Connectivity in the 2019 Mazda MX-5 takes on a new meaning. The connection the car makes between the driver and the road is more entertaining than any infotainment software. Base models are fairly spartan and dressy trims are far from luxurious.
But the only sin Mazda commits in the MX-5 is with its infotainment software—it’s dysfunctional, at best. Starting from an average score, the 2019 Miata rings the bell at a 5 for features with one point added for the screen size that’s quickly taken away for its frustrating controller and software. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Base Sport convertibles, which cost more than $26,500, are equipped with cloth interior, a 7.0-inch infotainment display, 16-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, and two USB ports. Newly standard this year are a rearview camera and a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes.
Sport convertibles are the version we’d suggest for most buyers without track days circled on their calendars. A spend-up safety package adds blind-spot monitors, lane departure warnings and low-speed automatic emergency braking for $850.
The Club trim adds performance-related features such as a limited-slip differential, stiffer springs and front shock tower brace (manual transmission versions only); 17-inch wheels with wider tires; upgraded audio; and upgraded cloth seats for nearly $4,000 more than the base convertible. Two pricey options packages add heated Recaro seats and upgraded brakes, or leather upholstery, upgraded brakes, and wheels. Either package adds $4,400 or $3,700 to the overall price, so we suggest approaching both with caution.
Grand Touring models go further with more luxury items but stop short of feeling like a luxury car. Leather upholstery, heated seats, navigation, adaptive headlights, and traffic sign recognition swell the bottom line beyond $30,000. Grand Touring trims opt out of the Club’s racier limited-slip differential and stiffer springs but can sub those back in for more money.
The RF hardtop is only available in Club and Grand Touring trim levels and costs roughly $2,700 more than comparably equipped convertibles.
Mazda charges more for three brilliant shades on the MX-5 Miata: Soul Red, Snowflake White, and Machine Gray. We wouldn’t begrudge any buyer for spending more on any of the colors, particularly Soul Red.
We do take umbrage with the base infotainment system in the MX-5. The software’s pared-down display makes any typical task a chore, right down to changing the radio station. The 7.0-inch display is sharp and bright but its controller is out of reach and requires an unusually high number of button presses for even common tasks. We’ve frequently bumped the controller and buttons with our forearms while shifting, adding to our overall irritation. Unlike Mazda’s crossovers, there’s no help from available Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the MX-5.
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