By on December 10, 2020

The Mazda MX-5 is the automotive embodiment of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ Despite having gone through several generations since its debut in 1989, the Miata has remained remarkably consistent. But the industry believes there’s a subset of motorists who absolutely cannot live without vehicular connectivity and active safety technologies, even on a petite roadster that’s supposed to be focused on entirely on driver engagement.

This is why Mazda sells the luxury-oriented Grand Touring trim and has decided to continue sprucing it up for the 2021 model year. Though we cannot say this makes it the best option for everyone.

Miata owners interested in the ideal experience already know to buy the base Sport model and gradually ruin enhance it via modifications over the course of its life. Less ambitious folks will simply drop the $31,235 (including destination) on the MX-5 Club and take the factory limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, vastly superior nine-speaker Bose audio system, and heated seats. They may even splurge on the Club-exclusive package that adds Brembo performance brakes, 17-inch BBS wheels, and Recaro bucket seats.

That just leaves the Grand Touring, which offers leather upholstery, automatic climate control, integrated navigation, numerous standard safety inclusions, and heated side mirrors. It also gets those factory performance upgrades that come on the Club, minus the aforementioned Brembo-BBS-Recaro package. But if you’re more interested in racking up hundreds of miles of casual cruising than weekend track days, you probably won’t mind making the sacrifice.

For 2021, Mazda decided to give the MX-5 Grand Touring wireless Apple CarPlay and some new paint options. Crystal Blue replaces Eternal Blue on the exterior and white Nappa leather upholstery will be supplanting white-and-tan colored fabric. Pricing for the trim is also going up $100, resulting in an MSRP of $32,715 (with destination). While substantially more than the Sport trim, which has also had its price increased to $27,775, Grand Tourers come with adaptive headlights, traffic-sign recognition, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and other things the Sport has to do without.

Fortunately, the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Club is holding strong at $31,235 and remains the best option for anyone who doesn’t need the plusher interior or driver assistance features.

Regardless of trim, all of the fun-loving Miata models should begin arriving at dealerships later this month — equipped with the same naturally aspirated 2.0-liter pushing 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. While not a screamer, it pairs exceptionally well with the company’s standard, short throwing six-speed manual. Those interested in an automatic with paddle shifting can expect to drop a $1,000, however.

[Images: Mazda]


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