The MX-5 is a car that doesn’t really need any introduction. In one form or another, it’s been present on our roads for over 30 years and now, for 2020, it enters its most well-rounded form. The changes aren’t drastic, and the featherweight roadster still boasts all of its appealing qualities, but the MX-5 buyers will now receive more car than ever before.
The 2020 model still uses the 1.5 litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines as the previous model, but driver-assist safety technology has been included as standard, which goes some way toward justifying the bump of almost £2,000 in price when compared to last years model.
The MX-5 now starts from £23,795, which is still exceptionally cheap for a car of this quality and it’s almost £5,000 cheaper than its nearest rival, the Toyota GT86.
The new safety kit includes lane-departure warnings, auto-braking technology to reduce accident impacts, and rear cross-traffic alert technology too. In terms of driver convenience, the MX-5 will now detect speed limits and recognise traffic signs, while also ensuring that the driver is paying enough attention to the task at hand.
Adaptive LED headlights and a reversing camera have been added to sport Tech models and, also, a brand new GT Sport Tech specification. These two top-spec models are available exclusively with the more fruitful 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder motor and they come with 17-inch BBS alloys as well as Nappa leather as standard… very generous.
Mazda have also released a striking new ‘Grey Metallic’ paint option which is available across all the models of the MX-5.
Buyers will be happy to know that while Mazda have added plenty more equipment and value to the vehicle, the car still falls short of the 1-tonne kerbweight. This means that it maintains its near-perfect front to rear weight distribution and therefore it’s epic proportions and balance remain as desirable as ever.
The new 2020 MX-5 will use the engines updated in September of 2018 which boast lighter pistons and con-rods as well as upgraded camshafts, exhaust valves, fuel injectors, air intake and throttle valve. All of these little tweaks helped the 160PS model drop its 0-60 mph time from 7.3 seconds to just 6.5 - that’s quite a big difference from all those little changes.
The program manager and chief designer of the MX-5, Masashi Nakayama, said: “The key phrase for our development of the fourth-generation MX-5 was ‘Innovate in order to preserve’, and I strongly believe that this model's ongoing appeal is the result of our unceasing commitment to refining the vehicle over its 30-year history. We intend to keep refining the car, seeking out new ways to make it even more thrilling and satisfying to drive, so it can continue to offer customers unique excitement and cement its position as a cultural icon.”
Mazda managed to sell 3,500 examples of the MX-5 last year, which may not sound like much considering the previous model peaked at 10,000 per year, but at a time of economic uncertainty and in a market where buyers are constantly buying bigger and bigger vehicles, the resilience of MX-5 buyers shines through.
What do you think of this latest model? Is the MX-5 a realistic sports car that you’d quite like to own? Let us know in the comments and, of course, if you’re sold on the idea, then book yourself a test drive here.