Skip to main content

I have driven the 2023 Mazda MX-5 RF in the past and was blown away by its aggressive look and powered hardtop. With the top up, it felt like a normal car, even at highway speeds. With the top down, the flying buttresses, and the rear window make the open-top experience quieter and more bearable than any other soft-top convertible I have driven. That said, I have always been sold on the MX-5 RF as the one to get if you’re looking for a tiny convertible.

However, I recently had the chance to test out the MX-5 Club edition with its soft top. I was surprised at how much I liked it and figured out four reasons it could be a better choice over the hard-shell RF.

1. The soft top is light and easy to operate

2023 Mazda MX-5 Club rear
2023 Mazda MX-5 Club | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Unlike the 2023 Mazda MX-5 RF — which folds its roof up and down at the touch of a button – the MX-5 Club’s top operates manually. You can unlatch the top, pull it back, and lock it into place with one hand. It’s easy and can be done at any speed. Although, we don’t recommend folding it while on the freeway.

2. The visibility is better all around

2023 Mazda MX-5 Club interior
2023 Mazda MX-5 Club | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Since the MX-5 Club doesn’t have large flying buttresses like the RF, the visibility while driving it is much better in every direction. It’s not bad in the RF, but those little pillars obstruct your view in the blindspots.

3. The contrasting color of the top works well

2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata front corner view
2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

When shopping for a 2023 MX-5 Club, you’ll have seven colors to choose from. The Snowflake White Pearl Mica color that I had worked well with the black wheels and black exterior accents. Even better, the black roof contrasted well with the setup, too.

4. The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Club is cheaper than the base-trim RF

2023 Mazda MX-5 RF rear view
2023 Mazda MX-5 RF | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

As with any car, the more value you can get from the Mazda MX-5, the better. As such, the MX-5 Club model could be a better buy because it starts at $31,550, which is far less than the MX-5 RF’s starting price of $35,750. If you want more smiles per mile because you saved a lot of money, the Club edition is the way to go.

2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club vs. MX-5 RF: The soft-top is the way to go

Although I loved the MX-5 Miata RF’s look and hardtop functionality, the soft top model has made me see the light. If you take these four reasons into consideration when shopping for a 2023 Mazda MX-5, you might, too.