Mazda MX-5 RF, priced from $38,550
  • Looks - 8/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 7/10
  • Practicality - 6/10
  • Comfort - 6.5/10
  • Tech - 7/10
  • Value - 7.5/10

What is it?

It’s the delightful, fun-to-drive Mazda MX-5 RF (the RF stands for retractable fastback) and in the wonderful world of sports cars, the MX-5 stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of global sales.

Early last year, the nimble little roadster passed a significant milestone in its 27-year history when the one-millionth MX-5 was produced.

There’s not a sports car in history that comes close to that figure.

The actual car has just completed a 35-event promotional program that included the UK, Spain, USA, Belgium, Canada, Australia and New Zealand that saw more than 10,000 people sign their name on the bodywork.

It’s now on display at Mazda’s Hiroshima headquarters.

To add to the celebrations, the Japanese marque decided to add a striking new variant to the model line-up.

The RF is a cleverly designed car for drivers who want the best of both worlds – a roadster and a coupe.

Rather than a coupe, however, the beautifully designed folding roof transforms the car into more of a Porsche 911, Targa-like car.

And, with the roof folded away, there’s plenty of sky and fresh air to be enjoyed.

Since the first MX-5 saw the light of day more than a quarter of a century ago, there have been just four generations and the latest – dubbed the ND – arrived here in soft-top guise back in August 2015.

In total around 20,000 MX-5s have found homes in Australian garages.

The first model to feature a folding-metal-roof was the previous generation NC and now the ND roadster has been joined by its new RF sibling.


Mazda MX-5 RF a hard act to follow


Ian Crawford has had a life-long love affair with cars, confirmed by some of the cars he's owned, including a twin-cam MG A, Capri 3000 GT, Alfasud Ti, HK GTS V8 Monaro, BMW 633 CSI, Porsche 928 S and his current toy - a Nissan 350Z roadster. He made his debut in motoring journalism as a youthful motoring editor of the Launceston Examiner. At this time he was also Tasmanian correspondent for Wheels and Sports Car World magazines. Years later he made a comeback as motoring editor of the Canberra Times and more recently as a freelancer he has written for CarsGuide, RACQ, The Motor Report and Just 4x4s.
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