The Mazda RX-8 is a unique sports car, winning in the Grand Am Series the RX-8 has proven the Rotary engine is a viable form of acceleration, although I think the RX-8 is due for a remake or a freshing up. The only improvement I would like to see is the fuel mileage — 16 mpg city and 22 mpg on the freeway with a combined mileage of 18 mpg. I realize the rotary engine is a high revving engine and the performance is definitely there.
The car has a unique styling that is very appealing and, from a comfort point of view, the car handles very well and is comfortable enough for a six foot man to fit behind the wheel.
The speedo/tach combination is a feature worth mentioning. There is a very large tachometer and inside the
large analog dial is a digital speed readout, then a large temp gauge to the left and a fuel gauge to the right, shifter is nestled in a center console that has storage as well. The shifter is crisp and precise, visibility is good, and handling is excellent.
The engine is a 232-hp, RENESIS 2-rotor, rotary engine that produces 212 horsepower backed by a close gear ratio 6-speed manual transmission, and an option is automatic transmission, that to is a six speed.
The sound system is by Bose®, also Bluetooth® hands-free phone, which I load on every loan car. The system did seem to drop my phone when I shut off the car, but pairing back was a snap!
Also available are heated front seats and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry & Start System. The key fob looks like a credit card, I would have liked a key I could hang on my belt or man-bag, I thought for sure I would lose it but after a week of driving I found it to fit comfortable in my pocket and with the button access on the doors there was never a need to whip out as key to enter or start the car.
There are three levels of RX- 8’s, the base model, which is the Sport, the GT and the R3. As I mentioned before I have the GT which based out at $32,260, the Sport, $26,795 and the R3 at $32,290 not counting tax, license and freight.
Safety has always been a consumer issue and Mazda has taken care of safety, advanced front air bags, passenger-weight and driver’s seat-position sensors, front side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtains, 3-point seat belts for all seating positions, front seat-belt pretensioners with force limiters, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System (TCS), side-impact door beams front and rear and a collapsible steering column.
My suggestion is take one out for a spin, drivers might be pleasantly surprised on how well it drives and handles everyday chores like grocery shopping, throwing golf bags in the back and hitting the road.