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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone - figured I would say hello! And contribute my thoughts after getting my first 100 miles on the new 2022 BRZ Limited in WR Blue Pearl.

I previously had a 2021 Mazda MX-5 Club with Recaro/Brembo (ND2) package that I tracked with pads, fluid, and 200tw tires only.

Also have a very prepped C5Z that I’m moving away from due to cost of tracking.

  • My primary use is as a track toy for HPDE events.
  • My goal is low cost fun after dumping 3 BRZ’s worth of money into a track C5Z. MX-5 was first pass at this goal.
  • MX-5 went into a wall - BRZ is the replacement.

Initial thoughts on the BRZ in comparison to the MX-5:
1. More powah! The car is clearly faster than the MX-5. I’m excited to put it through its paces on the track.
2. The gearbox is fine but not as crisp or nice feeling as the ND. Mazda makes a good gearbox and shifter. The BRZ feels more rubbery maybe?
3. Pedal placement: I never was a strong fan of heel toe as a necessary skill. The corvette had horrible pedal placement and a Blipshift took care of it. The ND made me realize heel toe is actually very cool - and easy! Having pedals that fit right make this very easy and fun! The BRZ is more like the corvette - the pedals are not as easy/intuitive as the ND. Perhaps with more seat time and getting used to the car, I’ll get used to it - I hope so.
4. Throttle response: the ND was more responsive, quick to rev. The BRZ isn’t bad, and I’m hoping it will get better with miles and use. But the ND was nicer.
5. Sound system: the ND had a Bose system and it was hands down better. The BRZ is fine but it sounds like a lower end vehicle sound system. Not crisp. Mediocre bass. Additionally, when taking a phone call on the car via CarPlay, I had to max out the volume to hear the speaker clearly and wished it could go louder. Maybe there’sa setting to improve this - but the first call was meh. However…this is a track toy, so sound system is just a nice to have anyways.
6. Street driving: The BRZ is more like a normal car. It feels more planted and square on the road. The Miata felt like a gokart and, as it’s known for, a lot of body roll/movement. I do miss the convertible but am enjoying that my kids can be in the backseat now (they really enjoyed their inaugural ride today in dadas coo boo cah).
7. No caster adjustment from the factory? WTF? This caught me off guard. The ND could get to -1.8 camber which allowed me to enjoy it in stock form on the track. The BRZ has zero camber adjustment without aftermarket parts. Crazy to me but I have some Raceseng CC plates on the way.

That’s my initial thoughts on the car and thought I’d share!

For the near future I’m hoping to get some high temp fluid (thinking Endless), some aggressive pads (maybe something from CSG on the track end of the spectrum - ran DTC70 on the ND with good results). Then some wheels and 200tw tires. Then maybe some coil overs.
 

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That is valuable information right here :)

For the past months I've been thinking if I should really wait for the GR86 or go ahead and buy an MX5. It is a really hard thing to decide because both cars are amazing, and I'm kind of 'married' to the 86 already.

If you have any other comparison in the near future please let us know!
 

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For the past months I've been thinking if I should really wait for the GR86 or go ahead and buy an MX5. It is a really hard thing to decide because both cars are amazing, and I'm kind of 'married' to the 86 already.
Yeah I am having the same debate right now. I've done a lot of research on both cars, but still haven't fully decided. Only thing is this will be my only car. Seems like Miata is still the more fun car, but heavy compromise on space. GR86 is slightly less fun, but enough space to be one's only car.
 

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Yeah I am having the same debate right now. I've done a lot of research on both cars, but still haven't fully decided. Only thing is this will be my only car. Seems like Miata is still the more fun car, but heavy compromise on space. GR86 is slightly less fun, but enough space to be one's only car.
I am at that point where I wouldn't really care if I took one or the other. My heart tells me to get the 86 and my head tells me to get the mazda. Maybe once they announce the prices in my country it is the deciding factor for me.
 

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I have been tracking an NC MX5 for the last four or five years. I got close to buying an ND2 about a year ago, but it was just so cramped. The BRZ is small but livable. I should be picking up my new BRZ tomorrow. I am very excited.

I am kind of over having the convertible and actually have a hardtop on order for the NC. This summer I will likely do a 2.5 engine swap. Will be good to have the BRZ as a backup track car in case things go wrong on the swap.

I had a 2014 BRZ. This one sounds better in every way, so much so that I felt good about ordering sight unseen and undriven.

Disappointed to hear about the pedal placement and throttle response. What have you learned about the BRZ pedal dance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is valuable information right here :)

For the past months I've been thinking if I should really wait for the GR86 or go ahead and buy an MX5. It is a really hard thing to decide because both cars are amazing, and I'm kind of 'married' to the 86 already.

If you have any other comparison in the near future please let us know!
Will do! Once I get some track time I’m sure I’ll notice more.

Yeah I am having the same debate right now. I've done a lot of research on both cars, but still haven't fully decided. Only thing is this will be my only car. Seems like Miata is still the more fun car, but heavy compromise on space. GR86 is slightly less fun, but enough space to be one's only car.
If this was my only car, then the Miata wouldn’t be an option. It was packed full - truck and passenger seat for a track weekend just for me. Nevermind a passenger. BRZ has room for 2 adults and 2 small humans and then a trunk bigger than the Miata!

I have been tracking an NC MX5 for the last four or five years. I got close to buying an ND2 about a year ago, but it was just so cramped. The BRZ is small but livable. I should be picking up my new BRZ tomorrow. I am very excited.

I am kind of over having the convertible and actually have a hardtop on order for the NC. This summer I will likely do a 2.5 engine swap. Will be good to have the BRZ as a backup track car in case things go wrong on the swap.

I had a 2014 BRZ. This one sounds better in every way, so much so that I felt good about ordering sight unseen and undriven.

Disappointed to hear about the pedal placement and throttle response. What have you learned about the BRZ pedal dance?
I would keep with your NC for the track toy. Once you do that swap it’ll be great power wise. Plus - there’s just so much damn info out there on the Miata - Goodwin Racing was my go to and the forums have so much track info. I already miss that level of info being available as there’s not much out there for the BRZ yet.

Regarding the pedal dance, I’m hoping once I start really braking, it’ll be more natural. Haven’t figured out any tricks yet. With the ND it was just natural - no figuring it out required! As I get more seat time - I’ll try to revert back with updates.

Enjoy the car when you get it! Mine had some weird TPMS learning issues and I didn’t like the hill assist light - but the manual got me straitened out.

I can tell as I’m getting more used to it and adding more RPM, it’s growing more and more on me.
 

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Hi everyone - figured I would say hello! And contribute my thoughts after getting my first 100 miles on the new 2022 BRZ Limited in WR Blue Pearl.

I previously had a 2021 Mazda MX-5 Club with Recaro/Brembo (ND2) package that I tracked with pads, fluid, and 200tw tires only.

Also have a very prepped C5Z that I’m moving away from due to cost of tracking.

  • My primary use is as a track toy for HPDE events.
  • My goal is low cost fun after dumping 3 BRZ’s worth of money into a track C5Z. MX-5 was first pass at this goal.
  • MX-5 went into a wall - BRZ is the replacement.

Initial thoughts on the BRZ in comparison to the MX-5:
1. More powah! The car is clearly faster than the MX-5. I’m excited to put it through its paces on the track.
2. The gearbox is fine but not as crisp or nice feeling as the ND. Mazda makes a good gearbox and shifter. The BRZ feels more rubbery maybe?
3. Pedal placement: I never was a strong fan of heel toe as a necessary skill. The corvette had horrible pedal placement and a Blipshift took care of it. The ND made me realize heel toe is actually very cool - and easy! Having pedals that fit right make this very easy and fun! The BRZ is more like the corvette - the pedals are not as easy/intuitive as the ND. Perhaps with more seat time and getting used to the car, I’ll get used to it - I hope so.
4. Throttle response: the ND was more responsive, quick to rev. The BRZ isn’t bad, and I’m hoping it will get better with miles and use. But the ND was nicer.
5. Sound system: the ND had a Bose system and it was hands down better. The BRZ is fine but it sounds like a lower end vehicle sound system. Not crisp. Mediocre bass. Additionally, when taking a phone call on the car via CarPlay, I had to max out the volume to hear the speaker clearly and wished it could go louder. Maybe there’sa setting to improve this - but the first call was meh. However…this is a track toy, so sound system is just a nice to have anyways.
6. Street driving: The BRZ is more like a normal car. It feels more planted and square on the road. The Miata felt like a gokart and, as it’s known for, a lot of body roll/movement. I do miss the convertible but am enjoying that my kids can be in the backseat now (they really enjoyed their inaugural ride today in dadas coo boo cah).
7. No caster adjustment from the factory? WTF? This caught me off guard. The ND could get to -1.8 camber which allowed me to enjoy it in stock form on the track. The BRZ has zero camber adjustment without aftermarket parts. Crazy to me but I have some Raceseng CC plates on the way.

That’s my initial thoughts on the car and thought I’d share!

For the near future I’m hoping to get some high temp fluid (thinking Endless), some aggressive pads (maybe something from CSG on the track end of the spectrum - ran DTC70 on the ND with good results). Then some wheels and 200tw tires. Then maybe some coil overs.

#6 kind of worries me. When I had an NC miata, that's the reason I loved the car so much. Just driving a few miles to go get milk at the grocery store was a thrill. I hope the GR86/BRZ can provide the same.
 

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#6 kind of worries me. When I had an NC Miata, that's the reason I loved the car so much. Just driving a few miles to go get milk at the grocery store was a thrill. I hope the GR86/BRZ can provide the same.
Me too, maybe to a lesser degree. I still have my 124 Spider "Fiata" for fair-weather driving, so I wanted a small RWD coupe as my driver for cold days in the winter and for rain in the summer. The BRZ seems to be the closest thing available to my Spider as a coupe, without going to an RF Miata. In a perfect world, I could own this:
 

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How do you like the Fiat? I drove an Abarth. It was fun, but I think the noise would have scared my dog. Thought about the Miata RF, but it seems like a lot of money for such a tiny car.
At least with the GR86, there’s a little more useable space. All the auto journalists who were hating on the Spider are now saying what a great used sports car it is.
 

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@Stephenm

The Fiat 124 Spider is pure joy. I have the Lusso ("luxury") trim in the Red Top Edition. The exhaust note is mild.

The 124's key advantages over the MX-5 (my opinion):
  • Italian engine
    • 1.4L Multiair turbo torque...basically a flat shelf 3000-5500 rpm
  • Italian styling
  • Italian suspension tuning (less body roll, more compliant over bumps)
  • Stroger transmissions; 6MT & 6AT derived from stronger NC Miata variants
  • Thicker windshield glass, more sound insulation in the top ("hood" UK)
  • Slightly nicer seats, door panels, and dash
  • More exclusive...the 124 Spider was not sold in huge numbers.
Disadvantages:
  • Some unique parts (non-Miata) may become scarce in the future, mainly body and trim panels, front and rear light assemblies, etc.
  • If you don't have a dedicated FIAT / Alfa Romeo dealer nearby, you're stuck with Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM "FIAT" lunkheads.
  • Stellantis markup on Mazda parts. Wherever possible, buy the equivalent Mazda part and save 50% or more over FIAT price.


All the auto journalists who were hating on the Spider are now saying what a great used sports car it is.
Crazy. I didn't understand all the journalists saying things like, "If you want a Miata, just get the Miata. Why get the copy? I mean, why get the cover band version of a song instead of the original song?"

Well, lots of reasons, including that sometimes the cover band version of the song is better!
 

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I bought my MR2 Spider in 2001 because it wasn’t a Miata. Here in Southern CA everybody had a Miata. I liked the way the MR2 looked, and it was a blast to drive. I liked the way the Fiat looked better than the Miata. There are 3 times as many used 124’s with an auto trans than with an auto. Nope. What is available are lower priced with higher mileage or lower mileage and higher price, close to the new GR86 price
 

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I bought my MR2 Spider in 2001 because it wasn’t a Miata. Here in Southern CA everybody had a Miata. I liked the way the MR2 looked, and it was a blast to drive. I liked the way the Fiat looked better than the Miata. There are 3 times as many used 124’s with an auto trans than with an auto. Nope. What is available are lower priced with higher mileage or lower mileage and higher price, close to the new GR86 price
The prices have gone up. I bought my 2018 used with 6K miles in 2019 for $24k. Now it has 18k miles and is worth more than I paid for it, probably $26-$27k private party. My car has the auto. I would also have enjoyed a manual but I'm more interested in a relaxed gran tourismo experience than going balls-out 9/10ths. The auto-stick feature provides more than enough gear control for my needs. Hell, on a tightly twisting road (we have many here in Kentucky) I can just leave it in 3rd about 95% of the time and just sweep 3000-5500 rpm all day long, only dropping to 2nd on the sharpest turns and up into 4th on brief straightaways.
 

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I've had a Fiat 500 Abarth of an on since 2013. In 2015 I sold my original grey one for a Fiat 500X. Big mistake as that car had some annoying issues. The power drivers seat kept going out. Being that my wife is a bit shorter this became a problem if the seat was set for one person or the other. I took the car into the dealer 6 times to have it fixed. And then one of the door handles came off. Then it was the rear trunk handle. In 2017 just as the warranty was going to expire, I traded it in for 2017 Powder Blue 500 Abarth. It's been great and very reliable until this year. then in September and October the engine started missing, losing power in turns. I've never done a tune on it. My vehicle only has $10,000 miles on it. As it turned out the Multiair Fuel Injection Actuator went bad. The replacement part alone is $1,250. The labor cost was over $800. Then you have tax and you're looking at $2500. I said to myself that a car with 10,000 miles(actually 9800 then), should not be suffering this kind of problem. Having owned 3 Alfa Romeo's previously, I feel like I'm on the precipice of future mechanical problems with this car.. It runs fine now but it still hesitates slightly when it's very cold. I love the styling of it and the engine sound is fantastic for a little 4 cylinder turbo. (Much better than a 124 Spider unless you get a Monza Exhaust or and after market exhaust). So, I'm trading it in for a BRZ in February. I'm at high altitude(Santa Fe). However, I still think the BRZ should perform better due to its extra torque at low RPM. It will not sound as good, nor will it have that Italian charm. However, it should be more reliable. It not FWD. It has a little more room. It has more cargo room. The interior has better quality plastics. I have not driven it but I'm guessing it should ride better than the Abarth due to its longer wheelbase. It's not a turbo so engine components in theory should last longer. Having sat in an automatic at the dealer show room, it will be a bit more challenging to get in and out of. I will have to get used to the seat bolstering compared to the Abarth. The roads in Santa Fe are pretty crappy. I did not lower the Abarth and I do not plan on lowering the BRZ. Will I do a tune? I don't know. I will have to see how it performs. If I had version one, I definitely would have done a tune. I hope I've made the right choice. Our family car is a 2019 Mazda CX5. It has much better build quality than the 2015 500X did. I like its simple 6 speed automatic transmission. Other than routine servicing, it's been a breeze to own(knock on wood). I am hoping that the BRZ will offer that same type of reliability while still offering the fun of a sports car. Here's to hoping..........
 

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@pngrant54 Yeah if the FIAT Multiair “brick” runs into trouble, it’s $$$. I’ve used only OEM oil filters and the Pennzoil Euro spec synthetic; so far no issues.
 

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Our family car is a 2019 Mazda CX5. It has much better build quality than the 2015 500X did. I like its simple 6 speed automatic transmission. Other than routine servicing, it's been a breeze to own(knock on wood). I am hoping that the BRZ will offer that same type of reliability while still offering the fun of a sports car. Here's to hoping..........
My 2017 Mazda 3 GT has just shy of 100,000km trouble free miles. It has been an absolutely phenomenal daily driver. Mazda has done an amazing job lately with their vehicles, minus paint. I am hoping when I trade in, that the BRZ will also treat me as good as the Mazda has.
 

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I had struggled with the decision between ND2 and a 86/brz twin. I recently loss my "light tuned" nb miata and while that car is still a good candidate for a K24 swap, my wife strongly against it and urge me "just to get a new car".

I still have another 2 seater collecting dust at home and had miata for more than 10 yrs for my commute / track days. I have quite a bit experience living in the original miata small space.
I will try to address few issues and why I ended up choosing a GR86.

Appearance / aftermarket : Tie.
This is based on personal taste, I loved the ND design language both interior and exterior. I think with minimal parts, the car looks awesome. You may just ordered the brembo/recaro and it looks great. GR86 limited is almost the same but the base model does not look as good as miata.

Track performance / lap times: GR86/BRZ
This is not based on personal experience as there's no such direct comparison out yet. the extra engine power leads me believing 86 has more potentials for power gain from larger displacement engine and losing weight from removing interior parts... The ND2 engine is quite nice yet pretty dead end in terms of tuning for more power.

Track Logistics / Rules: GR86/BRZ
Miata: some clubs / tracks require rollbars for convertible. I think they don't have one for the RF. Tires! unless you continently owned a trailer or close to your track. Miata is out of luck of hauling tires and other trackside tools.

Suspension and brakes: Miata (tie for aftermarket supports)
Aftermarket has huge support on both cars. Oem trim however the GR/BRZ lacks some adjustments and no BBK available.

Wheels/tires: Miata
86 twins are seemingly has less room than previous generations. I'm sure we will have more information in near future. However the problem i'm seeing is aftermarket wheels either need modification, trim/roll and /or aftermarket suspension components to look right.
ND miata uses same bolt pattern as Na and NB 4x100. Their wheel well design has more room for fit bigger / wider wheels, yet, you could fit smaller/skinnier wheels in them and the car still not looking out of place. the double wish bone and more camber/caster adjustments also accommodates different designs of the wheels.

Practicality / everyday use: GR /BRZ
the extra seats are not for adults but it should fit my 9 year old perfectly for next few years. Miata is really not as bad as many thinks as long as you have a second bigger car. Older Miata owners would worry about soft top slashed or even stolen hardtop, I don't think the problem translating to ND.... YET. People who favors open-top experience would say it's an experience that you couldn't compare in a closed top car. Which can be true, but for where I live that theft, 9 months of rain, cold weather. ( We get very nice weather for 3 months top and I think i had enough of miata life that I don't really miss it. )

Price: GR/BRZ
Base miata 2021 base price is a bit less than 86twins but it comes in only 3 colors and without LSD. (which is a huge disadvantage). 2022 official price had not been announced. No inventory
Club is a desired model for many track/ autocrosser. msrp is well over $31000 and the brembo/recaro/BBS package can be have for another $4500. Now you have a top spec. miata for 35500
GT is also a popular choice for people enjoying GPS equipped cars and leather interior. it will be in $33000 range. All of the above assumptions are based on MSRP. Mazda had a record sale year for miata and 2021 inventories had been wiped out. You are on your own finding the right dealership working with you to order a color and options you want.

86 twins are a lot more attractive in price point. (again, same thing here that you might need to find a dealer that will sell you at msrp and hope they have your favorite color with the accessories you willing to pay.)


With all the above consideration and some luck, I'm a week away from seeing my incoming 86.
meanwhile getting torture of seeing sexy ND2 instagram posts daily as a reminder of my "wrong" decision.

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood
 

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My 2017 Mazda 3 GT has just shy of 100,000km trouble free miles. It has been an absolutely phenomenal daily driver. Mazda has done an amazing job lately with their vehicles, minus paint. I am hoping when I trade in, that the BRZ will also treat me as good as the Mazda has.
I just sold a 2009 Mazda3 hatch with 138,000 miles. Great, trouble-free powertrain but honestly the suspension components required a lot of maintenance. Lots of issues with worn-out links and bushings. I even had to replace a broken rear spring. All suspension work was a trial because of the rust, undersized fasteners, and weak metal used.
 
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@Vertigyn I'm also coming from an ND2 miata with brembos. Your thoughts were great to read, but I had a question about the sound system. With the ND2 I was very disappointed with the sound once I reached speeds past, say, 40mph because of the wind and road noise. The car is a convertible and 2300 lbs. Even with the BRZ being a coupe, you'd say the sound was better in the ND2 at highway speeds?

I just remember hardly ever being able to hear music at highway speeds without blasting my ears out on the miata. Let me know your thoughts!
 

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I just sold a 2009 Mazda3 hatch with 138,000 miles. Great, trouble-free powertrain but honestly the suspension components required a lot of maintenance. Lots of issues with worn-out links and bushings. I even had to replace a broken rear spring. All suspension work was a trial because of the rust, undersized fasteners, and weak metal used.
I had a similar experience with my 2006 Mazda3 and the whole front end from new would shift around like it was mounted with rubber bushings made of recycled condoms any time it hit a bump, plus add a lot of premature corrosion like they had the rustproofing standards of a poorly rustproofed car 15-20 years older. Its platform mate 2012 Focus I replaced it with felt as solid as a bank vault in comparison, cost less, had better seats, far better corrosion protection—not even comparable—and was better to drive while getting better mileage and being more reliable (manual transmission). The other weird thing on the Mazda was the visible factory negative camber in the rear, which worked to negate anything but understeer in turns once the hard-working tires finally gave out. Really, the "driver's car" Mazda was only a driver's car in comparison to a Corolla. The Focus' handling weakness in comparison was the overactive stability control that couldn't be turned off (the ST's biggest advantage and largest source of fun over the regular model was being able to kill the stability system). While I wouldn't go so far as to call the 3 a terrible car and I'm sure the Miata really is a great drive for those who can find it comfortable, after that disappointing experience with the overpriced 3 (which hasn't changed and the turbo isn't offered in a manual), it would take a lot to get me back into one.
 

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Regarding the Fiat multi air system …….. FCA took a huge hit in reliability when they signed up for this junk back in 2012. Can’t believe it’s still manufactured. I had a Dart with the 1.4 T multi air . It’s not just the multi air system that’s bad. The whole line of turbo Fiat engines are oil drinkers . Add that to a really bad idea in engineering (that won awards), and you have one of the great mysteries of modern gas engines. And now, back to the show.
 
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