I first searched online to see if others had previously tried their hand at it, but only found vague answers. Since the safety of my children is everything, I turned to the MX-5's owner's manual.
The “Child Restraint” section has only six pages, but I did find the information I was looking for. Yes, folks, it is possible to install a child seat in this small two-seat roadster!
The Mazda MX-5 doesn't feature the ISOFIX/LATCH system on the passenger seat, so a child seat can only be installed and secured using the car's seatbelt. Before you start, it's imperative to ensure the front passenger airbag is disabled.
That's right: A child restraint should NEVER be used on the passenger seat with the airbag system activated.
The airbag is activated by weight sensors, not manually. These sensors will detect a passenger sitting in the seat and ultimately allow the airbag(s) to deploy in the event of a collision. You will know the airbag is deactivated if the light is illuminated. If it’s not lit up, the airbag WILL deploy on impact and your child is not safe in the front seat.
You need to make sure that nothing interacts with the seat or alters the weight of it during installation. And don't forget to slide the passenger seat as far back as it will go.
Once all of this is done, you can install the child seat by following the instructions in the owner's manual of the child seat. Any kind of seat can be fitted in the MX-5 including front-facing, rear-facing, and booster-type seats.
I encourage you to check the MX-5's manual to read all the instructions and warnings. Mazda Canada offers a PDF version on its website.
*The seats were installed in a 2015 Mazda MX-5.