CONVERTIBLE WITH ATTITUDE
This Mazda will delight any driver
It is Mazda’s delightful little MX-5 convertible plaything with added attitude, all thanks to an origami-esque folding hardtop. This is the Mazda MX-5 RF, which stands for Retractable Fastback, hardening up, if you will, the iconic roadster which normally only features a manually folding soft top.
The RF makes that little task easier. Press a button in the cabin and in a smidge over 10 seconds the roof cleverly and smoothly divides into sections and tucks itself behind your headrests without encroaching on boot space. Like a Japanese zen garden, its folding beauty pleases and relaxes your very soul.
Mazda reckons this new model will broaden the appeal of the MX-5 to those who typically eschew soft-top convertibles, but it also brings its own unique fastback styling to give a different aesthetic, has the feel of greater security and insulation thanks to a hard top, and, well, it’s quite cool.
Insulated from the world with the metal roof in place, it feels just like a normal coupe – safe, secure and cosseting.
The RF comes with a 118kw 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which offers performance enough for such a lightweight little sports car. And rest assured the model’s fine balance and handling is readily available to anyone who seeks out driving thrills on twisty back roads.
And it still looks good value for those seeking a style statement or weekend plaything without needing the space for more than one passenger.
The RF costs $38,550 before on-road costs with a six-speed manual gearbox (the fun one), or $40,550 if you want an automatic gearbox (the one for the cruisers and city dwellers).
If you’re in love with storage space the MX-5 RF won’t be for you as there’s no glove box or bins in the doors.
And while boot volume isn’t bad for a folding hard-top car, it’ll still only swallow a couple of overnight bags.
But you do get some goodies for your money. There’s classy 17-inch alloys, a seven-inch screen, air-con, cruise control, Bluetooth for your phone and internet radio integration for the likes of Pandora or Spotify.
Spend an extra $5340 for a GT edition and you get leather heated seats, a Bose sound system, keyless entry and the option of a two-tone retractable roof.
There really is little else on the market quite like the MX-5 RF for the money. And you could spend a lot more cash on something different and never get the pure joy and smiles this delightful little car offers.