Test Drive: 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring in Soul Red Crystal (a $595 choice)

2015 Audi Q5

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

Course: Sporty/Performance Automobile

Miles driven: 276

Fuel utilized: 8.8 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and Comfort C
Power and Performance B+
Fit and Finish B+
Fuel Economy A-
Value B+
Report-card grades are based on an opinion of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in identical class. Value grade is for particular trim level examined, and may not reflect customer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Convenience
Big Guy F
Tall Guy D
Big & Tall comfort reviews are for front seats just. “Big” score according to male tester weighing about 350 pounds, “Tall” rating according to 6’6″-tall male tester.
Motor Specs 181-hp 2.0L
Engine Type 4-cyl
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Wheels Rear-wheel drive

Real-world gas economy: 31.3 mpg

Driving mix: 50% town, 50percent highway

EPA-estimated gas economy: 26/34/29 (city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Premium fuel suggested

Base price: $34,425 (not including $920 location charge)

Choices on test vehicle: Soul Red Crystal paint ($595)

Cost as tested: $35,940

Quick Hits

The truly amazing: Wonderful all-around athleticism; delightfully engaging driving character; retractable hardtop adds quietness and protection

The good: Laudable gas economy for a sports vehicle; upscale interior trim in Grand Touring model

The not so good: room for both individuals and cargo is especially stingy; top-up headroom with retractable hardtop is also tighter than its in soft-top Miata

More MX-5 Miata cost and availability information

John Biel

With three decades and a boatload of plaudits behind its MX-5 Miata, you’dn’t be astonished if Mazda allow its achievable small low rider coast on its reputation occasionally. Luckily, it offersn’t succumbed compared to that temptation.

The 2020 model continues the Miata’s 4th generation, which was inaugurated for 2016 with a change from sweet to purposeful looks, a weight-trimming aluminum-intensive platform, and—for better or worse—the addition of a modern infotainment system. The following year saw the addition associated with RF with targa-top style once the forward roof area and back window are retracted into the deck. In 2019, an infusion of horsepower delivered the absolute most effective Miata ever offered within the U.S. Sprinkled in among these major developments were added features and expanded standard equipment.

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

The “RF” stands for retractable fastback. Rather than the manual soft top on regular MX-5 Miata, the RF has a power-retractable hardtop. The entire rear roof area pivots up, therefore the center roof section and back screen retract for a targa-top-style convertible experience.

A ’20 RF in top-level Grand Touring trim that Consumer Guide tested encompassed all of this. Plus, it had the limited-slip differential and sport suspension system which can be newly accepted in Grand Tourings because of the precise and cooperative 6-speed manual transmission. Lower Sport and Club models—the former available just as a roadster—are now awarded standard low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure caution, and Clubs additionally add Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone functionality.

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2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

In topline Grand Touring trim, the Miata’s cabin has an elegant appear and feel, as a result of standard upscale touches like fabric upholstery, heated seats, Bose speakers, and a navigation system. Though we’re perhaps not especially enamored using the console-mounted infotainment control knob, the Miata’s manual shifter is among the best in the commercial.

The test vehicle logged in at a beginning price of $35,345 with delivery, plus it didn’t budge a great deal from there. Only a software of luminous Soul Red Crystal paint ($595) included with the vehicle’s selling price. Grand Tourings don’t want far more since they’re attractively proved inside and come pretty complete. As well as the products stated previously, standard gear includes:

  • 17-inch alloy tires
  • bright-tipped twin exhaust outlets
  • heated side mirrors (car dimming regarding the driver’s side)
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • LED external illumination
  • automated high-beam control
  • heated leather-based seats
  • leather-wrapped tyre, shifter knob, and parking-brake grip
  • tilt and telescoping steering line
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 9-speaker Bose speakers
  • satellite and HD radio
  • navigation
  • traffic-sign recognition
  • automatic ac
  • keyless entry and starting
2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

Pack light… there’s only 4.48 cubic feet of cargo area in Miata’s small trunk.

Beating away beneath the aluminum hood is the revvy 2.0-liter obviously aspirated SKYACTIV-G 4-cylinder engine of 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. The automobile is distinctly snappy from the line, and for as much enjoyable since the manual gearbox and well balanced clutch are to utilize inside Miata, you don’t need to flog them too much to keep decent rate at every little slow-down. The report from sport-tuned exhaust flowers an aural cherry atop this sweet sundae driver. Talking about which, you might just get nuts the fuel economy. The EPA quotes are 26 mpg in town, 34 mpg on the highway, and 29 combined. This reviewer’s 62 kilometers within the test car—32 % that had been city-type driving—showed 34.9 mpg when he topped off because of the necessity premium gas.

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Despite the activity suspension system with Bilstein shock absorbers, the Miata RF’s firm trip never ever crosses over into rigid or difficult. With suspension system stabilizer pubs front and back, a brace operating involving the front shock towers, and quickly responsive steering, the car is able to corner and make transitions without experiencing it really wants to break. A decent turning circle helps it be excessively maneuverable in close quarters. It’s arguably only a little noisier inside with all the roof closed—a task that takes about 14 seconds—but wind buffeting as soon as the RF is opened up is less than in the Miata roadster.

There are certain quirks to the fourth-gen Miatas to which owners will have to adjust in return for the satisfying performance. Interior storage is commensurate with all the car’s petite proportions: a little glove field involving the seat backs, a small covered space in the system, and insert-type glass holders that can be snapped in to the straight back end of this system or on its right part (near a passenger’s remaining leg). A hard-to-reach 12-volt power point is tucked up underneath the passenger side of this tool panel. The limited amount of stuff that can easily fit into the tiny trunk must be dropped in because the lid fundamentally is a hatch. (That said, the Miata’s low profile means low liftover height, and piston-style hinges don’t cut into the 4.48 cubic feet of cargo room). Seating position is low, and interior room—particularly headroom if the top is closes—is in short supply for anyone excessively over 6 feet tall. RF motorists will discover over-the-shoulder vision obstructions, particularly to the left, nevertheless the straight-back view isn’t much more restricted compared to a roadster with its material top raised.

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2020 Miata RF

The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter 4-cylinder’s 181 horsepower does not seem like a great deal, but it’s sufficient for satisfyingly zingy acceleration. Handsome 17-inch alloy wheels are standard on Grand Touring models.

The 2016 Miata redesign allowed the manufacturer to install its Mazda Connect infotainment system, which registers on a 7-inch color touchscreen. But accessing sound, navigation, or other features requires dealing with the complicated and disruptive Commander Control dial in the console. It’s not just one of the most popular reasons for having a motor vehicle we like a whole lot. However, the 3-dial environment settings are a cinch to operate. White-on-black analog driving gauges and a 4.6-inch color vehicle-information display into the group are well-placed and simple to learn.

Miata owners can invariably enjoy cruising inside their vehicle because Mazda hasn’t allowed it self to cruise on MX-5.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

Though it doesn’t see any major changes for 2020, the MX-5 Miata continues to supply pure sports-car driving enjoyable with excellent refinement and livability in each and every day driving. However, the cabin is additional cozy even for average-sized grownups, and top-up headroom is even tighter inside RF models than it’s inside regular soft-top Miatas.

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2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring Gallery

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