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Matt Maran and Jason from Engineering Explained together to compare late-model Miata and Veloster N.

I watched the videos from the guys a lot this summer in researching cars.



Spoiler: Overall they like the Miata more. But they definitely think highly of the Veloster N.
 

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I appreciate the opinions but if I were looking at the Miata the N would probably not be a consideration, and vice verse. The benefits of the miata are what comes with a lightweight rwd 2 seater. A miata 30+% more expensive nonetheless. If just looking at driving fun I can understand the cross-shop but the hatchback utility is a different segment in my mind. I'd probably head to the Toyota dealership after Mazda if looking for something closer, whether it be the 86 or the Supra
 

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Wonder how good the Miata would be in the snow? Probably not very.... 500 to 700 lbs lighter, no wonder it handles better. I feel like this is comparing an apple to an orange. The Miata would be better compared to a BRZ or Toyota 86, not the Veloster N. The Veloster N should be compared to a WRX or something along that line.

Br,

-Mike
 
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They aren't even in the same price point much less car class. A Miata is a pure bred sports car that is not at all practical. The VN is a hot hatch. Compare it to other sub-$30k hot hatches.
 

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Definitely not the same consumer class.

It's unfair to compare the car I have to buy to accommodate a child safety seat and a wife - with the car I would use to abandon both and start again with a yoga instructor.
 

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I disagree that these car are not comparable. As Jason mention in the video, the model they are in is not the preferred spec'd model which would com in a little over 30k. So really not that more than a 2020 VN. Both cars offer lots of fun per dollar. I personally crossed shop the Miata, 718, TR, 996/997 911 Carrera S and a 991 911 GT3. A looked at a variety of cars and classes and price ranges. Ultimately the VN PP won me over for the cost for performance. In the same manner I didn't trade my GT350R on a 991 911 GT3, cost of performance. Why trade the faster car for more money? Also. there where looks. The VN performance blue was a bit much for me at first, but I could never get over the TR looks and the MX5 dimensions. The Porsche's are sex on wheels. As for the drive, the suspension in the MX5 even with the cup package is on the soft side and I don't like Lincoln town car suspension.


So in terms of performance value for dollar, both these cars are absolutely comparable.
 

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Wonder how good the Miata would be in the snow? Probably not very.... 500 to 700 lbs lighter, no wonder it handles better. I feel like this is comparing an apple to an orange. The Miata would be better compared to a BRZ or Toyota 86, not the Veloster N. The Veloster N should be compared to a WRX or something along that line.

Br,

-Mike
I have yet to be in a car where FWD, RWD, or AWD made one bit of difference in how good it was in the snow.

The primary thing that makes a car good in the snow is snow tires. Second to that is driving ability. If you can't feather the gas, you will end up sideways or stuck as you dig yourself deeper regardless of what tires give the traction.

I honestly prefer RWD in the snow because I can use the throttle to rotate the car, but I really only do that if I'm being playful. AWD/4WD gives confidence, but in reality it doesn't matter much if all four tires are slipping/scrambling for traction.

If you get any snow at all for any regular basis, or winter temps are consistently below 40 degrees F, get snow tires.
It will essentially double the life of your tires in general, as each set is only used half the year (at least up here in MN where we get 11 months of Winter it seems). I generally change to snows in October (doing so this weekend, no real snowfall yet), and switch back to all season/summer in early to mid May depending on temperature/conditions.

I'd bet with decent snow tires, a Miata would be great in the snow. I've had two RWD 1985 Cougars, a 97 Thunderbird, a 2002 Crown Vic, an 85 Suburban all with RWD only, all with good snow tires (my go to has been General Altimax Arctic), and none has gotten me stuck yet or left me concerned about traction.
 

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All those cars described are a lot higher than a Miata is. A Miata is about 6" off the ground and that's is a high estimation on my part. Imagine a foot or more of snow with a Miata? I certainly couldn't...Some towns here don't plow until the last minute, at that point I'd be plowing the snow with the Miata. Lol.... That's one reason I chose to store my N for the winter and it's certainly not for lack of driving ability. I just picked up a 2003 Buick LeSabre, with a 3.8L V-6 for the winter. I figured I'd have to buy new tires for the winter anyway for the N at least and quite possibly winter rims too so I just chose to get a POS for the winter. It actually is cheaper for me to do that. It keeps the miles lower on the N and the car is worth more in the long run. I love the N too much to kill it here in the winter. This is just my opinion.

Best regards,

-Mike
 

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I disagree that these car are not comparable. As Jason mention in the video, the model they are in is not the preferred spec'd model which would com in a little over 30k. So really not that more than a 2020 VN. Both cars offer lots of fun per dollar. I personally crossed shop the Miata, 718, TR, 996/997 911 Carrera S and a 991 911 GT3. A looked at a variety of cars and classes and price ranges. Ultimately the VN PP won me over for the cost for performance. In the same manner I didn't trade my GT350R on a 991 911 GT3, cost of performance. Why trade the faster car for more money? Also. there where looks. The VN performance blue was a bit much for me at first, but I could never get over the TR looks and the MX5 dimensions. The Porsche's are sex on wheels. As for the drive, the suspension in the MX5 even with the cup package is on the soft side and I don't like Lincoln town car suspension.


So in terms of performance value for dollar, both these cars are absolutely comparable.
Didn't he say in the video the Miata they were in was 36 or close to 40K? How is that comparable to a $28,500 car? The N is still faster in a straight line and I bet it wouldn't be too far behind in the corners either. I'd still pick the N, hands down. Way more functional. Just an honest opinion.

Best regards,

-Mike
 
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Reread my post. I said the perffered spec'd model, which jason mentions in the video, would be in the 30k range. The car they were in was 40k. So a club spec'd MX5 is low 30's and a 29k VN is pretty close in price.

Also, have had nothing but RWD cars growing up in NY and never had an issue in the snow. Luckily, where I live now, snow is of no concern. Year round driving weather baby!!

I disagree that these car are not comparable. As Jason mention in the video, the model they are in is not the preferred spec'd model which would com in a little over 30k. So really not that more than a 2020 VN. Both cars offer lots of fun per dollar. I personally crossed shop the Miata, 718, TR, 996/997 911 Carrera S and a 991 911 GT3. A looked at a variety of cars and classes and price ranges. Ultimately the VN PP won me over for the cost for performance. In the same manner I didn't trade my GT350R on a 991 911 GT3, cost of performance. Why trade the faster car for more money? Also. there where looks. The VN performance blue was a bit much for me at first, but I could never get over the TR looks and the MX5 dimensions. The Porsche's are sex on wheels. As for the drive, the suspension in the MX5 even with the cup package is on the soft side and I don't like Lincoln town car suspension.


So in terms of performance value for dollar, both these cars are absolutely comparable.
Didn't he say in the video the Miata they were in was 36 or close to 40K? How is that comparable to a $28,500 car? The N is still faster in a straight line and I bet it wouldn't be too far behind in the corners either. I'd still pick the N, hands down. Way more functional. Just an honest opinion.

Best regards,

-Mike
 

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All those cars described are a lot higher than a Miata is. A Miata is about 6" off the ground and that's is a high estimation on my part. Imagine a foot or more of snow with a Miata? I certainly couldn't...Some towns here don't plow until the last minute, at that point I'd be plowing the snow with the Miata. Lol.... That's one reason I chose to store my N for the winter and it's certainly not for lack of driving ability. I just picked up a 2003 Buick LeSabre, with a 3.8L V-6 for the winter. I figured I'd have to buy new tires for the winter anyway for the N at least and quite possibly winter rims too so I just chose to get a POS for the winter. It actually is cheaper for me to do that. It keeps the miles lower on the N and the car is worth more in the long run. I love the N too much to kill it here in the winter. This is just my opinion.

Best regards,

-Mike

I agree that higher ground clearnace is a good thing, but it's not that big a deal. My current daily (as the Thunderbird is still sans engine) is an 03 Acura RSX. When I bought it, it was on a cheap set of Ebay lowering coil overs (non adjustable). It made it through the winter just fine (although I did break one spring somehow) and we do get feet of snow often. There was one day I felt driving was sketchy, but I have a main road from my work to my house, I had brand new snow tires (first year with the car), and yes it did plow snow with the front end. Enough so that the car started to run a little hot due to packed snow in front of the radiator (never exceeded 210 degrees) when I'd stop moving, so I had to dig that all out once I got home and dug out the driveway.



I have since replaced all four struts with factory height ones, so that buys me an additional 1.5" or so, but other than packing the front end with snow that one day before the plows got out I had no issues.


Yes, there will be days you just shouldn't drive. I wouldn't say a Miata would be an ideal snow car, but other than the exceptional days where you really shouldn't be on the road unless you need to be, it'd do fine I think.


If I were to get a PP, it would be an all season car. I'd buy car washes in bulk to keep the underside clean/salt free though. Resale value doesn't concern me. I don't associate my enjoying a car with a monetary value. It's just a car, it's a loss no matter what.
 

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I have both cars. Note: My Miata has $8K worth of suspension upgrades - Double Adjustable Penskes and Karcepts 5 hole front and rear sway bars. I think stock Miata are too soft, I don't really like them.

Autocross - Miata hands down. It is 800 lbs lighter. But the VN is fun as well.

Cruising around town - VN is fun but Miata is more fun to chuck around corners. Plus top down adds to the experience.

Backroads - Both equally fun but in different ways. Miata handles better but VN is no slouch. VN has power but Miata is quite peppy with good torque.

Long freeway trip - VN hands down. More roomy and comfortable. Better stereo. Magnetic Dampers.

Track - I have never tracked the Miata because no roll bar. Apart from more technical tracks, I think I would prefer the VN because Power!
 

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This is a good one. And I agree with your dad and the vehicles dimensions. Mainly the windshield and roof height.
 

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Comparing a two seater convertible with a hot hatch is a stretch to me. I would personally never own a miata as my only car ( I would enjoy one as a second car though).

I got the VN because I wanted a great all-rounder at a great price. I don’t consider the miata to be an all-rounder- I think it is a specialized car, and a good one at that, but really, the VN is more appropriately compared to othe hot hatches of similar price.

I like both of these guys but did not buy into their review or comparison this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
FYI, before buying my VN, I test drove Miata, S2000, and Civic Type R, and other cars I can't recall. Basically I was exploring getting a great driving, reliable sporty car in my budget, and bargaining with my wife over how many car seats it had to have.

My wife prevailed and vetoed the 2 seaters. I loved the idea of getting the S2000, BTW. Did not consider VW Golf because of my perception of less reliability and higher cost of ownership.

But, really, I thought the VN driving experience was great. Maybe because I already have driven over 500k with an Integra and Civic Si, the Type R didn't feel that super special, esp. for the price. The VN felt like great fun. The S2000 felt like an adventure that would require some sacrifice to daily drive.

Apples to oranges comparison? Maybe, but it was how I shopped.

- Joe
 

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FYI, before buying my VN, I test drove Miata, S2000, and Civic Type R
I test drove a Civic Type R, a Golf R, a Toyota 86, and Nissan 370Z, and a Focus RS.

In the end I decided that the performance difference to price was not high enough to really justify any other purchase. I used the price difference to purchase a used 90's dream car of mine. So really for me, it was two cars vs one...
 

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The S2000 felt like an adventure that would require some sacrifice to daily drive.
The S2000 was simply a hoot daily driving and was certainly not a problem. it was always tame in traffic and well mannered. Shoot down an on ramp and Bob's yer uncle. It was a rocket compared to the Acura Type R even with Comptech header and intake. If I could find a really low mileage last year build, I'd grab it in a heartbeat.
 
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