2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF – Re-Driven with Retractable Targa Top

2020 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF: The popular sports roadster transformed from ragtop to power targa top, priced at $35,940 in Soul Red Crystal

TOPLESS HORSELESS CARRIAGE IN UNISON WITH DRIVER: Enthusiasts whose needs are less than utilitarian and veer towards being one with open roof responsive driving joy by and large nod approvingly of the Mazda MX-5 roadster. If Roadblazing.com readers aren’t already familiar with the special place that what is affectionately called Miata occupies in the editor’s souls they need refer back no further than to last year’s beaming Bottom Line Review of the series ND 4th generation soft-top MX-5.

AS AUTUMN WARMTH FADES:  a stunning Soul Red Crystal 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is sufficient to spoil sensations with sunlit miles of open roof driving before winter’s winds arrive. This time, however, the convertible roof is called RF, for Retractable Folding hard top. Rider on Steed al fresco motoring, via a switch slipping the targa top beneath a hard tonneau, is but 13 seconds away.

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF Driving Hits:

  • Short throw, close ratio 6-speed close ratio manual has positive action (opt. 6-speed automatic w/ steering wheel shift paddles = $325)
  • Low commuting clutch pedal effort disengages at comfortable height
  • Flexiblity of torque (155 lb-ft) at under 4000 rpm
  • 25 extra horsepower (net 180) of 2.0L Skyactiv-G DOHC inline-4
  • Weight distribution improves to 51/ 49% Front/ Rear from MX-5 Soft Top
  • 29 combined miles per gallon in a genuine sport roadster
  • Runs on 87 regular octane gas
  • 435 miles fuel tank range
  • Taut road reaction without harshness courtesy of the Bilstein dampers
  • Model of electric steering assist which allows road feel in
  • Limited slip differential provides turn with barest oversteer powering out of corner
  • Short brake pedal travel modulates responsively
  • Bridgestone Potenza S001 three season performance rubber hangs on forever
  • Ingot like build enhanced by engine bay shock tower braces
  • Hard retracting targa top roof operates in 13 second
  • Less interstate road and wind noise than MX-5 soft top
2020 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF: can’t be moving faster than 6 mph and all those electric arms open or close the targa top within 13 seconds by depressing and holding one of two center console switches

2020 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF Driving Misses:

  • Exhaust sounds don’t impress
  • 115 pounds heavier than MX-5 soft top
  • Roof operates limited to maximum speed of 6 miles per hour

What It Has Got:

  • Pricing: from $35,345 (incl. destination) for a 6-speed manual 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF
    • Optional $595 for the stunningly Soul Red Crystal paint is worth 3 times that
2020 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF: Sinewy but Sensuous
  • Muscular fenders and rear quarter panels, thin wisp headlamps peeking from under clamshell hood overhangs, pronounced Coke bottle fuselage and round taillamps with raceway LED arrow bezels leave no uncertainty that lots of cuteness belonging to MX-5 Miatas of old has been replaced with some aggressiveness.
  • ELD analog sport gauges with 4.6″ color MFD
  • Sport bucket have good torso support for road course support and long seat cushions for cruising comfort
  • Accommodates 2 and two small duffel bags
  • Above par standard feature set on RF models
    • Keyless entry and push button ignition
    • Cruise control
    • Power windows express down, heated side mirrors
    • Glass backlight w/ rear window defroster
    • LED headlights
    • Heated sport bucket seats
    • Leather tilt, telescoping steering, gearshift lever, parking hand-brake
    • 7.0″ color LCD touch and Mazda Connect rotary dial remote control media display
    • Bose 9-speaker radio including headrest speakers HD radio streaming audio
    • Bluetooth hands-free communication
    • Android Auto, Apple Car Play phone projection
    • MazdaConnect Apps (HD traffic, Pandora, aHa, Slacker, iHeart streaming radio)
    • dual USB connections
2020 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF:
    • Acceptably good safety features & ratings
    • Driver assist safety (i-ActiveSense)
      • Smart city low speed braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic & lane departure warning
    • 3 years / 36,000 miles bumper to bumper, 5 years / 60k mi powertrain warranties

    What It Has Not (or Not Preferred):

    • No seat height adjustment
    • Limited steering wheel reach adjustment
    • Small forward center console wireless device tray
    • Shallow center console aft storage bin
    • Locking glovebox is between the seat backs
    • No door pockets
    • Small 4.5 cu. ft. trunk
    • Cup holders attach in center console and front passenger transmission tunnel slots
    • Infotainment laggy, touch control only available with vehicle stationary

    NEW to Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF for 2020 MY:

    • Android Auto mobile phone projection apps
    • New lattice slat lower front fascia grille (replacing horizontal bars)

    Standout Cool 2020 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF Feature(s):

    • Adaptive turning headlights & automatic high beams
    • Automatic climate control
    • Heated Nappa leather seating
    • Stainless steel door sills & metallic cabin accents
    • Rain sensing windshield wipers
    • Self-dimming wing mirrors in body matching color
    • Self dimming rear view mirror w/ Homelink garage door remote
    • 17″ dark silver alloy wheels
    • Bridgestone Potenza S001 three season high performance tires

    Roadblazing.com Says: Relatively pricey retractable folding hard top is the option to get for less interstate cacophony. However, nearly $1000 can be saved by choosing the MX-5 Club RF provided cloth seats and manual climate control can be tolerated.


    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    WHAT: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata  folding soft-top 2-seat roadster ND = 4th generation = 172 lbs. lighter, 3.2″-inches shorter than previous NC MX-5 Miata.


    • STANDARD POWER: 2.0L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 180 hp/ 155 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm + 6-speed close ratio shifter manual helical transaxle

    This represents a horsepower / torque bump of 26 hp / 3 lb-ft due to valve lift height increase & port angle for improved air swirl. Lightened pistons & connecting rods enable 700 rpm redline increase to 7500 rpm.

      Optional: 6-speed torque converter planetary automatic w/ shift paddles

    • STANDARD CONFIGURATION: Manually retracting soft convertible top with defrosting glass backlight. MX-5 Grand Touring = extra sound insulating layer.

    Retracting the light, durably framed soft-top is a one-handed / armed affair. Closing the roof is possible, though not at all suggested, at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

      Optional: power Retractable Fastback hard roof = MX-5 RF


    Trying to Be TR-7 rather than Spitfire: chiseled face and corners oust a formerly ovoid self;

    Cats Eyes: migration to wafer thin bi-LED headlamp DRL housings;

    Simulated Contrast Corner Inlets/ Diffusers: yes the fake ones;

    Deep Low Valley: adoption of a steep raked, sharp dual crease hood;

    Shoulders and Haunches above all previous Miata’s: Ballooned muscular fenders, rear quarter panels hence larger wheel arches. Pedestrian directionals added aft of fenders;




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