There’s a half-joke among automotive enthusiasts that the answer to any car-choice question is always “Miata.” The recently introduced Mazda Miata with a retractable fastback RF gets similar updates to the traditional soft-top convertible version for 2019, including a slightly increased price: Club models now start at $33,240 with a six-speed manual transmission and $33,840 with a six-speed automatic, both increasing by $435. Grand Touring models of the MX-5 Miata increase $585 to $34,230 with the manual and $35,305 with the auto. All Mazda MX-5 Miata prices include an $895 destination fee.
The biggest news for this Mazda, however, is the increase in power from the Miata’s engine. Its SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes the same 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque as the convertible — a 17 percent horsepower increase from previous model years. Additional new features include a required-by-law standard backup camera across all trims and, for the first time, a standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Some MX-5 engineers purportedly resisted this change because of the added weight and only relented after steel parts in the steering column were replaced with aluminum to offset the increase.
Newly available options packages on the MX-5 Miata RF include a GT-S Package, available on Grand Touring models with the six-speed manual, adding a front-shock tower brace, a limited-slip rear differential and Bilstein dampers for an extra $750. MX-5 Miata club models can now be equipped with Brembo brakes and BBS Miata wheels for $3,770; bump that up to $4,670 and Mazda will throw in Recaro bucket seats along with the MX-5’s brake and wheel updates. The Recaros can’t be had on their own, and both the brake/wheel and brake/wheel/seat upgrades are only available on Mazda Miata models equipped with a manual transmission.
You may have noticed that no factory performance options are available for automatic-transmission-equipped models. Take the not at all subtle hint and get the manual if you’re able.
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