The fourth-generation “ND” Mazda MX-5 Miata dates back to 2015, and since production began it has received a few updates to stay fresh in the market. The roadster’s core recipe hasn’t changed much, but now the latest update to the car, known as the ND3, has been unveiled in Japan. Changes are sprinkled throughout the whole car, and they should translate into a better-driving, more livable Miata.
The mechanical changes are minor but meaningful. The ND3 receives a new limited-slip differential that the automaker claims helps the car put down power better. And although the output of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine we get stateside is unchanged—other markets’ 1.5-liter gets a small boost in performance—it’s been retuned for improved responsiveness. The steering has also been tweaked to offer superior feel and precision, compared against previous iterations of the ND.
Inside, the old 7-inch infotainment display has been ditched in favor of a larger 8.8-inch unit, now benefitting from Mazda’s latest software. Radar cruise control has also been added, and the sensor has been integrated discreetly into the reworked front fascia. The headlights and taillights hold the bulk of the exterior tweaks, between new daytime running lights and reworked units out back that are more three-dimensional and jewel-like in their appearance.
A new color called Aero Gray Metallic, a few additional wheel styles, and other minor color and material alterations round out the most visible changes to the car. Rear cross-traffic alert has also been added, along with a new stability control setting called “DSC-TRACK”. It’s only available on manual-equipped ND3s, and it allows for a considerable amount of slip before attempting to reel you back in.
It’s unclear when the next-generation Miata will be unveiled, but ND3 is likely the last update to the vehicle ahead of the new car being released. That being said, it could be years before we see an updated Miata, and when we do, it may not be what we’re used to. Rumors and patents indicate the Japanese automaker is hard at work electrifying its flagship roadster. Whether that car will be able to deliver the sort of driver engagement the pure internal-combustion ND is known for is yet to be seen.
Pricing and availability for the ND3 in the United States has not yet been released by Mazda, as the car has so far only been formally unveiled in its home market of Japan. As soon as we know the U.S. specifics, we’ll be updating you.
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