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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Review: 2021 Mazda Miata RF Grand Touring

Two years ago, Mazda released what I, and many others, thought of as the "maximum Miata": the 30th Anniversary Edition. Maybe it was the Buddhist Miata, because it was the one with everything: a new, high-revving 181-horsepower inline-four, Brembo brakes, Recaro seats in Alcantara, all the luxury options, unique paint, and unobtainium RAYS wheels that weighed just fifteen pounds each.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/review-2021-mazda-miata-rf-grand-touring/
17 REPLIES 17
Flashman
Technician

Who better to write a Miata review than you? I wonder if your wife contributed to the article; she's probably likewise a source of truth.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

She didn't like it. Said it felt wallowy and lazy. But her street Miatas are an ND 30th and an NC Club, so that's her comparison set.
9lbhammer
Advanced Driver

If I was a better man I'd own a car with white seats like that. But thanks for the review it's helpful. Mom wants one of these with the hardtop and the automatic. The official "disappointed guy searching for miatas on craigslist in 2035" spec
Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

Boomers and their love of denim are why we X'ers can't have nice things, like white leather interiors.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Shots fired. 

CitationMan
Gearhead

White seats worked when we didn’t dress like slobs. Or when they were vinyl.

JSievers
Instructor

Early tests of this model commented on pretty extreme wind buffeting when the top was open. Has Mazda addressed this issue?
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

It wasn't present in the car I drove.
djac70
New Driver

I have a 2020 grand touring with slightly over 7K on the clock. I put Mazdaspeed frame stiffeners and a thicker upper strut anti sway bar. Added a K&N as well. Handling has improved significantly performance actually improved after a 1500 +/- round-trip roadtrip to the Northeast. It does need more power to match its rev happiness and the SAT/NAV is pitiful. Thank God for Android auto. Future plans are exhaust, intake, and turbo if possible.
Personally, I think the design is more Ferrari 265 GTO and from the sides, Mazda's first sports car, the Cosmo.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I like the RF but I'm not really a convertible person so it makes it more a coupe to me.
whitef
Pit Crew

We have one of these. A 2017 "Launch Edition" with the saddle leather interior. Its a very nice little car. We also have a 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth that has been....ahem..."enhanced." It's interesting how different these cars are in practice despite sharing most pieces and bring built on the same line. The Fiat is your manic biker uncle with teardrop tattoos under his eye (this is in no small part my doing with the "enhancements") while the Mazda is his school teacher first ex-wife.
SJ
Technician

Had a '57 Pontiac with white vinyl seats, never any white seats again. The vinyl was easy to clean, but like my white pants seemed to be a dirt magnet.
mjposner
Pit Crew

Top ads 60lbs, try a german hard top....400lbns. Kudos Mazda. 6'2" and you fit? I am 6'1" and its tough though I have longer legs (34 inseam). You didn't mention Jimmy Buffet? How is it with the top down and 50+ mph?
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I have a 32" inseam. I've worn a helmet in an RF but I have to slouch.

Buffeting isn't too bad at all. More than a sunroof, less than a droptop.
TheStick
Pit Crew

How would you rate the factory Brembos in the anniversary model versus the 'regular' brakes in this RF? I know that several upgrades are available in the aftermarket, but I prefer to leave components stock if possible. For a car that will see autocross and some light track use (with a novice driver), is it worth the money to upgrade to the Club package with the BBS/Brembo/Recaro option? I would upgrade pads and fluid in either case.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

My feeling is this: you'll get every penny in the BBS package back when you sell it. Heck, you can get MOST of the money by selling the wheels on Miata.net and running cheaper standard wheels. 

 

With proper pads and fluid, you shouldn't need the Brembo package for raw stopping ability OR heat dispersion during a track session. HOWEVER... the pedal feel is much better and more consistent with the fixed calipers. There's a real difference in the pedal feedback with Brembo and with sliders. So in your case I'd pull the trigger and get the package. 

TheStick
Pit Crew

Thank you Jack. This is helpful.