2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF – Re-Driven Kinematic -ally

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: Two Epic Sculptures catching breezes on Lake Michigan's western shore: gracefully chiseled sports roadster against sleek Milwaukee Art Museum Calatrava designed Quadracci Pavilion.

SLIDING TOP STEED BRAKES FOR POSTURE: Physicians and parents have warned of the significance of sitting up straight without slouching. Automaker Mazda can now be added the list of posture prognosticators, a paradox from the automotive brand which prides itself on building road traveling machines that make taking the long winding journey desirable.  Other than being offered in a new milky grey hue, skin deep the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata looks just like its 2021 ND roadster ancestor. Yet, some brake trickery below the sleek surface continues to improved this breed of steed, while heeding good chiropractic advice.

2022 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)
  • Relatively light clutch pedal travel disengages at comfortable height
  • Flexibility of torque (155 lb-ft) at under 4000 rpm
  • 181 hp squeezed out of 2.0L Skyactiv-G DOHC inline-4
2019 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring: revised twin cam I-4 powerplant = 180 hp, 155 lb-ft
  • 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
  • NEW FOR ’22:
    • Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). During cornering brakes are slightly applied at the rear corner opposite direction of turn to combat tail lift. As a result body roll is reduced without resorting to harsher damping.
    • Ride Quality: Bilstein dampers in conjunction with KPC provides more generous ride compliance
  • 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 gumballs grip without being easily overtaxed
  • 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
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: one touch retractable folding hard top operates within 13 seconds at up to 6 mph

2022 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 $28,315 for a 2022 Mazda MX-5 Sport w/ 6-speed manual transmission and cloth top; $36,715 (incl. destination) for the as-tested Platinum Quartz Metallic, 6-speed manual 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF.
  • 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 makes for a sharp creased aggressive 4th Generation ND MX-5 Miata
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: exhibiting a rich silver sheen alit at night
  • 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 adults (roof closed) 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
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: new for ’22 Terracotta cross stitched heated leather seats
    • 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, Doppler weather radar, Pandora streaming radio)
    • dual USB-A connections
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: Think classic 1960’s British roadster with modern accoutrements for that Jinb Ittai “Rider with Steed” experience.
    • 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 the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF Has Not (or Not Preferred):

    • Super large, tall (> 6’3″), or arthitic may not want to apply for admittance
    • 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. With a little luck and an adult sitting on the lid, 2 lightly packed 20″ roll-aboard suitcases might squeeze in.
    • 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 2022 MY:

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

    Standout Cool 2022 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring RF Feature(s):

    • Adaptive turning headlights & automatic high beams
    • Automatic climate control w/ oversized knurled metallic rotary knobs
    • Heated Terracotta cross stitched leather seating
    • Tan on black cabin & door panel contrast cross stitching
    • Rain sensing windshield wipers
    • Self-dimming wing mirrors in body matching color
    • Self dimming rear view mirror w/ Homelink garage door remote
    • 17″ smoked silver alloy wheels
    • Bridgestone Potenza S001 three season high performance tires

    Roadblazing.com Says: Miata is still in a league of its own for relatively affordable retractable hard top al fresco enthusiast sport coupes.


  • * * * * * * * * * * * *

    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;




An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.

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