SEATTLE — Your looks, style, body curves and lines are a beauty to behold. The way you move me when going around corners – I feel completely connected to you, on a soul level. No, this isn’t a typical romance novel, it’s a romance with one of the last few, pure driving experiences out there.
The 2019 Mazda Miata MX-5 RF.
This evolution of the Miata is – far and away – the most exciting to look at and to drive.
Under the hood, we have a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine with Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. The engined features either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. It’s 181 horsepower is up by 26hp over last year’s model and it has 151 lb-ft of torque.
Additionally, the redline has been increased to 7,500 rpm so the way its engine winds out, simply feels and sounds awesome.
However, everyone should only consider the manual variant for this car as it’s truly magical. The short throws and sense of greater command for the car, makes the manual the only option driving enthusiasts should consider.
For those who insist on going the automatic route, there are paddle shifters included to help give it a more sporty touch.
The details are in the Numbers
With a weight of only 2,453 pounds, you can start to see why the relatively low power output of its engine doesn’t mean as much. Factoring in power to weight ratio, the MX-5 is amazing, well-balanced and frankly, exhilarating to drive.
The EPA rates the car for 26 miles per gallon in the city and up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway. That said, however, it’s likely that most owners won’t see that kind of fuel economy as it’s all too easy to keep your right foot firmly planted in the downward position on the accelerator pedal.
Mazda continues its excellence in interior design with a gorgeous cabin area that sports a brilliant combination of soft-to-the-touch surfaces and textures. One can easily see a great deal of German influence in the layout of the dashboard and instrument layout.
The easy-to-read 7-inch display is front and center and includes Mazda’s latest technology for Apple iPlay and Android Auto to help make a safer and less distracting driving experience.
Our Grand Touring version has gorgeous leather seats, leather trim on the dash and door panels as well as the more advanced version of the Bose-powered infotainment system.
A first for any Miata, is the telescoping steering wheel, a God-send for taller drivers.
The sound of music
We found the sound quality to be rather good. However, speakers built into the headrests leave a lot to be desired. There’s no question that the bulk of the sound quality comes from the door speakers. Its sound imaging was rather solid and provided more than adequate bass response.
But we would love to see Mazda consider partnering with an audio company other than Bose to really ramp things up in the sound quality department.
For those who have never driven a Miata, they may not understand why anyone would ever want to own such a car. It’s okay, let them wallow in their ignorance.
For the rest of us, we’ll stay in the know of why it’s so special.
On the road:
Out on the road, the car beckons you to push it hard and fast – you’ll want to feel that rear-end slip a bit around those hard corners. It’s a sublime feeling of man and machine that connects. The steering is so light yet still has a great touch to it.
The way Miata MX-5 noses into the corners and the way the rear comes out of them, is near perfection – nirvana. You’ll really get a sense of the MX-5’s near-perfect front-to-rear weight distribution. Minimal body roll and superb braking that never faded during our testing all add to the bliss.
They say that it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car, slow
and while this MX-5 isn’t exactly slow, the idea holds true here. Zero-to-sixty times are still below 6 seconds (5.7) and for a car sitting this low to the ground, it feels even faster.
As far as drawbacks go, tall drivers, over 6’3” may have a hard time fitting comfortably. There’s little trunk space and no glovebox. Those with a wider girth may also feel a bit on the cramped side as it is pretty close quarters between the driver and passenger.
So close, in fact, that the cup-holder is a snap-in that can go into the storage cubby between the seats.
But those drawbacks are worth it to anyone seeking what is easily the most fun sports car you can buy for under $75,000. And while our test Grand Touring model was well past $35k, it still seems like a bargain for the level of fun and experience it offers.
For more details, go to: www.mazdausa.com