Mazda MX-5 RF launched in Malaysia – folding hardtop, manual and auto transmissions, from RM243k

Mazda MX-5 RF launched in Malaysia – folding hardtop, manual and auto transmissions, from RM243k

It’s been a year and a half since the Mazda MX-5 arrived on our shores, but the long-awaited folding hardtop variant, the MX-5 RF, has finally arrived. More of a targa than a full convertible, it effectively replaces the original soft top version that has been on sale since August 2015.

As we’ve reported earlier, purists can rejoice at the fact that a manual transmission option has been introduced with the RF, joining the existing automatic. Prices stand at RM242,717 for the manual and RM248,182 for the automatic, on-the-road inclusive of insurance, a five-year/100,000 km warranty and a three-year/60,000 km free service package. By comparison, the soft-top auto retailed at RM226,376.

Setting the RF – which stands for Retractable Fastback – apart from the standard soft top model is the three-part power-folding roof. The front and middle portions fold and stow under the rear buttresses, creating a cabin that Mazda says combines the freedom of open air with a sense of security. While it’s electric compared to the soft top’s lightning-quick hand operation, the roof takes just 13 seconds to open and close.

Mazda MX-5 RF launched in Malaysia – folding hardtop, manual and auto transmissions, from RM243k

Inside, a sound-absorbing headliner on the front and middle roof panels and sound insulation around the rear wheel wells are designed to offer a significantly quieter cabin with the roof closed. The suspension and steering have also been retuned to improve ride comfort, whilst retaining the roadster’s trademark agility, performance and driver involvement.

The roof adds five millimetres to the overall height, as well as 58 kg to the kerb weight – the automatic model tips the scales at 1,138 kg versus 1,080 kg for the soft top, while the manual is slightly lighter at 1,112 kg. Boot space remains the same, at a rather restrictive 130 litres.

As with the soft top, power comes from a 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G direct-injected four-cylinder engine that develops 158 hp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via either a six-speed SkyActiv-MT manual transmission or a six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic with paddle shifters.

Standard kit includes LED headlights with adaptive front lighting and high-beam control, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, 17-inch gunmetal grey alloy wheels, keyless entry, push-button start, auto lights and wipers, single-zone auto air-con, cruise control, an MZD Connect infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with headrest speakers.

Safety-wise, both models come with four airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control and lane departure warning. The car gets a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating and five stars from ANCAP.

Browse full specifications and equipment on all Mazda MX-5 variants, and get the best deals on a new car, on

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • 5star ANCAP? Ini mesti deadak ni…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14
    • Nancy Liu on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      You keep repeating the same thing.
      Dont you feel bored?
      Find a life Mr. Hot debate. What do you think?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4
  • K Kinte on Apr 27, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    OMG, RM250k for a small junk like this? Does Bermaz Malaysia think their MX5 is a Porsche or a Ferrari?

    Really no logic. A car costing US$25k can come to Malaysia at RM250k. no wonder the last Mazda MX5, Bermaz had ZERO sales.

    If I can afford RM250k, I rather buy a 2008 Porsche Carrera S for RM230k. At least I drive a real Porsche.
    And German Porsche techlogogy, even 2008 model also 1000x better than this 2017 MX5 jamban

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 81 Thumb down 80
    • hailthepurist on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      All bcos 2seater SO high Excise duties.
      Sorento SUV 7seater 140k only.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
    • While i do agree with you that this car is expensive, I don’t think you can make a direct comparison between a 2008 Carrera S to a 2017 MX5 like that.

      A 9 year old car would need major maintenence/upkeep to keep it running. Run it for 3 years, and your car is already 12 years. With it being a Porsche = expensive parts/Labour. 9 years of Unknown history. If you are not lucky and you bought an engine that was mistreated before, you may need an engine replacement costing you >RM50k. If block is still ok, overhauling would be 5 figures too. I was told a replacement engine for a blown 3.4liter porsche engine due to IMS bearing failure came up to RM55k. Yet to talk about the gearbox. Im sure there are gearbox rebuilders in Batu Cave area that can give you a quote, and it ain’t pretty. Electronics . Previous owner skimped on brake fluid changes? Be prepared for ABS module failure. Owning a 9 year old complex continental machine at the cutting edge of technology at that time, is an experience, i suggest you try. Its humbling.

      A brand new MX5 will likely run for 10+ years or more before needing any major moolah to continue running it on the road.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 75 Thumb down 3
    • you should really do some research on Malaysia’s excise duties towards foreign brand vehicles before even commenting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
      • Excise duty is one thing, but he shud do some research into how much VT is raking in clean profits for this car. Even AP only cost half as much.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • Roti canai on Apr 28, 2017 at 1:07 am

      Say so much still cannot afford

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
    • Car lover on Apr 28, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      What kind of comparison? To compare a 9 years old car with a new 2017 car!
      Do you know how much a new 2017 Porsche or Ferrari car?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • safety 1st on May 01, 2017 at 8:02 am

      true that, the pricing just ridiculous. wonder how much profit margin does mazda made out if this… its 19k pounds in uk its the same pricing with their mazda 3 also circa 19-21k pounds.. here in malaysia the mazda 3 only 120k ish.. but their miata shoot up to 240k.. so guys.. when you think you are exclusive driving one of these miata.. think that the guy drive the mazda 3 next to you.. are having the same “value” piece of engineering as u did paying double for it.. so sad.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Johnson Amigo on Apr 27, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    the leather seats design not the same as other market offering, not perforated leather???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Kunta Zakar Naik on Apr 27, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Too pricey. This car should be priced around RM150k

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5
    • yellowline on Apr 27, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      RM150k + RM100k Excise. Got it?

      Chronic rent-seeking cancer now ailing Malaysia. P1 gone but AP system still alive.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2
  • Mikey on Apr 27, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Check out the backside. This MX-5 copy Jaguar F-type or what !!! Some-more in Red.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11
  • Alan Wong on Apr 27, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Come on Mazda, 250K for this car that still using pull-up type handbrake? With that price, it should come with electronic handbrake system. I too feel it is overprice for this car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 20
    • Honda on Apr 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

      This car is build with drifting in mind. Drifters appreciate pull-up type handbrakes NOT electronic handbrake system…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 10
      • Alan Wong on Apr 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm

        Ya right will you drift a RM250K car? You must be out of your mind, this is car for speed, showoff and enjoy yrself. If i buy this car i won’t be drifting and why should i and people will laugh at you. You want a drifting get a cheap car and modified it then people wont said u crazy.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10
    • Clearly you are not in this category of car. By the way this car won World Car of the year 2017.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
  • Better buy second hand boxster

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13
  • Eddie on Apr 28, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Too expensive. Should be around Rm130k. Don’t know if it is because of the tax or large profit margin

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8
    • Rempit premiem on Apr 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Gua tgk harga MX5 Langkawi.

      Murah gilerrr bang.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • BringThePain on Apr 28, 2017 at 11:58 am

      It’s almost always the large profit margin. If this was 140k, which it SHOULD be, as it’s same price as their high spec Mazda 3 everywhere in the world, Mazda Malaysia will break all sorts of sales records!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Ericcls on Apr 28, 2017 at 10:18 am

    The exhaust is so cute

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • MazdaSpeedo on Apr 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

    if around 180 to 200 can consider la…now days alot of recond sport car better than this available in our market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
  • Deadpool on Apr 28, 2017 at 11:58 am

    250k? are u crazy? 150k can consider but 250k?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
  • thepolygonal on Apr 28, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Sadly the back straight down windscreen makes it weird looking. It could have easily been a nicely curved covered windscreen just like how the MX-5 soft top looked like when the top is up. Please go to Glenmarie showroom and view the RF directly from behind, you will know what I mean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • 4G63T DSM on Apr 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Its called a flying buttress. Used as design embellishments on the old american muscle cars, the XJS, 355, Elise, del Sol and more recently the BMW 6er convertible.

      The design yields a smaller rear window for lighter weight and packaging efficiency (often can be wound down on convertibles and targas).

      That said, I still fail to see the point of this car. Mazda could have very easily made a targa instead. It would have been cheaper, more structurally rigid, and most importantly, given how Mazda has been going all out to reduce weight on the car, much lighter and reliable. It isn’t that hard to stow a small targa top panel on a car this small anyway. I had a Nissan NX2000 some time ago and always had the targa top off.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Thomas on Apr 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Read this article was excited. Together with 3 friends who are all looking for a fun ride try make arrangement for a test drive. However we were shocked at the last minute when the sales demanded a rm1000 deposit we can try it out. Is this common? I have tried so many brands and never such demands. In fact I recall many brands offer freebies for others to try their car!
    Cancel the plan and look elsewhere…. Good job bermaz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • The logic is, its a way to vet serious and not serious buyer or tire kickers. If you are serious about these kind of cars, you would pay the deposit ( refundable ) to test. If you are not, you won’t. If you move somewhere else because of this, probably you are not in the market for this type of cars in the first place. Thats the logic. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with it. It just is.

      I know Toyota does it for GT86, VW did ask for it for their GTIs in their heydays. A few more, recon car sellers do it too for most models unless they know you well. Z4, Maseratis, Porsches, etc

      I was asked RM5k deposit before. I nego-ed to RM2k and did the test but i did not buy it. Full refund. Was asked RM1k once, that i ended up buying.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • ZEYOND on Apr 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Guys… I am new Mazda mx5 owner here..I has been drive this car around one year 3 month Ald… I can say who even say this is junk definitely he/she really dunno about car… The chassis and technology of this car is far more away than what you can expect… And this car is all about light weight and back to basic. No such what electric brake thing… Is pure handling. Just like the Alfa Romeo 4C to maintain its weight under 1tons they use no electric pump brake and no power steering at all but the recon price in Malaysia also go up to 600-700K u can check online… So don’t simply judge a car by its cover… PS.My car is softtop

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • You have the soft top or the RF hard top?

      I would say the purest Mazda roadster experience would come from an MX5 with manual transmission and manual roof.

      Most people who bash this car and say that a 200-400hp turbocharged car is better than this junk, typically havent try this before. It is not about power, but about how raw the experience is. How much fun you can have at legal speeds. And the driving experience of driving a highly strung high revving NA car, with you right in the middle of the car such that everytime you corner, you feel that the car pivots around your bottom. You can’t wipe the smile off your face after you have done it. The manual has a 0-100 of i think mid 7 sec. Fast enough to have fun and get you in trouble.

      There are hot hatches that are faster than this roadster, but nothing and i dare say nothing can give you the feeling of driving this. Elise is too raw for me. That Probax seat gave me backache after I drove one. S2000 is in the sweetest spot, and this MX5 manual is not far behind. Acquired taste. But 1 thing, you don’t typically see roadsters lover call any hot hatch junk. Perhaps they are more matured, comfortable in their own skin, without the need to be the fastest guy on the road or tapao everybody for their ego boost. Peace out.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
      • stasta on May 02, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        “highly strung high revving” your head. its using the same engine as mazda 3, which redlines at 6500 rpm just the same as most mainstream cars.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13
        • Wow. Your manners is seriously lacking.

          Learn to be more civilise before you switch on your computer next time.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
        • Now, back to your comment. A lot of cars can rev to 6500rpm. Question is it is happy there. Some cars are done after 3000rpm, even though redline at 6500rpm. Anything more than 3000rpm, the engine is course, not rev happy and torque falls off quickly. Some cars sound sweeter the closer you get to the redline, pushing you to do it. So high revving does not mean it can rev to 9000rpm. High revving means it is happy revving to redline. In that sense, mazda 2.0 skyactiv is high revving in my book. Highly strung, hmmm probably you don’t agree with it. That is fine by me. Lets agree to disagree there.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • RM250k for 158hp n 200Nm?

    Yes, some may pretend they are real driver, we as ordinary people really do not know how to enjoy a drift car. We only enjoy direct power from the car.

    Do not watch too much Initial-D, Malaysia does not have so many and well built hill roads for racer to show off their skill. The most, to show their beast true power on straight road of north south highway.

    Such a sporty design car, definitely many want to challenge you but hey, you just tell them that I do not fight the speed with you, let show me your driving skill. haha……think of it also feel so funny.

    Sorry, many people may want to shoot me but I just represent majority of voices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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