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2018 Mazda MX-5 RF GT Limited Edition quick review

By Cameron Kirby, 11 Mar 2018 Car Reviews

2018 Mazda MX-5 RF GT Limited Edition quick review

Just 110 MX-5 RG GT Limited Editions will be sold by Mazda in Australia. We see if the price premium this model commands is worth it

Sitting atop the Mazda MX-5 family tree is the RF GT Limited Edition, which brings flash alloy wheels, improved brakes and suspension, and new, more supportive seats to the party.

Tell me about this car:

With a driveaway price of $55,790 the RF GT Limited Edition is circa $8000 more expensive than a ‘regular’ hardtop GT. The limited-run special edition has extra goodies for improved handling and looks, but there are no changes to the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Only a six-speed manual gearbox is offered in the LE, for maximum driver engagement.

 

Each Limited Edition comes with lightweight 17-inch BBS alloy wheels, a Brembo brake package, Bilstein shock absorbers with revised springs, a more aerodynamic body styling kit, a strut tower brace and a pair of Recaro seats.

Strengths

  • Exclusivity: Just 110 of the Limited Editions will be sold in Australia, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to get in quick. The Kuroi bodykit and BBS alloys improve what is an already good-looking car.
  • Recaro seats: Trimmed in leather and Alcantara, the Recaro bucket seats are an improvement over the standard pews of the regular RF GT. The seats hug you, without feeling too snug, while a re-profiled base gifts a small amount of extra headroom to taller occupants.

  • Dynamic prowess: The RF’s retractable hardtop adds 47kg of weight when compared to the standard soft-top MX-5. However it is hardly noticeable, with the RF GT Limited Edition retaining all the iconic dynamic attributes which made the MX-5 a Wheels Car of the Year winner. While the suspension is stiffer than its run-of-the-mill siblings thanks to the Bilstein dampers and a thicker front anti-roll bar, the Limited Edition remains compliant and planted on bumpy roads.

Weaknesses

  • Hefty premium: Some owners may prefer to spend the extra $8000 cost of the RF GT Limited Edition in other areas. You can get plenty of fuel, and some aftermarket goodies for that kind of money.
  • Cabin refinement: Tyre roar intrudes into the cabin in the RF, even with the roof closed, and there is some wind noise around the joins at highway speeds.

  • Blind spots: The trick folding metal roof looks great, but the rear buttresses are bulky, and can obstruct the outward rear view from within the RF GT Limited Edition.
  • Lack of reverse camera: Despite all the additions, the RF GT Limited Edition still lacks a reversing camera as standard. Thankfully its diminutive stature means parking is a breeze, but the rear buttresses can be obstructive when squeezing into a tight spot.
  • Cabin size: Drivers over six-feet tall may feel a tad claustrophobic in the cabin with the roof closed. Lucky the roof can be opened in a flash.

Any rivals I should consider?

Abarth 124 Spider, BMW 220i Convertible, Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible, Nissan 370Z Roadster