Good Things Do Come in Tiny Packages – Like the 2019 Mazda Miata RF

There are few vehicles on the road today that distill the spirit of driving into fun, sporty, and exhilarating machines. And the 2019 Mazda Miata RF is one such car. The Miata frolics like a gazelle, gamboling around town with the ease of a golf cart.

Are you considering the Miata RF? If so, we’ve gathered all the information you need to know before heading to the dealership. Be prepared with these facts and figures so that after the test drive, you can bring yourself back to reality—and know what you’re talking about. After all, that grin on your face might give away your intentions.

Performance Specifications

The 2019 Miata RF is a rear-wheel drive car with only one engine available. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, it’s capable of 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. The 2019 model can be mated to a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission.

Entertainment and Safety Features

Can you guess what the “RF” stands for? If you said, “retractable fastback,” you’re correct! Visit your local dealership to see just how the innovative roof design works, but before you go, take a look at the trim levels available on the 2019 Miata RF.

The first trim level is the Club, which begins around $32, 345. Standard features begin with LED headlights and wrap around the car to include rear cross-traffic alert. Buyers who choose this trim level will also enjoy keyless entry, push-button start, blind-spot monitoring, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The Club model rides on 17-inch wheels and Bluetooth capabilities. Though the seats are cloth, you may not care about that if you’re too busy shifting gears.

The Grand Touring trim, which costs around $33,335, offers more luxury for not that much more money. The seats are leather instead of cloth and are heated as well. Navigation will keep you grounded while the lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and low-speed automatic emergency braking will keep you safe.

Upgradeable package options on the 2019 Miata RF include the GT-S and Sport i-ACTIVSENSE Package. Only available on models equipped with a manual transmission, the GT-S package adds on a limited-slip rear differential and upgraded Bilstein shocks. The i-ACTIVSENSE package greatly benefits those looking for extra safety features.

The 2019 Mazda Miata RF has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Fuel Efficiency

Considering its size and cargo capacity limits, the 2019 Miata RF performs as expected when it comes to fuel efficiency ratings. The single available engine posts comparable numbers for both the automatic and manual transmissions.

While both variants see 26 city EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG), the automatic gains a point over the manual with 35 highway MPG.

How the 2019 Mazda Miata RF Rates Against the Competition

Many car experts couldn’t resist the 2019 Mazda Miata RF’s potent combination of cute, sporty, and practicality. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts deemed the model “elemental” with its 50:50 weight balance and much-sought-after manual emergency-brake. In a world where cars are getting bigger and bulkier, the Miata brings back the thrill of a driver, a car, and the open, winding road.

The driving ability of this spunky roadster promotes “handling winding roads with ease and generally making your drive a memorable experience.” An exciting ride for under $50,000 usually means you’ll be sacrificing something for the price, but the Miata RF presents a striking compromise. Just don’t expect to fit the whole family or even a whole suitcase in the trunk. It’s more for storing things smaller than a briefcase.

Speaking of the trunk, however, you won’t have to sacrifice even more of that space if you do go with the Miata RF. The retractable top finds its own space somewhere between the back of your headrest and the rear trunk, so you won’t have to put your belongings next to on the passenger seat.

When compared to the FIAT 124 Spider, which resembles the Miata in nearly everything but name, the Miata RF wins some and loses some. The FIAT offers a smoother ride at a lower entry price, but you’ll be giving up a few horses and the hard top. The soft top is paired with more trunk space.

Edmunds experts recommend the Grand Touring model, which still gives you modern creature comforts in the space of a hot ninety’s sports car. Potential buyers should consider the Miata RF’s price point, considering maintaining a sports car can cost way more than its MSRP.

Pros

  • Embodies the definition of a sports car
  • Maneuverable in tight spaces; parks easily
  • Convertible without the hassle of a cloth top

Cons

Like many iconic vehicles, the Miata personifies a sports car. Between the manual transmission, extreme maneuverability, and purpose-built design, it’s hard to find a more winning combination. The Mazda Miata RF might be dwarfed by most vehicles on the road today, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in spades.

Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

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