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.




  • Similar Content

  • Posts

    • Latest News Toyota Will Take Over the Windy City, Chicago February 8th with 44 Autos. Spaciousness is what Toyota will give to the world with the first ever 2024 Grand Highlander and 44 other vehicles including the Crown Family. ---> Read More Toyota Crown Hybrid, the Stop Gap Product Till EVs The Toyota Crown while well-known across the Asian rim is the longest running product line from Japan and is now here as a stop gap measure in the U.S., Again. ---> Read More GM & Netflix Partner to Show Case EVs on TV General Motors and Netflix are joining forces to give electric vehicles (EVs) the stage they deserve. ---> Read More Infinitum All-in-one Electric Motors the Future of the Auto Industry? Infinitum is an electric motor designer that no one has heard of yet, but that is about to change with their All-in-one solution. ---> Read More Is Toyota Shooting Itself in the Foot in Regard to EVs? The Asahi Shimbun news organization is reporting that Toyota is joining the ranks of Hyundai, GM, Tesla, VW and other Auto OEMs with a dedicated EV platform, but with a BIG catch. ---> Read More GM Dumping Pouch EV Cells for Cylinder 4680 Cells Korean sources have learned that GM is dumping the Pouch for the Cylinder and not just any average one, but the 4680 spec that Tesla is pushing in their own EVs. ---> Read More Kia Chooses onsemi Silicon Carbide Power Module Traction Inverters for High Performance Electric Vehicles Kia starts production on performance EVs using industry leading Traction Inverters by onsemi for improved electrical handling. ---> Read More Click here to view our privacy policy CheersandGears.com - Established 2001  P.O. Box 17974, Pittsburgh, PA 15235 You can manage your subscription settings at the following link https://www.cheersandgears.com/settings/?area=newsletters
    • I remember those. They always seemed to be cream colored.  As far as FWD V8s, I prefer the STS of that era.    When I was living in Ann Arbor I had a friend that was an engineer at Ford working on the ‘98 facelifted model.  Got to ride in one one winter’s night in ‘97.     I remember going to the Detroit auto show in ‘95 and ‘96, 25 yr old me really wanted an STS.  I still like them.  
    • Was never on my radar.  So much so, that I just did a double take on the title mentioning it had a V8.  I knew it was FWD, I never knew  right up to THIS moment it had a V8.  I just listened to the video to find out it was the moduler 4.6 V8.   You learn something new everyday.    The Towncar and the Mark VIII was what I liked from Lincoln then.  And both models were FONDLY liked.   But in 2023, I actually like it.  Too bad I was turned off by it then.   Reflecting back as to why that was...I couldnt tell ya.   PS: I never did, nor do I right now, equate the 1995 Continental with the Taurus. 
    • Since it's been so cold I haven't done much work on it.  But last month I took the wheels off and dropped them off to have new tires fitted. Put the wheels back on today and repaired a positive battery cable that I had broken in the fall.  Today it moved under it's own power for the first time in probably years.  I took if it for a very short spin up the block and back.
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
×
×
  • Create New...

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