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MAZDA MX-5 – top down or up?

The addition of a retractable hardtop RF variant for Mazda’s popular MX-5 roadster could not come at a better time – Mazda Australia expecting the power roof model to account for 60 per cent of MX-5 buyers. The Mazda MX-5 has been an enormous success over four generations and 25 years, selling over 1 million units worldwide. To put a retractable roof on this sports cars icon was a difficult proposition – the power roof design however is clever, superbly packaged, just 25 kilos extra, and can be lowered to provide firstly a targa roof or a full-open top situation. Whether with the roof up or fully folded the silhouette of the MX-5 RF is very pleasing. The way the fixed and moving elements of the roof come together is just so well designed. Priced from 38, 500 for the base manual however my choice would be the GT automatic with manual shift paddles at 45, 890 – in machine grey or Soul red another $250. The 2.0-litre engine a gem with a great sound under strong acceleration – I found the automatic with manual shift paddles quicker than the manual with no need to take your hands off the wheel in tight cornering. I drove several examples up to the other side of Lithgow on the Bells line of Road in extreme heat – this road is hard on suspensions at times and the polish of the small MX-5 RF on this surface is impressive but with a little tyre roar on certain surfaces. I’m David Berthon

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