Sprint Review: 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF

A new car, lots of information in short paragraphs.

What you need to know: We actually tested this model before, about a year ago and in exactly the same colour. Back then I described its heavy automated roof (plus 160kg) and automatic box-o-cogs as giant flies in the otherwise enjoyable soup of MX-5 deliciousness. Has anything changed?

To save you reading on… no, not really.

More facts: The automated hard top looks amazing – as do its 13-second movements – while lending an air of solidity and insulation to the cabin. Mazda discontinued the soft-top (and manual gearbox) MX-5 for reasons which we’re still to confirm. Convenience, factory allocation or worse – consumer trends?

Where we went: City streets and highways alike where the Mazda MX-5 can’t deny its DNA with agile handling and compact dimensions. The six-speed automatic gearbox will be every commuter’s dream and even offers a Sport mode plus shift paddles behind the attractive multi-function steering wheel.

Watch out for: The electrically animated roof doesn’t take any more space away than the soft top but only operates under 10km/h… I don’t know about you but I dislike parking next to the highway to put my roof up. That auto’box robs a fair chunk of driver appeal and the price isn’t exactly inviting at around N$550,000.

Why you’ll want one: Its legendary name, looks and handling. If you want a weekend toy or track-day plaything, I beg you on my hands ‘n knees to find a clean pre-owned manual MX-5. It’s worlds apart from this model. Each MX-5 is sold with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and service plan.


  • Engine: 2L i-4 petrol
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic, RWD
  • Max. Power: 118kW
  • Max. Torque: 200Nm
  • Avg cons.: 6.7L/100km (claimed)
  • 0-100km/h: 7.74 seconds (claimed 8.6)
  • Top Speed: 194km/h (claimed)
  • List Price: Starting at R538,200


0-10km/h: 0,29 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,82 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,46 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,14 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,82 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,58 seconds
0-70km/h: 4,54 seconds
0-80km/h: 5,52 seconds
0-90km/h: 6,58 seconds
0-100km/h: 7,74 seconds
0-110km/h: 9,13 seconds
0-120km/h: 10,75 seconds
0-130km/h: 12,49 seconds
0-140km/h: 14,42 seconds
0-150km/h: 16,77 seconds
0-160km/h: 19,91 seconds

0-100m: 6,71 seconds @ 91,29km/h
0-200m: 10,14 seconds @ 116,63km/h
0-300m: 13,03 seconds @ 132,84km/h
0-400m: 15,61 seconds @ 145,55km/h

100-0km/h: 2,82 seconds @ 39,46 metres (once-off)

0-10mph: 0,58 seconds
0-20mph: 1,61 seconds
0-30mph: 2,70 seconds
0-40mph: 3,99 seconds
0-50mph: 5,57 seconds
0-60mph: 7,31 seconds
0-70mph: 9,57 seconds
0-80mph: 12,29 seconds
0-90mph: 15,46 seconds
0-100mph: 20,20 seconds

1/4 mile: 15,67 seconds @ 90,60 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,73G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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