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First Impression: The Mazda Miata RF Is a Perfect Little Sports Car

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author photo by Will Kinton November 2017

By now, the Mazda Miata is a known quantity. It's been around for 27 years at this point, and it has stayed true to the original formula throughout that entire time: It's a small, simple, reasonably powered and affordable convertible that can be driven every day. Now, Mazda has thrown the Miata RF into the mix -- a Miata with a "retractable fastback" option that's reminiscent of the $108,000 Porsche 911 Targa. So how does it hold up?

Well, based on my brief time with the Mazda Miata RF, it holds up very well.

First off, in my opinion, the latest Miata looks fantastic -- inside and out -- and that's especially true of the RF. The new fastback roofline is a welcome visual addition -- and when the top is up, the entire roofline is blends seamlessly together. Inside, the interior feels upscale and comfortable, with leather seats, body color accents and some neat vents. It's a nice place to be. The roof goes up and down seamlessly and almost silently. On the road, it drives like any other new-generation "ND" Miata -- and you really don't notice the 112 pounds of extra roof. The Miata RF is a lot of fun to drive, and it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Like all other Miatas, it carries speed through corners very well -- and while it isn't the most powerful sports car on the road, 155 horsepower is plenty when the car only weighs 2,400 pounds.

Unlike other Miatas, though, the RF requires you to make fewer compromises. The hard top allows the climate control to work better, as it's better insulated and more airtight. It also helps with some sound deadening, though the interior is still fairly noisy at speed. At the end of the day, this is a more refined Miata that would make a more livable daily driver than the original -- and I think that makes it worth the price of over $32,000. Sure, you won't be able to take the kids to school or the entire family on a big road trip... but if your family already has a van or SUV, why shouldn't you be able to drive the perfect little sports car?

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
First Impression: The Mazda Miata RF Is a Perfect Little Sports Car - Autotrader