The MX-5 is getting up there in age as the fourth generation of Mazda's iconic roadster was unveiled in September 2014 before entering production in March 2015. The venerable sports car will live to see another generation, but until that happens, the ND soldiers on in the United States with minimal changes. New for the 2023MY is a Zircon Sand exterior paint, an optional color we've already seen on the Japanese and European versions of the Miata.
Introduced for the 2022MY, the Kinematic Posture Control has apparently been well-received by customers and will remain embedded into the rear-wheel-drive convertible. As a refresher, KPC applies a gentle brake to the inner rear wheel during cornering to diminish body roll and keep the MX-5 glued to the road. It's not the only Mazda to feature this technology as the new CX-60 midsize SUV (sold outside of the US) also incorporates the system.
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: Review
There aren't any changes underneath the hood where the MX-5 retains the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter gasoline engine. The four-pot mill continues to produce 181 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, following the introduction of the ND2 for the 2019MY. Depending on the trim level, the NA engine is linked to a six-speed manual or an automatic with the same number of gears.
In other markets, Mazda continues to sell its popular cabrio with a 1.5-liter unit, which was initially supposed to be the only engine available for the Miata. Later in the development phase, the company figured out Americans wouldn't buy the car with such a small powertrain and installed the 2.0-liter unit before upgrading it a few years later.
As far as pricing is concerned, the math starts at $28,050 for the MX-5 Miata Sport with a six-speed manual gearbox. Only available with a black soft top, the base trim level costs $400 more than before. If you prefer the added sophistication and comfort of the hardtop version, the RF begins at $35,350.
The huge gap between the two is explained by the fact the RF is not available in the Sport trim as it starts off as a Grand Touring with more equipment included. As before, the automatic is available only for the fancier Grand Touring, at $33,550 for the soft top and $35,900 for the RF. This trim level also gets an exclusive Terracotta Nappa leather interior for an additional $300.
The most expensive of the bunch remains the manual-only Club with the Brembo BBS Recaro Package, at $36,050 for the soft top and $38,550 for the RF. Destination and handling are an extra $1,275 or $1,320 if you happen to live in Alaska. It means you'll be spending just under $40,000 for the MX-5 Miata Club RF with the Brembo BBS Recaro Package.
We could be dealing with the final year for the ND-generation Miata as spy shots of a test mule have been caught by car paparazzi. Mazda has pledged to retain the RWD formula with a combustion engine, but expect a dose of electrification to keep regulators happy. A mild-hybrid system could be planned, and hopefully, it won't bring a major weight penalty.