• A Sexy Flying Buttress: 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Hardtop Convertible First Drive Review


    The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF is as close to a two-door Mazda coupe as you can buy today. The RF stands for ‘Retractable Fastback’ and Mazda designers did their best to make the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF (that’s a Miata) for all us Americans look like a hardtop coupe.

    By adding flying buttress to 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF they designed the sexiest Miata ever to come out of the factory in Japan. The flying buttress makes the car look longer and more swept back as it was designed with a permanent hardtop instead of a retractable softtop.

    There’s a slight penalty to pay for looking so sexy. The hardtop convertible is 113 pounds heavier than the softtop version of the same car. Otherwise, the cars are almost identical. Horsepower and torque remain the same from an identical 2.0L normally aspirated 4 cylinder. What you gain in weight you more than make up for in the security of having a hardtop as well as more noise reduction when cruising with the top up.

    Watching the hardtop fold away is like watching a live Japanese origami ballet (watch below).  The choreographed motion is subtle, yet sophisticated at the same time. It takes 13 seconds to raise or lower the hardtop top. It can be done at up to 6 MPH. Mazda says that 6 MPH is when they found that a person’s hair starts to ruffle so that’s why they allow the operation of the roof only up to this speed.

    I recently had the chance to drive and review the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF in San Diego, California. Check out my first drive review below, and let me know in the comments if you agree that this is the sexiest Miata ever made.


    Roman Mica
    Roman Mica
    Roman Mica is a publisher, columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for EverymanTri.com as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is also a presenter for TFLcar’s very popular video review channels on YouTube.

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    2 thoughts on “A Sexy Flying Buttress: 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Hardtop Convertible First Drive Review

    1. Good take on the car, but one correction; the engine has 4 cylinders , not 6. I presume this is merely a typo in the tex above since I didn’t hear Roman say it in the video.

    2. As a 5’9″ guy, I find the Miata perfect sized. I’m on my third Miata right now (bought a used NC last month). A used RF is on the to-do list in a few years.

      Hey Roman, you must have the ear of the Mazda reps at shows. I’ve heard more than one tall guy bemoan Miata dimensions, so why don’t you plead the case for a 9/8th scale Miata stretch next time you see them? They could rename it the Gianta.

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