2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Manual - Snow Day

Few weeks ago, I posted my review of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Soft Top here. The RF is largely an identical car. The differences are the fact that the RF has a motorized hard top which weights about 113 pounds more, and of course, the price tag.

I am fortunate enough to be loaned the MX-5 RF equipped with winter tires just when Vancouver started to snow thanks to Mazda Canada. The weather was freezing, but it makes for a beautiful backdrop for the RF. This is going to be more of a comparative review and my driving impression of how the Miata performs in the snow. For a complete review of the 2019 MX-5, please visit this post.

Soft Stop VS Hard Top
The soft top is less complex, deploys faster and lighter. You can pull up or retract the soft top with one hand in about 3 to 5 seconds. If the spirit of the MX-5 is about simplicity and pure mechanical joy, the soft top would be the obvious choice.

On the other hand, given the fact that I had the opportunity to drive the RF in some cold temperatures, the hard top does provide better insulation from the elements, and from road noise. Because the 2019 MX-5 enjoys a 26 hp more powerful engine, the added weight isn't really a issue.

Then there is the style. This one is subjective, but I personally like the style of the hard top more. In my eyes, it makes the car looks more streamlined and sexy. That is not to say I don't have any complaints about the hard top. First of all, it is substantially slower. Second, the car has to be parked for you to deploy or retract the hard top. That combination means you better be prepared to get wet if it starts to rain while you are having the top down on the highway.

The 2019 MX-5 RF GT cost about $3000CAD more compare to the Soft Top GT. Whether the added insulation, and the handsome good look of the hard top is worth it depends on your personal preferences.

Driving the MX-5 manual in the snow
In my opinion, this is the maximum amount of fun one can have with the MX-5. With snow tires, the MX-5 is surprising capable even in slightly deeper snow. Being a rear wheel drive car, it is even easier to slide the tail out in the snow. However, because the MX-5 is so balanced, it is also very easy to keep that oversteer under control.

The real fun begins when you find an empty pocking lot. This is where you can easily perform donuts, and practice different drifting techniques that is harder to do on a dry road. It is immensely satisfying when you can get the car to go where you want it to go - sideways. And the lightness, the balance, and the excellent manual transmission of the MX-5 all come together to make you feel like you are a better driver.

I know it is a little bit excessive, but please enjoy the view of this gorgeous car in the snow.


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