2004 Mazda RX8 1.3R from Australia and New Zealand


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


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

2004 Mazda RX8 from North America


Looks really cool, but it's a cheap componented, rotary engine let down, that handles great


Factory recall of the engine at 98,000.

Undercarriage spoiler, plastic wheel wells, and basic undercarriage plastics have come loose.

Interior components like the sun shades broke simply from folding them down. Interior, and exterior plastics components are cheap and flimsy.

Moonroof came off track just by opening it; it's at least a $1000 repair, and most of the dealers Mazda dealers don't even know how to fix it without completely replacing it.

The automatic shifter is out of alignment.

General Comments:

The vehicle handles like a dream, but the rotary engine is extraordinary weak and slow.

I will never by another Mazda again; cheaply built vehicle.

The car looks really cool, and that's all it had going for it, besides the superb handling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd January, 2011

24th Jan 2011, 04:53

Mazda detuned this engine whenever it was fitted with an automatic transmission. It amazes me why anyone would buy an automatic version of a rotary engined car that needs to rev to get its power (automatic gearboxes hate to rev).

2004 Mazda RX8 from North America


Decent car, fun to drive, girls like it, but I probably wouldn't buy another one


I bought my 04 in January of 07. I flooded it 10 months later. I learned that you let the temperature of the engine rise until the needle is about halfway up. If you do not have time to do that, then just let the car run about 5 minutes and pump the gas to make the RPM go above 3,000 at least 3 times, then cut it off. This cost me about $500 to fix.

I have had both tail lights replaced due to them leaking. Since they have been replaced, I have had no problems with that issue. They have been replaced for about 2 years. I spent approximately $200 for both.

The plastic is coming off of the passenger seat. I broke the spring that holds the center console closed. Yesterday I broke the knob that controls how hard or soft the fan blows for heating and air. That knob is $44 from the dealership.

My check engine light comes on from time to time. The problem is the intake manifold valve is stuck open. This could be because the manifold is cracked or the valves need to be replaced. If it is the manifold, they have to drop the engine to do that, and it cost a lot of money. It has been doing this for over a year and a half, if that tells you anything.

Brakes should be replaced every 40,000 miles as well as an alignment. Tires should be rotated every 10,000 miles. Mine normally last 40,000 miles. You can find cheap sets if you look for them. The last set I bought were low profiles, and I paid $350 for all 4 tires including installation.

The rotary engine isn't made for automatic cars, so you shouldn't buy the RX-8 in automatic. That is a main reason those engines need to be replaced.

General Comments:

If you can get over the problems, then the car is awesome. It handles amazingly.

If you red line your car at least once a week, you are doing it a huge favor.

To be honest, if you do not have a love for rotary engines, then I probably wouldn't buy another one. The car isn't as fast as every one tries to make it out to be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th December, 2010

22nd Jun 2011, 03:28

Don't all cars require being warmed up before use? I think if you also read the car manual it says it needs to be warmed up.

7th Jun 2013, 13:17

I've heard RX-8s aren't the quickest thing, but never underestimate a rotary engine; they can fly when done up properly, and because they are so light, the car handles well. A properly set up rotary and good set up handling car will give a road car a run for its money, excluding the higher up super cars, unless you go bonkers and do a 20b.