Excellent driver's car
Unconfirmed exhaust leak discovered in last 50 miles.
The Mazda RX-8 is an excellent car overall. My wife and I are pleased with its compromise between sports car and somewhat practical daily driver. I find it a bonus to be able to fit four people in a car that looks like a coupe. I am amazed at how spacious the back seats are for an average (5'8") person. It has a trunk capable of holding a respectable amount of groceries.
We bought the car with the intention of taking our dogs with us on our weekend trips, but we quickly discovered that while the back seats are OK for people, the same cannot be said for animals. The center console/arm rest extends to the back seats, so those in the rear have similar seating as those in the front.
Performance wise, I really like how smooth the rotary engine builds revs and delivers a smooth surge of power. While it's not a straight-line performer this car really makes up for the lack of power (212 hp) in the way it handles the road. Hold on tight and dive into corners at speeds you didn't know was possible! Traction is noticeably diminished when driving on anything but dry pavement, but this is a driver's car, so what do you expect?
The seating position is low-slung and the seats provide good lateral support while being cushioned enough for a road trip. The suspension is tight, again as expected for a sports car, but it is compliant enough to not be harsh.
The cockpit is inviting and the use of plastics is done in a way that doesn't scream PLASTIC. The Bose stereo option is excellent. There are little pockets here and there for your stuff, but not so much that your car starts to look like you live in it. Mazda has really paid attention to the little details throughout every part of this car. You other owners would agree.
Overall this car is excellent for what it is, even if some people will bash it for its poor fuel economy (18/23) and the fact that it burns oil. Mazda provided a face-lift for the '09 model and I couldn't be happier with the changes. These RX cars are a bit of history that some people don't understand, but to those that do, this is a great car for what it is as well as what it isn't.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd October, 2009