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We say goodbye to our beloved Mazda MX-5 RF

Reviews | Published:

After 12 months and enough miles for two trips to Japan, it’s time to say goodbye to VN66 ZHZ

(Blackball Media)

After 12 months and enough miles to drive it from our Gosport HQ to its Hiroshima factory and back, then back to Japan again, it was at last time to say goodbye to our Mazda MX-5 RF long-termer.

It’s hard to become too attached to cars in this job. Most come and go within a week, and those that spend a little more time with us still don’t quite leave a long-lasting effect. VN66 ZHZ – for me at least – broke that trend.

We didn’t quite start on the best foot, with my first experience behind the wheel resulting in the alarm going off with me locked inside – to the amusement of my colleagues – but things went on the up from there.

Not only did our MX-5 RF serve its intended purpose as a fun sports car, it also surprised us over our time with it by proving itself as a fairly capable long-distance cruiser, luggage hauler and even a family car at one point.

There’s so many things to like about the RF. It looks fantastic with the roof up, offers enough performance that most drivers will ever need (although purists may want a bit more) and the behind-the-wheel experience is up there with anything else on the market.

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Sure, it’s not a perfect car. It was noisy, a tad cramped and not quite as fun to drive as its soft-top counterpart but in spite of this, it might just be my favourite car driven in the last 12 months – even if it did develop a few squeaks and rattles in the last 1,000 miles we spent with it.

Would I buy one? Well, despite all it offers, no. It’s harder to live with everyday than its soft-top counterpart thanks to worse rear visibility and if you want a hard-top car for sheer driving pleasure, the Subaru BRZ still offers a purer experience.

You won’t be disappointed if you do choose to buy a Mazda MX-5 RF, though. You’ll have on your hands a comfortable little cruiser than can put a smile on your face easily if you want to take it down a B-road, all while looking fantastic. We’re going to miss it.

  • Model: Mazda MX-5 RF
  • Price: £27,165
  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol
  • Power: 158bhp
  • Torque: 200Nm
  • Max speed: 134mph
  • 0-60mph: 7.2 seconds
  • MPG (Combined): 40.9mpg
  • Emissions: 161g/km
  • Mileage: 18,734

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