So let’s look back at history, the Mx-5 has been a great sports car or at least a sporty car since it’s introduction way back in 1990. Now on its 4th generation, the Mx-5 recipe has stayed the same. Lightweight, fun to drive and mediocre power but for 2019 Mazda has changed things up just a bit. By adding a bit more power and a few more revs before redline, the new Mx-5 is now more fun than ever before.
Starting with the looks, for 2019 there are minimal changes to the overall styling. Just as striking as before, the cut lines that Mazda has incorporated with it’s Kudo styling makes the little Mx-5 more aggressive than the previous generation. Unlike previous Mx-5 the “ND” as it’s called is much more masculine than others.
The rear of the Mx-5 is one of the best looking aspects of the car, the rear haunches swell over the rear wheels making the rear end look a lot wider than it actually is. While looking at the back this is one of the few ways that you can tell it’s 2019. In the middle of the rear bumper now incorporates a rearview camera. Now that it’s mandated for all new vehicles it looks out of place sitting in the center of the rear bumper. I wished they spent a bit more resources and incorporated it with the rear badge like Volkswagen did with their cars but nevertheless, it’s there.
This being Mx-5 being the GS-P model it has some neat features that are not found in other models. Lightweight BBS wheels over Brembo brakes make the Mx-5 stand out even more. And there’s more! There are Bilstein shocks allowing for better chassis control and there’s even an LSD in the back to put all the power down to the ground.
Inside the Mx-5 it’s a neat and compact space, the cockpit isn’t as driver-focused as ones found in the S2000 for example but it’s certainly a nice place to be. One of the 2019 adjustments is the brand new steering wheel adjustments. Previous Mx-5 had up and down movements but never had fore and aft for 2019 the aluminum steering shaft allows 42mm of travel that the previous steel one didn’t. It’s little things like this that makes the Mx-5 just that awesome. For those who like using CDs don’t bother with the 2019s as it is one of the things that Mazda has taken out to further save weight. All in all, for 2019 Mazda has only added 7lbs.
As with all Mazda, there’s always been one continuing problem. The infotainment system was fine way back when it was first introduced but comparing to the competitors it lacks CarPlay and Android Auto that people are looking for these days. That said, it’s still an easy to use system using the rotary control, and when stationary you can use the touchscreen. Luckily, an update from Mazda should come soon to enable the CarPlay and Android Auto on the unit making it much more bearable in 2019.
Over to the seats, the Mx-5’s cloth seats have always been comfy and perfect for daily routines. This being the GS-P changes the Cloth units for Recaro units made from Alcantara and Leather making these units grippy and awesome. Best yet, for the winter months you can even turn up the heated seats allowing for top-down winter driving. Bose the audio maker has also had a hand in the seats as well, placing two little speakers in the headrest providing better audio for the driver and passenger. Something quite amazing, even with the top down these speakers provide excellent clarity allowing for even phone calls to come thru with ease. An area where it can be improved is the trunk, it’s quite small but for the size of the vehicle it’s understandable.
Now to what’s most important, the way it drives. Like all Mx-5 before it’s always been a blast, drop the top in a matter of seconds with an easy to use hinge system and allow the great outdoors to be within your fingertips. A quick twitch of the steering wheel moves the light and nimble Mx-5 into the direction of choice. The chassis is just as nimble as ever and with a relatively soft suspension the Mx-5 rolls a bit more than some may like but the roll helps the Mx-5 with more mechanical grip. It’s a brilliant little car! Adding to the brilliance is the new engine, well new components within the engine. Making 181hp compared to 155hp of yesteryear and 151lb-ft of torque Compared to 148lb-ft, the 2.0L Skyactive 4 cylinder now revs to 7500rpm. This engine has been neatly skimmed to allow for increased power not only at the top but an increased torque output at the low to mid rev range allowing for better driving dynamics within town.
The new more powerful engine is hooked up to the same 6-speed manual or a 6-speed auto as before but the final gear has changed to better suit the new rev range. Which means the Mx-5 can now hit 60mph in 2nd gear without an extra shift to 3rd gear providing better numbers.
To note, while there’s more power than before the same lightweight chassis means the Mx-5 still provides amazing fuel consumption. Driving the Mx-5 a bit more sensible means it can easily return under 8L/100km with mixed driving. While driving it hard, still be hard pressed to exceed the 10L/100km mark.
The Mx-5 has always been the benchmark when it comes to a lightweight sports car, with more power there’s no doubt this Mx-5 is the best yet. The only thing thing that stands in the way is the price, starting at $33k and topping out at just under $40k for the roadster it’s a bit pricey for some but when you look at all the safety features that’s now included this little roadster makes it that much more worthwhile.