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Mazda RX8

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    6 Reviews
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      23.10.2012 16:09
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      Suprised it won so many awards, engine OK, rest of the car sucks

      This is probably the worst car I have ever owned, in terms of running costs, maintenance and (lack of) enjoyment factor.

      First of all, the car is a pain - if you just want to move it you'll end up flooding the engine. Every time you start the engine you need to drive around for 5-10 minutes to get the engine warmed up. If the engine is flooded, it can take over an hour to start again, and you'll probably end up draining the battery.

      Next, the fuel consumption is awful - although I'm sure you're aware of this if you're considering one of these. 200 miles to a tank (currently aprox £80) if you're lucky

      Then there's the oil top ups - I think they recommend checking every 500 miles or so.

      However the most expensive side of maintaining one of these is the repairs. I owned one of these for 2 years, and went through 2 cats. Mazda charge around £1600 to replace this.

      Finally, depreciation is shocking. I bought mine for £8k - spent another £3-4k over 2 years of ownership, and ended up selling for £700 (as the 1yr old cat died, and I faced a repair bill of £2.5k)

      Add all of this to a car that doesn't actually feel that fast (I had the 231ps) - and it results in a pretty pointless waste of money. Steer clear!

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        21.08.2010 11:25
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        Great car loads of fun and won't break the bank to own either

        I have owned many Japanese sports cars over the years and when the chance of an RX8 came my way I dived in feet first and bought it without even taking a test drive.

        Mine is an 06 model RX8- 192 with 40K on the clock and is in superb condition only having had one owner from new.This is the 5 speed 192 BHP model and has premium two tone leather red/black (£1600 option new) very smart looking with velocity red bodywork.It has a golden mica sheen that only appears in bright sunlight,otherwise it looks non metallic red on a cloudy day,very unusual but beautiful looking as it suddenly comes "alive" like magic when the sun shines.
        It has a premium sound system by Bose,CD,radio,other comforts include heated seats that are electrically adjustable,airconditioning and for the ladies the all important vanity mirror and built in light.Not too be used while driving of course!

        Safety features include a traction and stability control system (it can be switched off if you are feeling brave or stupid!), airbags for front and rear passangers all round,it scores so well that the insurance group is a mere 14/15 for the RX8 depending on the model and power rating.There is a 231 BHP model with 6 speed transmission,you can get automatic versions too.Another reason for the low insurance group is the small 1300 rotary engine (equivalent to a 2600 piston engine),don't be fooled into thinking this tiny engine can't be capable of much,its amazing.Road tax just £235,low for this class of car.
        To get the best from an RX8 is effortless,over 4000 rpm it comes alive,good roar from the exhaust and a constant thrust of power is delivered upto the redline at around 7000rpm.The engine sounds are remarkable,a soft whirring noise like a washing machine,never intrusive,super smooth and quiet.The speedo is a digital number readout and you have to glance down and check your speed as it is so easy to shoot well over the speed limit without trying.These are quick cars and handling is pin sharp having a perfect 50/50 weight distribution and rear wheel drive like a proper sports car should have.

        Cornering is flat and direct,no understeer,just a little tail happy having a tendancy to oversteer if pushing too hard but very easy to control with no nasty suprises even in the wet.Those 18 inch alloys and Bridgestone Potenza tyres hold the car down on the road like no other 4 door coupe I have ever driven,its as good as a Lotus Elise!
        The clever design fools you into thinking its just a 2 door,but open the drivers door and you will find a black handle on the inside of the rear door and hay presto it opens up the opposite way as it is hinged at the rear C pillar.This small rear door opens to reveal a generous back seat area for two and big enough for adults too,unless your 6ft plus.This is a very safe arrangement for kids as they can only get out when the front passengers get out first and open the front doors.No climbing over from seat to seat in the back,strictly a snug 2+2 arrangement here.

        There is a generous boot and a clever ski hatch,just open up the compartment in the middle on the inside and they slide in on top of the transmission tunnel through a hole in the back of the boot,great idea! No spare wheel,just a kit for temporary repair of your flat,never used one of these but seems a good idea.
        Open the bonnet and there is a series of large plastic covers "Renesis" cover hides the disappointing looking tiny 1300 rotary engine that sits almost under the dash,hence the light weight of the RX8 and pefect 50/50 weight distribution.It may look like a washing machine motor and sound like one but driving it is a thrill.Front left cover hides the battery,plenty of space under the bonnet so its all easy to work on.To the right is the oil dipstick,bright yellow and easy to spot but only if you remove the Renesis cover,not a difficult job but a bit inconvenient if you are in a hurry on the petrol station forcourt.

        IMPORTANT-Rotary engines are ultra reliable if you look after them properly.The unit uses a little squirt of oil to lubricate seals and prevent premature wear of the turbine blade tips.There is a series of 100ml indicators on the dipstick so its simple,just top it up every third fill up at the petrol station.I have no problem with this and it only uses about 10ml every 500 miles or so.MPG is mid 20's for my car,I guess the RX8-192 has a lower state of tune and is more economical than its big brother but the performance is great,0-60 sub 7 secs and will probably go on to around 140 mph so no big difference in the real world of driving.The best part of this car is the handling,as good as any mid engined 2 seat car.Mazda should try making a super hot version,Twin turbo with 300 BHP would be great,the chassis can easily manage,remember the last RX7.
        In conlusion,RX8 is a seriously good car to drive and excellent value for money.They are good looking,practical car for this class of 2+2 with more room than most.Fuel economy is reasonable,maintenance is not a big issue with 12500 mile service intervals,no cambelt to worry about,no head gaskets to blow up,very few moving parts and Mazda reliability make this a no brainer,just buy one and see for yourself.Alloys do have a tendancy to corrode too easily,mine are ok but some of the cars a year or two older seemed quite bad with bubbling paint,thats the only negative I can think of.If you are buying secondhand then make sure it has a good Mazda service record and there should be no problem.If it has had too many owners just be careful,like any used car there is always a good reason for selling it so get it tested if you do not know what youre doing.

        Thanks for reading my review and hope you will find it useful so please remember to rate it for me.I have more reviews on Dooyoo and Ciao website too,thanks for looking

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        11.08.2010 03:32
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        a phenominal motor with some pretty interesting technology under the bonnet

        working in a car garage does have its benefits, the main and most awesome one by far is bieng able to drive some fantastic motors. and the mazda rx8 is definately that, and believe it or not its only a 1.3 (sort of).
        its rotary wankel engine or the less complicated RENESIS engine is small and yet it produces a smidgen over 230hp and according to the books it goes from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds which is phenominally fast and thats not mentioning its top speed of 146mph. though for legal reasons (and heavy traffic) i was not able to confirm this he he.

        The 231ps model ive been driving this week has exceptional levels of grip and is virtually unphased at high speeds in a straight line although the low profile tyres ensure you feel every bump atleast you know the suspension is up to the job. there is virtually no roll which is impressive as i did not expect this, it seems to be extremely well balanced when chucking it into tight bends and any under / oversteer is due to irresponsible driving (also known as having a bit too much fun)

        as mentioned the low profile tyres hugging those pretty nice looking 17" alloyscan make for a bumpy ride but it is far from uncomfortable as the leather sports seats hug you and give you that racecar feel. the back has plenty of room for two adults as this is afterall a 4 seater coupe, a coupe with a twist for those unaware it has a rather special feature bieng that the back/ passenger 1/2 doors are opposite hinged meaning there is no central column and the whole car opens up in a spectacular rolls royce/bentley style. all for five grand!!!

        overall for a price tag of around 5 grand on a 2005 reg plate you get excellent value for money. you get power, style, comfort, relieability, excellent handling, and a whole lot of street cred. a phenominal motor with some pretty interesting technology under the bonnet

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          17.05.2009 00:40
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          Great sports car with a flawed heart

          A few years ago I came into a bit of back pay and started looking around for a car to buy. I had no kids and was currnetly driving an MX-5. I had a short list
          Alfa 147 GTA
          Mazda RX-8

          I tried hard to get a test drive in the Alfa but could not.
          Mazda bent over backward and I had 3 test drives.

          I went for the RX-8

          I knew about the poor full economy, the high oil consumption and knew about the engine flooding problems. Or so I thought.

          This is a review about my experience with this car both good and bad.

          The car I bought was the 231ps. It had a 6 speed box, traction control, stability control aircon etc.

          Driving: The best handling car I have ever driven. In the dry it is supreme with good grip on entry slight understeer, but you can steer with the accelerator if TC off. Even on the TC allows some movement. However, in the wet it becomes tail happy and I would only drive with TC on. Forget going out in the snow, even half an inch.

          Accommodation: Soon after I got the car my wife fell pregnant. We debated changing the car, but once I knew the Mutsy pram base fitted in the boot it stayed. Because the rear doors open back it was easier to get a baby in and out compared to a 4x4

          Engine: Economy worse than expected more like 15-18mpg. Several recalls for software upgrades. After one time they could't start the car and an NEW engine was fitted. This was after only 24000 miles. Oil consumption not a problem until oil filler pipe split and It dumped contents on M8.

          After this last event I had to part company with the car as I felt I could not rely on it.
          It was a sad day though as it is a great car to drive

          Sadly

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          15.06.2008 21:32
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          At this price, you can't do much better I'm sure. It's a stupendously good car to drive.

          The RX8 was brought into mazda's range in around 2003, though most of these were imports until 2004. The RX8 comes in 2 variants, the 190bhp version and the 230bhp version. The latter really is the one to go for, as it offers a 6 speed gearbox and a rev range up to 9000rpm!

          The RX8 is based around the tried and tested Wankel rotary engine, known in this car as the Renesis engine. If you want a full explanation you should check the Mazda site, however it basically works around a piston-less design, where the engine has 2 triangular rotors which use the 4-stroke combustion. There were originally some worries about the reliability of the rotor tips, however Mazda have reinforced these since the old RX7, and are confident that they'll be fine.

          When you first look at an RX8, you instantly think 2 door coupe, and it looks fast. It's sleek lines and curves are beautiful at the right angles, with expressed wheel arches giving it an aggressive stance. The rear window has a beautiful curve to it, that is reminiscent of the old RX7, which it's self was a gorgeous car. Then you step in and see that the interior is just as striking, if not more so. It's luxurious, spacious and comfortable, with plenty of gadgets to keep you entertained. Sitting in the big comfy bucket seats you really have a sense that the car would take you to the south of france and back without so much as a mention of any aches or pains, and you'd have plenty of fun getting there. There's also plenty of cubby holes and cup holders too.

          But the RX8's party piece is the back doors. You get backward opening suicide doors, sort of half doors in reality. Getting into the back still isn't brilliantly easy, but it's better than it would have been if they'd just given you folding seats. It's also a really nice touch. The back seats themselves are as the front, spacious and comfortable, if a little confined thanks to the big centre console.

          The dashboard is a pleasure to look at, you get a nice big rev counter, digital speedo, plus all the usual gauges. The RX8 comes with a nice Bose sound system, which is lovely.

          Now, enough of that, this is a sports car! Onto the drive.
          And what a drive. You fire up that 1.3 litre (!) rotary engine and it instantly excites. The sound is beautifully smooth. Obviously this car is pretty fast. 0-60 comes up in around 6 seconds, top speed well over 140mph. But it's the way the power is delivered which is interesting. The engine feels smooth and ultra responsive, giving you plenty to play with over 3000rpm, and you can happily cruise when you're not into the drive.

          Handling is great. This is a front engined, rear wheel drive car, so you'd expect it to be good. It'll power through the corners with ease, feeling perfectly balanced all the time. If you really push it, and I mean really push it so far that the big 18" wheels and tyres finally start to let go, you can control the back end with almost incredible ease. This car is a sports car born and bred.

          So it's got a bit of everything. Racing pedigree, power, handling, luxury and looks. And at around £22,000 new, it's cheap too. Plenty of used bargains are around to be had as well, good ones start from around £9000. That's pretty incredible if you ask me.

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          14.04.2008 17:44
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          Mazdas version of Ferrari or Lambourgini but with a lower price tag

          This was one cool car to drive and sort of reminded me of the TV series Knight Rider which featured a sports car driven by David Haselhoff that had a built in computer which could talk to the driver. The car I took for a test drive was also jet black just like the car in the TV series.

          Me and a girlfriend once took this baby out for a 1 hour test drive in 2005 when it first came out although the price tag was a bit too much even on our combined salaries and trading in our existing cars. I already owned a Mazda 323 at the time.

          The Mazda RX8 is a successor to the RX7 and boasts a rotary engine but I won't go into technical details about it for this review as I know very little about these new engines.

          The car was very nice to drive, it had powerful accelaration and the feel of a sports car such as Ferrari. It is also very aerodynamic with a high top speed. Inside it had a built in Sat Nav system which could flip open/closed on the dashboard at the touch of a button.

          The engine was very quiet compared with the car I normally drive and suspension as I remember provided a very smooth ride.

          Another unique feature was the driver and passenger doors:

          They opened in a much different way to other cars and were quite futuristic in design much like what you'd see in a science fiction film such as Back to the Future or Blade Runner.
          This combined with the sat nav system that could flip open/closed at touch of a button somewhat reminded me of the TV series Knight Rider.

          I liked this car and would definetely buy it if I were able to afford it. It has all the features one would expect from a vehicile and many more plus it is a sports car.

          It was fast enough for me as nowadays when I choose a car I am not looking for the fastest model which would a) bump up my insurance premiums and b) increase the likelyhood of more points on my licence.

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