The most iconic car in the current Mazda range was born back in 1989, and since then more than one million units of the Mazda MX-5 have been sold worldwide, a convertible sports car that no longer exists. Now, in addition, it is even better thanks to improvements in its engines.
The renewal of this fourth generation Mazda MX-5 reaches the market with new features also in terms of equipment, and is available from 21,729 dollars, price of the Soft Top version with 1.5 liter 132 hp engine, including launch and financing discounts.
At the design level, the changes are rather few, and have to do with personalization, such as new colors for alloy wheels (the 16-inch versions of the Origin and Evolution are now in Black Metallic ) or, for the first time a brown tone for the soft top of Soft Top in special Edition version Nappa.
The body color palette has seven options, which are the following: Arctic White (white), Snowflake White Pearl (pearly white), Ceramic (gray), Eternal Blue (blue), Jet Black (black), Machine Gray (gray) and Soul Red Crystal (red).
Currently in our country the trend is clear. Customers mostly opt for the retractable hardtop version or MX-5 RF (65%), as opposed to the conventional Soft Top variant (35%). In addition, up to 70% of buyers acquire it with the most powerful engine, 2.0 liters, and 95% of all customers choose the top finish or Zenith range.
Slight changes also in the passenger compartment
The interior of the refurbished Mazda MX-5 retains the overall design of the fourth generation, but adds some elements that improve comfort and ergonomics, such as a steering wheel that now also has telescopic adjustment and is adjustable in depth (set of 30 mm in depth and 45 mm in height).
They also change the levers of adjustment of the seats, more robust, or the removable coasters located between both seats, which are now more rigid and have better anchors to facilitate their assembly and disassembly. In addition, the Mazda MX-5 2019 premieres as standard on the entire range compatibility with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
As far as technology is concerned, the most noteworthy is the new package of driving aids or i-Activsense, which is available only for the RF bodywork and includes braking assistance in the city (also reversing), fatigue detector, reversing camera or recognition of traffic signals, in addition to parking sensors, alert of involuntary lane change, adaptive LED headlights or light and rain sensors.
Improved engines: Now 132 and 184 HP
While the MX-5 retains its front axle of double triangles and the rear multibrazo, the engines that give life to the whole have been significantly improved (especially the 2.0) to get a somewhat more impetuous performance. And they have achieved it. Let’s see the changes in detail …
- 1.5 Skyactiv-G: The small engine of the range promises to improve the response to the accelerator and be somewhat more efficient, thanks to new injectors, higher injection pressure or reduction of internal frictions. Now it gains a horse of power, for a total of 132 CV to 7,000 rpm and 2 Nm, with 152 Nm to 4,500 turns.
- 2.0 Skyactiv-G: The most powerful is the one that changes the most (+24 HP and +5 Nm), since now it goes from 160 to 184 HP at 7,000 rpm, and also its maximum speed increases from 6,800 previous laps to 7,500 rpm. The torque increases from 200 to 205 Nm at 4,000 rpm. In this case we have also sought a greater response to the accelerator, enhance the exhaust sound (new silent, for example), reduce friction or get a better delivery of torque (the admission has been modified so that the block breathes more generously). New intake and exhaust manifolds, new injectors, lighter pistons and connecting rods, etc …
With the basic engine the MX-5 Soft Top accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.3 seconds and reaches 204 km / h. With the 2.0-liter engine these figures are 6.5 seconds and 219 km / h . For its part, the MX-5 RF delivers 0-100 km / h in 8.6 seconds with the small engine and in 6.8 seconds with the most powerful. To finish, the automatic RF with 2.0-liter engine (the only automatic in the range) accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.9 seconds and reaches 199 km / h.
A roadster designed to enjoy
The Mazda MX-5 could be for many the ideal sports car (light, agile, and affordable, without wild power figures …), but like any model, it is not perfect. The most bloody is possibly the size of the trunk, where two cabin trolleys are fighting to enter, or how narrow the cabin is. It is also noisy, access is not the most comfortable, etc …
If you value driving, it is undoubtedly your car. If on the contrary you need more space or you like to travel in a convertible that is comfortable, silent and refined, you may need to look elsewhere. The Mazda MX-5 is honest. It offers what it offers and does not pretend to be what it is not. Its main objective is to make you enjoy driving, and go if you get it.
To check the effect of all these changes in practice, Mazda has taken us to one of the most famous roads in the world, the Transfagarasan, in Romania, which we had known for a couple of years, when we had the chance to visit it for the first time. . In this case, yes, the car is much more suitable for such a festival of curves of all kinds.
For the test we have the Mazda MX-5 RF equipped with the engine that improves more importantly, the 2.0-liter 184 hp. It remains a tremendously elastic engine, very grateful to use and with a character that goes to the hair of a two-seater sports car like this one. If it is also associated with a manual box as good as this one – of six gears – the combination is unbeatable.
Even though it is a manual gearbox, the force offered by this atmospheric engine at low revolutions (205 Nm at 4,000 rpm, but before there is also plenty of it) means that we do not have to resort to the lever, as the recoveries are great even at very low speeds. In addition, the motor (with self-blocking in our case) is very good even on wet ground.
Circular in 3rd or 4th speed in the city is totally feasible, since the engine responds with solvency. Partly also because the car weighs very little by today’s standards: only 1,073 kilos empty for the manual RF 2.0 that we drive (between 986 and 1,113 kilos, depending on the version).
This renewed block runs a lot and, although it may not be the four cylinders with the best sound on the market, from 4,000 rpm it converts its note into a serious and metallic tone, coming from the exhaust. In addition, those 700 additional revolutions that can now reach (up to 7,500 rpm) bring some grace to the whole and makes the experience of looking for the red zone of the lap counter more interesting. Of course, power is not lacking, if it was possible to miss something before.
In addition to a good engine response to any regime, this fact of roaming the ton facilitates an agility that is addictive, since we can maintain the inertia of the car without having to brake it more than necessary. Face the curves with little effort, naturally and making things easy enough as a driver. It just works, and in what way.
The steering has an adequate weight (neither soft nor excessively hard), and it is quick and precise enough, which makes guiding the car a child’s play. The changes of address are immediate and the car makes you feel at home. Let’s say that not only do you like curves. He also enjoys them with you. Noticeable.
Therefore, it is not necessary to wear a devilish rhythm (which the engine allows, of course) to enjoy the MX-5. Precisely that agility and the ability of the car to dispatch curves without effort is what makes you enjoy the wheel not because of the speed you carry, but by the way in which the car flows on the road , linking curves one after the other without apparent difficulty.
To top it off, the consumption of this 2.0-liter 184 hp is quite moderate, despite having won claw in an important way. After more than 275 kilometers of test, mostly by secondary roads and mountain passes, the average consumption of the computer on board marks 7.4 liters, a figure that seems really good for the type of roads and driving style, and that does not go far from the 6.9 liters that homologates in combined cycle WLTP.
Equipment and versions
From the most basic finish ( Origin, only for the ST), the MX-5 incorporates full LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, button start, cruise control, audio equipment with 6 speakers, electric windows, coatings of leather steering wheel, knob and hand brake lever, air conditioning, etc …
In the case of the next step or Evolution, electrochromic interior mirror, digital radio (DAB), light and rain sensors, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated seats, alert of involuntary lane change and, in the case of 2.0 liter versions, 17-inch wheels, self-locking differential and i-Stop system (start / stop) and regenerative braking.
The Zenith range top features 16-inch wheels, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, 9-speaker BOSE audio system, navigator, blind spot control, rear traffic detector or adaptive full LED headlights. The 2.0 liters add 17-inch wheels and differential (only in the manual), for example.
Finally, the Sport Pack adds Recaro seats and piano black roof (RF only), as well as Bilstein sport suspension and anti-torsion bar in the versions with 2.0-liter engine. On the other hand, the Nappa Edition (ST) and Pack Nappa (RF) add brown leather upholstery (the ST also the brown top), door coverings in the same material and color, etc …