Since its debut in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 has consistently proved itself to be the ideal choice for those who want the purest driving experience. Arriving in showrooms from April, Mazda New Zealand says the 2024 MX-5 maintains its status as a highly desirable driver’s car with the introduction of a new and exhilarating driving mode, new technology features, and design enhancements across the range.  A timeless masterpiece – refined by Mazda’s craftsmen over four generations of customer feedback – the Mazda MX-5 celebrates its 35th birthday in 2024.

Mazda MX-5 New Zealand range pricing*:

     Mazda MX-5 2.0 Roadster GT manual, $60,490

     Mazda MX-5 2.0 RF Limited automatic, $61,990

     *Recommended Retail Prices include GST but exclude on-road costs.

The local Mazda MX-5 range now comprises two driver-focused variants, in both Roadster and RF retractable fastback configurations.

“The Mazda MX-5 epitomises our company’s vision – that we love cars and want our customers to create experiences through the joy of driving – and the feeling of Jinba-Ittai which means the oneness between car and driver”, says Mazda New Zealand managing director, David Hodge.

“The fourth generation of MX-5 continues its original brief: a lightweight, affordable sports car with driving fun as its focus.  The Mazda MX-5 continues to be as popular as ever, and the 2024 updates will see MX-5 continue to be enjoyed by Mazda fans all over New Zealand”, says Hodge.

Externally, the new 2024 Mazda MX-5 features advanced LED headlights that blend seamlessly with daytime running lights to enhance visibility. The rear LED lights have also been subtly redesigned. Blending heritage and modern aesthetics, a new Aero Grey Metallic exterior colour is available.

Gloss black exterior mirrors along with newly designed 17-inch black metallic alloy wheels complete a visual transformation.

In the cabin, enhancements include a frameless rear-view mirror, the increased size and functionality of the 8.8-inch touch-screen multimedia display, an updated driver’s instrument panel and two USB-C ports. 

New for 2024, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly and allow for apps installed on a smartphone to be displayed and utilised safely and on the Mazda Connect centre display.

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 continues to deliver pure open-top driving pleasure while retaining its core values built up over more than 30 years – perfectly balanced, agile and lightweight for a thrilling driving experience. The new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)-Track driving mode gives the driver maximum control by applying oversteer control only in the event of a dangerous spin that the driver is unable to correct.

DriveLife reviewed the 2023 MX-5 GT twice last year, one by Alistair Weekes and once by Fred Alvrez, and it sounds like this new model is simply better than that car.

DSC-Track is complimented by Mazda’s new Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential (Asymmetric LSD). This stabilises vehicle turn-in behaviour by varying the limiting force of slip on the differential gear in response to vehicle acceleration and deceleration as the rear wheel vertical load changes.  The new Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential is exclusively mated to the Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine with manual transmission in the Roadster GT. Optimising slip limiting force and preload specifically for the MX-5’s engine, suspension, and tyre characteristics results in smoother and more linear turning performance, says Mazda. Turning stability thus has been enhanced to make manoeuvring easier in urban areas, as well as on winding roads, they claim.

The current fourth generation of Mazda’s brand icon also benefits from structural chassis and body modifications as well as an enhanced engine sound. Mazda wants the joy of driving to extend to all the driver’s senses, including their ears, hence the adoption of an ISE (Induction Sound Enhancer) in the 2024 Mazda MX-5.

As with all new Mazda vehicles, the Mazda MX-5 features wide-ranging coverage from the Mazdacare programme. Mazdacare includes a five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, five-years of scheduled servicing (up to 100,000km) and five-years of roadside assist coverage, all at no extra cost.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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