As the name suggests, the electric, fully-automated top on the MX-5 RF retracts and folds neatly into a compartment behind the seats and in front of the trunk. The targa design does not negatively impact trunk space with the top up or down, unlike folding hardtop convertibles, which either have very limited trunk access or diminished trunk capacity when the convertible top is in the folded position.
Mazda has never built an MX-5 coupe–the RF is as close as they have come, but with the added bonus of being able to open up to the skies with the press of a button.
HARD-TOP OR SOFT-TOP?
MORE HORSEPOWER FOR 2019
Our Test Car: 2018 Mazda MX-5 RF GT
EXTERIOR COLOUR: Soul Red Crystal Metallic
– SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission
– Power retractable hard top
– 17″ alloy wheels
– Sport suspension with Bilstein shocks
– Limited slip differential
– Strut tower bar
– Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring
– Rear Cross Traffic Alert
– High Beam Control System
– LED headlights with LED signature lighting
– LED rear combination lights
– Auto headlight leveling
– LED DRLs
– Auto on/off headlights
– 7″ colour touchscreen display with Mazda Connect
– HMI Commander
– Bose premium audio system with 9 speakers (including driver and passenger headrest speakers and subwoofer)
– USB (2) and auxiliary inputs
– Push button start
– Advanced keyless entry system
– Air conditioning with automatic controls
– 4.6″ colour MID in gauge cluster
– Rain-sensing wipers
- Grand Sport Package – $3,600
- Piano black hard top
- 17-inch BBS forged wheels (dark finish)
- Brembo front brakes (opposed piston design/unique rotor) red painted front and rear brake calipers
- Nappa leather seating with premium KODO stitching
- piano black power exterior mirrors
- Soul Red Crystal Metallic Paint – $450
2018 Mazda MX-5 RF GT base price: $39,300
Price as tested: $46,350
Plus freight, PDI, taxes and fees: $48,145
For us, choosing between the fastback and soft-top would come down to how much highway driving we were going to do. If the purpose of buying an MX-5 is mostly for weekend drives in the country, we would take the soft-top. It provides classic top down open-air driving, fewer blind spots, costs less and is 110 pounds lighter than the RF (2,348 versus 2,458 pounds for the RF). But, if we wanted to get more use out of the MX-5, drive it until the snow flies and again once it starts to melt in the spring, we would take the RF. Especially if we were going to use it more as a commuter car involving regular highway driving. With the top in place, the MX-5 RF provides its occupants with a very civilized environment at highway speeds, one appropriate for conversation with a passenger, or with anyone on the phone via the great Bluetooth phone system including speakers in the driver’s seat headrest.
The MX-5 RF provides miles and miles (or kilometers and kilometers) of folding fastback fun.