The all-new Mazda MX-5 RF has been named Roadster of the Year by Auto Express in their annual awards. With the MX-5 convertible having taken the title for the last two years, the current generation of MX-5 has claimed this coveted title at the Auto Express New Car Awards for the third year in succession.
Commenting on the MX-5 RF’s success, Auto Express Chief Reviewer, Sean Carson said, “The MX-5 RF broadens the iconic roadster’s appeal, offering buyers even more choice. With the same great line-up of responsive 1.5 and 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engines and a beautifully involving six-speed manual gearbox, it’s a joy to drive. Plus, the flying buttresses behind the folding metal hard-top deliver supercar-like styling that ensures the RF has the style to match the thrills on offer from the communicative rear-wheel drive chassis. A classy cabin, plus the versatility and refinement from the new roof, round off a convincing package that offers usability and performance at an affordable price.”
Designed to offer a new dimension of open-top driving fun, while at the same time staying true to the underlying principle of the previous generation MX-5 retractable hardtop, the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF’s ‘fastback’ styling gives it a unique appearance roof up or down, broadening the appeal of the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car.
As with the established Mazda MX-5 convertible, all models powered by the 2.0-litre 160ps engine feature a limited slip differential and 17-inch wheels; while Sport Nav models feature Bilstein dampers and strut brace to further enhance their dynamic set up. Plus, with the introduction of the £27,095 Sport Nav Auto, the current generation of MX-5 is offered with an automatic gearbox for the first time in the UK.
Developed to deliver enhanced cabin comfort and a refined ride, while at the same time maintaining the agility, performance and driver engagement of the MX-5 convertible, the suspension and electric power steering parameters of the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF have been specifically tuned for the Retractable Fastback. In addition, a sound-absorbing headliner used in the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear wheel housings to deliver a significantly quieter cabin when the roof is closed.
The MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of front, middle and rear roof sections, and a rear screen. When the top is lowered the front and middle portions are stowed together, while the rear glass sits behind the seats, leaving the rear roof section in place to create a unique open-topped look, and a cabin feeling that combines a sense of open air freedom with the impression of being securely ensconced within the car.
Collecting the Auto Express award, Mazda Motors UK Sales Director, Peter Allibon said, “We’re thrilled that Auto Express has named the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF Roadster of the Year. The MX-5 is the definitive example of how our SKYACTIV technology and KODO design philosophy help us create stylish, spirited and great to drive cars; and with the launch of the Retractable Fastback we’ve added a unique and stylish model to our range that stands distinct from the MX-5 convertible, yet retains all the award-winning driver appeal our sports car is famed for”
Adding, “We’re delighted with customer interest in the newest version of the MX-5 and I’m also pleased that Auto Express has commended the all-new Mazda CX-5 in the mid-sized SUV category, to get recognition in such a crowded and competitive sector is a real endorsement of our new CX-5.”
Commenting on the all-new Mazda CX-5’s commendation, Auto Express Editor, Graham Hope said, “The all-new CX-5 builds on the strengths of the original, retaining Mazda’s engaging handling and driving dynamics but bolstering this with even more refinement. Cabin quality has taken a step up, while the big boot and roomy interior deliver the level of practicality you’d expect from a family SUV. Strong and efficient diesel engines matched to a range that features two and four-wheel drive transmissions, plus manual and automatic gearboxes make it an appealing choice.”
In addition to acknowledgment at the 2017 New Car Awards, Mazda has been voted the UK’s fifth best manufacturer in the Auto Express Driver Power Top 27 Car Makers owner’s survey.