· First, the location and feel of the major controls is quite excellent. The three-spoke steering wheel is an MX-5 specific item – it's not shared with any other Mazda. That's vital, because others would likely be too big in diameter or have the wrong rim thickness. The wheel's redundant controls seem to be well laid out and the airbag boss is very small.
· Pedals are well-spaced, and the six-speed manual has the same short throws and positive engagement that we've come to know and love.
· The more supportive seats are positioned closer to the floor of the car, and the slightly wider passenger cell itself seems to be set a bit further back in the wheelbase than the NC.
· Legroom feels roughly analogous to the NC, mirroring what we've been told. Headroom is said to be about the same as the exiting car as well.
· We haven't measured it, but it looks like the new car has a longer dash-to-axle ratio, too. Combine all that with a lower hood, lower ride height and a slightly faster windshield rake, and you've got the recipe for a racier feel from behind the wheel.
· Speaking of the view out, the front fenders are more pronounced, giving an evocative view out of the windshield and providing a clearer idea of where the front wheels are placed in corners.
- The twist-to-start ignition of the NC has been replaced with a proper pushbutton.
- Whereas the NC's redline is listed at 7,000 rpm (6,700 rpm on automatic models), the large, centrally mounted tachometer on the ND suggests its new SkyActiv engine will be happy to rev to at least 7,400 rpm.