6th December 2021
The Soul Red paint of the Mazda MX-5 RF that arrived this morning is enough to cheer up even the grizzliest of early winter days in Scotland. It’s lashing with cold rain, but I can’t resist taking the Mazda for a quick spin for no other reason than it’s a great drive. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love MX-5s, so this car is already off to a great start for the week ahead.
This particular RF is in GT Sport Tech trim, which is the all-singing model. It means it has cream leather upholstery and some natty BBS alloy wheels. I love the seats, especially with Mazda’s furnace-like heating that is perfect for this chillier part of the year. As for the wheels, I’m not such a fan of the looks, but they don’t upset the excellent handling balance of the Mazda, so I can live with them.
The sun is out today for a drive up to Perth. The Retractable Fastback version of the MX-5 sees the upper section of the roof and rear window disappear in around 20 seconds. What’s left is a targa-type arrangement that should offer the best of both worlds, but I find there’s just too much noise generated around the upper B-pillar at anything above 50mph. If it was my lease cash, I’d have the soft-top MX-5.
Today is the Scottish Car of the Year Awards. For family reasons, I can’t make it to the event, but it’s still very exciting to know the Skoda Enyaq has been given the top award. After driving the Enyaq recently, it’s an EV that doesn’t demand you change your lifestyle to fit around the car. Skoda UK’s Head of Marketing, Kirsten Stagg was on hand to collect this thoroughly deserved award from President of the judges Jack McKeown.
One of the newfound regular drives for me is to the pet food shop to pick up grub for our puppy. She’s a Labrador, so food seems to disappear as quickly as it arrives. This morning, the Mazda’s boot has no trouble swallowing two 12kg bags of nosh. The RF’s load space is bigger than you think, so it is possible to use the MX-5 for a two-up holiday without resorting to just the bare essentials, which was the case with old MX-5s.
More rain today, so the roof of the MX-5 stays firmly in place to transport my daughter to ballet, even though she wanted it lowered. Roof up, the MX-5 is a very good small coupe. There’s some wind and road noise, but this is a sports car, after all, so I can more than accept that. The engine note is pleasingly rorty, too, and underlines the athletic nature of the MX-5, though it does need to be revved hard to get the best from it.
Another back road jaunt this morning just for the sake of it shows the MX-5 is still a brilliant, affordable sports car. My preference is for the soft-top as I’m just not a fan of the RF’s looks. That aside, the 2.0-litre engine with its 184hp is the motor to have for its zippy performance, and 40.9mpg average economy ain’t bad either.