– Detroit, Michigan

The Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) variant of the outgoing Mazda MX-5 Miata was extremely popular with buyers, so it was little surprise when Mazda reintroduced a power hardtop for the fourth-generation car. Called RF, for Retractable Fastback, it gives the Miata a decidedly handsome design thanks to big, flowing buttresses and a targa-top look. You can raise or lower the roof in just 13 seconds at the touch of a button.

As ever, a powered hardtop offers advantages in terms of sound deadening and weather protection compared to a traditional fabric roof. But the Miata RF is also more expensive and heavier than the standard car, two characteristics that could turn off purist shoppers. Still, beneath the roof you get all the same Miata parts we know and love: rev-happy 2.0-liter engine, snick-snick manual gearbox, delightful rear-wheel-drive chassis, and snug two-seat cabin.

The RF is offered in both a more luxurious Grand Touring trim and a sportier Club spec. We grabbed the latter version for a quick summer blast with the roof both up and down. How does the Retractable Fastback version compare to the regular Miata? Find out as we subject the car to our rigorous Why Buy? testing regimen.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

Engine 2.0-Liter I4
Output 155 Horsepower / 148 Pound-Feet
Transmission 6-Speed Manual
Efficiency 26 City / 33 Highway / 29 Combined
As-Tested Price $32,205
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