It’s not about the destination, but the journey when you’re traveling in the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Rather than getting somewhere fast (though the MX-5 is quick), driving this car is more about the experience of actually driving – the pure joy of being in control of your life and enjoying the twists and turns of the experience.
Since first going on sale in 1989, Mazda’s venerable little roadster has become a timeless classic. After its redesign in 2016, it was named both World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year, the only car to win both in the same year. For 2017, the big news is the addition of a power retractable hardtop — a Miata first. The MX-5 RF (which stands for Retractable Fastback) is a convertible that looks like a fastback when it’s closed. The result is a fun, open-air experience akin to a targa top, but with a switch that opens or closes it in just 13 seconds.
All 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miatas utilize Skyactiv powertrain technology and are powered by a 155 horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder and a choice of a manual or automatic transmission with six speeds. Don’t think for a moment that the MX-5 is underpowered with this engine. Producing 148 foot-pounds of torque in a vehicle that weighs just over 2,300 pounds means the Miata has plenty of get-up-and-go whether it be off the line, climbing hills or passing on the highway.
For 2017, there are three trim levels with the soft top – Sport, Club and Grand Touring – while the RF version with the power retractable hardtop comes in Club and Grand Touring trims. Standard features on all models – which start at $24,915 – include LED headlights and daytime running lights, Bluetooth hands-free audio and 17-inch wheels. Club trims get standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, as well as a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system and a Bose nine-speaker audio system. Grand Touring models also come equipped with adaptive front lighting with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers and a lane departure warning system.
Our test 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF was priced at $32,620.