According to colleagues in the office I’ve become “that bloke” who likes to show off his car’s electrically folding roof when crawling in heavy traffic or entering a car park. I think they’re simply envious that I can make the most of England’s brief summer sunshine.
In my defence, the way that the MX-5 RF’s roof and rear screen tuck away, leaving the B-pillars exposed in ‘Targa’ fashion is pretty impressive. I’d even argue that it’s a tougher-looking model than the MX-5s that went before it, which ought to boost its appeal to male buyers.
Nevertheless, raising the roof while travelling is not a hugely comfortable task in the MX-5 RF. The button, across to the left of the centre console, must remain pressed for the duration of the operation – sensible really, to avoid the risk of someone getting in the way. But at the same time, you must concentrate on keeping your speed below 6mph, and pray that red light ahead doesn’t quickly turn to green.
Contrast that with more premium rivals, which allow the driver to raise or lower the roof at speeds which enable them to keep up with city traffic.
With the RF, I conclude it’s simplest and less stressful to pull over and stop before operating the roof.
Mazda MX-5 RF roof speeds
|Speed of operation||Maximum driving speed while roof in operation|
|Mazda MX-5 RF||13 seconds||6mph|
|Mercedes-Benz SLC||16 seconds||25mph|
|BMW Z4||19 seconds||25mph|
|Audi TT Roadster||10 seconds||31mph|