Mazda MX-5 2023: tasty, fun and accessible: our road test

Mazda MX-5 2023: tasty, fun and accessible: our road test

Mazda MX-5 is an icon, an institution of small sports cars Rear wheel drive. A story created by four generations and 35 years of history, and over a million specimens product – top level exceeded April 2016. Not many changes compared to the model presented in 2014 and updated later in 2018. Small but targeted actions making it more attractive on the outside, fun to drive and complete in terms of materials and perceived quality. Years start to weigh on your shoulders but once you turn them on 2.0 expected and you appreciate the virtues of strength, you forget about the little flaws. However, the price lists are growing, now we are starting from a good place 30.270 eurosup to a maximum of 41,720 euros.

Size and design

They are not different measurements of compact sports car quality and light weight. Always Height 3.92 meters 1.74 m wide and only 1.23 m high. This is the key to its simplicity, a small and useful car and on board only what you need to enjoy and even take short trips. We tested the version 2.0 Skyactiv-G Homura da 184 CVwhich has the right curb weight 1.097 kg. Even the design does not make any changes although it features several steps to make it sporty to drive and pleasant to look at. Submit it luci full-led starting from the second configuration, with a deep light and very important at night. LED matrix lights are optional, in a 700 euro package that also includes the full ADAS package, highly recommended.

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Along with the configuration Homura new ones are introduced alloy wheels, BBS to forge and 17″ and special design. A glossy black shade that contrasts with the bright color of the bodywork (Red Soul Crystal – optional from 1,200 euros – standard Mazda three-row treatment) and by means of narrow spokes it is also possible to admireBrembo brake system oversized, with floating records and red four-piston calipers. Also the level of this configuration is new Bilstein brand suspension, more stable and able to have more roll and vibrations. It also reduces the body of the car by a few millimeters, giving it a more sporty line. New splitters have also been introduced at the front, with gloss black mirror caps and not forgetting double exhaust pipe by seeing. The top of the line remains in canvas, black or dark red, while for those looking for more coupé style there is also an R/F version, with an electrically operated hardtop. There is also a “sports” package. which adds a large front splitter, pronounced side skirts, spoiler integrated into the rear and a small lower deflector, for a price of 2,316 euros which, however, in our opinion, distorts the clean and simple line of the Miata.

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Interior and technology

Up then the quality of the interior, as you wouldn’t expect from a car of this type. The plasticin many cases rigid, however it is super solid and without any gravity. However, wherever the hands reach they find themselves smooth skin, soft plastic and visible stitching. The interior of the Homura version is finished inside dark skin (cream or TERRACOTTA on request), while the lids inside Alcantara and velvet is part of a very long list of materials that can decorate the interior. Beauty comes as standard seats in natural leather and suede fabric Recaro, can also be manually adjusted and heated. The entire door panel and the dashboard area are covered in soft leather with visible stitching, while the upper area of ​​the door is painted, extending the feeling of being connected to the outdoors. You can also ask for a large area of ​​glass between the head protectors, useful for reducing vibration, as well as soft lights, a digital keypad and many accessories to improve life on board. There are few but necessary possessor: under the center tunnel, between the seats, convenient quick-release drink holders and trunk behind, a little less than 200 liters. Ideal for a couple’s holiday with two generous bags.

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In front of the driver is a leather sports steering wheel with solid analog instruments: three round indicators, while on the left is a small on-board computer that controls all the parameters of the car. In the middle stands the small but useful one 7-inch multimedia system. The screen is not particularly bright and may not be easy to read under the sun’s rays: it is operated by touch when the car is stationary or from the central rotor in the tunnel when moving. It is not missing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto via the cable, and the USB port behind the gear lever. The Bose-branded sound system is also excellent with 9 speakers, two in the occupants’ heads, for immersive sound quality. With this configuration SmartKey digital, with which you can open and close the doors when approaching the car, as well as rear sensors; rear camera and other devices such as auto lights or LED matrix technology.

Road test

The Mazda MX-5 does not distort the pleasant feeling that has always accompanied this model but, on the contrary, emphasizes the series of sports thanks to the configuration of Homura which, together with the 2.0 Skyactiv-G more powerful from. 184 CV at 205 Nm of torque, ensures the most engaging handling. 17″ wheels and Bilstein suspension make the car more accurate in insertion and stable in faster corners. The adjustment of the shock absorbers also allows you to better copy the dips in the asphalt, thus providing safer and more predictable behavior in a bad situation. It improves the vibration control with the absorption of the deepest holes but also the surprise in expansion, with the best possible “rebound” effect. Thanks to its lightness, a touch of the gas is enough to move the Mazda MX-5 and such simplicity is found in the nature that handles changes of direction. Car it almost seems to play between one curve and another without revealing any kind of situation, as if it has no weight. The operation It is full bodywith a load that is sometimes almost high (if compared to the most modern cars) but gives the usual feeling of an analog car.

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Il changes then it is masterful, with a very short lever and pleasant to hold, designed to work better with a better clutch pedal. Changes are very fast, dry and accurate, without any strange movements when moving the lever. The pedal set also allows you to engage in good heel-toeing, thanks to the low-mounted accelerator pedal. The output of the engine is then smooth and surprising, compared to the power and type of the unit. The 2.0 4 cylinder is highly desirable, mounted long behind the front axle, to ensure optimal weight distribution. The pull is in the back, with the controls tweaked just enough to not be overly intrusive. Help of back difference it ensures great traction and stability even when you decide to overdo it. In fact, despite participating in fun transitions, it is a mechanic that prefers stability and “clean” driving.rubbing the main part of the curves and enjoying the amazing road holding and the ease with which it faces every curve.

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The experience of wind in the hair, to increase the connection with the outside and fully enjoy the environment. Opening and closing the top is child’s play, using the manual opening, well positioned with safety hooks. It’s a quick and easy exercise, but it can cause headaches for those who don’t enjoy mobility in the right shoulder area. Lowering yourself into the cockpit is a great leg exercise, having to enter a narrow and very low space, close to the ground. Once on board, however, there are plenty of ergonomics and it doesn’t feel too cramped. For those taller than 1.85 m However, you may experience some discomfort with the air passing over your head: the front sill is very low and the absence of a deflector between the head protection causes turbulence that, for a long time, exceeds 120 km. /h, it can cause headaches. Soundproofing is also good for the type of car, although a large acoustic and thermal insulation can be created with the top of the canvas: it does not have as many layers as in other models and therefore, the passenger compartment will be very cold. The good thing is that, with heated seats and limited interior space, bringing the heat up to desired level will be a breeze.

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Usage and price

During our two-week test we had the opportunity to test the characteristics of the Mazda MX-5 in many conditions, from the city to suburban roads and highways. The average usage recorded at a leisurely pace it is 14.5 km/lhowever it can decrease significantly if you drive in a sporty mode, pulling the gear up to the limit above 7,000 rpm. In the citycan’t do better than 12.5km/l, while in extra urban areas, between 70 and 100 km / h, in sixth gear it can even reach 18/20 km / l. On the road at a constant speed of 130 km / h it is impossible to accelerate to 14 km / l.

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Il list of the new Mazda MX-5 has grown significantly compared to the past, especially for the version with 184 HP 2.0, newly introduced from 2020. The basis of the range is placed on 30.270 euros with 1.5 132 HP trim and Prime-Line. The MX-5 R/F price list starts from 32,250 euros. To reach the new 184 HP 2.0 you have to add up to 35,320 euros and with our Homura configuration, with full discretion, you can reach 39.220 euros. Then there are the Kazari and Kizuna special editions, which for the 2.0 have a list price of 39,320 euros.

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Final thoughts

The Mazda MX-5 has finally reached the full evolution process with these latest steps of 2023, waiting for the next generation which is expected from the middle of 2024. We still don’t know if it will maintain all these slightly “nostalgic” features that it has. it has entered the hearts of lovers or if it turns into a modern sports car. What we do know is that, by far, it’s still the most fun, analog, usable and above all thing available on the market. A lot modesty and purity at less than 4 meters, with a weight that is now unique to a modern car and a feeling that is light years away from the typical car (hybrid or gasoline crossover) that fills the city streets.

Mazda MX-5 is always a pleasant breath of fresh air – literally – in the lightness of the car that is now refined through tradition and accepted by many. The Japanese manufacturer, for its part, has always accustomed us (and we hope it continues to do so) to shine with personality, original solutions and unusual options in the automotive industry, all managed with complete independence and without the help of other automotive giants. , from production to development and procurement. Congratulations Mazdakeep going!