When is a Mazda Miata not a Mazda Miata? When it’s the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF.
This is not the kind of car you put into the background of the story. This is not the kind of car that you park in front of a rustic old barn to make it pop in photographs. This is the kind of car that can and should stand on its own whether you’re just looking or you’re driving.
(Let’s be honest though. I did park it in front of the overflow area of nearby Liberty Dam because I thought it would make a really cool photo.)
I tried not to make a big deal about having this gorgeous little roadster in bright Soul Red Metallic parked in my driveway for the week. I tried to ignore messages from neighbors asking me if they could take a ride in said roadster.
But I did make sure I put the top down every chance I got and zoomed all around town looking like I owned the road.
And it was on one of those days that I got a text from my friend whose son’s baseball team was doing a car washing fundraiser. She wanted to know if I’d like to get “that cute little car washed.” So she did notice my car and I did need it washed actually.
When I photograph a car, I like to have it at its shiniest best and the day the Mazda MX-5 RF was delivered happened to be a rainy day. On this particularly sunny day, I thought it was a good time (and reason) to get my car washed.
The kids were practically lining up to wash this one. I’m not sure if it was the color or the fact that it was one of the shortest (and, therefore, easiest) cars to wash!
Even one of the dads came over and asked when he could take delivery on his shiny new red car. I told him he could take it as long was he could drive a stick shift. That’s when he hung his head and sadly walked away.
Yes, this little roadster has all the makings of a great sports car, including the 6-speed manual transmission.
It had been a while since I used a manual transmission but this was the perfect car to ease back into it. This car was made to handle the road and its curves. While I was disappointed that the Mazda MX-5 RF didn’t have G-vectoring control like the Mazda6 I drove earlier this year, the front and rear stabilizer bars made this a handling machine.
But, let’s get real. It’s a convertible and there are some potential issues that come with a convertible. Not many but there are some special considerations, like…
Who wants to drive a convertible with the top up?
Answer: nobody. But sometimes weather requires you to put it up. And in this case, the Retractable Fastback (i.e., RF) gives you a hard top in seconds. It’s like driving a regular sports car.
Does the wind totally ruin your hair?
Ordinarily, yes. But with the fastback, you have a remaining roofline that slopes down behind you. And with the built-in windscreen, you’ll still have flyaways but you won’t be blown away.
And while it may look weird, if you put the side windows up while the top is down, the wind is minimal.
Can you talk to anyone on the phone while the top is down?
Of course, I prefer to just take in the scenery but I did have to field a few calls while I was driving. And even though Maryland is a hands-free state (it’s the law), I couldn’t have held my phone in my hand if I wanted to. I was too busy shifting and steering!
The speakers built-in to the head rests ensures not only that you can hear music, callers, and even your audiobook but the microphone ensures they hear you too (without all the wind noise).
Is there space for anything besides two people?
It’s a two-seater roadster. It’s not meant for long haul family trips. That said, you could do a weekend getaway or overnighter if you packed conservatively. The trunk is quite deep and I was able to fit a lot of groceries back there and even fit a small suitcase into the trunk.
If you have any other objections, I would venture to guess you’re not ready for this car yet. This car is for fun. It’s one of the first cars in a long time that had me turning down random roads just to go exploring.
And if you love the idea of a motorcycle but just don’t think it’s for you, try some time in a little roadster. You’ll still feel the temperature dips and smell the changes in the air. You’ll even be able to get close to nature.
This 2017 Mazda Miata MX-5 Grand Touring RF was provided to me for a week for editorial consideration. The vehicle I drove had a Soul Red Metallic exterior and Tan interior. As seen here, total MSRP is $34,310.
Want to learn more about the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF? Check out my full video review!