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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2017 Mazda Miata RF

Eric Peters on

The RF uses the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as the Miata roadster. It has 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. You can pair this engine with either the standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional six-speed automatic.

Either way, the Miata is quicker than ever: It can jump from zero to 60 mph in about six seconds flat, whereas the previous generation takes about 6.7 seconds.

The Miata is also a very economical car to drive. The soft top with the six-speed manual transmission gets 27 mpg city and 36 highway; the RF with the same transmission gets 27 mpg city and 34 highway.

On the Road

It's a bit quieter inside with the targa top in place, as well as when it's stowed away, because the only open section is the roof section. The RF's side/sail panels remain in place, and that dramatically reduces wind swirl.

The engine is brilliant and tractable. There's power (and torque) enough for the stop-and-go grind, and it's made even more agreeable by an easy take-up clutch and outstanding visibility all around. But when traffic dissipates or you feel like leaving traffic behind, you can grab a downshift and let the engine sing its song, all the way to 7,000 rpms or so.

 

No matter how bad a day you're having, if you take a Miata for the drive home, your day won't end badly.

At the Curb

Both the RF and its soft-topped sister have 4.6 cubic feet of trunk space.

This lack is one of the few non-practical things about the Miata. It goes with the two-seater sport car layout.

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Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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