Alongside the fun factor you’d expect of a lightweight sports car the Mazda MX-5 offers unparalleled levels of safety, including Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE active safety technology, and if an accident should occur, the benefits of a stronger SKYACTIV-Body.
Across all models the Mazda MX-5 features front and side airbags, and the side airbags use special bracket on the outside shoulder of the seat to protect occupants’ heads, even with the soft top down. The seats provide improved head and upper body support during a rear impact, and along with the door panels, they have been optimised to enhance side impact protection. The seatbelts come with pretensioners and load limiters, while the passenger seat has anchors and top tether for ISOFIX child seats.
Tyre pressure monitoring is also standard across the range, while from SE-L Nav onwards the Mazda MX-5 features LED daytime running lights. Sport Nav models add to the driver assistance tally with rear parking sensors, rain-sensing front wipers, dusk-sensing lights and an auto-diming rear-view mirror.
Mazda’s Lane Departure Warning System is standard on both 1.5 and 2.0-litre Sport trim cars. It monitors the lane markings on the road, notifying the driver should its camera detect the vehicle straying unintentionally from its lane, while the Bose® audio system channels a rumble strip sound through the speaker on the corresponding side of the car. Optional on the 160ps Sport Nav, the £400 Safety Pack adds High Beam Control and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
High Beam Control uses a camera to detect the headlights and taillights of other vehicles, automatically switching between high and low beams to improve darkness visibility and reduce night driving fatigue at the same time as preventing the impairment of other motorists’ vision.
Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) uses a 24GHz quasi-millimetre wave radar to detect approaching vehicles in blind spots to the side and rear of the car. By flashing a visual warning in the respective door mirror BSM makes the driver aware of the vehicle in the blind spot and will sound a buzzer if the driver signals to change lanes into the path of the an approaching car. Mazda’s BSM system also incorporates Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which uses the BSM’s sensors and warning signals to alert the driver of other vehicles when reversing.
When a crash is unavoidable, the latest MX-5 is designed to protect occupants from harm. The MX-5’sSKYACTIV-Body delivers excellent collision protection and in spite of the shorter front and rear overhangs the new cars unique structure and lightweight high-strength materials ensure the MX-5’s body absorbs and disperses impact energy to prevent cabin deformation. Frontal impacts are channelled around and underneath the cabin along a multi-load path via the side sills, B-Frame and tunnel section. To ensure the soft top MX-5 has the strength needed to resist side impacts without a fixed roof, there’s a seatback cross-member connecting the right and left sides of the body at the rear edge of the side sills. Together with other enhancements, like reinforced side sills, seatback brackets the Mazda MX-5 effectively disperses side impact energy throughout the body, while the strong A-Pillars and seatback bars protect occupants in the event of a rollover accident.
As for pedestrians, the evolved active bonnet automatically rises during an impact to protect a persons’ head by expanding the space between the bonnet and engine. New sensor technology compensates for the new MX-5’s 28mm lower bonnet by raising it higher during an impact. Inside the bonnet, impact absorbing beads also soften the blow, while energy-absorbing foam in the front bumper beam protects the knees, while a lower bumper stiffener prevents legs from sliding under the car.
A truly modern sports car, the Mazda MX-5 comes with the reassurance of 21st century safety technology, without the need to compromise its lightness and care-free nature.