Five Things You Need to Know About the 2016 Mazda MX-5

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

In what must have been a logistical nightmare, Mazda simultaneously debut the next generation MX-5 in three different countries around the world at the same time.

Already the best-selling roadster in history, the fourth-generation model promises to push Mazda’s two-seat sports car over the 1 million sales mark when it hits showroom floors sometime next year.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Revealed With Dramatic New Look

Although details on the new MX-5 are sparse at the moment, we scoured the prototypes Mazda had on hand during the world debut and have assembled five facts about the 2016 MX-5 you need to know.

Standard on all versions of the new MX-5 will be LED headlights. LEDs were chosen as they allow for the thin, squinting headlight design fitted to the new car. If you think you’ve heard this before, you are correct. Toyota incorporated LED headlights on all versions of the new Corolla for similar style reasons. Thankfully, that is all the Corolla and MX-5 have in common.

Of course, there are more LEDs found on the MX-5 including slanted running lights on the front bumper and LED taillights.

The MX-5 on display is nowhere near production ready at this point, but there are some interesting buttons inside that may be included in the 2016 MX-5. Safety items like lane departure and blind spot monitoring are equipped on the prototype as is Mazda’s i-stop start/stop technology.

The MX-5 should also come with more creature comforts like a color display screen and optional GPS navigation.

At 68.1-inches wide, the 2016 MX-5 is nearly half an inch wider than the outgoing model. At a height of 48.6 inches, the new car will be roughly a half inch lower than the 2015 MX-5. This gives the 2016 roadster a sportier, sleeker profile than the current car.

Overall length has shrunk as well. Measuring in at 154.1 inches long, the 2016 MX-5 has lopped off nearly three inches compared to the old model.

Sitting behind the wheel of the new MX-5 will be instantly familiar to anyone who has owned a Miata in the past, especially the 2006-2015 models. A round, non-telescoping steering wheel sits in front of the driver with a short-throw six-speed manual at perfect arm’s length. The belt line of the new MX-5 does feel a bit higher than the previous car.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Chassis Reveals a Lighter, Smaller Next-Gen Miata

There is now a color display screen protruding from the dashboard, similar to the one found in the Mazda3. Along with the new screen there are a host of new buttons and dials to control the MX-5’s infotainment unit.

Two features have changed for the 2016 MX-5. The power window switches have been relocated to the doors now and the cup holders sit above the center tunnel, far back between the seats. The latter is a great feature as even moderately sized cups interfered with gear shifts in the current MX-5.

Image converted using ifftoany

Mazda knows the current MX-5 has a soft suspension set-up that allows a lot of body roll and it’s going to stay that way. By using double wishbones at all four corners, Mazda is tuning the 2016 MX-5 to be comfortable while also dispatching corners without breaking a sweat. This setup works well in the current MX-5 and I can’t wait to see how it feels in the lighter 2016 model.

Over the next several months more details on the 2016 MX-5 will surface. In the meantime, all we can is speculate about the engine, performance and price of the new car. What do you think it will be?

Discuss this story on our Mazda MX-5 Forum

GALLERY: 2016 Mazda MX-5

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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  • Djinn Djinn on Sep 06, 2014

    Good read for what is available but I "want" to know is numbers. HP, weight, G's, will my 6'3" butt fit in it, etc.... I'm not lovin the design but if the numbers add up I might over look the appearance and consider it before I buy a Focus ST. Before the obvious is stated yes I am aware they are different cars, but as former dumb kid street racer now father of three the Focus ST or SRT challenger are my reality.

    • See 1 previous
    • Djinn Djinn on Sep 07, 2014

      Think there's room for two more inches? I didnt fit in the previous generation. Owned a FD for a few months thinking I could live with the size but was wrong.

  • Mark S Mark S on Sep 06, 2014

    This looks and sounds a worthy Miata for sure. Am hoping what we are seeing though is the Grand Tourer (top of the top) and that still offer a trim that does not have the tech (lane departure etc.) does not have the leather seats, no heated seats, but does retain LSD and Bilstein shocks i.e. something like the Club Trim, with the lower MSRP. Only toy I like/need is blue tooth. Wish we did not have to wait a year - think I will need to switch cars before this is ready to roll and never keen getting a first build anyways. That said, this is great car - a baby F Type is very nice thing to be called.