Both 2018s, one an RF one not. Thoughts after the jump.

The ND is a great little car. The fit and finish at least give off a great initial impression, and most everything about driving it feels nice and fun. The steering is pleasantly light, though maybe a little too light for a sports car. The clutch and transmission are honestly the best I’ve ever used. Shifts are snick-snick precise and an absolute blast to row through.

So RF or Soft Boi? After driving both I honestly think the RF is just a gimmick. While the car looks great from the front quarter and side profile with the top up, the back is just silly. It’s not a fastback, it’s pretending to be one and looks silly. When the top is down, you’re left with a huge crossbar and the two buttresses, which makes it feel more like having a sunroof open than a convertible.

Wind noise with the top up seemed exactly the same between the two cars. If the RF was quieter it wasn’t enough because it’s still noticeable. That’s not to say wind noise with the top up is so bad as to be a nuisance, but that would be a reason to get the RF.

The real kicker? The RF I drove was stickered at $34k. The miata is nice, but $34,000?! Hard pass. The soft boi was $30k, but with 5k in rebates so asking was $25k. For a new Miata that actually feels reasonable, but it’s more than I’d want to pay for a car like this now.

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The ND isn’t faultless. It’s the wrong side of impractical. I haven’t been in an NC since last November, but I seem to recall it had map pockets and cup holders in each door as well as a typical glove box and a cubby between the seats. It’s a small car, but at least has enough storage inside that it’s liveable. The ND? Nothing on the doors, the infamous removable cup holders are fine but block the small cubby which also houses the manuals (comically, they don’t even fit), there’s no traditional glove box, and the center console can hold a single BIC pen maybe?

I have an iPhone 8+ that tends to fall out of my pocket in cars, so I typically take it out and put it somewhere. The ND was a challenge - no cup holder, no door pocket, no glove box, no center console. It might have fit in the cubby, but eventually I figured out there’s a little gap in the ‘coin tray’ in front of the shifter for it that fits BARELY. Oh, and the RF doesn’t have that gap because it’s where the roof control is.

All in all I quite like the ND, but if I am replacing my Mustang with a Miata I think I'm leaning NC for added practicality and value. Now I just need to find one to drive...