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.

General Comments:

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

22nd Jun 2011, 10:04

Foam on the dip stick is an indication of water in the oil. Use google to find out more info... It might be worth having it checked out.

2005 Mazda RX8 Sport 1.3L rotary from North America


Dream Machine


Cat blew, replaced under warranty.

TPS light comes on randomly. No problem.

General Comments:

I am really sorry about all the bad experiences others seem to have had with their RX-8s. When you buy a car, you should do it with full knowledge of its characteristics. Without that knowledge, we get a lot of complaints. The rotary uses oil by design (so check it per the manual!). The rotary (nor any engine) should be fully warmed up upon starting, otherwise it will not last as long (and may flood). The rotary is not efficient. The rotary does not have a lot of torque. Live with it!

For those who want those things, please sell it to someone who appreciates all the magic this car offers; buy a Honda, and quit complaining.

This car is a dream machine. I am 6'2.5" and live in the Northeast. With Blizzacks for the winter and no sunroof for headroom, there is just nothing better. Every time I get in her, my heart races in anticipation of the ride, the handling, and honestly the fact that there are so few that own them and fewer still who appreciate how much they have for so little. To get all that, in any other vehicle, I’d have to spend two or three times the $$$, and that more than offsets the low MPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2009

14th Jan 2010, 10:20

If one is willing to live with the compromises noted above, and is not so interested in straight-line performance, then the RX8 is a good car.

Personally, I don't believe that any modern car should suffer from such short comings, regardless of how well it handles/steers/brakes. Sold mine after < 2 yrs.

28th Sep 2011, 15:53

LoL, you said sell an RX8 and buy a Honda. Both cars lack torque and both burn oil.

5th Apr 2014, 20:25

Blizzacks. Yesssssss.