When did red/burgundy cease being an interior trim option on the ND RF?

Hello there - it’s not a rhetorical question, I genuinely want to know. I had initially been looking to replace my car with a good late NC, but after a small change in circumstances have applied some man maths and decided I can justify an ND RF 184 later on this year as prices of early 184s get a bit more palatable

However, it really needs a the red/burgundy interior and when one specs a new one, only Stone is available as an interior colour. I don’t think it disappeared with the emergence of the GT trim. I’ve seen it on early GTs in Polymetal Grey - I was wondering if it was only available on some exterior colours before it fizzled out and was it ever available on Deep Crystal Blue cars? Also, is the leather always on the dash as well in cars after the 184 upgrade?

Thanks - sorry for the gaps in what may seem obvious knowledge but the ND really hasn’t been on my radar until very recently as I was all about the NC.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

Thats the 2019 brochure and i know last year the burgundy leather was offered on the RF. I think it was changed for 21 model year.

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Yes as soon as Eternal blue was replaced with Deep Blue mica, burgundy leather finished, so 2021 model year

The leather see seat models have always had matching door and dash lower trim in leather. Although I think it’s leatherette, not real.

Cheers all. Well the ideal combination of crystal blue with the red interior is out of the window, but the interior red is more important to me than the exterior. I don’t mind it isn’t real leather, I think it works quite well.

Did anything technical or kit wise change for MY2021 from the models immediately beforehand? Also, did the spec of the Sport Tech change once the GT Sport Tech came out, or did the GT only add to it - they didn’t rob anything to make the GT seem juicier? In other words is any Sport Tech 184 in standard trim always the same since it came out, and therefore is the only difference between it and a GT the BBS wheels and black mirrors (I assume they’re heated on all models regardless).

Sorry to bombard you with some weapons grade minutiae on the matter!

Cheers again.

Its Napa leather

It’s usually the case, if it’s popular discontinue it.
Same sort of thing with body colours, no one wanted white or red years ago, now they’ve become popular colours so the manufacturers seem to think.
Some will never try new colours, a case of just in case they don’t sell, have another shade of black instead.

Sorry I didn’t make it clear. The seats are leather or softer Nappa leather on the GT.
The dash and door trims are leatherette.
Also consider the Abarth 124 spider available with red and black leather.
Also BMW Z4 can be specified with red leather, some good deals on those, as long as you don’t mind automatic gears, albeit with paddles.

124 and Z4 are out as I don’t want a rag top, plus with regard to the Z4 it’s too wide for my garage.

I’m gunning for the earliest 184PS MX-5 RF I can get with the right colour scheme. As soon as they hit around £18,000 I will probably push the button.

I’m on my second F56 Cooper S MINI at the moment on PCP from new which is great, but when my deal ends there won’t be a replacement yet and I can’t stomach 3 of the practically the same car - that said, I do love them but MINI seem to think they are worth a lot more money than ever and now the platform is 7+ years old they’ve decide no deals are about on new ones - or at least certainly the sort I’ve hitherto managed to squeeze out of them.

Mazda suck on new car deals, but the MX-5 does seem to depreciate quite badly, and Mazda are probably the only brand I would trust a used car from. I’ve had a few used, but very nearly new 6-pot BMs and one each of the first two generations of BMW MINI at 3 years old, and all 5 cars have been via franchise dealership used car schemes and all have stank reliability-wise.

It’s a shame, as I really love BMWs and my tuned 535d was a diesel that did 60 in under 6 seconds in 2007 - if I was aligned to any brand it would be BM, but none of them fit in my tiny garage so the love affair is over all because of how things measure up. Story of my life :wink:

And at least 2 of the above were pushing £40k used. I’m not saying Mazda are perfect or that I shouldn’t brace myself for the potential of some pain, but I think they’re better than many. But having had my fingers burned far too many times, if I did it again and the same happened I would only blame myself.

But garage dimensions mean my options for car that will fit and hit 60 in under 10s are:

Kia Picanto 1.0T GT whatever it is. I wouldn’t get it but technically it’s in as it does it in 9.9s! A commendable effort though.

Abarth 595 - again, not getting it, but it’s tiny and rapid, but far too flawed in far too many ways.

VW Up GTI - if it was a bit faster, and a bit less budget inside, and had some buckety seats it’d probably be in with a shout, but no. Plus new PCP or lease deals are disproportionate to its value.

MINI Cooper S 3-dr - love it, but bored and they will want too much cash. Frameless doors make it just about liveable with in the garage. It will be between this and the MX-5. If MINI offer me a very good deal on a brand new well-specced one, I will be torn between head and heart. I know I’ll have a wobble along the way yet but I’m very much in MX-5 mode. It’ll probably be the last ICE car I get, so I may as well make it something a bit different.

MX-5 2.0 184 RF with a read interior - well I’m pushing against an open door here aren’t I.

Alpine A110 - would love but I don’t feel like performing open-wallet surgery.

Nothing else fits.

Thanks for everyone’s help. The good thing is, quite a lot of people liked red interiors so I don’t think it’s going to be tricky getting one I like and I’ve got time on my side. I can get a car that’s going to tick all my boxes. Just got to learn how to respectfully drive something rear wheel drive again after 12 years of Cooper Esses that really make one a lazy driver.

I just needed to make sure that there would be a perfect MX-5 for me available off the shelf. Well one that someone got off the shelf 2 or 3 years before me anyway!

Have you had a test drive yet?

It’s fine reading and researching a car, but nothing beats driving one.

Do you think you’ll miss the turbo engine of the Mini? You have to rev and MX-5 out to get the power.
Also if you are over 6ft they are cramped. Also consider passengers, my partner is 6ft and doesn’t find it comfortable.

If you do a lot of long journeys, will it be refined enough for you.

Maybe find a 184ps RF local to you and have a drive.

The new deals are not too bad, there is 0% finance with £500 deposit contribution, and you can usually get another £500 discount.
Or a lot of people take the low rate finance with £2k deposit and then settle the finance early to essentially get £2k discount.

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I’ve driven an early 160 soft top ND, but that was a long time ago. Although the MINI is low by hatch standards and as a high shoulder line, the Mazda is extremely low - that and the absence of anything immediately behind you in terms of space were the oddest things for me.

I can’t test drive as am very much in an “at risk” group so have pretty much been in my own personal lockdown since last April and I don’t need to take any risks yet - £18,000 is where my window opens and they’re nowhere near that yet.

I tend to make it my business to test drive stuff I have no intention of buying when I’m a bit bored, so have more or less driven most stuff at some point or other!

The other half is taller than me, but I am short - I know my place. I’m just glad I’m being allowed to spend some money :slight_smile: Then again as Mickey Rooney said when stood next to Jayne Mansfield once (I think), “Sometimes there are advantages is being short”. I’m 5’5 and have very short hair, so the roof line won’t be bad for me and unless she adopts a beehive I think she should be OK!

The effortlessness of the MINI engine given its larger displacement than most for the size of car, and given its turbo engine is a fair point. I’ve gone past the point of doing green light blasts, to be honest. The derivation of the MINI unit being a de-tuned reworking of the modular design which I think went as far up as the previous shape 328 also counts against it for many people in a hot hatch as it’s quite lazy and uncharacterful and majors on prodigious torque but I’ll adjust. I like it how it is to be honest, and that may underline how unimportant an engine is to me as long as it gets the job done. The pre WLTP version in the F56 Cooper S was a bit more theatrical with a lot more pops and burbles on the downchange, but as much as I thought I would miss them I don’t.

I think it will be a bit of a shock, but it’s not my main thing in a car - if it’s there when I want to use it and I can get an overtake done, I’m fine with that.

I think the absence of rev matching will be a bit of a sod as I’ve got iffy pins these days and can’t be bothered doing it myself!

The Mazda deals are horrendous when you actually see what you’re paying though. My spec Cooper S had a list of over £28k and it’s sub £340 a month with a grand down and a VT after 36 months on 10k mpa. Mazda prices come out above that on a similarly priced new MX-5 (i.e. just a plain Sport model for comparison) but require a £4,000 deposit. I’ve pecked their heads about it in the past and they all say they just don’t have the room that MINI do.

I’ve always found a MINI dealer who will take it down the bottom line when push comes to shove. They have their targets and someone is typically always going to be at the point where it’s worth shifting an expensive MINI at not much margin for the good it does them with the manufacturer and allows them to keep the badge over the door.

Regardless of what they Mazda offering on a new one, I can always confidently whip it at MINI even if they’re not doing me any favours. But since I can’t get a red interior on a new one, it’s academic anyway.

I don’t do a massive amount of long journeys, but you never knows what’s around the corner.

The fact I’m been doing no miles for over a year and am probably not going to be going back to work full time has made a car much less important to me, so I can just buy a used one outright and have four or five years with it and I will be spending much less over that period than I have been recently.

I will certainly be test driving an RF a good few times before committing - I need to see how bad the blind spot is for one thing. But given my alternatives, if I can’t get a good deal on a MINI, the MX-5 gets it by default anyway, as my minimum spec on a Cooper S is a high one with a few key options packs, I won’t take a Cooper and I won’t go near a used one.

The real concerns I have at the moment are:

Do the engines drink oil at all.
Seat condition - a lot of the bolsters seem a bit iffy on not very old ones.
The blind spot on the RF.
How confident am I pushing a rear wheel drive car after all this time.
Can I live with being so low.
Will a garage hold my winter alloys as I can’t be ringed putting them on myself and obviously I won’t be able to take them there (it’s an MX-5!).
The engine might strike me as being hard work, but I think the way I accelerate these days, together with the roads for my commute which are no longer country rat runs but a new by-pass that has opened will make me less bothered.

I am really grateful for your points though, and they are all valid. Have you got or owned an RF? Very interested in anyone else’s experience with regard to things that became issues that they didn’t think would be.

I normally do 14,000 a year and I’ve done less than 1,000 in 14 months, so I think I’ve gone from being car mad to not being that bothered any more!

I’ve come from an 18 month old small car big engined (b58 3litre c400bhp/400ft lbs) bmw bought new to an 18 month old 30AE RF bought used, so can sort of identify with your concerns, and I thought long and hard about what I wanted from a car (it’s my daily, so about 14k a year) before jumping in.
The ND 2 is simply a really rewarding car to drive, the more effort you put in the more it gives back, it doesn’t do the chilled out lazy thing very well tbh, but is refined enough on the motorway over long distances, albeit I am intending to add some sound deadening at some point. I’ve done nearly 5 hours in one hit with no aches, I do have Recaro seats though.
The blind spot isn’t really an issue for me, it doesn’t appear to use any oil, the gearbox is great once warmed up, and performance at low revs is adequate - just - , as it is at higher revs when chasing the power. It’s not a fast car though, and my mindset had to change to deal with it. Keep up momentum and plan ahead and it’s really involving.

There are a few irritants. The steering wheel is horrible,- hard and thin rimmed. Easily sorted though. The clutch is sharp, making it a challenge to drive smoothly without concentrating at low speed. No wireless carplay, (I have to plug it in) plus MZD nav is useless. No folding mirrors, so with the keyless entry/exit I’m never sure if it’s locked or not.
Bridgestone O/E S001. How can a tyre be so poor at everything? Dry grip, wet grip, feel, predictability, wear, you name it. Again easily sorted.

Some good bits. Bose sound is ok, and far better than the standard system. Brakes (Brembo/Nissin) are good. It’s very fuel efficient, around 45mpg with a mix of driving. The climate control is excellent. It’s a well resolved, well developed car that is just so rewarding to drive, plus I think it looks good too, especially in orange!

There are times when I miss the effortless torque of a large turbocharged engine, and the ZF automatic, and the drama of the BMW, but in all honesty they’re few and far between.

Much as @Overdrive describes above. Mine is a soft top, not RF.

I’ve had a mix of FWD turbo (Mini Cooper S) RWD turbo (BMW E46) and N/A RWD (Honda S2000) cars as daily drives plus some bog standard saloon/hatchbacks. For majority A road & Mway driving you can’t beat a refined large engined turbo.

But for twisty B road commutes, the RWD n/a option is my choice. I miss my S2k but the ND2 hits all the buttons in that respect, IF you use the rev range to get that corresponding power delivery.

We also have a VW Up! with its tiny 3-cylinder turbo. That is surprisingly good fun to drive, quick off the lights, fantastically easy in town, can carry our family of 4 in some comfort and I even got a mattress in it to take to the dump. But it’s not refined, so for fast Aroad/Mway driving very frugal but very noisy.

I can relate to your last comment. I no longer have a commute as such, so for me every journey has to be fun. The ND2 delivers that in droves and is possibly my favourite out of everything I’ve owned.

Yeah, I think that low end performance is the thing. But it’s very frustrating that mine has such low end grunt you never get the chance to rev it out - it’s so diesel-like in it’s characteristics you feel silly taking it over 4,500.

The GT gets folding mirrors I believe, but I don’t use them as a lock/unlock indicator - just because of my tight garage.

I have Michelin Premacy’s as my OEM tyre on my Cooper S and they stink.

I don’t know whether the steering wheel is horrible per se, more just that it’s the exact antithesis of a BMW group steering wheel, which are typically on the thick side. A lot of people don’t like them, but I quite like it - especially in an M car - always makes you feel like you’re in something serious!

Yeah, I have wireless CarPlay in the MINI but my non-work iPhone’s battery is goosed anyway so I have to plug that in all the time regardless! Not bothered about native system - would be using CarPlay anyway. How have you sorted your steering wheel - have you had/are you planning one of those stitched on covers?

I don’t know if you get Brembos on anything other than a 30th Anniversary - I think in the states the GT is available with a Brembo pack and red calipers, but not over here.

All my BMs were autos but I’ve been back in manuals for the last 12 years. The MX-5 'box makes a manual worthwhile. The MINI lump is a bit mediocre in itself, but on the Cooper S the rev matching brings it to life. If you’re easily pleased.

I’m glad you’re finding it refined enough on long drives. I think I’m less prone to finding something unrefined than most - it tends to be little things that irritate me more, whereas I need some great hulking issue to be pointed out to me. Any trim rattles at all - has it held up fairly well in that regard?

Cheers for your thoughts!

Is your Up a TSI 90 or a GTI?

It’s interesting that a few people have ended up in an MX-5 after having more powerful and torquey lumps and are finding them OK. I think you just get bored with easily accessible power.

I had toyed with getting a cheapish NC and BBRing it up, but I think the interior would distress me a bit in the longer term (especially given the current MINI is a fairly pleasant place to be) and once I’d modded it I wouldn’t be able to warranty it. Once I saw the trajectory of the 184s and I had a bit more cash available, and given I’d be keeping it for a while, it made more sense for me to go in that direction.

It’s good getting similarly-minded folk’s opinions.


I’ve found the 2 litre ND to a very flexible engine, considering it has no turbo it pulls quite well from low revs.

I’ve had BMW’s for years, the last being the M140 which I bought as a long term keeper - the last ever 6 cylinder RWD hatch bla bla.
Very quick, especially after minor electronic tweaking, and the in gear performance was stunning - if road conditions were right - ie warm and dry.
At speeds where things started to get interesting it was let down badly by its chassis, which I found very frustrating. Very over stiff rear springs (which I dealt with by fitting softer ones from a M135) and very poor quality adaptive dampers, particularly the rear, which faded noticeably after 30 minutes or so - they got too hot to touch. And no LSD, which really only became an issue when pushing on in bad weather.
My dilemma was either spending c£5k on sorting it’s issues, or a complete change of direction. This was brought to a head when I was involved in a completely non fault accident which resulted in £10k’s worth of damage to my car, including the B and C pillars.
Hence the RF. As different as possible to the BMW’s. So far so good.
Not sure any mx5 has folding mirrors btw.

Yeah, I love BMs but they’re made out of paper (although no worse than offerings from Merc and certainly Audi) but also their packaging with chains and belts and such seems engineered to make high labour costs. The latter never affected me, but I was just aware of it. Mazda seem to have a pretty good reliability record, but there are always going to be horror stories.

When you configure a new MX-5 RF, it appears to show the options each model up the range gains over the one before it and it says power operated mirrors and I took this to mean folding as I can’t believe all the cars don’t feature power adjustable mirrors. Perhaps it’s just because you get black mirrors is then gets a bit excited and describes them a bit for you. I think I can live without them if that is the case.

Power wise you’re obviously taking much more of a hit than me and if you can put up with it, I should be able to. It’s not so much power that will be my issue, more so delivery. Because I seldom really bury my foot in the Cooper S in isolation, I’m always a bit startled when I overtake on the immediacy and shove it does delivery when you want it. But I think I’m slowing down, and probably less likely to be bothered about overtaking these days. I don’t know. I think electric cars have ruined the thrill of a high performance petrol engine. They can do such more so effortlessly and without any drama that make the noise and theatrics that come with something that’ll be slower than them a bit embarrassing.

Out and out oomph hasn’t been on my radar since the 535d and I got shot of that in 2008 - I just want “enough plus a bit more”. It’s hard to put a figure on it, but I’ll know when I haven’t got enough.

I don’t mind having to work the Mazda - that’s part of what makes it unique in this day and age. Is there a more powerful normally aspirated 4-pot out there than the 2.0 in the MX-5 - by ‘out there’ I mean on sale new. It’s hard to imagine there are that many of any power output.

I suspect next time around I’ll be in a Cooper S or whatever it’s equivalent will be in the new tinier MINI that comes along next and it’ll no doubt be electric. I say this purely as I don’t know what Mazda have got in the pipeline to replace the MX-5 with and the timings are a little awkward. I suppose it mainly depends on American demand, but as everyone leaps towards electric cars it’s hard to see what Mazda will do. It’s such an important part of their world sales, or more importantly their reputation, it’s hard to imagine they won’t do something to drag it into the new era but if it ends up being 300kg heavier does it lose what it’s all about?

But yes, as this might be my last chance to have a contemporary MX-5 I could well regret it if I don’t.

The mirrors are just power adjustable for the glass. If you want to fold them it’s a manual job.

Certainly the driver’s side is easy of course, window down, and rotate it onwards.

Have to bear in mind the ND was designed in 2015, and they tried to save weight, so it’s a lightweight car with few extras. The infotainment in particular is dated, but you can use Apple carplay or Android auto.

Another annoyance is the windows are not one touch up, only down, so you have to hold the button until closed.

Another strange one, no pollen filter. I guess it must be lack of space or weight saving.

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The TSI Beats. Very rolly through the bends and bouncy over bumps but 60+ mpg, 160Nm torque and carrying 2 mountain bikes on the roof no probs, it punches above its weight. Cost me a shade over £9k new in June 2018, some 3k off list with the plan for it to be a first car for my two boys. Only snag is neither have shown interest in driving so it’s mine, for now.

Personally, I find the current Mini Cooper S a distasteful place to be in, an ugly car to look at, and a bore to drive once used to the power delivery.