"Driving this car quickly is not only easy, it's also so much damn fun. The slickness of the Miata's manual transmissions over the years has been seared into our brains; the Miata's box could be the benchmark for the way manual transmissions feel, and the one in the RF is no exception. The throws are so light that you can move the shifter with your fingertips. And the steering is just as precise as we remember in the soft top.
"Put the new retractable roof down and the experience is mostly like an open-air Miata. There's plenty of sun and plenty of good noises to help you get lost in the experience. However, there is a bit of wind buffeting around those buttresses.
"Put the top up and the RF instantly becomes more civilized than the ragtop. It's quieter, calmer. But more importantly, that new hardtop adds stiffness to the structure you can feel. The hard roof solidifies the chassis and erases the slight wiggle in both the steering column and windshield frame. We spent much of our three-hour mountain drive near San Diego with the top in place simply because the experience was better.
"The 2.0-liter makes just 155 hp. That's the same as the roadster, yes, but it's more than enough to keep you smiling. Even with another 100 pounds of roof to lug around, you won't yearn for more power unless you decide to take an RF to grudge night at the local drag strip."
-- Ben Stewart, Autoweek