Jump to content
Create New...
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club

      A Miata for all-seasons, but at a hefty cost

    I’ll admit that I have an unabashed love for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This plucky roadster proves you don’t need gobs of power to provide a big grin when driving. A combination of well-sorted chassis, steering, and slick gearbox does the trick. But Mazda has decided to add a bit more power for the 2019 model, along with including a more powerful four-cylinder and a hardtop option. I’m curious to see if these changes can make the Miata better or worse.

    • The model seen here is the RF - short for retractable fastback. Press the switch and the roof panels begin an origami folding exercise into the trunk. The result is a targa that provides the open-air feeling, minus a large amount of wind noise. It doesn’t hurt that roof pillars are styled in such a way that gives off a rakish look, no matter whether the top is up or down.
    • Under the hood lies a revised 2.0L Skyactiv four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque - up 26 and 3 respectively. A six-speed manual is standard, while an automatic is optional.
    • The small bump makes for a huge improvement in overall acceleration. Just leaving a stop, I was surprised how much pull the engine had as it got to 45 about a half-second quicker than the last Miata. 
    •  A key change is Mazda bumping the redline to 7,500 rpm, which allows the engine to fully flex its muscle. This became apparent when I needed to pass a vehicle and found that I didn’t need to drop down a gear to get the power needed. 
    • The six-speed manual is still a joy to work with short and precise throws and a direct feeling clutch pedal. Even when stuck in traffic, doing the motions didn’t feel like a hassle.
    • Average fuel economy for the week landed around 32 mpg, even though I was winding the engine out and playing through the gears just because it is so much fun.
    • My tester was the Club model that adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, and a front shock tower brace. This firms up the suspension and provides improve handling on the limit. But out on the backroads, I couldn’t tell there was any real difference in handling between this and the 2016 MX-5 Grand Touring I drove a few years back. Maybe there was slightly less body roll in the RF, but both vehicles had similar characteristics when going into a turn. If I drove both of them on a track, then I think the differences would become more apparent.
    • There is a downside to the Club’s suspension, a very harsh ride. Just making a quick trip to the store was a bit much as the suspension would transmit every little bump and imperfection to the backside of those sitting inside.
    • Another item fitted to my tester was a set of Recaro bucket seats. They come as part of an option package that also adds Brembo Brakes and some cool-looking BBS wheels finished in black. The seats have increased bolstering to hold you in during an enthusiastic drive. But the lack of padding makes them uncomfortable for longer trips.
    • On paper, the RF is an expensive proposition when put against the soft-top: $32,345 vs. $25,730. That massive difference is due to Mazda not offering the base Sport model on the RF. But put the soft-top Club against the RF and the difference shrinks to just over $2,000. Be forewarned that the RF can get expensive. That package I mentioned earlier with the Recaro seats? That will set you back $4,670, bringing the as-tested price to just over $38,000.
    • Mazda’s improvements for the 2019 MX-5 Miata for the most part help, allowing it to become more fun to drive and somewhat easier to live with. That said, the additional cost of the hardtop will depend on whether or not you think it is worth the benefits of possibly being an all-seasons car.

    Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata RF, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2019
    Make: Mazda
    Model: MX-5 Miata RF
    Trim: Club
    Engine: 2.0L SkyActiv-G DOHC 16-Valve with VVT Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
    Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
    Curb Weight: 2,453 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
    Base Price: $32,345
    As Tested Price: $38,335 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Brembo with Black Roof - $4,670.00
    Interior Package for M/T - $425.00


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • google-news-icon.png



  • Community Hive Community Hive

    Community Hive allows you to follow your favorite communities all in one place.

    Follow on Community Hive
  • google-news-icon.png

  • Subscribe to Cheers & Gears

    Cheers and Gears Logo

    Since 2001 we've brought you real content and honest opinions, not AI-generated stuff with no feeling or opinions influenced by the manufacturers.

    Please consider subscribing. Subscriptions can be as little as $1.75 a month, and a paid subscription drops most ads.*
     

    You can view subscription options here.

    *a very limited number of ads contain special coupon deals for our members and will show

  • Similar Content

  • Posts

    • https://newparts.com/articles/gm-3-6-v6-problems-and-known-issues/   I thought this was somewhat interesting when reading about the history of the 3.6
    • So we're all moved into the new server, but part of the process didn't fully work and I need your help to track some things down. The URLs for a number of pictures didn't update to their new locations.  Your job, when you spot one of these, is to use the Report Post/Article/Gallery button so I can fix it.  If we get a lot of these, I'll think up of some prize for the person with the most reports.  It can be missing emojis, missing pictures in threads, or missing pictures in an article.  The fix for most of these is super simple, but I need to crowdsource finding them. I'm leaving the 2025 Acura MDX  and 2025 Infiniti QX80 articles up as an example to look at. But you can also see it in this screenshot below, where it shows: 2025 Acura MDX Interior infotainment screen and dash Thanks for any help you can offer.  
    • I would look at an Ohio chapter if you want to join.  You're probably too late for seed distribution this year, I got mine right around this time last year.  My membership is expired as it was paid for through my prior employer, but it is something I'd like to join again.
    • Where did you get the seeds? From the chestnut preservation folks, or just a wild chestnut tree?   A woodworking freind of mine knew of a giant one on private land in Michigan about 30 years ago. I wonder what happened to that tree.  I want to try an electric rental.  Contacting them., thank you. 
    • Once they get in the ground they will grow very rapidly until the blight gets them. These two seeds are from different, naturally blight resistant trees. They’ll be planted near each other in the hopes that their seeds will also be blight resistant and if I’m still here in 10 years and the blight hasn’t gotten them, I can share the seeds with others.    This was once the most populous tree in North America, numbering in the hundreds of millions, and the blight wiped it out in a matter of three decades. Now it is rare to see one more than 10 years old in the wild and the ones that are out there are protected and studied.  I believe there’s less than two dozen wild ones in PA now.
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • My Clubs

×
×
  • Create New...

Hey there, we noticed you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.

Drew
Editor-in-Chief

Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search

Change privacy settings