The Mazda MX-5 Miata is already undergoing a complete overhaul to enter its new generation, but the company has apparently realized the dire need for the Miata to be refreshed before it becomes completely obsolete ahead of the new generation’s debut.
Launched in 2005, the third generation MX-5 (NC) received its first major update in 2008. It’s barely been touched since then, but 2013 will come with a second round of updates before the car gets canned for the new generation. The new MX-5 (known as the Roadster in Japan) has already made its officially debut and is already on sale at all Mazda dealerships throughout Japan.
The exterior has been redesigned to offer a more aggressive look, while the interior has received a new luxury tan color finish for the genuine leather seats. The model has also received revised characteristics of the throttle and brake booster that help improve control of the accelerator in the manual transmission models and the brakes in all models.
UPDATE 07/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the 2013 Mazda MX-5.
Hit the jump to read more on the 2013 Mazda MX5 Miata.
Exterior and Interior
The 2013 model year may be the last year for the current generation MX-5, but Mazda has still offered a somewhat extensive list of updates. Changes start with the exterior where the model has received a larger front grille opening, a newly designed front fog lamp bezel, and a new front chin spoiler. Also, for the 2013 model year, Mazda is offering a new Dolphin Gray Mica exterior paint, which replaces the Metropolitan Gray Mica.
For the interior, Mazda is offering a new tan color for the genuine leather seat covers combined with black on the seat sides. As an option, customers can also opt for fabric (black), leather (tan and black), and a combination of Alcantara and black leather seat cover materials. There is also a new Glossy Dark Gray used for the decoration panel and steering wheel bezel.
Mazda ensured that there would be a focus on weight reduction by redesigning the front bumper, adding an active bonnet, new 17-inch aluminum wheels, and internal wiring.
The 2013 Mazda MX5 has not received any changes under the hood, meaning customers will still get the usual 2.0 liter four cylinder engine that delivers a total of 170 HP and 140 lb-ft of torque, coupled to either a 5-speed or a 6-speed manual transmission. There is also a 158 HP version available only with an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.
What Mazda did work with was improving the acceleration control and making fine adjustments to the throttle management program. As a result, the updated MX-5 is more responsive when accelerating out of corners.
The power braking device has also been updated, so now the car is much easier to control and offers the driver an increased feel of mastery over the vehicle.
For the 2013 model year, Mazda has also worked on improving the pedestrian’s safety. As a result, the new MX-5 has received an active bonnet that ensure that, at certain vehicle speeds, when sensors detect an impact exceeding a defined level, the rear end of the bonnet is raised. This creates a space between the bonnet and the engine which acts to absorb the energy of impact and reduces the severity of head injuries in collisions involving pedestrians.
Prices for the US market will be announced at a later date, but in Japan they range from 2,330,000 yen ($29,100) to 2,920,000 yen ($36,000).
The new Mazda MX-5 will currently take on models like the Mini Cooper S Convertible, but in the future, the list of competitors will grow bigger with Kia planning a new small sports roadster.
The Cooper S is offered with a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a new 2.0-liter. The model is offered with high-quality materials and an extremely harmonious color scheme.
New safety equipment
New color options
Just one engine
The look is still a bit old