2003 Mazda RX8 Reviews

2003 Mazda RX8 Spec S / 6 port 1.3L from Australia and New Zealand

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.

2003 Mazda RX8 Sport and Sound packages 1.3L Renesis rotary wankel from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.3L Renesis rotary wankel Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 miles
Most recent distance69000 miles

Summary:

Complex mechanically, yet precise in every aspect

Faults:

First off, if you are going to buy this car, be patient and learn about it before you buy it. If you are not a car person, you should make sure you are aware of what owning a rotary engine means.

Things that I have had trouble with include the car not starting this winter (which was fixed for free at my local Mazda dealer); the problem was a computer programing unit that was not updated. The only other problem is the tail light gaskets, which are at fault for water in my tail lights.

General Comments:

This car handles like a dream because of its double wishbone suspension and 50-50 weight distribution.

The car lacks quick acceleration stock due to its 200 horse power, but can be heavily modified, and its top end speed is actually pretty fast.

This little car is quick and nimble, and very responsive. This car's interior is as amazing as its exterior looks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2011

2003 Mazda RX8 230ps 1.3L rotary petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.3L rotary petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired12000 miles
Most recent distance47000 miles
Previous carPeugeot 406

Summary:

Mint!

Faults:

Catalytic Converter crumbled (replaced under warranty)

Engine replaced due to dodgy seal (replaced under warranty)

Alloy wheels corroded (replaced under warranty)

Brushed Aluminium strakes corroded (replaced under warranty)

General Comments:

The RX8 is a beautiful car which drives like a dream. It has superb acceleration and handling that means you're confident of where the car is going and where it should be at all times.

Interior trim is great, everything fits and has maintained a good sheen after 4 years of use. I hadn't realised how great till I took a serious look at a new (non-RX8) car and realised how shabby some of them can get after only a year or two of use.

The sound system is great. Quality, clear sound. Again, you don't appreciate it until you listen to some basic sound system in some other car.

Storage space is limited, but with some creative packing I've transferred bicycles, massive suitcases, and even 4 people and a whole team's cricket gear.

Fuel economy is poor, but then everyone knows that. You just get on with it and enjoy the car instead. Lows of 18MPG and (rare) highs of 24 but averages between 20 and 21MPG.

The heavy oil consumption is just a myth. Some cars will use lots, some will barely touch it. I've had the car over 4 years and have used less than my old Fiesta of 2 years.

Ditto with the flooding. If you don't drive it 5 feet then turn it off, you won't have a problem. I've never flooded it once in 4 years.

Despite the problems listed in the faults section, I still feel that the build quality is great, and I regret my decision to trade it in soon, but with the increasing fuel prices I must downtrade to another car. I know whatever car I get won't be as good as the RX8.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2008

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 5 reviews