Mazda's MX-5 RF is a natural expansion of the sports-car that's become a modern classic since the first generation debuted in 1989. Instead of the traditional fabric roof, the Retractable Fastback has a hard top that gives the car some more sound insulation and helps keep the outside out. That said, it'll still open up wide when you're ready to let the sun it.
After some big engine and cabin changes last year, this year, the MX-5 RF gets some new paint options, along with a red leather interior option that can add some pop to the sports car's looks.
The Mazda MX-5 RF comes with a 2.0L four and your choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. Unlike the soft top, the RF comes as the GS-P trim to start. That means 17-inch alloys, LED lights, and rain-sensing wipers. Infotainment is via a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Cruise control is standard, along with a tilt/telescope wheel, and the active safety suite includes smart city braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high-beams. The GS-P also has a Bose audio system with headrest speakers and a noise-isolating windshield. The seats are heated for cold-weather roof opening.
Manual RF GS-P cars get a strut-tower brace, limited-slip rear differential, and sport suspension with Bilstein shocks.
RF GT cars come with gunmetal instead of black wheels and a liner for the top. They get navigation for the infotainment system along with SiriusXM satellite radio. The HVAC gains automatic climate controls and there is a 4.6-inch digital dash display. Leather seats are standard as are adaptive front lights.
Other than the automatic, options are limited on MX-5 RF. GS-P cars can be had with a sport package that adds fixed-caliper Brembo brakes, special 17-inch wheels, and Recaro sport seats finished in Nappa leather and Alcantara. GT models can get an Exclusive package with piano black top and the red Nappa leather seats, or a Grans Sport pack with the Sport pack brakes, piano black top, and the red interior.
The Mazda MX-5 has an estimated fuel consumption of 9.0/6.6/7.9 L/100 km city, highway, combined with the automatic transmission and 9.0/7.0/8.1 with the manual. It requires premium gasoline.
While there aren't many small affordable roadsters left, the MX-5 competes with the Fiat 124, a version of the same car with different bodywork and a turbocharged engine. It also competes with lower-spec versions of Audi's TT and Toyota's Supra four-cylinder or the BMW Z4, as well as the convertible version of the Nissan 370Z.
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