2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata ND3: Revamped and ready to roar

Mazda MX-5 (motor1.com)

Mazda has taken the wraps off the thoroughly updated 2024 MX-5 Miata in Japan, known as the Roadster/Roadster RF. This latest iteration, dubbed the “ND3,” follows the 2019 update, or “ND2,” which introduced a more potent 2.0-liter engine variant. Although initially available for preorders in Japan, the global version is expected to receive these updates in the coming months after its Japan market launch in mid-January 2024.

The 2024 Miata boasts several notable enhancements, including new LED headlights that now incorporate daytime running lights, a design update that brings a modern touch to the iconic roadster. Gone are the multiple dots of the previous DRL design, which had been in use since the 2015 ND1. The taillights have also received discreet updates, with Mazda now utilizing LEDs throughout the vehicle, including the turn signals.

The front grille’s left side has been modified to accommodate a radar sensor for adaptive cruise control with Smart Brake Support, enhancing safety. The new Aero Gray Metallic paint and fresh wheel designs in 16- and 17-inch sizes complete the exterior updates. Inside the cabin, the outdated infotainment system has been replaced with a new 8.8-inch display, offering improved functionality and a more modern appearance. Additionally, a new tan interior with a beige top pays homage to classic roadster styling.

Under the hood, the Miata ND3 introduces an asymmetrical limited-slip differential for enhanced stability in manual transmission-equipped versions. Mazda’s engineers have optimized the electric power steering to provide a more natural and responsive steering feel. A DSC-Track mode has been added to the dynamic stability control system, intervening only when necessary. The 1.5-liter engine, though unavailable in the United States, gains four additional horsepower when running on high-octane fuel, while the 2.0-liter unit with the manual transmission promises improved response during acceleration and deceleration.

The introduction of the ND3 ensures the current-generation Miata will continue for at least a few more years, a decision that purists will likely appreciate. Mazda has indicated that the next-generation Miata will need to incorporate electrification to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations.