Hard-top or soft-top?

Which is better, a Mazda MX-5 with a folding hard-top or a soft-top? 

The Mazda MX-5 is available in two distinct models. The traditional model, known as the Roadster, is a soft-top convertible that neatly folds the fabric roof down to give you an unimpeded open-air feel. The alternate is the folding hard-top model, known as the RF or Retractable Fastback. This model allows the roof and the rear window to fold down, leaving a Targa style section at the B-pillar behind the driver.

I have been fortunate enough to own and drive both the Roadster and RF versions of the Mazda MX-5, and it gives me some great insights into the differences between the two cars. As a result, I am often asked which model I prefer. Well, the answer is, "it depends".

Though there is little or no difference in each car's equipment level, the roof can make a difference when deciding which car you might own.

When the RF has the roof up, it is a tremendous little coupe. It offers slightly more refinement and comfort over the Roadster, particularly during the colder winter months. However, with the roof down, the RF's wind noise is more noticeable than the Roadster's soft-top. It doesn't matter whether the windows are up or down. The Targa style buttress behind the driver always seems to swirl the wind around behind your head, making more wind noise than the soft-top.

On the other hand, the soft-top Roadster provides that authentic open-air, wind-in-your-hair driving experience. With the roof down, the space around you opens up to that true sensation of convertible motoring. The Roadster is slightly lighter in weight than the RF, however, it is tough to notice.

Your spirits will be lifted with the roof lowered when driving either of these cars, and your decision would hinge on your intended purpose. However, you can't go past the fact that both vehicles are two of the best – and most affordable – convertible cars available in the market and lots of fun to drive.
The closest I've been to owning a convertible was my Toyota Celica with a sunroof that sprinkled bits of rust on my head every time I opened or closed it.
2021-04-18 12:58:20

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