Test drive of the new RF

Today (Saturday) was the day which I was able to test drive the new RF. There was an open day at Mazda in Christchurch and we arrived to view and drive the car.

I was under the impression that we (other half) could drive it on our own but was surprised that she had to wait behind while the Mazda rep came with me.

First time in a ND and this being a 160 HP on display, would interesting to compare between my mk3 which has an alleged 200 bhp.
First impressions were as follows, Bumped head getting in, seat too small for my frame. Started her up and off we went down the road. Adjusted to the car very easily, did feel nice and comfy on the suspension front and the engine was crisp for the factory motor. gear change even lighter than the MK 3 with a nice shift. Gear indicator shows gears that you can go into after you have shifted.
Handling was good which is a compromise of softish suspension and did find the back end slide but controllable in the twisty’s.
Another issue was the dial for the screen was easily knocked when changing gear as my arm was resting near the dial and the slightest touch and the screen changed.
Roof was interesting as it was very quiet in the car with it up, down was kind of nice but you didn’t get the feeling that you were with one with nature like a rag top.
It was an interesting car full of modern things like white line alarm, if you drift over the white line, the car gave a deep rumble sound, not sure if its a use unless your falling asleep.
From the drivers view the wings were strange and not sure i liked the shape, but out of the car they looked good, something to get use to in time.
So was it a good experience? Well it was a nice motor despite the niggles and I would be interested in one if I thought it would replace what I’ve got. As a completely new car and new to the MX5’s perfect!
My thoughts are  the car has too many modern gizmos, which although you can switch them off doesn’t go back to the MK1 that they say it is emulating but that’s modern motors for you.

The shape of the front wings from the driver’s viewpoint, along with a certain amount of intentional body roll, were designed to help communicate to the driver how the car is behaving/handling.

The LDWS lane departure warning system is a mandatory requirement for new cars in some markets.


My experience of the roof open, windows up, RF is that it does a great job of keeping the wind above your head in your hair rather than turbulence in your face.

Thank you for your comments on the new RF.  We went to the Launch at Magna Mazda last Sunday.  Like “Madman” we were quite impressed with the look of the car.  As we would be in the market for an automatic example if we ever save up the pennies (or should that be pounds?) we will have to wait for that model to emerge.  

The comments from Neil will be in the Wessex March Newsletter along with any others received.  Most of our members went along to the Magna Mazda, Canford Cliffs showroom for the launch.