Mazda’s all-new MX-5 roadster is a little miracle.

It’s smaller, lighter, as good or better to drive, safer, better equipped and costs barely more than the 1989 original.

In its fourth-generation form, the ND series, the world’s most popular sports car is utterly delightful.

Roadster ($31,990) and Roadster GT ($37,990) variants are available initially with a 1.5 litre engine and choice of six-speed transmissions.

Both are comprehensively equipped. The GT’s extra include heated seats with Bose speakers in the headrests and navigation – but for me, less is more in the MX-5.

The 98 kW engine is adequate, not generous, but the MX-5 overcomes this with ability to comfortably maintain its speed through bends.

Cornering and steering are as precise as the 1989 original – or arguably better thanks to modern tyres – and the ride surprisingly as supple as many larger sedans.

The superseded NC model ended up with a folding hard top, but the new car reverts to fabric and one-handed manual operation. Again, it’s all you need.

Considering the MX-5 has achieved almost one million sales worldwide, it’s amazing no other maker has successfully attempted an inexpensive open sports car.

Perhaps it’s because the pure and simple MX-5 is too perfect to match.

Optional 2.0 litre models will arrive in a few months.