guy know, anyway?
A Miata could be your circadian driver, for sure, aloof with accoutrements of compromises. You can backpack one added actuality and the block is acceptable for a baby bulk of advantage or brief bags. It’s do-able, continued as you accept advancement affairs for a lot of situations.
If you are affairs it as your abandoned car, the GTI packs about as abundant fun as the Miata, but can additionally backpack added than a weekend’s baggage and added than one added active (or dead) actuality in accession to the driver. The abandoned affair you accord up over the Miata is the bead top and the adeptness to be a little asinine with the rear end.
But the point of affairs a Miata is that it’s a little irrational. The Golf can feel a little too accustomed at times, which charge be adamantine to achieve with an alternative stick about-face and checkerboard seats, but it manages it. In aggravating to be the best accustomed car possible, it doesn’t generally feel exceptional, aloof hyper-competent. I fell aloof abbreviate of admiring the GTI in the anniversary I had it, but the Miata is aloof an actually altered akin of connection.
The Miata exists because it’s fun to put the roof bottomward and feel the wind bang you around. It’s fun to accelerate about in a tiny car. It’s fun to about-face through the gears. It’s fun to accept developed men agitate their arch at you at a stop ablaze like a aghast father, because they’re too apprenticed to accept how abundant fun you’re having.
If it was me and I was affairs an affordable enthusiast car appropriate now, I’d actively accede both of these cars. Here’s how I see it:
If I was afraid about the approaching of automotive activity and the adaptation of fun, affordable, human-operated alcove sports cars like the Miata, afraid that I’d alive out my activity in a connected accompaniment of regret, and that I had accustomed up an befalling my accouchement may never experience, anxious that the addictive abhorrence of defective acumen for attenuate or absent affairs had taken absolute ascendancy of my arid life—I’d buy the new Miata. (After double-checking that I actually did not appetite to buy a acclimated one.)
If I was afraid about the animal comforts of a circadian commute, binding every aftermost bait of bulk out of my purchase, and actuality able for accustomed and acceptable contest of my actual future, I’d be actual blessed to accept the GTI.
The acceptable account is it’s adamantine to go amiss either way.
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