The Subaru BRZ is a delightful little sports car that should be loved by all automotive enthusiasts. When it comes to the competition for the enthusiast dollar, however, it has a surprising uphill battle in front of it. That's due to the existence of the new ND Mazda MX-5 Miata. That car is the benchmark for relatively affordable plain-Jane rear-wheel-drive excitement. And that's for good reason, as the new Miata is a tremendous machine, and the Subaru BRZ is certainly no Miata. But that's a good thing.

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Here's what you need to know about the BRZ and how it stacks up against the "always-the-answer" MX-5. The steering is sharper and has a more on-center feel. There's more room, and the backseat will accept a modern baby seat (ask me how I know). There's far less body roll during cornering, which lets the Subie feel more confident in sweeping turns. It also comes at a slightly lower price tag.

Miata fans will counter by saying their favorite car is lighter and quicker, and its styling is more adventurous. The claims about the weight and speed are true, as the Miata makes the 0-60 dash in significantly less time. The styling aspect, however, is always debatable and there is no one winner in that category.

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There is a winner overall though, and that's us...those who love driving. The fact that we can even have this debate is a great thing, and it means there are cars out there for people who want to shift their own gears, get sideways on occasion, and simply love the act of taking a car on a twisty road to nowhere in particular.

Let's hope the debate rages on.


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