The Mazda MX-5 and the Toyota 86 are two of the most popular sports cars currently available on the local market. This is partly due to their budget-friendly nature, and, well, they're just really damn fun to drive. Both cars are easy on the eye and the wallet, and both provide owners with ample power and performance. The most bang for the buck, if you will.
The two real-world toys are also likely to be many gearheads' first foray into the world of sports cars, too. So the question now is: Which of the two would you want to be your maiden sporty ride? Would you choose the convertible Miata and its storied history, or the gritty and more practical 86?
It's a decision that isn't as clear cut as you might think. Though the 86 is more powerful on paper, the Miata is significantly lighter. Likewise, the MX-5 may have a more premium cockpit, but many serious drivers prefer the more bare-bones driving environment the 86 provides.
Below, we pit the two cars against each other--at least on the spec sheet. Hopefully, this will help inform future sports-car owners before they decide on which ride to drive home with them. You can also make your pick count by taking the poll after the comparative infographic.
Infographic by Audrey Faye Lacsamana