The Mazda MX-5 has always been the definitive expression of ‘Jinba Ittai’ - the concept of driver and car as one, and from the start the MX-5’s driver-focused cabin and communicative controls have been a big part of this focus on delivering driving pleasure.

Today, the Mazda MX-5 is more than ever built to feel like an extension of the driver. It retains its traditional ergonomic simplicity but matched to higher levels of quality, equipment, refinement and comfort. Plus with styling that’s designed to erase the boundaries between the interior and exterior design, the MX-5 features a signature ridgeline that extends from the front wing past the screen and into the upper door trim, this stylish door trim is body coloured to further reinforce the elegant look and feel of the MX-5’s cabin.

This sense of sophisticated quality and design symmetry continues with the sleek wing-like dash, which stretches out horizontally to create a sense of space, while the lower door panels seamlessly flow towards the front and rear of the cockpit. As with all Mazda’s products, the quality and feel of the cabin materials, switchgear and fabrics set new standards, while in true lightweight sports car tradition, the compact and attractive three-spoke wheel is a joy to hold and use.

With the 2024 Mazda MX-5, the elegant three-gauge analogue instrument cluster has been updated to be even clearer and more concise with a new black lacquer base colour, a new font for the digits and a sleeker rev counter needle. However, the unchanged layout is centred around a large rev counter with the speedometer to the right and an information display on the left. The circular satin chrome trimmed theme extends to the circular air vents, engine start/stop button and the design of the tactile rotary air-conditioning dials, while the slender central air vent sits neatly alongside the hazard warning light switch.

While the fundamentals have not changed a host of subtle yet noticeable updates enhance the 2024 MX-5’s cabin. Exclusive-Line and Homura models now feature a centre console trimmed in synthetic leather, which also features on the dash panel. Also new to these models in the 2024 model is a redesigned frameless rear mirror that has an outer edge that is an inverted trapezoid that’s designed to avoid reflecting anything other than the rear view. The mirror mount is now slimmer to reduce visual clutter through the screen, especially for the passenger.

When it comes to connectivity, the world’s bestselling two-seater sports car benefits from a first-grade infotainment system as standard, including the Mazda Connect in-car connectivity system. For the 2024 MX-5 this has been substantially upgraded with the introduction on a new larger 8.8” TFT centre screen that features clearer mapping and touchscreen functionality for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto when the car is stationary. As before, the effortless Mazda Connect system is controlled via the Multimedia Commander located on the transmission tunnel, while standard features across the range include DAB radio and Mazda’s integrated navigation system, which comes with 7-years of free European map updates. Another connectivity upgrade on the 2024 Mazda MX-5 is the introduction of two USB-C ports.

Exclusive-Line and Homura models will appeal to music lovers thanks to the nine-speaker Premium Bose® sound system specially designed for an open-top roadster, featuring UltraNearfieldTM speakers in the driver and passenger headrests, while across all models in the range the extensive standard equipment list includes heated seats, climate control, parking sensors, auto wipers and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake.

Yet for all the latest MX-5’s premium equipment and improved quality, the spotlight on the driving position is as focused as ever. Despite being the most compact MX-5 ever made the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 has the best driving position yet, with more knee room and better head clearance. Telescopic steering wheel adjustment adds even greater flexibility and comfort into the driving position, with 30mm of reach movement and 42mm of rake adjustment.

As you’d expect for a sports car, the MX-5’s driving position allows you to be completely harmonised with the car and the road. The pedals, wheel and dials are laid out in a single axis that centres the driver in perfect symmetry, while the throttle and brake pedal are aligned for heel-and-toe downshifts. An equal amount of work has gone into the design of the seats, which forgo the usual metal springs and urethane pads internals, to use a lighter net structure that also reduces the amount of vibration transmitted to the occupant by 35 per cent.

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 also sees updates to the seat and trim, examples include new premium black cloth and suede effect with silver stitching seat trim on Prime-Line cars and the introduction of Recaro sports seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara on Homura models. Across both 1.5 and 2.0-litre models Exclusive-Line cars have black leather seats with perforated trim and silver stitching. However, whichever model you choose, the cabin of the Mazda MX-5 brings the driver closer to the car for that instantly apparent ’Jinba Ittai’ feel.