New Mazda MX-5 RF Review

Mazda's brilliant MX-5 gets the safety and security of a hardtop roof

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • New roof brings dynamic new look
  • Peppy, efficient engines
  • Wonderful handling
  • Hot hatchs are faster
  • Just two seats
  • Small boot

£22,495 - £27,595 Price range

2 Seats

40 - 47 MPG


The Mazda MX-5 RF is an MX-5 with a difference – the ‘RF’ standing for Retractable Fastback – it has a folding hardtop roof that gives it a unique advantage over its direct (and arguably only) rival, the Fiat 124. The three-part hardtop folds neatly and leaves a targa style portion of the roof exposed, much like a Ferrari 575 Superamerica, if you’re prepared to use your imagination…

The top spec Launch Edition –  limited to just 500 cars – asks for a £1,900 premium over the next-in-line model and features BBS alloy wheels, black door mirrors, a black rear spoiler and a spruced-up interior featuring Recaro seats and Alcantara trim. The flagship also features Mazda’s unique Takuminuri paint process, which according to the firm gives the impression that the body was sculpted from a solid block of steel. The jury is still out on that one…

The RF range uses the same engines as the rest of the MX-5 range, so buyers can choose from a 1.5 litre producing 131hp and a 2.0 litre producing 160hp.

Aside from being 5mm taller than the soft top, that’s where the differences end – so you can expect the RF to offer superb smile-per-mile value thanks to its eager performance and nimble handling. Motorway refinement, meanwhile,  should be vastly improved – instantly addressing one of the fabric-roofed car’s few weaknesses.  

The all-new Mazda MX-5 RF is available to pre-order now, priced from £22,195 for the 1.5-litre SE L model.  It will arrive in dealerships on the 4th March 2017 and we’ll have a full review of the RF in the coming months.

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