Mazda has unveiled an exciting refresh for its iconic MX-5 Miata in Japan, where it goes by the name of Roadster/Roadster RF. Often referred to as the “ND3,” this update follows the 2019 introduction of the “ND2” model, which brought a more potent 2.0-liter engine to the lineup. These anticipated revisions are expected to make their way to the global market shortly after the Japan launch in mid-January 2024.
One of the most noticeable changes gracing the 2024 Miata is the introduction of new LED headlights that seamlessly incorporate daytime running lights. In the previous iteration, these lights were situated in the bumper and featured a design with multiple dots, a style that had started to feel a bit dated, having been in use since the 2015 ND1. Mazda has also discreetly updated the taillights, embracing LEDs across the board, including the turn signals.
On the left side of the front grille, you’ll find a significant modification. This change accommodates a radar sensor for adaptive cruise control equipped with Smart Brake Support. This technology automatically halts the vehicle while reversing at speeds of up to 9 mph (15 km/h) when it detects an obstacle in the way. To complete the exterior updates, the 2024 Miata offers a fresh Aero Gray Metallic paint option and new wheel designs available in 16- and 17-inch sizes.
Step inside the cabin, and you’ll notice a long-awaited upgrade: the replacement of the aging infotainment system with a new 8.8-inch display, a feature we recently saw in the JDM-spec 2024 Mazda2 and CX-3. This update not only modernizes the dashboard with thinner bezels but also promises improved functionality. The previous setup was known for its laggy performance and outdated user interface. Mazda has also introduced a new tan interior option paired with a beige top, reminiscent of classic roadster aesthetics.
You can see in some of the updated images several additional interior tweaks, including a frameless rearview mirror, an SOS red button, a subtly updated instrument cluster, and what appear to be USB-C ports.
Under the hood, the Miata ND3 sees some performance enhancements as well. A newly developed asymmetrical limited-slip differential enhances stability for versions equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox. Engineers have also fine-tuned the electric power steering to reduce friction, aiming for a more natural and responsive driving experience. Another notable addition is the DSC-Track mode for the dynamic stability control system, which intervenes only when the driver loses control of the vehicle.
For those outside of the United States, the 1.5-liter engine has received a modest power boost when running on high-octane fuel. The larger 2.0-liter unit with the manual transmission promises improved responsiveness during both acceleration and deceleration. We should see such an update trickle down to the US version when Mazda finally makes the changes official for our side of the pond.
The introduction of the ND3 model ensures that the current-generation Miata will continue to be available for enthusiasts for at least a few more years. This decision will surely please purists, especially in light of Mazda’s previous statements about the necessity of electrifying the next-generation model to meet stringent emissions regulations.