First Drive

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF verdict-and-specs

Joining the regular MX-5 soft-top, the Mazda MX-5 RF features a folding hard-top and is charged with bringing more refinement to this popular sports car. But has it succeeded?

Words ByJohn Howell

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Mazda MX-5 RF rear

Should I buy one?

We can certainly see the point of the MX-5 RF if you fancy a small, fun sports car and have thus far been put off by the limitations of the soft-top package. The RF gives you the sense of being securely cocooned, and the reduction in road noise does, up to a point, deliver a more relaxing drive.

Yet to make the RF really justify its sizable Β£2000 premium over the regular soft-top, Mazda needs to sort out the wind noise, and doing so would make the RF considerably more refined than its cheaper sibling. Until then, however, the Mazda MX-5 Convertible, not the RF, remains our favourite for less than Β£25,000.

What Car? says...

Rated 4 out of 5

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Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 160

Engine size 2.0-litre petrol

Price from Β£23,095

Power 158bhp

Torque 148lb ft

0-62mph 7.4sec

Top speed 134mph

Fuel economy (official combined) 40.9mpg

CO2/BIK band 161g/km/29%

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