If you’re in the market for an affordable, reliable, and fun-to-drive roadster these days, the Mazda MX-5 should top your list, but is its hardtop RF sibling as interesting as the soft-top variant?
If you don’t mind paying about £2,000 ($2,460) more in the UK market for the RF, then the answer is a definite yes, says CarBuyer’s review, but be careful on what options you get, as its price could easily reach £26,000 ($31,950).
On the plus side, the Mazda MX-5 RF is good looking, comfortable, it feels light, and the steering is good, no matter if you go for the 1.5-liter petrol, with 129 horses, or the larger 2.0-liter unit that produces 157 HP.
Due to the added weight of the solid folding roof, and the extra sound deadening, you might want to go for the latter. In combination with the 6-speed manual gearbox, it’s apparently the best choice. And at under 35 UK mpg (8.1 l/100 km / 29.14 US mpg), it’s not that thirsty either.
With standard 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, climate control and cruise control, the SE-L Nav model is also nicely equipped, but opt for the Sport Nav, and you’ll get leather heated seats and a Bose audio system as well.
There are a few drawbacks, though, especially if you’re tall, as you may struggle to find a comfortable driving position, due to the low roofline. Its boot size can only host a midsize suitcase, and the visibility is poorer than the regular MX-5.
These ‘problems’ could be solved by going for a hot hatch, but are you willing to sacrifice the open-top look and superb handling just so you get more storage spaces and a bigger boot?