2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

There’s nothing like putting the top down on a 90 degree day with embers smacking you in the face as you motor down the road. You see, here in Seattle we were getting the brunt of the smoke from some nasty forest fires in Vancouver BC during my week with Mazda’s awesome power retractable hard top sports car.

The little Mazda has always been one of my favorite cars and this new take with the cool roof didn’t disappoint. Sure, ventilated seats would have come in handy, or at least a more powerful HVAC system. But big deal. It’s how this car drives that matters. And boy is it fun. Mazda loaned me the manual six-speed Grand Touring edition for a week of driving pleasure. One evening during rush hour traffic, I drove from Seattle to Tacoma in stop and go traffic. An automatic would have been nice for the two hour slog, but my left leg survived.

While the infotainment system looks like something from a BMW with the screen permanently mounted on the dashboard and a round knob surrounded by control buttons, it is far from robust in the feature department.

That’s all I’ve got for the nit picky car reviewer guy stuff.

My wife and I went on a few road trips and she said on more than one occasion that I should buy this little machine try metallic rig. It is tempting. The retractable hard top would be a great car here in Seattle if you wanted top down driving or something ridged and tight over your head during the many dark wet days in the northwest. The top goes up or down in 14 seconds and you can see the progress via a cool pictogram on the dashboard.

155 horsepower with148 pound feet of torque may not sound like fun, but when you stick the 2-liter SKYACTIVE power plant in a car as light as this, it’s really all you need.

It is also kind to your wallet at the pump getting 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway.

This is a beautiful little car. And a blast to drive. It is uncomplicated and pure.

There is nothing else like the MX-5 at any price.

Mike West CBS


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