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?...
Space and practicality
Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot
The MX-5 is cramped inside. If you’re tall, a shortage of head room is the main complaint when the roof is up, while leg and elbow room are merely adequate. Storage space is in short supply, too; there’s a lidded cubby between the seatbacks and a shallow tray under the central armrest, but no glovebox or door pockets. And no rear seats, of course.
The Mini is therefore the default choice for anyone needing a degree of practicality. Up front, it’s reasonably roomy all round, even if you’re tall, and there are storage spaces everywhere. With the roof up, it’s a bit of a palaver getting into its two rear seats, but there’s enough space for a couple of average-sized adults to be content for a short trip.
The Mini’s boot can hold three carry-on suitcases with the roof up, but that drops to two when the roof is down. The 50/50 split-folding rear seats free up more space when it’s required, while there are levers by the boot’s entrance to release the rear of the roof, so you can lift it up to get bulky items through the otherwise narrow aperture.
Although the MX-5’s boot is relatively square and remains the same size whether its roof is up or down, you won’t fit more than a couple of carry-on suitcases inside.
Mazda MX-5 RF
Official boot capacity 127 litres Suitcase capacity 2
MX-5 is a strict two-seater; leg room is reasonable, but head room is tight with the roof up. Storage space is limited to a cubby between the seatbacks and one under the central armrest. Small boot is good for weekend luggage only.
Official boot capacity 215-463 litres Suitcase capacity 3 (2 with roof down)
Up front, there’s much more leg and head room (with the roof up) than the MX-5. Rear seats are okay for kids or occasional use by adults. Lowering the roof eats into boot space, but you can lift the back of it to aid access.