The 2019 Mazda MX-5 has been named Best Sports Car for less than £30,000 at the annual What Car? Awards. What Car’s recognition of the 2.0 Sport Nav+ means the current fourth-generation of Mazda’s iconic sports car has won an award from What Car? every year since its debut.

Launched in September last year, the upgraded 2019 Mazda MX-5 benefits from enhanced dynamic performance, improved safety equipment and driver comfort refinements. At the forefront of this technical upgrade is a more powerful and higher-revving version of the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine. Substantially redesigned with lighter pistons and con-rod, the 2.0-litre engine also features revisions to the camshafts and exhaust valves, fuel injectors, throttle valve and air intake. The end result is an increase from 160ps to 184ps and a heightened redline, which rises from 6,800 to 7,500rpm. In addition with higher fuel pressure and more efficient combustion, there’s an increase in torque across the rev range, while peak torque rises by 5Nm.

As a result on the convertible 0-62mph performance improves by 0.8 of a second to 6.5seconds, while manual and automatic RF models see a 0.6 and 0.5 second increase, respectively, while tuning of the main silencer delivers a cleaner more powerful engine note. Across all models in the range, the 2019 MX-5 now features telescopic steering adjustment to further enhance driver comfort and improve the famous Jinba Ittai ‘car-and-driver as one’ ethos that sits at the heart of the MX-5 experience.

Commenting on its victory, What Car? Editor Steve Huntingford said: “the sports car class feels like a natural fit for the MX-5, because it now produces more power than ever before while putting an even bigger smile on your face. It’s one of the most entertaining cars on sale today and it remains affordable to buy and run.”

Starting from £18,995, the MX-5 convertible is offered in SE+, SE-L Nav+, Sport Nav+ and new GT Sport Nav+ trim, while from £22,595  the RF is available in SE-L Nav+, Sport Nav+, and GT Sport Nav+,with the higher two trims available with an automatic gearbox.  Standard safety equipment has increased with Sport Nav+ cars and above now featuring Front Smart City Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning System, Rear Smart City Brake Support, Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Attention Alert, while Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive LED headlights and a reversing camera are standard on GT Sport Nav+ and optional as a safety pack on Sport Nav+.

Available to order now, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 was also recognised by What Car?, with the Skyactiv-G 165 2WD SE-L Nav+ taking the Best Large SUV for less than £28,000 category.

 “The fact that the CX-5 is more rewarding to drive than any of its competitors completes a very strong package which also includes a high-quality interior and a long list of standard equipment. It’s this combination that makes it unbeatable at this price point”, commented, What Car? Editor, Steve Huntingford.

Now featuring Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM as standard across the range, the 2019 Mazda CX-5’s bold and elegant styling remains unaltered, however Mazda’s unremitting commitment to driver engagement has seen subtle tweaks to the CX-5’s suspension set-up to further refine the CX-5’s well-regarded balance of agile handling and comfortable ride quality. A thicker front-anti roll bar, smaller rear anti-roll bar and revised front stabiliser bushings combine with new urethane material in the rear damper top mounts and amended damping valve structures to deliver the improvements. In addition, the 2019 CX-5 features an updated version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system – GVC Plus, which now features direct yaw control to enhance stability at speed.

Available with a choice of front-wheel drive 165ps petrol and 184ps all-wheel drive diesel drivetrains, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 range now features a new flagship GT Sport Nav+ model, which thanks to real wood and satin chrome trim, plus standard Nappa leather and black roof lining delivers the most luxurious Mazda SUV cabin yet. Also unique to this new flagship trim is a 7-inch colour TFT dial display and an exclusive steering wheel design with a chrome centre bezel and high-grade stitching. As you’d expect for a luxury SUV, the new GT Sport Nav+ features a host of equipment highlights over and above the well-equipped Sport Nav+ including: front seat ventilation, heated outer rear seats and sunroof. In addition to the extensive safety kit tally found across the range, the GT Sport Nav+’s standard Safety Pack includes Adaptive LED Headlights, Driver Attention Alert, Rear Smart City Brake Support and 360o View Monitor.  

Commenting on the launch of the updated 2019 CX-5, Mazda Motors UK Managing Director, Jeremy Thomson said, “the CX-5 showcases how Mazda can make an SUV that’s stylish, great to drive and capable of luring customers from premium badged rivals. The updates last year introduced new levels of sophistication to our large SUV, and the 2019 model ensures Mazda’s love of driving is even more apparent in the CX-5’s outstanding balance of ride and handling”.  

Adding, “the fact that over 80 per cent of CX-5s sold in the UK are Sport Nav+ trim shows that our customers value the superb blend of luxury and equipment offered by our high grade models, so with the introduction of the GT Sport Nav+ we now have a new model that offers even more exclusivity and interior comfort for discerning SUV buyers.”

All 2019 Mazda CX-5s feature a generous standard equipment tally that includes LED headlights, auto power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control. Highlights on Sport Nav+ cars include a reversing camera, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, Smart keyless entry, heated front seats and steering wheel, plus a power lift tailgate and a windscreen projecting head up display that features Traffic Sign Recognition.