2013 Mazda MX-5 gets a facelift and feature tweaks

By KBB.com Editors on July 5, 2012 10:28 AM

Although it’s U.S. introduction won’t take place until late this summer, images of the just-released home-market version of the 2013 Mazda Miata provide an early look at what we can expect when the car does go on sale here. The changes, while fairly subtle, enhance both the visual and mechanical aspects of this sporty 2-seat roadster and also add a modest measure of differentiation between the soft top and power retractable hardtop (PRHT) variants.

Key visual distinctions for the 2013 MX-5 are found up front, where a slightly larger, deeper grille plus a reshaped chin spoiler and new fog-light bezels add a bit more aggressive character to the mix. While the soft top retains the existing dark-grey metallic alloy wheels, the PRHT variation wears a new 17-inch alternative design finished in matte silver and also features chrome instead of black surrounds on its main lamp surrounds. Inside, the MX-5’s cabin boasts revised and upgraded fabric/leather/Alcantara trim -- including a new tan leather option -- as well as new finishes on various other interior accent elements.

Although the basic powertrain components on the 2013 MX-5 carry over unchanged, Mazda has modified the computer throttle-control programming on cars fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission to deliver more linear response when accelerating out of corners. The brake booster control on all MX-5 models also was changed to improve pedal feel and modulation characteristics. Save for a few of the lesser interior revamps, Mazda has indicated that that all of these revamps will be found on American-spec 2013 MX-5s. The one item that remains uncertain is whether the new "Active Hood" -- a pedestrian-protection system that raises the rear of the hood when a frontal impact occurs to reduce the potential for head injuries -- will be fitted to MX-5s sold here.