2017 Mazda MX-5 RF – reader test team review

A little more than a year on from the launch of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 soft-top roadster, the RF hard-top version has arrived. What do *What Car?* readers think of it?...

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Kris Culmer
4 Jan 2016 12:10 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Mark Hanson

Age: 52Job: IT & FinanceDrives: Mini Cooper S

‘Before my Mini Cooper S, which I’ve never really liked, I had a Honda S2000, which was fabulous – every mile was a joy. Before that, I had an MG F, so I have a love for impractical two-seat sports cars.

‘To replace my Mini, I have a budget of £30,000, and I want something with a hard-top, because in reality you spend most of the time with the roof up. Right now, the MX-5 RF is really the only car on the market that meets those criteria.

‘I was certainly concerned about practicality and storage. There’s no glovebox, and it would have been nice to have one, but there is a little cubbyhole between the front seats. However, it’s a compromise you expect in a car like this.’

‘My main concern is space, because I’m six feet two inches tall. Leg room is fine, although it does require me to drive in an odd position. Head room is marginal – I’m not convinced, and I’d need to drive it to see if it would be comfortable.

‘From an engineering perspective, the folding roof is a very clever, elegant design. It’s easy to use, too, and from Mazda’s track record it should be reliable.

‘I’m not so sure about the infotainment screen. It’s quite ‘sticky-uppy’, and it draws your attention naturally when you’re just sat stationary in the car.

‘I like the short throw of the gearstick, and the design of the high centre console means you can just rest your arm on it and shift without really any effort at all; it’s pretty similar to the S2000’s layout, which feels really engaging.’

Rated 5 out of 5

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF – reader test team review

See more of the Mazda MX-5 in our video review below.

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