Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Ford Mustang VS 2016 Mazda MX-5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2017 Ford Mustang

Responsive image

2016 Mazda MX-5

Safety Comparison

The Mustang Premium offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The MX-5 Miata doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Mustang offers optional Reverse Park Assist to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The Mustang also has a standard backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Compared to metal, the Mustang’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda MX-5 Miata has a metal gas tank.

Both the Mustang and the MX-5 Miata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Ford Mustang weighs 1152 to 1572 pounds more than the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 145 more horsepower (300 vs. 155) and 132 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 148) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mustang ECOBoost’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 155 more horsepower (310 vs. 155) and 172 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 148) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mustang GT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 280 more horsepower (435 vs. 155) and 252 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 148) than the MX-5 Miata’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Mustang is faster than the Mazda MX-5 Miata (manual transmissions tested):


Mustang ECOBoost

Mustang GT

MX-5 Miata

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

4.4 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.3 sec

10.5 sec

18.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

13 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

112 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

148 MPH

164 MPH

131 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Mustang is faster than the Mazda MX-5 Miata (automatics tested):


Mustang V6

Mustang ECOBoost

MX-5 Miata

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.2 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.4 sec

14.4 sec

18.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.9 sec

6 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

13.9 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

98 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Mustang ECOBoost’s standard fuel tank has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the MX-5 Miata (15.5 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Mustang V6/GT’s standard fuel tank has 4.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the MX-5 Miata (16 vs. 11.9 gallons).

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Mustang’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MX-5 Miata:



Mustang GT

MX-5 Miata

Front Rotors

12.5 inches

15 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

13 inches

11 inches

The Mustang’s optional front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MX-5 Miata are solid, not vented.

The Mustang stops much shorter than the MX-5 Miata:



MX-5 Miata


70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang has larger standard tires than the MX-5 Miata (235/55R17 vs. 195/50R16). The Mustang’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MX-5 Miata (265/35R20 vs. 205/45R17).

The Mustang’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MX-5 Miata Club/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the MX-5 Miata Sport. The Mustang’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the MX-5 Miata Club/Grand Touring.

The Ford Mustang’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mazda MX-5 Miata only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Mustang offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the MX-5 Miata, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Mustang’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 16.2 inches longer than on the MX-5 Miata (107.1 inches vs. 90.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 5.9 inches wider in the rear than on the MX-5 Miata.

Chassis Comparison

The Mustang ECOBoost uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Mustang has standard seating for 4 passengers; the MX-5 Miata can only carry 2.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the MX-5 Miata (11.4 vs. 4.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Mustang easier. The Mustang’s trunk lift-over height is 30 inches, while the MX-5 Miata’s liftover is 32 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Mustang Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Mustang has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When three different drivers share the Mustang Premium, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mustang Premium’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MX-5 Miata does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Mustang’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The MX-5 Miata’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

On a hot day the Mustang’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the MX-5 Miata can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Mustang’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The MX-5 Miata Sport/Club’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Mustang has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The MX-5 Miata has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Grand Touring.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mustang has standard extendable sun visors. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Mustang’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The MX-5 Miata’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

Standard air conditioned seats in the Mustang Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

The Mustang Premium’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Mustang’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mustang Premium offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Contr4ol, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The MX-5 Miata doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the MX-5 Miata because it costs $261 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the MX-5 Miata, including $369 less for an alternator, $39 less for front brake pads, $166 less for a starter, $28 less for fuel injection, $81 less for a fuel pump, $207 less for front struts and $824 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

IntelliChoice recognized the Ford Mustang as a “Best Value of the Year” for the 2015 model year.

The Ford Mustang outsold the Mazda MX-5 Miata by almost eleven to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.