Craig takes the new Mazda MX5 RF for a spin and shares his thoughts on this nifty little roadster
With the soul red paint on the new Mazda MX5 RF hard top Roadster taking seven years to perfect, this is not a car that’s been rushed into manufacture. The speed associated with this nifty low slung sports car comes from the 2 litre engine and the 12 seconds that it takes for the retractable hard top roof to turn this from an all year round car to a summer must have.
With just 2 seats this is a compact car, not one for a 6″ 3″ body builder, but perfect for an average suited gent like myself.
When inside the car I felt ‘hugged’. Everything you need is in a fingers reach, and intentionally so as the MX5 creators wanted this car to work more for the driver and allow you to become one with the car when driving it. It’s uncomplicated but incredibly stylish, with the exterior conjuring images of classic sixties movies featuring messers Newman and Bond.
The lines are sleek and sophisticated and are highlighted by the sheen of the flawless finish. It’s more classy, slim and curvaceous than bawdy and voluptuous. More Sophia Loren than Diana Dors, and it affords the same level of high-class sex appeal.
With its 6 speed gearbox and intuitive controls, the MX5 RF has everything you’ve come to expect from Mazda. The sporty steering wheel has been placed perfectly central to the drivers chest rather than being slightly offset as you find in other vehicles. This is to do with the Japanese design team bringing an element of Feng Shui to the party, ensuring perfect symmetry and balance.
At the push of a button the car purrs into life, but when pushed at speed the engine growls just like a sports car should do, again reminiscent of those classic sports cars of a bygone era. The low setting grips the road and you get a sound and feeling from the drive that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to the face.
Okay, so it looks great and is incredible to drive, but what about safety. No good looking great if you’re not going to survive long enough to enjoy it right! Well, again Mazda have you covered. With the driver and passenger air bags as you’d expect, you also get a blind spot warning system which scans the road and warns you if another vehicle comes within 45 metres.
In addition to this the new SKY-ACTIV Chassis provided incredible strength, and the lane departure system will alert you if you unintentionally drift.
The satellite navigation system was very easy to program. I confess to being at an age when certain elements of technology befuddle me and find me pawing through a manual or ‘googling’ how to do this or that. But without a 7 year old child handy to guide me through the workings of the Sat Nav I was quickly able to set the location, surprising myself as I did so.
I was also able to deftly sync my iPhone to the car so that I could play my own music as I glided along the tarmac. With the roof down you might think that the wind would impact your ability to hear the music, but it has way less affect than you might think. Yes, with the roof up we had to turn the volume down, but the car is designed to minimise the impact of wind intrusion. Even my hair stayed in place!
My only question mark (and it’s the teeniest question mark) falls on the size of the boot. It’s pretty small. It’s going to be big enough for a weekend bag or a briefcase and a few books but don’t have any illusions that you’re going to be able to use it to move your daughter to University, or take the family suitcases to the airport.
This car is made for a person who might already have a car which can do all that. Don’t get me wrong, this is a car with purpose, but its purpose is pleasure and performance. It’s a car to be enjoyed. Its about the experience and the feeling you get from driving it. Forget the boring necessities of back seats and a boot space for the twins pram. Get this car because you can, not because you need it!
This car makes you want to be bad. I could tell you that on a drive home I glanced down to find that I was doing 100 mph, that would of course be breaking the law, so I can’t tell you that it did really happen.
I also found it a little difficult to get in and out of as it’s so low and compact. And on more than one occasion I inadvertently hit the horn with my elbow while getting out, which is not what you need to be doing!
At between £18,500 to £24,500 depending on the spec, this is a super cool and affordable addition to your family, less expensive than a new baby or a mistress, I’d take this car over the other two options in a heartbeat. A fine tuned, highly engineered, super sleek and luxurious heartbeat at that.