2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Save up to $1,735
MSRP range
$31,910 - $33,825
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Save up to $1,735

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The tiny trunk will hold only a few items
  • Still noisy at highway speeds
  • It's heavier than the soft-top Miata


Which MX-5 Miata RF does Edmunds recommend?

Our top must-have for the MX-5 is the slick six-speed manual, and we think the extra equipment the manual comes with on the Club trim — such as a limited-slip differential and sportier Bilstein dampers — make for the best driving experience. The Club also comes with the same infotainment system as the Grand Touring (minus the navigation), some basic active safety features, and a handful of nice conveniences, so it's by no means spartan.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4 / 5

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata takes a classic approach to sports-car design with its light weight and diminutive size. It feels more like an extension of the driver than a box you sit in. Even with just 155 horsepower, it's one of the most engaging cars on the road at any price, and having your head in the open air has always been an integral part of that experience.

The MX-5 Miata RF, or Retractable Fastback, swaps out the cloth roof of the convertible and replaces it with a fold-away roof panel and rear window, leaving something like a wide roll bar supported on long buttresses just behind the passenger compartment. The metal roof makes for a slightly quieter car with the top up and gives the Miata a distinct coupelike look. The trunk size remains the same between the hard- and the soft top, so you don't lose what little practicality the Miata offers.

The trade-off is that you don't get the full open-air experience, and the metal roof along with its complex folding mechanism adds about 100 pounds and a higher price to the lightweight roadster. But the RF version is still a blast to drive. If you're shopping for an affordable sports car, the Miata RF gives you a unique mix of coupe and convertible attributes.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is available in two trim levels: Club and Grand Touring. We prefer the Club for its available sport-oriented hardware, although buyers seeking more comfort and amenities will gravitate toward the Grand Touring's longer list of convenience features. Both trim levels are equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (155 horsepower, 148 pound-feet of torque) and are available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment on the Club includes LED headlights, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and push-button start, a 7-inch infotainment screen with a console-mounted rotary control knob, a nine-speaker Bose stereo with headrest speakers, and cloth upholstery.

Manual-equipped Club models are the sportiest, gaining a retuned suspension, Bilstein dampers, limited-slip differential and shock tower brace, making it our version of choice. Manual Club models can be optioned with upgraded Brembo front brakes, BBS wheels and heated Recaro sport seats.

Grand Touring models — equipped with heated leather seats, navigation, a cloth-lined top, automatic climate control, adaptive headlights and lane departure warning — skew toward the luxury end. These features are nice to have, but strike us as contradictory to the Miata's elemental nature. Then again, a power-folding top isn't exactly simple either. Still, at least there's a choice between sport-oriented and comfort-tuned versions rather than some middling compromise.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring (2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed manual | RWD).

Driving

5
The MX-5's power numbers won't light up enthusiasts, but the car's uncanny ability to carry speed through corners and its lean muscle mass — the RF weighs just 2,468 pounds — makes the power feel just right.

Acceleration

4
Others are quicker, but the MX-5 impresses with near instant engine response and linear power. The RF is a bit heavier than a soft-top Miata, so we're not surprised it proved to be about a half-second slower to 60 mph in our testing. We measured a 0-60 mph time of 7 seconds.

Braking

4.5
The brakes feel sure and predictable in daily use, even in rambunctious driving on your favorite mountain road. Our car stopped from 60 mph in 110 feet in our panic-stop test, and under repeated tests the distance remained consistent.

Steering

4.5
The steering effort is a tad lighter than we'd want, and feedback is a little muted too. Even so, steering feel is immediate and the car reacts accurately to driver input. And the steering wheel has just the right grip feel. It's one of the best available today.

Handling

5
Precise and predictable are the operative words. The RF reacts best to smooth and deliberate commands, but it's still supremely fun to toss into a corner with abandon. There's more a bit body roll than you might expect, but it doesn't hurt the MX-5's ability to devour corners one bit.

Drivability

5
Even though the RF is capable of entertaining performance, it is easy to drive and enjoy in everyday commuting situations — even with a manual transmission. It's hard to convey just how much we like the light but direct-acting clutch and the near perfect shifter. No one does it better.

Comfort

4
Two-seat roadsters aren't known for comfort, but the RF proves otherwise with a compliant suspension and innovative seats. Today's MX-5 is quieter than before, but it still leaks wind and road noise. The RF's retractable hardtop doesn't help much either. The racket is part of the allure for some.

Seat comfort

5
The mesh-suspension seat construction cradles occupants with just the right amount of support and no hard pressure points. The side bolsters provide ample lateral support without being intrusive. After hours of driving, they're very comfortable and never stifling.

Ride comfort

4
Despite its small dimensions and sporty intentions, the Miata isn't punishing. There's plenty of compliance to smooth over bumps, but bigger potholes can send a shiver through the chassis. Long road trips won't be a problem.

Noise & vibration

3
Road and wind noise is prevalent at highway speeds with the top up, but not to the point that it's intrusive. With the top up, the RF is only marginally quieter than with the cloth top when cruising and it's even louder at full stomp. The exhaust sound is a pleasant tenor.

Climate control

4
The classic three-dial array with knurled outer dials to control temperature, fan speed and vents is appropriate to the RF's retro foundation. It's also easy and effective. The air conditioning cools the cabin quickly, even on a hot day with the top down. The seat heaters work with similar urgency.

Interior

3.5
The RF's interior features quality materials and an elegant design that prioritizes the fun of driving. Excellent overall visibility and intuitive tech reinforce that standard, but you won't find much cargo or small-item storage. Some drivers will struggle to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Ease of use

4.5
The primary controls are well-placed around the driver. The infotainment screen can be read with a quick glance and can be controlled by touch or with a knob controller. It's one of the best even if the knob's placement isn't ideal. The compact cabin ensures that everything is within easy reach.

Getting in/getting out

3
An average-size adult will have no problem slipping in and out, though this low-slung car might be difficult for those who can't bend as well as they used to. Taller drivers will have to curl themselves through the opening when the top is up. The short doors aid access in tight parking spots.

Driving position

3.5
The steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope; the seat also isn't height-adjustable. Most drivers will be OK with the pedals, shifter and steering wheel placement. But shorter drivers may need to slide the seat forward to reach the pedals, then slide the seat back to exit. Annoying but tolerable.

Roominess

3
Typical adults may deem the cockpit snug enough to feel as if they're wearing the car, but in a good way that bolsters the driver-to-machine connection. But drivers over 6 feet tall may push the boundaries of head- and legroom.

Visibility

4
Forward visibility is as good as it gets, with panoramic windshield positioning and narrow roof pillars. But the rear side pillars, which give the car its coupe look (with the top up) and targa look (with the top down), do block some rearward sightlines when reversing or changing lanes.

Quality

4
The interior quality meets the expectations for the price. It's also much nicer than the interiors of Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ coupe alternatives.

Convertible top

4.5
The power hardtop retracts in about 14 seconds via a rocker switch in the lower center console. The fastback section rises while the roof section retracts, and when it's all over, the trunk space is identical to the soft-top version's. The hardtop RF is about 100 pounds heavier than a soft-top MX-5.

Utility

2.5
No one expects a two-seat convertible to be a utility machine, so this is hardly a serious drawback. A tiny trunk, no back seat, no glovebox and limited cabin space mean the RF isn't the best car for hauling large items. Small items are more easily accommodated; just don't bring a lot of them.

Small-item storage

2.5
A tidy bin placed vertically between the seats serves as a less convenient glovebox because there isn't one. It's your primary place for small items (wallets, phones) and it holds an average amount of stuff. The removable cupholders are only good for holding cups, and they can obstruct shifting.

Cargo space

2
Space is a significant drawback, and the Miata's 4.6-cubic-foot trunk is a bit smaller than the previous generation's. But it's not the hardtop's fault because the soft-top Miata's trunk is the same size. The trunk opening is big and it packs easily. Use soft-sided duffels to get the most out of it.

Child safety seat accommodation

2.5
There's sufficient room for one child or toddler in a forward-facing seat or booster only. No LATCH anchors or top tether, so the seat must allow seat-belt anchoring. The car's occupant sensor will disable the passenger airbag and illuminate an indicator when a child seat is fitted.

Technology

4
The Miata must balance driving purity with a driver's desire for modern connectivity and safety tech, which add weight and slow the car. But even with features such as blind-spot and lane departure warning and a nine-speaker stereo, the RF isn't much slower than a cloth top without those items.

Audio & navigation

4
The nine-speaker Bose system (with speakers in the headrests) makes for good sound while motoring, but it struggles to compete with ambient noise. Audiophiles will need aftermarket help for more volume. The sophisticated nav system operates by 7-inch touchscreen or center console dial controller.

Smartphone integration

3.5
The USB connection makes for easy smartphone/media device integration. Bluetooth is similarly breezy to connect, stream audio and use as phone interface. Mazda has promised to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality via software update at some point.

Driver aids

4
Lane departure warning seems anathema to a car like the RF, but it's there along with other modern aids, such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning. Automatic high beams and LED headlights that bend light into turns in sync with the front wheels are a nice touch.

Voice control

4
Voice commands are accessed through a steering wheel button and include standard commands for placing phone calls, navigating to destinations, and moving through music selections.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

best on the road
john menke,05/27/2018
it's small. don't buy if you are a big person. Otherwise the most fun to drive I've ever had and I'm 70.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$33,825
MPG
26 city / 35 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$32,750
MPG
26 city / 33 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed manual
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$31,910
MPG
26 city / 33 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed manual
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$32,510
MPG
26 city / 35 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible 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.

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible for Sale

Mazda MX-5 Miata RF 2018 Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
New 2018
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Grand Touring
MSRP$34,140
Est.Loan: $598/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF 2018 Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
New 2018
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Grand Touring
MSRP$34,240
Est.Loan: $602/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
This 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring is offered to you for sale by Brown's Alexandria Mazda. This Mazda includes: SOUL RED CRYSTAL PAINT CHARGE *Note - For third party subscriptions or services, please contact the dealer for more information.* Save money at the pump with this fuel-sipping Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. This is about the time when you're saying it is too good to be true, and let us be the one's to tell you, it is absolutely true. You can finally stop searching... You've found the one you've been looking for.
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF 2018 Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
New 2018
Mazda MX-5 Miata RF
Grand Touring
MSRP$33,940
Est.Loan: $589/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details

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More about the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF takes Mazda's incredibly entertaining and engaging convertible and adds a metal hardtop with a folding roof panel. The result? Some of the same open-air fun, plus added security and isolation. The Miata was fully redesigned in 2016, and it's lighter and quicker than the old generation. Mazda's real trick, though, was making the car lighter while adding more technology, comfort, and convenience. The RF's power roof is the logical extension of that effort. It does add some weight, but it doesn't detract from the Miata's legendary fun.

The MX-5 RF comes in just two trim levels, and both use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that drives the rear wheels through a standard six-speed manual or an optional automatic transmission. Choosing the right Miata RF for you requires deciding what convertible experience you want.

The RF skips the Miata's entry-level Sport trim and instead starts with the properly sport-oriented Club trim. This version comes with more creature comforts than you might expect, and if you opt for the slick manual shifter, you'll also get plenty of mechanical upgrades. The 2018 MX-5 Miata RF Club gets sport-tuned Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential and a new strut-tower brace. BBS wheels and Brembo brakes, which come in a package with heated Recaro seats, are available as an optional extra for the Club.

The Grand Touring trim is meant for more comfortable cruising. It loses the Club's mechanical upgrades in favor of a more comfortable ride and enhances both interior comfort and technology. This top-of-the-line Miata gets leather upholstery and a handful of other interior trim upgrades, plus automatic adaptive headlights, auto-dimming mirrors with exterior heating, automatic climate control and navigation.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has always been a tremendous value in terms of fun per dollar, and the 2018 RF model just proves the rule. Even better, thanks to its light weight and efficient engine, it offers very good fuel economy for a sports car. You may already know which Miata is right for you, but be sure to check out our full review for more information. Edmunds also offers shopping tools to help you get the best deal on a tremendously fun 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF.

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Overview

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible is offered in the following styles: Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 MX-5 Miata RF Convertible 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. 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 2018 MX-5 Miata RF Convertible.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 MX-5 Miata RF Convertible featuring deep dives into trim levels including Grand Touring, Club, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible here.
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 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible?
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $33,940. The average price paid for a new 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is trending $1,676 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,676 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$32,264.

The average savings for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is4.9% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $32,800. The average price paid for a new 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is trending $1,735 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,735 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$31,065.

The average savings for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is5.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertibles are available in my area?

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible Listings and Inventory

There are currently 8 new 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertibles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $33,100 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,774 on a new, used or CPO 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible available from a dealership near you.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible for sale near you.

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Find a new Mazda MX-5 Miata RF for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,386.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible and all available trim types: Club, Grand Touring, Grand Touring, etc. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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
Check out Mazda MX-5 Miata RF lease specials