2019 Mazda MX-5 RF: Potent Pocket Rocket

    Posted by Shane Kalicharan about 3 months ago

    Short of the mid-cycle refresh, the yearly tweaks and updates to a vehicle during its production years are typically quite minor. A slightly retuned ECU here, perhaps a softer touch material around the shift boot there. The small stuff, as it were. But in a car as small as Mazda’s MX-5 (formerly Miata,) the small stuff can make a big difference – and Mazda certainly sweated over the small stuff in the 2019 revision. Let’s go over what’s new – and the kind of impact it actually has on the world’s most popular sports car.

    One of the most common nitpicks on the MX-5 is that it’s down on power. We’d argue the point of the car isn’t outright power, but fun, nimble usability that can be enjoyed by drivers of any skill level. But it’s a complaint that hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Mazda’s engineers did some extensive poking around under the hood and managed to deliver. Power is up 26 horsepower from last year’s model, and while that may not seem like much, in such a small package, you really feel that extra oomph. Without getting too technical, lighter weight engine components, a redesigned exhaust system and some mechanical changes to the transmission setup do wonders to make an already fun car even better.

    The MX-5 is perfectly fine cruising along at lower speeds, comfortably chugging along while drivers take in the scenery and the open road. Or, the smell of congestion if you’re in a more urban environment. But it’d almost be a shame not to push the car the way it was meant to be driven every now and then. The MX-5 thrives at higher RPMs and the 2019 revision encourages drivers to go even further, with an redline increase to 7,500 – up from last year’s 6,800. Paired with Mazda’s wonderful 6-speed gearbox, it’s seriously some of the most fun you can have on four wheels. The car is forgiving and friendly to less experienced drivers, but focused and precise for those who fancy themselves amateur racers. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular choice for autocross, track days and amateur drifting events. If a manual box isn’t your thing, or you just don’t know how to use one, an automatic gearbox is also available.

    On top of engine improvements, there are also a few more cosmetic choices for 2019. Last year Mazda introduced the red canvas top as an option. This year, you’ll have a third choice – a brown top. We’d imagine it pairs nicely with the blue paint. But our tester was the folding hardtop RF model, so that’s not relevant here. The RF is heavier than the canvas-topped model, as well, there is a bigger blind spot because of the two humps behind the seats and the design of the roof. But it definitely looks pretty killer. You can also pick from some new 16 and 17-inch wheel choices, and enjoy a newly telescopic steering wheel.

    With its compact two-seat layout, one shouldn’t buy an MX-5 expecting a car laden with practicality and creature comforts. You can certainly get some comforts, like leather heated seating and navigation, but storage is minimal, cupholders can fall out of their sockets and the interior can get noisy and windy. But that’s exactly the point of this car. If you were really dedicated you could absolutely drive a Mazda MX-5 all year round, but for the majority of people who buy this car, it’s a weekend and summer toy. The MX-5 is still relatively affordable, starting in at just under $34,000. But depending on your choices, the prices can quickly add up. A fully loaded MX-5 RF GT starts at $42,900. Whatever your choice and budget allow you, the good news is you’ll get the improved hardware no matter the trim. Mazda’s most famous slogan is of course, zoom zoom. And with the 2019 MX-5, there’s more zoom than there ever was, and we love every bit of it. 

    2019 Mazda MX5, Mazda Miata, Miata, Mazda MX-5, MX5, Mx-5 RF, Mazda RF, Convertible, Roadster, Sports Car, Review

    Latest Articles

    See All
    • 2020 BMW Z4 M40i: Stylish, Sophisticated and Swift
      2020 BMW Z4 M40i: Stylish, Sophisticated and Swift

      October 19, 2019 - Open top driving on a beautiful day can be one of the greatest experiences you can legally have behind the wheel on a public road. It's even better with a BMW M-tuned roadster.

    • First 5 Mods for Your 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
      First 5 Mods for Your 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

      October 17, 2019 - GM’s bigger, lighter, and more powerful Silverado pickup is more efficient thanks to a complete redesign for the 2019 model year. With these enhancements for the completely new fourth generation Silverado comes all new fitment and truck accessories t

    • Getting The Best Deal When Buying A Used Car
      Getting The Best Deal When Buying A Used Car

      October 17, 2019 - We are going to take a look today and not only getting a great deal and what to look out for. We are also going to look at how to get the most out of the car after you have purchased it.

    • Taking Care Of Your Rental Car Doesn't Have To Be A Chore
      Taking Care Of Your Rental Car Doesn't Have To Be ...

      October 16, 2019 - Especially when you’re on a road trip and you’re doing hundreds of miles day after day, maintenance and good treatment of your car become essential. Nobody wants to pay an extra fee to the rental company for dinging up their door. So taking care of y

    • Cutting Car Depreciation Costs
      Cutting Car Depreciation Costs

      October 11, 2019 - Most of us have to save or take out a finance agreement to buy one, which is fine because they are useful, lots of fun, and often necessary. However, it can be a bit of a bummer to find that the car you’ve just bought is already worth far less than i

    • 2020 Hyundai Veloster N: Hot Hatch Heaven
      2020 Hyundai Veloster N: Hot Hatch Heaven

      October 6, 2019 -

    • Off Roaders That Tick The Boxes
      Off Roaders That Tick The Boxes

      October 3, 2019 - You don’t just need raw power but great handling and a comfortable ride. Is it possible to find all these features? In this blog we take a look at the latest off-roaders on the market.

    • Yamaha Tw200 Aftermarket Parts and Accessories Buying Guide
      Yamaha Tw200 Aftermarket Parts and Accessories Buy...

      September 26, 2019 - Still, even with a little upgrading, your new Yamaha is going to deliver a lot better value for the dollar than trying to run two bikes would. It also has a distinctive style line that you just can't find in road-only bikes, one that practically de

    • Easy Ways To Cut Car Insurance Costs
      Easy Ways To Cut Car Insurance Costs

      September 25, 2019 - Are there easy ways to reduce your car insurance? Take a look at some of these helpful hints for cutting your car insurance costs to help make owning your car much more affordable.

    • BMW X2 M35i: A crossover that’s actually, honestly fun
      BMW X2 M35i: A crossover that’s actually, honestly...

      September 24, 2019 - The crossover is king. There’s no denying it. North Americans have embraced, and will continue to embrace the ubiquitous (and sometimes loosely defined) vehicle class. It’s become such that even formerly iconic cars like Mitsubishi’s Lancer have been

    Share This!