The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The MX-5's seat is mounted fairly high and isn't height adjustable, so some may feel a little perched. Even so, you sit with your legs straight out forwards as if you were in a go-kart, with your posterior close to the Tarmac. Many will undoubtedly like this, even though getting in and out can be an inelegant procedure. The seat has a tilt-adjustable base but there’s no height adjustment. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, but taller drivers might wish it came towards them a little farther. It's also worth mentioning that the pedals are slightly offset to the right. All but the tallest drivers will be able to get comfortable in the snug seat, though, so long journeys won't be a chore.
The high-set, stubby gearlever is in just the right place, and there’s a well-placed, padded central armrest. The driver's seat offers plenty of side support in corners and the dashboard layout is sensible and easy to use.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The MX-5 provides its driver with a clear forward view; you look down a 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 back towards the rear corners of the car is poor and the rear window is tiny. It’s a shame, then, that entry-level SE-L misses out on rear parking sensors, but all other trims get them as standard. A rear-view camera is standard on the two trims available with the 2.0-litre engine.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every MX-5 gets a smart 7.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat-nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity included. There’s also a single CD player, which is something of a novelty in today’s cars.
The system is easily controlled via a rotary dial and shortcut buttons located in front of the gearlever. The only irritation is that you can’t turn off voice guidance on the sat-nav; you can mute it, but the system still turns your music down for gaps in which there would have been an announcement.
The Bluetooth function works well, and you can hold a hands-free telephone conversation at motorway speeds even with the roof down, 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. All models apart from entry-level SE-L get a punchy nine-speaker Bose sound system.
Previous iterations of the MX-5 weren’t known for their lavish interiors, but Mazda has tried to up the ante with this current model.
Mazda's designers have made a decent fist of things, with an attractive array of textures, plastics that don’t feel too cheap and scratchy, and a sense that everything is very well put together. Top-spec cars look particularly distinctive inside, thanks to having leather upholstery in a choice of colours, set off by contrasting stitching.
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