- 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. The column tilts, but unfortunately and somewhat inexplicably, it still doesn't telescope.
- 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, but without being able to put up the soft top, that's hard to assess.
- 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. Zippy.
- The window switches have been relocated to the doors from the center console where they have long been placed. Blame the encroachment of the Mazda Connect infotainment controller knob for the loss of tradition.
- Speaking of Mazda Connect, we didn't notice a backup camera on the ND's rump, but presumably one will be available for the first time now that the seven-inch screen is on the dashboard. Navigation will definitely be available for the first time.
- In other Connect-equipped vehicles, Mazda offers a novel head-up display that projects key information, including vehicle speed and turn-by-turn directions, onto a thin, transparent piece of plastic in the driver's line of sight. We didn't see that technology on the reveal cars, but when the system was introduced on the Mazda3, officials made a very big deal of telling us how compact and lightweight the unusual system is versus more traditional HUD setups. Could it make it to the Miata's options list? We wouldn't bet against it.
- Unlike before, we were able to lift the lid on the center console storage that doubles as an armrest, and it's a shallow well, with no additional cupholders. As mentioned previously, latte-hugging duty will be left to the afterthought plug-in unit in the passenger-side footwell and those located adjacent the occupants' inboard hips. The door-pocket bottle holders of the NC are gone.
- Also conspicuous by its absence is a glovebox. Instead, primary paperwork and oddment storage duties in the cabin will fall to the lockable storage bin in the rear bulkhead between the seats. We were unable to open it to see how capacious it is.
- Seat heaters show three levels of intensity, but there's no sign of a cooling feature, something that would add weight and complexity but would be nice for hot days. The latter could be an unrepresented option, of course.
- On the subject of heat, we didn't notice any climate control 'knee' vents as in the ND's predecessors. Bummer.
- Mazda has pledged that the Miata will finally receive good connectivity – Bluetooth streaming audio isn't even an option on the current model and Bluetooth hands-free telephony is part of a $1,390 bundle. We're betting both will be standard on the ND, as they are on every Mazda3 save the base four-door SV sedan. Ahead of the gearshift, the display models featured a pair of USB inputs as well as what appears to be an SD card reader.
- One of the two show cars was fitted with lane-departure warning and stop/start. It's not immediately clear whether either tech will be offered in the US, but we wouldn't be surprised if both are.
Perhaps most importantly for the car's financial success, Mazda has finally made a number of key technologies available (better connectivity, navigation, etc.), developments that should help make the Miata more attractive not just to a wider audience, but to existing owners who need incentive to upgrade from their present cars. And while purists may bemoan the presence of new tech like the large touchscreen and multicontroller, provided such pieces are optional (and/or don't interfere with the business of enthusiastic driving), the Miata's future will be brighter for their inclusion.
We've had our say, now what say you? What do you think of the 2016 MX-5 Miata's new interior? Speak your mind in Comments. Further, the author notes that if you have any specific questions about the car – bearing in mind that we've shared with you all we've been given about the specs – he will go look at the car again today and try to answer your questions about it either in Comments or more immediately on his Twitter account, @CPAutoblog.