Reviews 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF review: Still the best after all these years

01:45  18 october  2019
01:45  18 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Is Excellent Regardless of Its Transmission

  The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Is Excellent Regardless of Its Transmission We'll always prefer Miatas with the stick shift, but Mazda's updates for 2019 work just as well with the optional automatic.The hardtop 2019 Miata RF shares its mechanicals with the Miata roadster, including a more powerful 2.0-liter inline-four that now produces 181 horsepower, up from the previous 155.

Mazda MX - 5 Miata RF Gets Even More Power For 2019 . But with all that added oomph, the Miata is better than it’s ever been. It’s still perfectly balanced and extremely tossable, and with the roof down The MX - 5 is still fun to drive out of the box, and with more power, it’s possibly the best Miata to date.

The 2019 Mazda MX - 5 Miata features extra grunt from its diminutive engine, but it simply makes The 2019 Mazda MX - 5 has more power than last year ’s model, but it doesn’t come at a big premium. Beyond the more adjustable steering, this is still the same smart cabin. Material quality is solid, the

Some things in life bring pure joy. Laughing to tears with your best pal. Playing with a dog on a beach. Or, to the point of this story, driving a 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata on a winding road with a full tank of gas and a cloudless sky. The Miata has no gimmicks like drive modes or gesture controls or personal artificial-intelligence assistants. When I'm in a Miata, it's just me, the car and the open road. Pure joy.

Affordable Roadsters: Fiat 124 Spider vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata

  Affordable Roadsters: Fiat 124 Spider vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata Summer inspires dreams of top-down, wind-in-your-hair road trips. (C’mon, who doesn’t love the idea of whizzing toward the beach in a convertible for two?) In these sporty numbers, you’ll sacrifi ce some space, ride comfort, and quiet for driving thrills. And many drop tops, like the BMW Z4 we recently tested, carry a price upward of $50,000. But there are some roadsters that offer zippy fun at a more practical price: the Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda MX-5 Miata. These two similar models are built by Mazda in Japan, but each has a slightly different character.

Above all else, the Mazda MX - 5 Miata RF is an absolute riot on road. Still , the lack of intuitive seat controls makes finding the right driving position difficult. Even the ability to move the driver’s seat up and down with the touch of a button would make all the difference (it currently relies on a hand-operated

The fun little Mazda MX - 5 Miata receives a few upgrades for the 2019 model year . They start with more potency in the MX - 5 's little four-cylinder The Club has several upgrade options to make it more daily usable and sporty, while the Grand Touring comes with all of the goodies and not as much of the fun.

Research the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF on MSN Autos | Find a Mazda Miata near you

The MX-5 is now in its 30th year, and over the course of four generations, the two-seat roadster hasn't changed all that much. These days, it comes with a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated I4 engine pushing out a modest 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. And now, in addition to a traditional soft-top, you can get the Miata RF, with a coupe-like back and a removable roof.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: Ravishing in red

The Miata has never been about power above all else, but that doesn't mean the Mazda is a slouch. The engine was retuned for 2019, adding 26 more horsepower and 3 more pound-feet of torque, with a 7,500-rpm redline. The gearing was changed slightly, too, for a quicker off-the-line experience. This might sound like hyperbole, but I promise, this is the best car I've driven this year.

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The Mazda MX - 5 Miata is synonymous with driving fun—I should know Read our 2019 Mazda MX - 5 Miata First Test here. Grand Touring models are now available with sharper handling thanks to the It's the best buy in the lineup, giving you the sharper handling of the Club without hurting ride comfort.

More Miata Mayhem! 2019 Mazda MX - 5 Miata RF Review : Makin’ Gains. Still , the 30th Anniversary Edition stands out as much for its orange hues and Rays wheels as it does for its features list, which includes convenience items such as rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high-beam headlights

This six-speed manual transmission goes into gear with a satisfying thwok, the throttle is responsive under my right foot, with linear power delivery, and the Brembo brakes offer firm, solid stopping power. Even with the ND-generation's loss of hydraulic power steering, which is more communicative than a new electric setup, the rack is pretty chatty, with just the right amount of weight.

All of this means the driver gets a better sense of what the car is doing, and it allows me to attack my favorite backroad with more confidence than I could in more powerful, more expensive cars. I just feel so much more in control. The Miata's 50/50 weight distribution helps with overall handling, as do the sticky, Bridgestone Potenza tires. But mostly, I love how predictable the Miata is. There's just enough body roll so I can sense when the rear end is about to break loose. I can easily get the car to rotate with just a smidge of throttle application. I can keep it in third gear the whole time, winding it up to that higher redline. Heel-toe shifting is easy, even with my dainty lady feet, so sometimes I'll bring it down to second gear even when I don't need to, just because I can blip that throttle like a boss.

Mazda MX-30 Electric Crossover Has Doors Like the RX-8's

  Mazda MX-30 Electric Crossover Has Doors Like the RX-8's Mazda's first EV sports body cladding, suicide doors, and the evocative MX moniker. Mazda's first full-electric model, the MX-30, is a crossover of an entirely new design.The new model made its debut at the Tokyo auto show.The MX-30's small rear "suicide" doors, body cladding, and generally sporty look are what one would expect from a Mazda with MX in its name.Mazda revealed its MX-30, a near-production crossover concept, at the Tokyo auto show today. The coupe-like concept is the automaker's first fully electric model.

The Mazda MX - 5 Miata is ranked #1 in Sports Cars by U.S. News & World Report. See the review , prices, pictures and all our rankings. Save money. Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find the best local prices on the MX - 5 Miata . MSRP: ,730 - 34,410.

Still hard to beat after all these years . RF doesn't sacrifice the fun-to-drive character. The Mazda Miata has been around for 30 years and the new MX - 5 stays true to what made the drop-top so popular among Our 2019 Mazda MX - 5 RF tester came with the Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT).

a red motorcycle parked next to a car engine: The Miata's 2.0-liter engine gets a bit more power for 2019, and different gearing to make it feel quicker off the line. Emme Hall/Roadshow© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The Miata's 2.0-liter engine gets a bit more power for 2019, and different gearing to make it feel quicker off the line. Emme Hall/Roadshow

Coming out of the twisties, the Miata won't win any straight-line speed contests, but it holds its own. High-speed commuting is a bit easier in the new Miata, thanks to a taller overdrive in sixth gear. At 80 mph, the engine isn't revving nearly as high, which helps with fuel economy. The EPA rates the Miata RF at 29 miles per gallon combined, but I'm seeing 28 mpg during a week of driving -- most of which is spent whipping this thing around as quickly as I can.

Most people who look forward to driving a Miata probably aren't too worried about driver-assistance technology. After all, this car doesn't have adjustable driving modes, and only this year received a telescopic steering wheel. Mazda isn't too concerned with things like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. My tester has blind-spot monitoring, which is a nice addition to the RF since the fixed pillars cut some visibility. Lane-departure warning is useful here, too.

The 2020 Mazda MX-30 Is an EV That’ll Bring Back the Rotary

  The 2020 Mazda MX-30 Is an EV That’ll Bring Back the Rotary This crossover is Mazda's first electric car. It revives the suicide doors from the RX-8, and will eventually have a rotary.Like a lot of new high-riding cars, the 2020 Mazda MX-30 sports a coupe-esque design, with a dramatically sloped C-pillar. The B-pillar is integrated into the rear door, allowing for easy access to the back seats and a cool pillarless look when the both doors are open. Combined with a slim front grille that integrates into the headlights, the MX-30 has a handsome, neat look.

2019 MAZDA MX - 5 Miata Options. New this year is an optional brown soft top, plus three packages. Club models can be ordered with an Great car and there is nothing else out there that beats it bang for buck. If you want more power see flyinMiata and you'll still be the best value out there hands down.

First, a sad disclaimer: After more than 25 years of driving Miatas , this was my first-ever test car with an automatic transmission. I took my first sight of that During those uncountable hours, the hardtop is easily the better Miata , because it’s nearly as quiet and vibration-free as a conventional coupe.

Mazda Connect isn't the most robust infotainment system, housed on a 7-inch screen that you can only work by touch when the car is stopped. Embedded navigation is only standard on the top two trims, and you can only get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the sold-out 30th Anniversary trim. New for 2019 is traffic-sign recognition, which I guess is nice to have if you have a heavy right foot. But overall, this is not a great infotainment system.

There's cool tech in the RF's roof mechanism, at least. One button lowers the top in about 13 seconds and it stows neatly under the rear pillars without hindering trunk space. After all, with such a small trunk, every cubic foot counts.

a close up of a car: The Recaro seats are comfortable and supportive, but the Mazda Connect infotainment tech leaves a lot to be desired. Emme Hall/Roadshow© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The Recaro seats are comfortable and supportive, but the Mazda Connect infotainment tech leaves a lot to be desired. Emme Hall/Roadshow

Taller drivers might have a hard time fitting behind the wheel of the Miata, but the new tilt and telescoping steering wheel can at least aid in driving-position comfort. My tester's Recaro seats are supportive, but still soft enough to make commuting easy. They're heated, too, so the top can come down in December and ye olde buns shall remain hot-crossed.

There's no glovebox in the MX-5, just a small, lockable compartment between the seat backs. There isn't really much of a center console, either, and the cup holders should win an award for Least Ergonomic Placement Of An In-Car Feature. At least they're removable from their place directly in front of the aforementioned lockable bin, with a slot for one near the passenger's knee. If you're a frequent in-car beverage-haver, you'll want to permanently affix one in this position. Having to twist my arm backwards every time I want a sip of Diet Dr. Pepper gets really old, really fast.

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The Good The Mazda MX - 5 Miata still offers some of the best driving feel on the road thanks to a balanced chassis and excellent handling. The 2019 model offers more enthusiast-friendly top-end power, more flexible steering wheel positioning and new standard and optional safety tech.

The 2019 Mazda MX - 5 Miata ’s revised, more powerful 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine makes it even better to drive. We have cared a lot about the Mazda MX - 5 Miata for nearly three decades. So, too, have the thousands of loyal Miata owners who race their cars, modify their cars, and take them to

As far as the competition goes, there isn't really anything else in the two-seat, rear-wheel-drive convertible segment for under $30,000. Yes, there's the Fiat 124 Spider , which is based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata , but it has softer handling and it's a lot uglier. Why own a Fiata when you can just get a Miata?

a red car parked in a parking lot: Whether you choose the standard version or the hardtop RF, you can't go wrong with any version of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Emme Hall/Roadshow© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Whether you choose the standard version or the hardtop RF, you can't go wrong with any version of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Emme Hall/Roadshow

Really, the Miata's closest competitors are the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 twins, which follow the same low-weight/low-power/excellent-handling ethos. A Mini Cooper is also fun to throw around, but it's not quite the same. Some folks shop the Miata with a Ford Mustang , which I guess I get, but come on, the Mustang is more of a linebacker while the Miata is a graceful ballerina.

I will admit, I currently own a turbocharged 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata, which is basically the perfect MX-5. But if I had to trade up for a new one, I'd definitely stick with the soft-top model over the RF, as I prefer the fully roofless experience. Make mine a Club trim with the Brembo brakes, BBS wheels and Recaro seats, and fit it with the six-speed manual transmission. I mean, I get that some people can't or aren't able to drive a stick, but really, all Miatas should be manuals. The test car you see here costs $38,995, but my perfect car is slightly less-expensive $35,800, including $820 for destination.

Research the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF on MSN Autos | Find a Mazda Miata near you

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is not a perfect car for everyone. The tech sucks, it's impractical as hell and lot of taller folks simply can't fit inside it. But it's the perfect car for me, and a whole lot of other car enthusiasts. No other car punches above its weight like the Miata, and no other car makes me smile as much, either. I wouldn't drive anything else.

This was originally published on Roadshow.

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