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Roadshow Video Reviews
2017 Mazda MX-5 RF trades a little edge for a lot of sexyMazda's roadster gains a bit of weight to go with its new fastback hardtop, but it's as fun as before and more gorgeous than ever.
[MUSIC] This is the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RS, an often numeric jumble that basically means this Miata's rocking Mazda's new retractable fastback. Looking hella good doing it. [MUSIC] Now, the fast back refers to the coup roof line that flows the hard top smoothly into the short rear deck with this sort of buttress structure. Now, the entire top is not retractable. Only the center aluminum section and the rear glass Z fold underneath the main roof section in about 13 seconds at the touch of a button. And because it all fits into the same well that the Roadster's rag top does, it doesn't even intrude into the trunk when stowed. Seeing it in action and seeing it with the top down, you could almost call this a Mazda MX-5 Targa. But don't worry, you may hear from Porsche's lawyers. [NOISE] The hard top, its motors and all the mechanics add about 113 pounds to the MX5 [UNKNOWN] weight, a little bit of extra security when parked, and a whole lot of noise reduction at highway speeds. Now, I haven't done any instrument tests, but I've spent a lot of time in Miatas and this is easily the quietest one I've been in, top up or top down. Now, the quieter cabin means that you can enjoy the good sounds a lot better. things like the Bose audio system, which you don't have to crank all the way up to obscene volumes to appreciate. That premium audio system with its head rest mounted speakers is easily the best part of the MX5's cabin tech suite, which includes Mazda connect infotainment, which is kind of about as bare bones as entertainment navigation gets, while still checking most of the right boxes The Bose audio is nice but the best sounds come out of the tail pipe and the sky active powertrain. Under the hood you will find the same 2 liter,155 horsepower, 148 pound foot engine that powers the roadster. It's the same rear wheel drive six speed manual transmission and it's just as much fun here to wind up and let go on a bit of twisty road. There's also a. Six speed automatic option, but come on, really? [MUSIC] We've also got a couple of driver aid features, including things like lane departure alert and blind spot monitoring. Now that's probably overkill on safety tech for a spartan sports car like this, but I find that I do like the blind spot monitoring. Especially because the RF's blind spots don't go away Once the top goes down. Mazda's made some changes to the suspension to compensate for the additional weight, so this car ends up a little bit softer and a little bit smoother on the transitions relative to the sharper roadster. However, outside of a race track, I very seriously doubt that most people will notice the difference. And on a twisty bit of Country road like this it feels pretty much the same. It's just as much fun. [UNKNOWN] has always been a car that's more fun to chuck around a corner at 45 miles per hour than more powerful sports cars at around 60. And this is no exception. However, I still recommend to enthusiasts, and prefer for myself the Roadster. It's lighter and it has an available limited slip differential, which makes a difference in performance on the track. Plus, when I put my top down, I want it to go all the way down, if you know what I mean. No? Whatever. [NOISE] [MUSIC] So the MX-5 RS is a little bit more comfortable, slightly softer, much sexier looking version of Mazda's MX-5 Roadster. It's sort of a top, top trim level for the style conscious that doesn't really trade a whole lot in terms of performance. It's a more premium car. But it also comes at a more premium price, starting at around $32,000. But that range doesn't have far to go. This top trim Grand Touring only tips the scale at $34,000, which is a small price to pay for looking this good. [MUSIC]