Upgraded suspension and more standard safety features, along with a new interior trim and paint option, mark the 2022 version of Mazda’s MX-5, with the improvements applied to both the Roadster and Retractable Fastback (RF) variants. But with the gains comes a loss, as the 1.5-litre engine has been discontinued.
According to Mazda Australia Managing Director, Vinesh Bhindi, this latest update to the ND generation sports roadster “maximises the MX-5’s innate potential in a wider range of driving scenarios than ever before, enhancing the sense of Jinba-ittai that it’s so well known for.”
KPC - keeping the back-end planted
The key change on the MY22 MX-5 is the incorporation of Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) technology for the suspension.
Unique to the MX-5 within Mazda’s model lineup, KPC uses the existing suspension structure to provide what’s said to be a more integrated and stable turning posture at high speeds, without increasing the vehicle’s weight.
As the MX-5’s rear suspension is already designed to generate an “anti-lift” force that pulls the vehicle down when the brakes are applied, KPC enhances this by applying additional brake pressure to the inner rear wheel when cornering under high G-force conditions, thereby suppressing roll and pulling the vehicle down to stabilise posture.
KPC can determine the turning conditions in real time and the difference in speed between the left and right rear wheels, increasing braking response to produce an appropriate “posture stabilisation” effect.
As KPC only works at high speed and under high cornering load, there is no change to the suspension in everyday driving situations.
1.5 engine – Sayonara
The other key change on the MY22 MX-5 is the discontinuation of the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. Following the introduction of an updated 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G powertrain in October, 2018, this engine has been the overwhelming choice amongst MX-5 buyers in Australia, leading to the 1.5 engine’s retirement for 2022.
The 2.0-litre will retain its 135kW/205Nm performance specs (up from 118kW/200Nm pre-2018) and combined cycle fuel economy of 6.8lt/100km (6.9lt/100km on the RF). The previously available choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions with this engine will be unchanged for 2022.
Tech and Colours – More Standard, More Choices
On the 2.0-litre Roadster, which is now the new entry-level MX-5, standard safety features include Driver Attention Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Smart City Brake Support-Rear, an auto dimming rear view mirror, rear parking sensors and LED DRLs – all of which were unavailable on the 1.5-litre MX-5 Roadster.
Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, a reversing camera and four airbags are common range-wide.
Keyless entry remains exclusive to the GT grades, but keyless push-button starting is available range-wide, along with sat nav, multi-function Commander Control infotainment operation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth and a 7.0-inch centre screen.
The six-speaker sound system on the lower grade MX-5s is upgraded to a nine-speaker Bose system on the GT variants, with black leather upholstery and heated seats also part of the GT spec.
LED lighting (including auto headlights), rain-sensing wipers and power mirrors are also standard range-wide, with the GT grades adding auto high-beam.
Paint choices for 2022 cover seven options and include a new Platinum Quartz metallic, which is a no-cost option (unlike some of the other metallics) and available range-wide.
For the interior, Terracotta leather trim is a new option, but limited to the RF GT as an alternative to the existing white and black leather trim. Black leather trim is available on all GT grades, with the base Roadster and RF only available with black cloth seats.
2022 Pricing – Slight Increase
Due for Australian release in Q1, 2022, the updated Mazda MX-5 range will see the starting price rise, due in part to the standardisation of the 2.0 engine.
List pricing for the range now starts at $37,690 for the 2.0 Roadster, which is $1,600 over the discontinued 1.5 Roadster. Pricing on other grades has increased by only a few hundred dollars - in most instances - compared to 2021 pricing.
2022 Mazda MX-5 pricing*
Body Transmission MLP
Roadster Manual $37,690
Roadster Automatic $38,690
Roadster GT Manual $44,320
Roadster GT Automatic $46,320
Roadster GT RS Manual $47,320
RF Manual $42,000
RF Automatic $44,000
RF GT Manual $48,400
RF GT RS Manual $51,400
RF GT Automatic $50,400
RF GT Black roof Manual $49,420
RF GT Black roof Automatic $51,420
*list pricing, excludes ORCs.