Test Drive: MX-5 Miata RF handles ideally | Wilton Bulletin

We’ve driven utterly a few incarnations of a Mazda MX-5 Miata over a years and a few qualities have stood out for a whole run: The cars are hugely fun to drive, fuel-efficient and reliable, easy on a eyes and gentle even for drivers of normal height.

But there are utterly a few downsides. Long-legged drivers onslaught to get into and out of a cabin, there’s really little room for little equipment (and some of a compartments need a contortionist’s lively to access) and a case is tiny.

It is for these and other reasons that women tend to like a MX-5 improved than group do. Mazda seems to have done an bid to attract group to this indication by requesting a some-more virile demeanour to a piece metal, highlighted by prominent front fenders and a narrow, roughly untamed demeanour to a headlights. And a latest exam car, a 2017 MX-5 RF, wore a decidedly virile cloak of Machine Gray Metallic Black Gray paint.

New for 2017, a RF facilities an surprising roof design: when lowered, a steel roof and back window dump behind a seats, withdrawal a tilted back side panels in place. In further to giving a MX-5 a new and constrained look, this complement does not need sacrificing partial of a case for roof storage. MX-5 aficionados still can buy a informed soft-top version.

At $35,385, a MX-5 was labelled some-more than $10,000 aloft than a bottom Sport soft-top convertible. It seats two, with about 5 cubic feet of case space. Fuel economy with a 6-speed shiftable involuntary delivery was improved than we remember from past MX-5 models: 26 mpg city, 35 highway. (Mazda recommends, though does not require, a use of reward unleaded gasoline.)

In mostly highway driving, we met or exceeded 35 mpg.

In Grand Touring trim, a rear-wheel-drive MX-5 RF comes with 17-inch amalgamate wheels, exhilarated seats, leather upholstery, tone arrangement with Command control between a seats, blind-spot monitoring system, back cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing windshield wipers, navigation system, satellite radio, journey control and paddle shifters.

The foe stays comparatively poor and includes a few models that chair as many as four…theoretically. The Fiat 124 Spider is identical to a MX-5 mechanically though has a opposite demeanour and personality. Also rival are a Toyota 86 and identical Subaru BRZ. For $12,000 some-more than a plaque cost of a installed MX-5 exam car, Nissan offers a 332-horsepower 370Z, also accessible as a coupe.

If we were reserved to do a redesign of a MX-5, we’d take some inches from a long, comely hood to supplement leg-room, palliate entrance and egress, and maybe increase a case a bit. In so doing, we positively would interrupt a car’s seemly good looks. To compensate, we’d boost horsepower, or during slightest offer a some-more robust discretionary engine. We wouldn’t meddle with a car’s doing characteristics in any way: They’re only about perfect.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF

Price: $35,385

Engine: 2.0-liter Four, 155 horsepower, 148 lb.-ft. torque

Transmission: 6-speed involuntary with paddle shifters

Drive: Rear-wheel

Weight: 2,494 lb.

Suspension: Double-wishbone front, multi-link rear

Wheels: 17-in. alloy

Tires: 205/45R17 high performance

Seating capacity: 2

Luggage capacity: 5.3 cu. ft.

Fuel capacity: 11.9 gallons

Fuel economy: 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway

Fuel type: Premium unleaded (recommended)

Steven Macoy ([email protected]) is a longtime automobile fan and full-time editor who lives in Bethel, Conn.

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