Mazda RX8 Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

2004 Mazda RX8 1.3R

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.3R Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.3 / 10
Distance when acquired95000 kilometres
Most recent distance95000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Ugly and over-rated. A 1994 Honda Prelude compares favourably

Faults:

Driving in light rain on a highway, it aquaplanes, despite having a decent amount of tread on the tyres.

The car has ABS, but is too old to have traction control (at least in Australian spec).

General Comments:

This is a car I'm minding for a friend. I'm not a Mazda fan, and I thought this car might change my opinion. It didn't.

The car is tinny, indicating a lack of sound proofing. It is heavy, which dents performance. Being an auto, the engine is detuned - the auto is only a 4 speed.

It guzzles petrol.

Instrumentation is clunky. The only thing I liked was the stereo's sound, and the red highlights on the leather seats.

The previous owner spent a small fortune maintaining the car. When it was time to update, she found it had a very poor resale value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th November, 2011

2003 Mazda RX8 Spec S / 6 port 1.3L

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.3L Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 kilometres
Most recent distance76000 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Lancer

Summary:

Well rounded sports car

Faults:

Nothing at all has gone wrong since I've owned this. Although I did purchase this off Turners Auctions, and they said that there was a milky dipstick, and a problem with the radiator.

Little did they know that the milky dipstick was due to lack of use, and condensation of water out of the oil. The radiator simply had a faulty sensor, and required a change of the header tank, a simple fix. Meant that I picked this up way below retail, $12500; approx $18,000 at dealers.

General Comments:

I have to say that I have never owned a rotary before. From the outside, most people and what is written about the engines in general is only 10% of the story. Most of these people simply repeat info over and over.

Reliability:

Second to none, I've had no problems with my car. Just remember to check the oil twice a month, and do not overfill it.

The drive and performance:

This car is a dream to drive. The engine is located behind the front wheels, low engine mounting, and rear wheel drive means this hangs onto corners like nothing else. The performance is also pretty good; now that the initial buzz has worn off, there is a lack of torque in low revs (gears help here), but this is a characteristic of a rotary, and being NA doesn't help. Nonetheless, you will give other moderately priced European sports cars a good run for their money.

Running costs:

Yeah it does like to drink fuel, but then again so do big V6's and other turbo'd 4's. Mostly I have found that I have been getting 350-400kms a tank in town, and 500 on long runs.

Given that it is a unique engine, you'd be thinking that it would be a good idea to get a service by a dealership, which I'd be inclined to agree with if it was a standard piston engine. However, the amount of rotaries sold compared with the piston variety mean that good mechanics are few and far between. In this instance I have learnt to service it myself, along with the help of the rx8club.com website (a wealth of knowledge, from owners of the car).

In general: this car is unique and is admired by many, a very good alternative to a boring Skyline, Silvia, Evo, etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2011

14th Jul 2012, 02:22

Update on initial review: now at 91500 kms, as at 14/7/12. Replaced a bearing in gearbox, minor fix at $350, and removed the cat at the same time.

Other than that, I stick by my review that this is a dream to own and drive.

2010 Mazda RX8 Luxury 1.3 rotary

Model year2010
Year of manufacture2010
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.3 rotary Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired40 kilometres
Most recent distance1500 kilometres
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

It's honestly worth it.. this car is amazing

Faults:

Nothing so far, although the paint work for a new car had some polishing scratches (I made the dealer buff it out, but you can still see it.. (it is black though)).

General Comments:

This car is perfect. I'm a huge car lover, and this one just takes the cake. It's comfortable, great performance (not amazingly fast, but you can feel the pickup when you ask for it thanks to the rotary), the handling is great, the traction control kicks in and you hardly feel it kicking in.. it's like the car pats you on the back, no matter what you do, and says "that's OK.. you can do it".

The Bose stereo system is great. Really good sound, nice bass.

The re-do of the Series 2 RX8's minor shapes have made it just a bit more classier as opposed to sportier (I like that, because it's still sporty (if you have a spoiler IMO)).

I had a Corolla before this car (the most reliable car possibly in the world; it wouldn't die; it had 500 on the clock and still wanted more.. I had to put it down.) So reliability was very important to me; anyone who is looking at buying this car would be aware of the good & bad reviews of the rotary engines, specifically the RX8's. I was extremely wary of it (I'm paying 60 grand for it!) so I had to do a lot of research.. after reading around about it, I read a lot of good and bad reviews online.. but which one is it, the good, or the bad!? I clearly had to look into it more, it's my dream car, I want it!

So I then thought I'm gonna call Mazda and ask the service centre (sure they'll be biased, but I'm good with my words). I made something up and acted it out, and one lady said straight out to me from Mazda "stay away.." I said "why do you have many come in with problems?" she said "yes, we do have a lot come in..." OK.. they made me not want get it, but it is my dream car, so I wasn't gonna give up that easily..

I called another Mazda dealer, and I spoke to a rotary 'specialist'. Now this guy wasn't gonna get commission, he was just in the service centre and knew about rotaries (you could call him an enthusiast). He explained it all to me, gave me a history lesson on the engines and explained the car was made for performance. If you drive them like a normal car, they're gonna hate it and not perform well, hence the problems. The short trips ain't good for these cars either, the flooding issue is still present, but it's rare and they added some extra small things to the engine in series 2 i.e. an extra oil pump, so things should improve. Also people put normal oil in these cars like synthetic, and that's bad for these engines! So they screw up..

If you care about your car (like I do), then you're gonna want read up and take care of it, and it'll be as reliable as any other car (a lot of people swear by these engines). Basically, top up the oil with mineral oil (get it from Mazda), top it up maybe once every 2 months.. monitor it because it will depend on your driving style.. Warm the car up before you drive it, because they don't like cold driving. And give it to the car a bit, drive it like it's meant to be driven! That's my tips so far, and what I do. If there's anything else, I'll keep you all posted :)

I love the car, everyone else will too. If you want this car, then get it! But not mine, because mine's mine, and I love it dearly.

Peace out guys.

Oh.. last thing! fuel consumption... hmm.. let's state what we already know.. it's bad.

We all knew it's bad, but I'll lay it down for you. I'm a fast driver, I do thrash the car a bit (mine's also auto). I look at 350k's per $75.00 a tank; the tank size is 65 litres (but obviously I don't use it all the way to 0 litres). So be prepared to spend that people.. because we've heard it all before, but here's real life figures.

Peace out.

Anf

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2010

29th Apr 2011, 13:40

Awesome review here buddy. I am insane car fanatic, and want a new car, because although my 2004 Maxima still looks like new, it's notorious to maintain, and I hate that. I'm always trying to take care of it. It's annoying. This car (RX-8) is pure bargain for the handling that it supplies and its performance. I appreciate your information, and look forward to getting my own RX-8 soon.

26th Apr 2012, 02:50

Good on you for buying the RX8. I went through the same process for buying, a very divided opinion on whether they are good or not. I have to say the naysayers are usually the one's that have never had the pleasure of owning an 8. I've put on 30k onto mine after buying secondhand, and have had no problems. But as you say, the key is to know the quirks (rx8club.com!).

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews