2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs Dodge Challenger Comparison

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs Dodge Challenger: Which is Better?

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a compact sports car with a lively character. Offering an exhilarating driving experience on winding roads and tracks due to its lightweight and well-tuned chassis. Powered by an 181-hp 2.0L four-cylinder engine, it pairs seamlessly with a standard six-speed manual transmission. The Miata is available in soft-top or retractable hardtop versions. Delivers thrills but sacrifices everyday practicality with its snug cabin and limited storage. In contrast, the Dodge Challenger embraces a retro approach, prioritizing straight-line speed and classic pony-car enjoyment. Standard with a V6 engine, the Challenger’s true excitement lies in optional naturally aspirated Hemi V8 engines. Ranging from 375 hp to 485 hp. While it may not match rivals in handling. The Challenger’s V8 burble and nostalgic charm evoke memories of vintage Dodge pony cars, appealing to enthusiasts seeking a classic driving experience.

Mazda MX-5 MiataDodge Challenger
Dimensions154.1 in x 68.3 in x 48.6 in198.0 in x 75.7 in x 55.9 in
Engine2.0L DOHC inline-46.4L pushrod V8
Horsepower181 hp485 hp
Torque151 lb-ft475 lb-ft
0-60 MPH5.7 sec4.2 sec
0-100 MPH16.1 sec9.3 sec
Top-Speed140 mph176 mph
Specs

Mazda MX-5 Miata

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Engine & Performance

The Miata’s engine eagerly revs, delivering abundant power for an exhilarating acceleration experience. Its straightforward manual transmission not only simplifies shifting but also encourages drivers to explore its performance limits. Even the automatic option stands out with swift shifts and a sporty feel. While Miatas typically provide a firm ride, especially the Club variant with its stiffer shocks and springs. None of them exhibits poor handling. However, on uneven or bumpy roads, Miatas may feel a bit jittery. These distinctive characteristics collectively make the Miata lineup a delightful choice for drivers in search of an energetic and engaging ride.

Price & Mileage

Expected updates to the Miata hint at Mazda retaining its existing trim levels, but there’s a chance of a price increase. Potentially surpassing the $30,000 mark for the first time. Despite its compact size, the 2.0L engine demonstrates commendable EPA fuel efficiency. Reaching up to 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The possible uptick in cost is noteworthy, particularly given the modest dimensions of the car.

Acceleration & Features

Zooming from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds in tests. The soft-top model outpaces its slightly heavier hardtop RF counterpart, which clocked in at 5.8 seconds. The Miata features an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with user-friendly controls like a convenient knob and hard buttons on the centre console. Every Miata comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, ensuring seamless connectivity. For those seeking an audio upgrade, there’s the option of a Bose stereo with speakers cleverly embedded in the Miata’s headrests.

Dodge Challenger

2020 Dodge Challenger 50th Anniversary

Engine & Performance

The Challenger’s base 305-hp V6 may not meet the expectations of thrill-seekers. This modest engine exclusively pairs with the eight-speed automatic, lacking the acceleration and excitement found in rivals. However, the story takes a different turn with Dodge’s Hemi V8 engines. The 375-hp 5.7L engine has ample power for exhilarating powerslides on demand, accompanied by a satisfying guttural growl. For those aiming to maximize the Challenger’s potential. The 6.4L V8 steps in, delivering an impressive 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. While a manual transmission is appealing, the automatic is remarkably responsive to throttle inputs, ensuring quick power-on downshifts.

Price & Mileage

The Dodge Challenger is priced starting at $34,395 for the SXT and goes up to $58,855 for the R/T Scat Pack Widebody. Our choice would be the R/T Scat Pack model, featuring a powerful 485-hp 6.4L V8. Surprisingly, we would opt for the eight-speed automatic over the standard manual transmission, as it proves to be much more responsive than the somewhat slushy-feeling stick shift. The RWD, V6-powered Challenger is estimated to achieve 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Introducing AWD slightly decreases these ratings by 1 and 3 mpg, respectively. Challengers with the 5.7L V8 are expected to earn up to 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while versions with the 6.4L V8 are rated up to 15 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

Acceleration & Features

The Challenger confidently charges through corners, exuding power and dominance like a formidable force. This muscular Dodge truly embodies the essence of a classic muscle car, performing exceptionally well on the streets and the drag strip. However, compared to the sharper and more agile handling of the Camaro and Mustang, the Challenger’s performance in tight turns may feel slightly softer, and its steering lacks the desired responsiveness. Opting for the Plus package enhances the interior with delightful ambient lighting, faux-suede seat inserts, and premium materials adorning the dashboard and doors. For added convenience, the package includes the Driver Convenience Group, which offers features like blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross-traffic alert, power mirrors, and high-intensity-discharge headlights.

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