NEW FOR 2009:

– Improved 2.0-litre engine and suspension
– Refreshed exterior
– Standard side impact airbags, MP3/WMA stereo functionality, auxiliary audio input, door pocket insert and soft-feel centre armrest
– GS adds standard air conditioning with climate control, trip computer, and premium decorative dash trim
– GT adds standard power retractable hard top, dynamic stability control, adjustable heated seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, Sirius-ready integrated satellite radio, Bluetooth, leather centre arm rest, console lid, door trim and parking brake handle; six-speed manual models add limited-slip differential and sport suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers
– GS and GT receive mesh-type front grille with chrome trim

For 2009, the Mazda MX-5 receives a number of upgrades, including engine improvements that increase horsepower from 166 to 167, but with improved fuel economy, and a mild facelift. The GT receives the bulk of the new features, and while the power retractable hard top is still optional on the GS trim line, it’s now standard on the GT. The GT also receives standard electronic stability control, which previously came on that trim line only when ordered with the optional Performance Package.

Originally known as the Miata, the MX-5 uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with one of three transmissions: a five-speed manual on the GX, and a six-speed manual on the GS and GT. All can be optioned to a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode that includes paddle shifters on the GS and GT.

There are also three tops available: a black vinyl roof on the GS, a black cloth roof on the GS, and the power retractable hard top, optional on the GS and standard on the GT.

Features on the GX include 16-inch alloy wheels, vinyl top with glass rear window and electric rear defogger, power mirrors, intermittent wipers, fog lights, black seatback bars, CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input, cruise control, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, power locks with keyless entry, auto-down windows, floor mats, reclining cloth seats, anti-theft alarm, and locking glovebox. Air conditioning is available as an option.

The GS adds 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning with climate control, sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, stability control, traction control, limited-slip differential, cloth top, mesh grille with chrome trim, silver seatback bars, premium dash trim, driver’s seat height adjuster, exterior temperature gauge, and trip computer.

The GT adds power retractable hard top, xenon headlamps, six-CD Bose stereo, Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, Intelligent Key with keyless start, and heated adjustable leather seats.

Still setting the standard for popularly-priced sport roadsters, the MX-5 benefits from numerous new features and handsome styling upgrades. It isn’t meant for very tall drivers, but is still relatively roomy for its footprint, and it offers superb steering, stiff but lightweight construction, and a marvelous clutch and shifter combination.

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