The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF builds on the Miata's formula with a new targa-style retractable fastback roof.
With its top up, the RF is one of the best-looking cars the Japanese automaker has ever built.
It's still a gorgeous ride with its roof panel retracted, but I think I prefer the pure open air of the Miata's soft top.
The new hard top trades a few millimeters of headroom for a significantly quieter cabin at freeway speeds.
The RF is also about 113 pounds heavier than the ragtop Miata thanks to its roof mechanism and improved sound-dampening materials.
However, you don't really feel the weight difference on the road. The RF is just as tossable and fun to drive as its sibling.
Under the hood is the same 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine with the choice between six-speed automatic or manual transmissions.
Cabin technology has never been the MX-5's strong point, but what's there is functional and easy to use.
Like the MX-5 Miata, the MX-5 RF boasts some of the best driving ergonomics on the road. The seating position and control placement are simply perfect.
If I've one complaint about the MX-5, it's that the driver-focused cabin has no places to stow things like phones, wallets or purses.
I particularly enjoyed the Bose Audio system's headrest speakers, which allowed me to enjoy music at reasonable volume with the top down.
The RF's motorized roof stows or deploys in just around 13 seconds.