Review and Test Drive: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF

By Jonathan Spira on 12 September 2017
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September signals the end of the meteorological summer season and what better send-off to summer than a Soul Red Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF. Indeed, that’s what arrived at our offices on a warm and sunny day, perfect convertible weather.

With a striking silhouette that gives it a more coupe-like appearance than its soft-top sibling, it did raise a significant question: Is the MX-5 Miata RF a convertible or a hardtop? While the answer might sound like the Saturday Night Live “New Shimmer” skit (is it a dessert topping or a floor wax?), the answer is that it’s really a Targa-style top, a demi-convertible if you would, with a removable roof section. (The term “Targa” was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa and remains a Porsche AG trademark.)

The MX-5 Miata, first introduced in 1989, is known everywhere in the world except the United States as just the MX-5. Mazda designed the car in order to offer the world a low-cost open-top sports car and after 28 years it’s clear that the Japanese automaker has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. It remains a lightweight sports car that is truly fun to drive.


The all-new 2017 RF variant is an addition to the Miata line while keeping the traditional ragtop, which costs $2,255 less when comparing the GT edition of both. The “RF” in the name ostensibly stands for “roof folds” although it might be more correctly designated “RR” for “roof retracts.”

We’ve driven multiple generations of the Miata over the years and loved them all but the RF is a new class of Miata.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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