2005 Mazda RX8 1.3 rotary from North America
This is a great looking car, that handles superbly and is fairly reliable, but is quite thirsty
Air-conditioning is fairy weak; seems to just barely manage at 32 degrees C with just me in the car. The leather seats guarantee that your shirt will be soaked in hot weather.
Driver's seat heater on off switch replaced at 60,000 km.
Replaced rear light assemblies, they were filling with water at 70,000 km.
Replaced throttle position sensor at 125,000 km; the car would not drive faster than 15 km per hour, I managed to limp it to the dealer.
Replaced clutch at 140,000 km.
I managed to flood the engine twice; moral of the story, let the engine warm up to normal operating temperature before you shut it down.
Overall, a fairly reliable car compared to my last car; you just need to remember to check the oil.
I live Canada, one of the less snowy parts, but deep snow may defeat you in this car. I find that anything more than 6 inches or 15 cm, it's better to just park the car. If you're driving in deeper snow, you will need to shut off the traction control, otherwise the car will just bog down. You need to keep those rear wheels turning, and you just can't do that with the traction control.
Rust is a big consideration in a country that salts its roads; so far I only have small amounts of visible rust on the trunk lid, which seems to be related to the spoiler; looks like the seals on my wing were less than watertight. Speaking of the spoiler, the clear coat on the metallic (Blue) paint is almost completely de-laminated; no problems on the rest of the car however.
My one other pet peeve about this car is the oil servicing of this car. Who designed the oil filter to go on up-side down? If you change the filter in your driveway, you will dump oil on it when you pull the filter off. Also, a car that needs frequent oil checks, should not have the dipstick next to the firewall, buried behind hot dirty hoses.
Finally another cold weather annoyance; for some reason in below freezing weather, the oil inside the dipstick tube seems to foam, producing some gunk that makes reading the how much oil is still left, challenging.
My final negative about the car is gas mileage, I’ve averaged 13.0 liters per 100 km by sticking to the posted speed limit. At $1.30 per liter currently at the pump, a full tank is costing me about $66, and only getting me about 400 km; not great.
Clam shell doors make the car very practical for carrying passengers and cargo, which is needed as the trunk is small and the rear seats do not fold down.
This car is my daily driver, and I have a smile on my face every time I’m driving it. The only time I’m not smiling is when I’m putting gas in the tank. As many others have said, this car corners like crazy, and is reasonably fast if you rev the engine. To me, this car defines fun-to-drive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd February, 2011