When it comes to Mazda, an automaker who (arguably) plays it safe by serving up a strategically refined lineup, it stands to reason that few of their offerings prove divisive. The only real exception is the MX-5 Miata which, despite garnering a well-deserved and enthusiastic fanbase, still suffers from some of the identity crisis that it sustained around the millennium change. That said, if you’re here in the hopes that we’ll misrepresent the current MX-5 as some sort of lackluster middle-aged vehicular compromise, or a ‘chick car,’ you’re bound to be disappointed. As one of the most accessible sports cars available, with more than likely a few available at a Mazda dealer near you, the success and resurgence of the MX-5 is certainly noteworthy.
Why? Because, for quite some time now, the Miata has been nothing short of amazing. Accessibly priced and confidently powered, it’s a near-perfect lightweight roadster that serves up a driving experience that might be best described (if not simply) as ‘a lot of fun’. And if that’s too simplified for you, let’s talk about what we can expect for the 2019 Miata RF and see if we can catch you up in terms of our next-level excitement.
Unlike its soft-top convertible sibling, the RF offers a fastback-inspired roofline that eliminates any stigma carrying over from earlier model years. The seven-part collapsible hardtop is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, transitioning within a mere 13 seconds and serving as proof of the innovative engineering involved. Somewhat of a dual paradox, the RF’s styling seems to blend innovative refinement and subtle aggression, simultaneously channeling the ‘passione’ of Italian coupes through the cool reserve of Bavarian design philosophy.
Starting at $32,345 the base model RF might feel largely unchanged from its 2018 predecessor, but that’s simply in regard to the modest cosmetic tweaks. But moving on, let’s touch on a confident 26-point spike in horsepower, and a measured 3-point increase in torque rating. At 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, the 2019 Miata’s 2.0-liter SkyActive engine feels fresh and energetic, regardless of whether you pair it with the six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Available in either the (base level) Club or Grand Touring trim level, the price gap is modest, if not laughable. Trust us, if you’re going to pick one up, go for the Grand Touring. If you opt for the Club, there’s plenty of options in terms of add-ons and enhancement packages to sweeten the deal. That said, the a la carte add-ons are nearly all included in the Grant Touring, for only a nominal difference.
But we want to know what you think about the 2019 Miata. Here’s a closer look, courtesy of The Straight Pipes YouTube channel: