Midlife Crisis

When talking about cars, fun is equal to speed for most people like Stefano and I - unless you are Enzo who thinks sitting on a luxurious leather seat with bespoke hand stitching is the meaning of fun. Yawn.

I, on the other hand, discovered a new fun with cars. It starts with a retractable hardtop roof, a naturally aspirated two-liter engine, a perfectly balanced front and rear, and lastly, traction control off. Hello, Mazda MX-5 RF! Unless you are single or old enough to not have to drive your family with kids around, this car will have to be extra - the second or third car.

It can only seat 2 people and you have to be of Asian height to be comfortable - smaller in this RF version than the roadster. Mazda did some engineering magic to fit that retractable hardtop into a space not much bigger than where the soft top goes on the roadster, but based on Enzo's height, he couldn't manage to squeeze his legs into this targa-like sports car. 


I normally take my kids with me when I go out and shoot cars, but the MX-5 was an exception to that rule. It was a shoot and date affair with my lovely wife - a very intimate one at that. I imagined being in my midlife crisis car, and that's exactly what this seems to be. After all, I'm only about a decade away, and who wouldn't want to get a preview of what's to come? Normally, I'd wish I were younger, but this time, I wished I was older - just like the way it was when I was 12. I guess this so-called midlife crisis is, in fact, closer than I think. 

There's a giddy feeling every time I stop to press that button to put the roof down. A huge smile on my face and butterflies in my stomach. I can feel it right now as I type this. Despite the heat, the pollution, and the chances of rain, there's no other way I'd want to drive around with the MX-5. There's something about the wind against your hair and face that makes driving convertibles so special - memories of that bike ride around the neighborhood come to mind. It's that dash of rebellion and generous serving of unapologetic freedom. This is what driving should be.

It’s spine-tingling, flirtatious, and immensely addicting.
— Miguel Olfindo

Driving matters.

If you need to keep your hair in place, keeping the roof up has additional benefits, too. First off, there is a huge reduction in wind and road noise versus the roadster. There is also a lot more confidence in heavy downpour since above your head is a proper solid metal roof. The only disadvantage is that you have to go at a snail's pace to get the roof up. This is especially disconcerting when the rain suddenly pours. In comparison, the roadster, though manually controlled, takes me only about 2 seconds to close. 

A decadent chocolate brown leather interior, a premium Bose sound system, and Mazda's commander control knob with touch-screen interface are all simply icing on this cake. What truly embodies the MX-5, in RF or roadster form, is the way it drives or rather the emotions you get from it. It's spine-tingling, flirtatious, and immensely addicting. For more on that, check out Enzo Teodoro's review of the MX-5 Roadster. I'd like to end this with a message to my two perfect daughters. May Mom and Dad get one?

It will make us very happy.


2017 Mazda Mx-5 2.0 RF SkyActiv A/T

Engine: 1,998cc, DOHC 16V, Inline-4, SkyActiv
Fuel: Gasoline
Power: 160 bhp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 200 Nm @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Automatic, RWD
0-100 km/h: 7.3 seconds
Top Speed: 220 km/h
Fuel Economy: 10 km/L Overall
Price: PHP2,250,000
+: Driver engagement, handling, sense of occasion
-: Not in my garage, manual gearbox might be even better
Verdict: One of the most stimulating and rewarding cars on sale today
Rating: 10/10

Ex-Public Highway Racer

Instagram: @miguelolfindo