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2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

What’s new

  • Formerly optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard
  • Same for the i-Activsense package of driver safety features
  • Last year's GT-S package now standard on manual-equipped Grand Touring cars
  • Part of the fourth MX-5 Miata generation introduced for 2016

Pros & Cons

  • Sublime steering and handling
  • RF doesn't sacrifice any of the soft top's fun-to-drive character
  • Offers the security of a fixed-roof coupe
  • The electrically folding roof does not reduce trunk space
  • It's heavier than the soft-top Miata
  • Noisy at highway speeds
  • Tiny trunk
Other years
2020
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF for Sale
MSRP Range
$33,045 - $34,750
MSRP Starting at
$33,045
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$31,696
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$31,696 - $33,900

Save as much as $2,594
Select your model:
Save as much as $2,594
MSRP Range
$33,045 - $34,750
MSRP Starting at
$33,045
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$31,696
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$31,696 - $33,900

Save as much as $2,594
Select your model:
Save as much as $2,594


2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Review

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of our favorite small sports cars. It does have some downsides, though. It's, well, small, so there's not much space to stretch out. The Miata can also get pretty noisy at highway speeds, even with the top up. Thankfully, Mazda offers a way to minimize the roar of the road in your ears when the windows are up: the 2020 MX-5 Miata RF.

The RF comes with a power-folding hardtop instead of the regular Miata's fabric top. Even though it's still fairly loud compared to traditional coupes, the Miata RF is a little more peaceful at highway speeds. It also has fixed buttresses positioned behind each passenger, giving the RF a distinct coupe- or targa-like look instead of the regular Miata's traditional roadster profile.

What's it like to live with?

Interested in learning about what it's like to live with this little roadster? Check out our long-term reviews for the fourth-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata and the updated 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata. We spent a year and more than 20,000 miles with each of these charming convertibles. In our long-term coverage, you can read in-depth coverage from our editors on everything from the way the Miata drives to its reliability. Though our long-term coverage is based on the soft-top MX-5, most of our impressions apply to the RF as well.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

8.0 / 10
In a world of ever more complex performance cars, the refreshingly pure and elemental Mazda MX-5 Miata RF shows everyone how it's done. It's fun to drive and a little bit easier to live with than the regular Miata. The only downside is price. The standard Miata's budget-friendly Sport trim is not available in the RF, which starts with the midgrade Club level. That, plus the price premium the RF commands, makes it significantly more expensive than the base Miata.

How does it drive?

9.0
The Miata's featherweight construction and rear-wheel-drive platform mean that you can have a ton of fun without a supremely powerful engine. There's just 181 horsepower on tap, yet our manual transmission-equipped Miata RF test car sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in a respectably quick 6.6 seconds. You'll get the most driver engagement by picking the manual transmission.

The Miata's brakes are another strong point — they are both easy to control and post short stopping distances. Though steering is a little light in effort, the steering wheel is just the right size and offers immediate response. The Miata responds best to smooth and deliberate inputs. It's precise and predictable, and it's easy to catch the rear end if you get a bit overzealous. There's noticeable body roll (even with the Club suspension), but the only time that becomes an issue is during fast, aggressive driving.

How comfortable is it?

8.0
Small two-seat roadsters aren't known for comfort, but the Miata is surprisingly livable in the day-to-day grind. The Club has a firmer ride than other Miata trims because of its Bilstein dampers, but it still has pretty good compliance over rough roads. Only larger potholes will send a shiver through the chassis. The optional Recaro seats offer an enviable combination of support, breathability and comfort. But they sit higher than the standard seats, making them a no-go for passengers over 6 feet tall.

The Miata's only significant drawback comfort-wise is the abundant cabin noise, even with the additional sound insulation the RF provides compared to the soft top. Road and wind noise increases significantly with speed. On the highway, you'll have to raise your voice to talk to your passenger.

How’s the interior?

7.5
The cabin's elegant design makes the most of the tidy space and prioritizes the fun of driving. There are minimal controls, and those that exist are, perhaps unsurprisingly, easy to reach. Though partially due to clever control placement, their ease of use is directly related to the Miata's minuscule cabin size.

Drivers around 6 feet tall will push the boundaries of head- and legroom, and anyone much taller than that might not fit at all. But average-size drivers will have no problem finding an agreeable position.

Forward visibility is great, though the rear view is somewhat impacted by the RF's targa-like top. The automatic top is quick to retract and deploy.

How’s the tech?

8.0
The MX-5 RF must balance driving purity with a driver's desire for modern connectivity and safety tech. Two USB ports are standard, as are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. There's also an impressive list of active safety features — the blind-spot monitor in particularly useful given the RF's visibility-reducing rear buttresses.

The nine-speaker Bose audio system does a good job both filling the cabin with sound and competing with ambient noise. Voice controls are limited and stick to a menu of on-screen prompts, but the system recognizes speech well.

How’s the storage?

5.5
No one should expect a two-seat convertible to be a utilitarian machine, so the Miata's lack of carrying capacity shouldn't come as a surprise. The Miata RF's trunk measures just 4.6 cubic feet — the same as the one in the regular soft-top Miata. Unlike larger convertibles, there's no back seat to use as a cargo shelf. There's not even a glovebox. Instead, the Miata just has a small bin between the seats that serves as the main storage area for things such as smartphones, wallets or small handbags.

There is sufficient room for one child or toddler in a forward-facing seat or booster only. There are no car seat anchors or top-tether attachment points.

How economical is it?

9.5
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the six-speed manual is 29 mpg combined (26 city/34 highway). In our RF test car, we managed 32 mpg on our 115-mile mixed-driving evaluation route. Matching the EPA's numbers in the real world should be pretty doable.

Is it a good value?

8.5
The RF costs thousands more than the MX-5 Miata soft top. That's partially because Mazda doesn't offer an entry-level Sport trim on the RF. But even if you compare the RF to a standard Miata at its Club level, the RF still commands a premium.

As with the standard MX-5, the RF's cabin materials are quite nice. An abundance of soft plastics and faux leather coverings give the interior an upscale feel. While the price can creep in upper trims and with option packages, the Miata is a good value overall.

Mazda's bumper-to-bumper warranty is good for three years/36,000 miles, while the powertrain is covered for five years/60,000 miles. These are average for the segment. Roadside assistance is offered for three years/36,000 miles, which is below average among non-luxury convertibles.

Wildcard

9.5
The Miata maintains a thread from roadsters past, with a certain purity missing from more modern, tech-advanced cars. Drivers feel fully engaged as the car executes driver commands with urgency and accuracy. The RF's hardtop and fastback style are modern touches, but the driving enjoyment remains.

Which MX-5 Miata RF does Edmunds recommend?

It makes sense to upgrade to the Grand Touring given that it barely costs more than the standard Club. However, if you want cloth seats or the Brembo/BBS Recaro package, you'll have to stick with the Club. There's really no wrong way to go here.

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF models

The 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is a small, lightweight roadster with a power-retractable folding hardtop. It comes in two trim levels: Club and Grand Touring. Both are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (181 horsepower, 151 lb-ft of torque) that drives the rear wheels. The motor is paired to your choice between a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. Highlighted features include:

Club
The Club is the sportier of the two offerings and comes standard with:

  • LED headlights
  • 17-inch black-painted alloy wheels
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Faux leather interior trim
  • Heated seats
  • Nine-speaker Bose audio system
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Two USB ports
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility

Safety features for the Club include:

  • Forward collision warning (alerts you of a possible collision with the car in front and can automatically apply the brakes if a collision is imminent)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (alerts you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while in reverse)

Club models with the manual transmission also add:

  • Shock tower brace
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers
  • Engine sound enhancer

A special Brembo/BBS Recaro package is only available with the Club and manual transmission. It includes:

  • Brembo front brakes with red front and rear calipers
  • Gray BBS wheels
  • Aerodynamic body kit
  • Black roof
  • Recaro sport seats

Grand Touring
The Grand Touring is the more luxurious option. It nixes the Club's front and rear spoilers and adds:

  • Dark gray wheels
  • Automatic headlights and wipers
  • Adaptive headlights (headlights swivel to illuminate the road in turns)
  • Heated mirrors
  • Auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors
  • Automatic climate control
  • Leather upholstery
  • Navigation system

Grand Touring models with the manual transmission also add the manual-equipped Club's performance upgrades.


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Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.

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    Features & Specs

    Grand Touring 2dr Convertible features & specs
    Grand Touring 2dr Convertible
    2.0L 4cyl 6M
    MSRP$34,425
    MPG 26 city / 34 hwy
    SeatingSeats 2
    Transmission6-speed manual
    Horsepower181 hp @ 7000 rpm
    See all for sale
    Grand Touring 2dr Convertible features & specs
    Grand Touring 2dr Convertible
    2.0L 4cyl 6A
    MSRP$34,750
    MPG 26 city / 35 hwy
    SeatingSeats 2
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower181 hp @ 7000 rpm
    See all for sale
    Club 2dr Convertible features & specs
    Club 2dr Convertible
    2.0L 4cyl 6A
    MSRP$33,645
    MPG 26 city / 35 hwy
    SeatingSeats 2
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower181 hp @ 7000 rpm
    See all for sale
    Club 2dr Convertible features & specs
    Club 2dr Convertible
    2.0L 4cyl 6M
    MSRP$33,045
    MPG 26 city / 34 hwy
    SeatingSeats 2
    Transmission6-speed manual
    Horsepower181 hp @ 7000 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF features & specs

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite MX-5 Miata RF safety features:

    Blind-Spot Monitoring
    Alerts the driver to the presence of vehicles in adjacent lanes and sounds a chime if a signaled lane change might result in a collision.
    Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    Sounds an alert if perpendicular traffic approaches as you reverse from, say, a parking stall or a driveway.
    Adaptive Front-Lighting System
    Swivels the headlights in the direction the steering wheel is turned to provide better illumination around turns and curves.

    Mazda MX-5 Miata RF vs. the competition

    Mazda MX-5 Miata RF vs. Fiat 124 Spider

    The Fiat 124 Spider roadster is based on the MX-5 Miata, so these two cars share a lot of similarities. The Fiat's turbocharged engine prevents it from being a complete facsimile, but it still isn't as fast or as pleasant to drive as the Mazda. The Miata RF is a far more well-rounded vehicle overall.

    Compare Mazda MX-5 Miata RF & Fiat 124 Spider features

    Mazda MX-5 Miata RF vs. Toyota 86

    The Toyota 86 is a coupe that offers the same kind of back-to-basics driving thrills as the Miata. However, its larger trunk and back seat make it the more practical vehicle. Both are well-matched from a performance perspective, but the Miata has a superior infotainment system and a more comfortable ride.

    Compare Mazda MX-5 Miata RF & Toyota 86 features

    Mazda MX-5 Miata RF vs. Hyundai Veloster

    With a hatchback body style, usable rear seat and front-wheel-drive architecture, the Hyundai Veloster seems quite different from the Miata. But the Veloster is similarly fun to drive and has all the features and conveniences of a modern car. It's also much less expensive than the Miata, so you can get a fully loaded high-performance Veloster N for thousands less than the base RF Club. They are very different cars, so choose the one that best fits your style.

    Compare Mazda MX-5 Miata RF & Hyundai Veloster features
    FAQ
    Is the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 MX-5 Miata RF both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.0 out of 10. You probably care about Mazda MX-5 Miata RF fuel economy, so it's important to know that the MX-5 Miata RF gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg to 30 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the MX-5 Miata RF has 4.5 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. Learn more
    What's new in the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF:

    • Formerly optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard
    • Same for the i-Activsense package of driver safety features
    • Last year's GT-S package now standard on manual-equipped Grand Touring cars
    • Part of the fourth MX-5 Miata generation introduced for 2016
    Learn more
    Is the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF reliable?
    To determine whether the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the MX-5 Miata RF. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the MX-5 Miata RF's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 MX-5 Miata RF and gave it a 8.0 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 MX-5 Miata RF is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF?

    The least-expensive 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $33,045.

    Other versions include:

    • Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) which starts at $34,425
    • Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $34,750
    • Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $33,645
    • Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) which starts at $33,045
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Mazda MX-5 Miata RF?
    If you're interested in the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, the next question is, which MX-5 Miata RF model is right for you? MX-5 Miata RF variants include Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M). For a full list of MX-5 Miata RF models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

    2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Overview

    The 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is offered in the following submodels: MX-5 Miata RF Convertible. Available styles include Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

    What do people think of the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 MX-5 Miata RF.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 MX-5 Miata RF featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF?
    2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

    The 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $35,695. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) is trending $1,977 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,977 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,718.

    The average savings for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) is 5.5% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 10 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

    The 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $35,370. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is trending $1,924 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,924 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,446.

    The average savings for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is 5.4% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 8 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

    The 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $33,990. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is trending $2,594 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $2,594 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $31,396.

    The average savings for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is 7.6% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 3 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Which 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RFS are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF for sale near. There are currently 41 new 2020 MX-5 Miata RFS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $33,965 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,414 on a used or CPO 2020 MX-5 Miata RF available from a dealership near you.

    Can't find a new 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RFs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Mazda MX-5 Miata RF for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $11,199.

    Find a new Mazda for sale - 1 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $21,691.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Mazda lease specials