Flash Drive

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

Model Tested: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF looks like a sleek high performance coupe with the roof panel in position.

Engine:2.0-liter I-4 gas, 181-horsepower, 151 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 26 mpg city, 34-mpg highway, 29 mpg combined

Base Price: $33,335

As Tested: $35,905


Excellent performance

26 more hp than 2018 model

Very nimble, easily darts in and out of traffic

The rear 3/4 view is handsome, too.

Sporty exhaust note

Blind spot monitor is very useful

Lane Departure Control

Super smooth 6-speed transmission and clutch

Nice Hill Hold feature

Perforated pedal covers including large dead pedal

Easy to get over 30-mpg fuel economy

Front ventilated disc brakes


Good headroom

Knee and legroom tight especially for passenger

The smooth, efficient 2.0-liter I-4 has 26 more hp for 2019 for a total of 181.

Snug, but overall comfortable once you’re seated

Flexibility/agility helps getting in/out

Slightly contoured, medium thickness leather steering wheel

Good auxiliary controls

Leather-wrapped shifter knob

Tilt/telescopic steering column makes the most of available space


Small, deep trunk, but no length

Very high lift-over

No glovebox

No door bins

Small locking compartment between seats, but tough to reach

The high back seats are well-bolstered (snug), but comfortable for long trips.

Decent size infotainment screen

Good infotainment controls in center console

Rear glass defroster

Window glass adjusts automatically to ease door shutting

Wind blocker for top-down motoring

WOW Factors:

Super slick retractable hardtop

Very fun to drive; great handling

Handsome styling

Thrifty fuel economy

The 6-speed manual transmission is precise and a joy to shift. Controls are simple rotary knobs and easy to use.


Tight quarters for people over six-feet tall

Extremely limited interior storage

Very small visors for an open-air car

Bottom Line:

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF (Miata) is a great little sports car. Its compact size is part of its personality and has a lot to do with it being so much fun to drive. The flip side is that the interior is snug for people over six-feet tall and 200 pounds. The retractable hardtop is a wonderful feature that provides the best of closed car quietness and open-air fun in one versatile package.