More gear and more go for updated take on the classic Mazda drop-top.

Mazda has rolled out its 2019 MX-5 updates, adding a more powerful 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine, reach-adjustable steering column, and standard reverse camera as star attractions for the iconic roadster range.

The MX-5 line-up has been revised with the the majority of 1.5-litre models struck from the Australian range, leaving only the entry-level Roadster with the smaller engine.

Pricing for the Roadster starts from $34,190 before on-road costs with a six-speed manual, or $36,190 for the optional six-speed automatic.

Mazda has made changes to the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated SykActiv four-cylinder engine, including a higher pressure fuel pump and injectors, and redesigned piston crowns to increase torque across the rev range and improve combustion efficiency.

The changes see outputs climb by 1kW and 2Nm for new totals of 97kW at 7000rpm and 152Nm at 4500rpm, down 300rpm from before.

Standard Roadster features include auto on/off LED headlights, rain sensing wipers, power windows with one-touch down, black cloth trim, climate control, leather trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake lever and 16-inch alloy wheels.

All other MX-5 variants – namely the Roadster GT and folding hard top RF/RF GT – move to Mazda’s new 2.0-litre SkyActiv ‘advanced’ engine and roll on larger 17-inch alloys.

To get outputs up to 135kW at 7000rpm and 205Nm at 4000rpm (17kw more 1000rpm higher and 5Nm more 600rpm earlier) the 2.0-litre motor gets similar changes to the 1.5 as well as lighter pistons and conrods, reduced mechanical resistance via changes to piston rings, increased throttle diameter, enlarged exhaust ports, intake manifold revisions and a new low inertia dual-mass flywheel.

“Every time we update Mazda MX-5, it’s in pursuit of refining and enhancing the thrilling drive that is so unique to our iconic two seater,” Mazda’s Australian director of marketing, Alastair Doak, said.

“Added power has been finely balanced to ensure the same smooth, direct response is felt from the moment the throttle opens up.”

The base model RF starts from $39,400, the Roadster GT from $41,960 and the RF GT from $45,960 for manual models, prices rise by $750 compared to 2018 models across the board. Adding a six speed automatic costs an additional $2000 on all variants while RF GT can be scaled up to ‘Black Roof’ spec with a black painted roof and brown nappa leather for $1000 more.

Roadster models feature a manually folding black fabric roof with the RF making use of a power folding targa-style hard top.

Additional equipment for Roadster GT and RF GT includes proximity key, adaptive LED headlights, heated leather seats, heated exterior mirrors and an auto-dimming interior mirror.

Across the range all models now adopt a standard reversing camera and autonomous emergency braking (called Smart City Brake Support). Other standard safety features include front and side airbags, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and tyre pressure monitoring.

Upgrading to a GT also adds driver attention alert, lane departure warning, rear park sensors, and reverse SCBS. No structural changes mean the MX-5 is able to retain its five star ANCAP rating as awarded in 2015.

Infotainment comprises Mazda’s 7.0-inch touchscreen MZD connect system, rotary console controller, AM/FM radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth and USB inputs. Roadster and RF feature six speaker sound with nine speaker Bose audio on Roadster GT and RF GT. Unlike the recently updated CX-9 however, the MX-5 goes without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.

Other interior revisions include a new steering column that adds 30mm of reach travel for the first time, new clip-in cupholders which promise to be more stable than before, a new design for the sunvisors, and new door check straps that stop in two steps not three to ease entry and egress.

By its own estimates Mazda sees just five per cent of buyers opting for the 1.5-litre Roadster, 25 per cent for the Roadster GT, seven per cent taking an interest in the RF while a fairly significant 63 percent of buyers will head for the range-topping RF GT.

Bucking the trend to automatic transmission, the MX-5 should see more buyers of for a three-pedal arrangement (57 percent) across the whole range.

Pricing

  • Roadster 1.5 man – $34,190
  • Roadster 1.5 auto – $36,190
  • RF 2.0 man – $39,400
  • RF 2.0 auto – $41,400
  • Roadster GT 2.0 man – $41,960
  • Roadster GT 2.0 auto – $43,960
  • RF GT 2.0 man – $45,960
  • RF GT 2.0 auto – $47,960