Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Short on practical features even by roadster standards
  • Smaller boot and cabin than previous generation
  • Lack of storage space could prove frustrating

With only two seats, no traditional glovebox or door pockets, and a boot that’s 20 litres smaller than the previous generation, practicality isn’t one of the Mazda MX-5’s primary selling points.

Although that boot is smaller than before, it’s been re-shaped to make it more useful. Whether you can really slot in a pair of cases as Mazda engineers suggest entirely depends on what you expect to be able to carry in them.

Mazda MX-5 2017 blue boot

The MX-5 isn’t a car you’ll be wanting to use for a car boot sale in, unless you only have paperclips to sell. At 130 litres the boot has a tiny capacity, but it’s actually surprisingly usable because of its shape and access.

You can shove quite a lot in if you’re clever with how you pack. But you will need to think about it, rather than simply chuck stuff in as you might with a bigger vehicle. It's all part of the charm of living with an MX-5.

The cabin is also more compact than ever before and you feel it – if it wasn’t for the high transmission tunnel dividing you, you might even feel rather too close to your passenger. Certainly a careless grasp for the handbrake will see you rubbing knuckles against their knee.

Literally, the only storage cubby inside the car is a locker located on the bulkhead between the seats - not the easiest of places to access while on the move, but surprisingly spacious. Other than a small cubby for keys and coins on the transmission tunnel behind the handbrake, you get a couple of cupholders mounted just ahead of the storage locker. The passenger one can be moved further forward towards the footwell, right beside the gearlever.

The roof, however, is a work of genius, and despite having no electric operation, the lightweight fabric structure can be lowered and raised in seconds, all from the comfort of the driver’s seat, with genuine ease. It also proves adept at keeping wind and road noise to a minimum when raised.

The MX-5 is very small, being 3,915mm long, 1,735mm wide and 1,230mm tall. Visibility out the front is good as you look down the length of the bonnet, but some might struggle when the roof is up as it not only feels dark and cramped, but visibility is restricted as well.

Thankfully, rear parking sensors are fitted to Sport models and above to assist, and a rear-view camera helpfully provides a view out on the top two models, making it’s easy to park and manoeuvre.

Safety

  • Four stars from Euro NCAP
  • Impressive rating for a lightweight convertible
  • Contemporary safety tech on board 

When crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2015, the Mazda MX-5 was rated as the roadster with the highest safety score observed by the expert body.

Despite being a lightweight sports car, Mazda is keen to reinforce its Proactive Safety philosophy with this car, with an aim to ensure both occupants and pedestrians involved in an accident with an MX-5 are protected as comprehensively as possible.

Front and side airbags are standard, and they are specially designed to protect the occupant’s heads even when the fabric roof is lowered, while the passenger seat comes with Isofix mountings for a child seat.

Pedestrians are just as well looked after thanks to sensors that raise the bonnet in a collision to provide more space between the sheet metal and engine’s harder points, lessening the chance of a serious injury.

Mazda MX-5 201 safety tech

There's also quite a lot of active safety technology available, with Mazda also added front and - still somewhat unusually - rear autonomous emergency braking to the roster in late 2018.

blindspot monitoring system ensures you don’t move from your lane into the side of an adjacent vehicle, while rear cross-traffic alert uses sensors to warn you when other vehicles are approaching from behind when reversing out of a blind parking space, for example. This is standard on the top two higher-spec models.

The lane-departure warning system fitted on Sport model and upwards keeps you on the straight and narrow on the motorway.

LED headlights are standard while Sport models come with an adaptive front-lighting system that changes the direction of the low beams to suit the curves and contours of the road, while higher-spec models come with a full adaptive system that automatically switches between high and low beam output depending on the positioning of traffic and other conditions.

Be warned, though, check that these systems are fitted on the spec that you choose.

WATCH: Mazda MX-5 Euro NCAP crash test video

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Mazda MX-5.

  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Remote locking
  • Side airbags
  • Sports seats
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

100th Anniversary Edition equipment

100th Anniversary Edition standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
100th Anniversary Edition optional equipment
  • Central locking

30th Anniversary equipment

30th Anniversary standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
30th Anniversary optional equipment
  • Leather seat trim

Arctic equipment

Arctic standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
Arctic optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim

GT Sport Nav+ equipment

GT Sport Nav+ standard equipment
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
GT Sport Nav+ optional equipment
None available

GT Sport Tech equipment

GT Sport Tech standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
GT Sport Tech optional equipment
None available

Icon equipment

Icon standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
Icon optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim

R-Sport equipment

R-Sport standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
R-Sport optional equipment
  • Height adjustable drivers seat

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
SE optional equipment
None available

SE+ equipment

SE+ standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
SE+ optional equipment
None available

SE-L equipment

SE-L standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
SE-L optional equipment
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

SE-L Nav equipment

SE-L Nav standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Sat Nav
SE-L Nav optional equipment
None available

SE-L Nav+ equipment

SE-L Nav+ standard equipment
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
SE-L Nav+ optional equipment
None available

Sport equipment

Sport standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
Sport optional equipment
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

Sport Nav equipment

Sport Nav standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
Sport Nav optional equipment
None available

Sport Nav+ equipment

Sport Nav+ standard equipment
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
Sport Nav+ optional equipment
None available

Sport Recaro equipment

Sport Recaro standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Metallic Paint
  • Parking sensors
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
Sport Recaro optional equipment
  • Leather seat trim

Sport Tech equipment

Sport Tech standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
Sport Tech optional equipment
None available

Sport Venture equipment

Sport Venture standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Service indicator
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
Sport Venture optional equipment
  • Height adjustable drivers seat

Z-Sport equipment

Z-Sport standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • Central locking
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
Z-Sport optional equipment
None available

Euro NCAP Rating – 4 stars

The Mazda MX-5 was tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and was awarded a 4 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

4 star rating
Test 2015
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 84%
Child Occupant: 80%
Vulnerable Road Users: 93%
Safety Assist: 64%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.