2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible

2019 MODEL
$32,345 - $37,595

8.1

Overall Rating

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2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


CARHP Editorial Updated on: October 17, 2019


The Mazda MX-5 offers the 2 seater rear wheel drive- fun formula at a competitive price.The Miata is powered by a 2.0 liter inline-four engine that produces 181 hp. You might think the power output is too low to have fun. But you would be surprised when you get behind the wheel of a Miata.

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Pros

A clean design

Folding roof doesn 2019t disturb the rear cargo space

Handling that rivals cars double the price

Cons

The power foldable hardtop can be operated below 6 mph

Cabin noise at high speeds

What's New?

Power output gets a boost

Active safety features introduced


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$32345

bodystyle

2dr Convertible

passenger capacity

2

top speed

204 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

181 hp @ 7000 rpm

torque

151 lbs.-ft @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

58.9/59.2

dimensions

wheelbase

90.9 in.

length

154.1 in.

width

68.3 in.

height

49 in.

curb weight

2453 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

47.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

4.5 cu ft.

payload capacity

409 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3 sec.

zero to 100 mph

6.2 sec.

standing ¼-mile

10.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

26/29/34 mpg

highway range

404.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr. / 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

60 months. / 60000

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible in Black color  2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible in Fire Orange color  2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible in Soul Red Crystal Metallic color  2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible in Ceramic Metallic color  2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible in Arctic White color
Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Interior

7.5

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Club

Club

power
181 hp @ 7000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
30 combined

$32,345 - $32,945


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $32,345 MSRP (26/29/34) 181 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual rear wheel drive 2
Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $32,945 MSRP (26/30/35) 181 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 2

 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Grand Touring

Grand Touring

power
181 hp @ 7000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
30 combined

$33,335 - $34,410


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $33,335 MSRP (26/29/34) 181 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed manual rear wheel drive 2
Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $34,410 MSRP (26/30/35) 181 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 2

 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible 30th Anniversary

30th Anniversary

power
181 hp @ 7000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded
mpg
29 combined

$37,595


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
30th Anniversary 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $37,595 MSRP (26/29/34) 181 hp @ 7000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, premium unleaded
6-speed manual rear wheel drive 2

Expert Review

8.1

Overall Rating


The Miata RF holds it turf easily against the MINI Convertible and Fiat 124 Spider. But on the practical side, there isn’t much to expect. The cargo space can barely hold a single golf bag. The cabin is a tight fit for two. It even lacks clever commodity spaces to tuck in essentials like wallet and smartphone. The glove box is placed awkwardly, so accessing it while driving can be challenging.


8.0/10
Features

 
 
 

7.5/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Features

8.0/10

The Miata RF is available in two trims- Club and Grand Touring. The Club offers more sport-tuned hardware. If you seek more comfort and convenience of your Miata RF then Grand Touring trim offers a better list of features. Both these trims share identical engines and are offered with two transmission choices- manual or automatic transmission.

The Club variant is the sportiest with a manual transmission. It is offered with Limited Slip Differential, independent suspension and optional Brembo brakes and BBS wheels. The GT trim offers more creature comforts like heated leather seats, automatic climate control and safety features like Lane Departure Monitoring and Blind Spot Monitoring System.

Trim

Club

Grand Touring

MSRP Manual

$32,345

$33,335

MSRP Automatic

$32,945

$34,410

Key Features

 

Adds or deletes features from Club trim:

 

Limited Slip Differential

Climate Control

 

Bose Stereo System

Multi-Level Heating Driver/Passenger Seat

 

Speed Sensitive Volume Control

Auburn Nappa Leather

 

9 Total Speakers

Alloy Wheels

 

Keyless Ignition

Self-Leveling Headlights

 

Interior Lighting Kit

Adaptive Headlights

 

Painted Alloy Wheels

Auto Delay Off Headlamps

 

Four-Wheel Independent Suspension

Snowflake White Pearl Paint And

   

Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror

   

Rear Lip Spoiler In Body Color

   

Blind Spot And Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance System

We Recommend

The Grand Touring trim brings a lot of features that provide more convenience to the driver. But all these features come at a price of something elemental the engagement between the car and driver. The Miata RF is best to have in the Club trim with a manual transmission. That is the best the Miata can offer a raw sports car experience.

 

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Engine and Performance

Up 26 horsepower this year, the Miata is not wanting for power or revs. The engine makes power all the way to its 7,500-rpm redline. The next perfectly spaced gear and more speed is a short throw away. In our testing, 60 mph came up in 6.6 seconds, nearly half a second quicker than last year. - Edmunds.com

Engine and Transmission

Miata small 2.0-liter engine makes 181 hp at 7000 rpm. The power figures aren't special at all but when combined with other offerings of the Miata, the result is an extremely fun to drive. The engine wails all the way up to 7500 rpm.

There are a lot of things are different with Mazda's SKYACTIV gasoline engine. This naturally aspirated engine is a rare choice by a manufacturer in this segment. The SKYACTIV-G engine offers a compression ratio of 14:1 which is quite high for a road going car. The SKYACTIV engine offers more torque at lower rpm and holds it steadily past 5,000 rpm. The engine is 15 percent more efficient than its contemporaries.

Models

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

MSRP

$33,240

$31,750

$33,995

$29,040

 

Engine

2.0L i4 Premium Unleaded

2.0L i4

1.6L i4 Gas

1.4L i4

2.0L i4 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded

Transmission

6-speed manual

6-speed manual

6-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed manual

Seven speed S tronic

Horsepower

181 hp@ 7000rpm

189 hp@ 5000rpm

200 hp@ 5500rpm

160 hp@ 5500rpm

186 hp@ 4400rpm

Torque

151 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

207 ft-lbs. @ 1350 rpm

207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm

184 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm

221 ft-lbs@ 1600rpm

The competition offers their engines with different methodology. While Mazda is all in with the naturally aspirated engines, most competitors prefer turbocharged engines. Similarly, MINI, Buick and FIAT use turbochargers to get more power from their smaller engines. Turbochargers provide much needed low-end torque for regular driving scenarios. When it comes to horsepower, Buick's turbocharged engine manages to extract most out of its 2.0 Liter displacement with its 200 hp output.

Acceleration

In our case, the Miata RF hits redline at 7000 rpm. There are few experiences that come close to one of revving a naturally aspirated engine to its redline. The Miata RF accelerates to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. If you are only looking for straight-line acceleration to beat competitors at traffic lights, there are many cars that would do a better job while costing you lesser than the Miata RF.

 

Models

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

0-60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.2 sec

8.3 sec

6.2 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter mile

14.4 sec

14.7 sec

16.5 sec

14.7 sec

N/A

Engine

2.0L I4 Premium Unleaded

2.0L I4

1.6L I4

1.4L i4

2.0L I4 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

6.0

7.1

7.4

5.9

N/A

The competition with their boost from turbochargers manages to come off the line faster than the Miata RF. The base variant of the MINI convertible performs so horribly due to its 3 cylinder engine, going up the trim ladder brings in a 4 cylinder engine that does a lot better. FIAT 124 shares its underpinnings with the Miata but the cars couldn't have been more different in character. Both MINI and FIAT score well on the emission regulations due to their smaller engine displacement and use of turbochargers to utilize exhaust gases.

Ride and Handling

Mazda Miata is at home around the corners. It holds its line, provides exemplary feedback to the driver while sticking to tramac like a leech. And if you are one of those people who love a drift-happy car- the Miata will keep you grinning from ear to ear.

Handling is crisp and all the power is channeled to the rear wheels. The power to weight ratio is healthy and flooring the gas pedal at the apex of the turn will see you all the way to the exit.

When you reach the higher rpm, there is a significant noise that creeps into the cabin (even with the hardtop down). The suspension is tuned on the stiffer side and longer rides can be uncomfortable. The exhaust sound at higher revs in enjoyable but it can easily become monotonous after spending a lot of time inside the cabin.

Braking

After the redesign in 2016, the entire Miata lineup has shed weight. Although, the new RF has a retractable hardtop. It still inspires confident braking times. The Miata RF comes to a halt from 60 mph within 112 ft. That is a respectable figure. The brakes have a predictable response, they closely match the input given by the driver's foot. If you want to take braking performance a notch higher, then optional Brembo brakes are available for your satisfaction.

Model

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

Brake Front (in.)

11

11.6

12.6

11

12.3

Brake Rear (in.)

11

10.2

11.5

11

10.7

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2453

2985

3979

2436

3428

60-0 MPH (ft.)

112

N/A

174 (70-0)

N/A

N/A

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Fuel Economy

The SKYACTIV-G makes the Miata RF a frugal sports car. It is surprisingly less of gas guzzler when compared to its brethren of cars. The Miata RF offers a combined mpg of 29. Even with their turbochargers the MINI and FIAT manage to score MPG ratings which are similar to the Mazda.

 

Model

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

MPG (city)

26

23

21

26

25

MPG (highway)

34

32

29

35

33

MPG (combined)

29

26

24

30

28

Range (city/highway)

309 / 405

267 / 371

300 / 415

309 / 417

N/A

Tank Capacity (gal)

11.9

11.6

14.3

11.9

13.2

 

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Interior

7.5/10

...Beyond the more adjustable steering, this is still the same smart cabin. Material quality is solid, the available Recaro seats are absolutely fantastic, and the driving position is excellent (with the roof down tall folk still suffer with the top in place). -Motor1.com

Seating and Comfort

The Miata has always been a really tight fit for two people. And for people with tall proportions, there are some serious issues with accommodation. The Miata might entice you but fitting yourself into one can be a serious problem.

The cabin at its best is minimalistic. It does it best to avoid any gimmicks and provide an ambiance that makes "driving" only a solace. The lack of utilitarian spaces means you really have to sit on your smartphone.

Model

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

Passenger capacity

2

4

4

2

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

36.8/52.2/43.1

39.8/51.0/41.4

37.8/54.6/42.2

37.4/52.1/43.1

37.4/54.8/41.2

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

N/A

39.0/39.7/30.9

36.1/45.8/32.8

N/A

36.3/45.7/31.9

 

When stacked against the competition, the Miata RF doesn't fare well with the MINI Convertible in cabin proportions. Owing to a larger wheelbase the latter is more spacious and can somehow accommodate four persons. Fiat 124 is a distant cousin to the Miata. So, apart from some fancy Italian leather interior, both cars do have a lot in common.

Infotainment

The Infotainment system is another part of this car that simply fails to get attention. To be honest - you would be better with a typical Hyundai or Kia infotainment system. When the Miata RF is parked only then you can use the touchscreen functionality. While you are on the move the infotainment can be used by two dials near the shifter.

In its defense, when you are on the move you would hardly have the time fiddle with the infotainment system. The short gearing means you would be through gears pretty soon and would be more engaged with shifter rather than peeking on your infotainment system.

Interior Features

  • All-Weather Floor Mats
  • 6 -Way Manual Driver Seat Adjustments
  • 4 -Way Manual Passenger Seat Adjustment
  • Premium Bose Audio
  • Air Conditioning
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Cupholders
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Electric Power Steering
  • Keyless Ignition
  • Rear View Camera

Cargo Capacity

Every sports car is a trade-off when it comes to practicality. Then again, when was buying a sports car a vividly practical decision. So, even the Miata can't help it when it comes to cargo space. With a modest 4.5 cubic feet of storage. You can hardly manage to slip in a single golf bag.

Model

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

4.5

7.6

13.4

4.9

9.9

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Exterior

BAt only 154 inches, the Miata is a short car, which makes it easy to park around town, but the overall smallness of the vehicle does make you feel a bit vulnerable when, say, you're driving next to a semi on the freeway. As for the MX-5 RF coupe, we think it looks fantastic, top open or closed. We wish the windows in the B-pillars were real. - KelleyBlueBook

Dimensions and Weight

The design which is feeble at the front bulks up substantially at the rear. The Miata RF doesn't adhere to an edgy design where different elements are added to make the car more appealing. Instead, the Miata stays true to a single curve that is reminiscent of prancing animal.Weighing at 2443 lbs., the Miata RF is on the lighter side of the scales. The overall length, weight, and height are in accordance with the segment norms.

The MINI Convertible is significantly higher and heavier than the Miata and 124 Spider. The Audi A3 sports the biggest wheelbase in this comparison and it is the reason that Audi convertible can accommodate 4 people, easily.

Model

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club convertible

Mini Cooper convertible

Buick Cascada convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium convertible

Curb weight (lbs.)

2453

2985

3979

2436

3428

Length(in)

154.1

151.9

184.9

159.6

174.1

Width(in)

68.3

68.0

72.4

68.5

 

Height(in)

49.0

55.7

56.8

48.5

55.5

Ground clearance (in)

5.3

4.5

N/A

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

90.9

98.2

106.1

90.9

102.2

Track width (in) F/R

58.9/59.2

58.5/58.5

62.5/62.5

58.9/59.1

61.2/60.1

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Safety

The 2019 Miata RF is yet to be tested by either of the safety agencies. But Mazda has equipped the Miata RF with a host of active safety features like antilock brakes, stability and traction control. The Blind Spot Warning and Avoidance system is also a standard feature on the Miata.

Safety Features

  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Stability Control
  • Emergency Braking Assist
  • Blind Spot Warning Accident Avoidance System
  • Traction Control
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Competition

2019 MINI Convertible

Mini Cooper in its base trim doesn't stand a chance with its harsh inline-3 engine. When it comes to refinement, Mini's engine cannot hold its ground against the Mazda's four-cylinder unit. The Mini in its base trim isn't a very engaging car to drive. Going up the trim ladder is an option but the prices climb up pretty quickly as well. Priced at $31,750, the Mini is a more viable option if you are looking for a compact luxury car that can accommodate four people.

2019 FIAT 124 Spider

The Fiat 124 and Miata MX-5 are essentially different sides of the same coin. They share a lot of things in common. They are built on the same assembly line in Mazda's Hiroshima plant but the final assembly takes place in Fiat's plant in Turin, Italy.

Mazda offers a normally aspirated engine while Fiat plays the 1.4-liter turbocharged card. So, these two cars are hardly comparable when it comes to driving them. Priced significantly lower than Miata RF, the Fiat 124 is a good option if you are on tight budget.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Final Verdict

Miata is popular due to its raw sports dynamics and a sticker price that won't break your bank account. The 2.0-liter engine is a jolly good unit to drive. The Miata RF is a car for average sized people. The car wasn't designed around taller people and ergonomics are more suited to the former.

Even, if you can't resist it then drive it without the top all day. For Miata RF, virtues outweigh its vices. And it strikes the sweet spot of driving dynamics, reliability and ease of ownership. It makes the Miata RF a hard car to resist. The RF takes driving experience to another level, it communicates well with driver and nurtures the man-machine partnership.