Mazda MX-5 crowned ‘Convertible of the Year’ at the 2024 Auto Express New Car Awards

The Mazda MX-5 has been named ‘Convertible of the Year’ in this year’s Auto Express New Car Awards. Celebrating 35 years since its debut at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show, the latest recognition for the 2024 model adds to the extensive global awards tally for Mazda’s iconic sports car.

“The MX-5’s ability to bring you to the motoring world shows no signs of slowing down, with a revised 2024 model introducing more tech to the sharp-handling sports car,” said Auto Express Editor Paul Barker. Continuing, “at a time when cars grow ever-larger, the MX-5’s sense of fun means that it’s a refreshing breath of fresh air – whether the roof is up or down.”

The eight-model range features four Roadster and four RF models with a choice of Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Homura trim grades. Prime-Line cars are powered by the 132ps 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine, while Exclusive-Line can be chosen with either the 1.5-litre or the 184ps 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine. The range-topping Homura is exclusively matched to the 184ps unit. Prices for the 2024 Mazda MX-5 range start at £28,015 for the 1.5-litre Prime-Line Roadster.

As before 2.0-litre cars feature a front strut brace, limited slip differential and Bilstein dampers as standard. The 2024 MX-5 features a new Asymmetric Limited Slip Differential – a cam mechanism has been added to the conical clutch, which is lightweight, compact and highly durable. The cam angle is set differently for the deceleration and acceleration side, thereby achieving optimal limiting force of slip during both actions. Strengthening the slip limiting force when the unloaded rear wheel is lightened during cornering enhances stability, moreover tuning the slip limiting force and optimising the set up for the MX-5’s engine, suspension and tyre characteristics ensures the purity of handling balance the MX-5 is famed for.

In addition, the 2024 model features upgrades to the cabin of the MX-5, as inside there’s a new larger central 8.8-inch touch-screen multimedia display and an updated instrument panel. The larger central screen allows for clearer navigation mapping, while the more advanced MZ Connect system helps user functionality, additionally USB-C ports have been introduced. However, as you would expect, the 2024 Mazda MX-5 retains the same driver focused cabin and driving position, while the range-topping Homura grade now features Recaro seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara.

For more than three decades and across four generations, the Mazda MX-5 has always been the benchmark pure lightweight sports car with driver engagement at the centre of its appeal. This Jinba Ittai philosophy – of driver and machine working in perfect harmony – is at the heart of every Mazda, none more so than the Mazda MX-5. The 2024 Mazda MX-5 continues to deliver pure open-top driving pleasure while retaining its core values of agility, lightweight and finely balanced handling. 

On Exclusive-Line and Homura models, the new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) track driving mode avoids intervention until a later parameter to deliver a more dynamic, yet secure, drive experience with first-time track drivers in mind. Continuing the MX-5’s fine-tuning, the response of the accelerator has been improved to deliver a more accurate throttle application, while the electric power steering has been adjusted and steering rack friction reduced to deliver an even more natural and fluid response. The aim was to further enhance the sense of oneness with the car and connection with the road.

Since the first-generation Mazda MX-5 was revealed at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show over 1.2 million MX-5s have been produced at Mazda’s Ujina plant in Hiroshima. With over 135,000 of these being sold in the UK, the place the MX-5 holds in the hearts of UK sports car fans is clear.

Commenting on the award recognition from Auto Express, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director at Mazda Motors UK, said: “when it comes to driver engagement, the current generation MX-5 has established itself as a benchmark sports car, and with the 2024 Mazda MX-5 we continue to offer one of the most exciting and satisfying to drive cars money can buy, so it’s great the latest model has been recognised by Auto Express in this year’s New Car Awards”.

Adding, “The MX-5 is a sports car that has resonated with enthusiastic British drivers ever since its debut 35 years ago and remains true to the original principle of being an affordable, lightweight and above all fun-to-drive roadster, something that stands out even more in a marketplace where fewer and fewer true affordable driver’s cars are being launched”.