Interior layout

Mazda MX-5 Convertible review

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2018 Mazda MX-5 cornering
Review continues below...
25 Jan 2017 14:45 | Last updated: 9 Oct 2018 14:12

In this review

Interior layout

The interior layout, fit and finish

Mazda MX-5 sports driving position

The MX-5’s low-set seat has a standard tilt-adjustable base; it's a welcome addition, but there is no height adjustment. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, although taller drivers might wish it came towards them a little further. It's also worth mentioning that the pedals are slightly offset to the right. That said, 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.

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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 sports visibility

The MX-5 has a good 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 to the rear three-quarters is poor, and rear parking sensors are standard on the top two trims only. A reversing camera is standard on top-spec GT Sport Nav+ models and optional on Sport Nav+.

2018 Mazda MX-5 dashboard

Mazda MX-5 sports infotainment

Here’s the biggest reason to avoid the entry-level model: it doesn’t get the 7.0in colour touchscreen that becomes the main interface and focal point of the dashboard in other trims. Instead, SE+ cars have a single CD player, an AM/FM radio, two USB inputs and a multi-function steering wheel. If you can, it’s well worth the extra cash to get the 7.0in colour screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat-nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity of SE-L Nav+ models and above.

The system is easily controlled via the rotary dial and shortcut buttons in front of the gearlever. The only irritation is that you can’t turn off voice guidance on the sat-nav; you can silence it, but it still dims the speakers when there would have been an announcement.

The Bluetooth function is quite effective; it’s easy to connect the phone, and you can hold a hands-free telephone conversation at motorway speeds, 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.

Mazda MX-5 sports 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.

That said, the Mini Convertible soundly thrashes the MX-5 for interior quality.


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There are 4 trims available for the MX-5 sports. Click to see details.See all versions
You might be tempted by the low price of the SE+, but although you get 16in alloy wheels, LED headlights, air-con and electric windows, you get a very rudimentary infotainment system and no 2.0-lit...View trim
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SE-L Nav+
This trim adds the 7.0in infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and an extra couple of speakers. You also get climate control, cruise control, heated seats, bl...View trim
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Sport Nav+
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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GT Sport Nav+
Top-spec GT Sport Nav+ models are only available with the 2.0-litre engine and add sand-coloured leather seats, a black boot spoiler, stainless steel scuff plates, blindspot monitoring and a rear-v...View trim
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