New Mini Convertible vs Mazda MX-5 RF

With the sun shining, you might be tempted by a drop-top such as the Mazda MX-5 RF or Mini Convertible. Which one deserves the warmer reception?...

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What Car? team
10 Aug 2017 06:00 | Last updated: 21 Sep 2018 16:18

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

​ The MX-5’s driving position won’t suit everyone. Its steering wheel adjusts up and down only, and there’s no seat height or lumbar adjustment, although you can tilt the base for more thigh support.

The Mini’s is much better. The wheel moves in all directions, the seat adjusts for height, and while lumbar adjustment costs £590 (which includes leather trim), the seat is more supportive even without it. In fact, the Mini’s interior is more appealing overall, thanks to its bolder design and higher-quality materials.

New Mini Convertible vs Mazda MX-5 RF

Both cars’ pedals are offset slightly to the right – awkward if you’re short in the leg – but the MX-5 also has a bulge in the side of the transmission tunnel that encroaches on the footwell.

Forward visibility is good in both, but you can see little over your shoulder when their roofs are up. Not that things are much better with them down; the MX-5’s buttresses partially obscure what’s behind, while the Mini’s roof sits on its rear deck and blocks most of your rearward view, although at least it comes with rear parking sensors.