The MX-5’s low-set seat has a standard tilt-adjustable base, which is a really welcome addition, but it has no height adjustment. The steering wheel only adjusts up and down – there’s no reach adjustment – and the pedals are slightly offset to the right. Having said all that, most drivers will be able to get comfortable in the snug seat, as long as they're not too tall, so long journeys won't be a chore. The high-set, stubby gearlever is in just the right place, there’s a well-placed padded central armrest, the seat offers plenty of side support in corners, and the dashboard layout is sensible and easy to use.
Mazda MX-5 Convertible visibility
The MX-5 has a good forward view – you look down the sloping bonnet for a real sports car feel, and the windscreen pillars don’t obscure your view at junctions and roundabouts. However, with the roof up the view to the rear three quarters is poor, and rear parking sensors are standard on only the range-topping Sport Nav trim.
Mazda MX-5 Convertible infotainment
Here’s the biggest reason to avoid the base model – it doesn’t get the 7.0-in colour touchscreen that becomes the main interface and focal point of the dashboard in the other trims. Instead, entry-level SE cars have a single CD player, AM/FM radio, two USB inputs and a multifunction steering wheel. If you can, it’s well worth the extra cash to get the 7.0in colour screen, sat-nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity of SE-L Nav. The same system is fitted to the top-spec Sport Nav trim, too.
The system is easily controlled via the rotary switch and shortcut buttons in front of the gearlever. The only irritation is that you can’t turn off voice guidance altogether – you can silence it, but it still dims the speakers when there would have been a guidance announcement.
The Bluetooth is quite effective – it’s easy to connect the phone, and you can hold a hands-free telephone conversation at motorway speed, as long as you’re prepared to raise your voice a touch. You get two USB connectors at the base of the dash, next to a cubby that’ll take a mobile phone, but there’s no smartphone link to let you operate your phone’s apps through the screen.
Mazda MX-5 Convertible build quality
Previous iterations of the MX-5 weren’t known for their lavish interiors, but Mazda tried to up the ante with this current model, and made a decent fist of things.
There’s a good array of textures, the plastics don’t feel too cheap, the switches are nicely damped and in the main, everything feels well put together. Top-spec cars look particularly nice, since they get leather upholstery with contrast stitching.