I am the original reviewer. The RX-8 has now been driven almost 15,000 miles. No problems. Gas mileage has improved a little (probably because I've learned to shift earlier!) and I could swear the engine is burning less oil too.
The car has also grown on me over the months, but it still does not have as much character as my long lost Subaru WRX :)
I have an RX8 also. After a set amount of miles the engine management system will save you fuel economy the more the engine is worn in. I'm very impressed with my RX8!
The nature of rotary engines is to improve with age, to a point of course. So, maybe the best is yet to come unless some other portion of the car has a defect and subsequently ruins your fun. So go out and enjoy some roadway fun and frolics with your car.
I am the original reviewer. The car is now three and a half years old, and I've managed a (meager) 27,000 miles on it. It's still awesome, and still going strong.
On the downside: it failed a California emissions test in 2006 when it moved to the golden state. This was fixed under warranty (spark plugs and a bad cat), and while being fixed up the water pump was replaced as it was about to die. Other than this one problem the car has been very reliable, and it seems to burn less oil than when it was new. The original tires now need replacement.
The car is still an awesome driver. A day on the track at Infineon Raceway (Sears Pt) north of San Francisco was a true delight, and it was fun to really flog the car and learn how good it really is. Trips down Hwy 1 to Los Angeles, and blasting around the Santa Cruz mountains south of San Francisco, always remind me of how special this car is.
The only negative is really a shortage of sheer grunt. In this day of 200+ hp minivans the RX-8 is not a car to impress at stop lights. But it's worth it just for those moments when you can shake off pesky traffic (even bikes) in the mountains, or on highway ramps :) Yep, it really is a wonderful car to drive if you can live with a certain lack of power and enjoy just-so dynamics.
The RX8 is a very under powered car.. I have one and am very disappointed with the performance.. also it eat up recalls and sparks plugs cost 125 bucks each..
The Mazda careless center are pretty useless in every way.. I have been selling cars for 18 years; every brand and make.. let me just warn you before you make a mistake.. stay away from the low end Japanese brand of Mazda.. if you're a diehard import buyer then think Mazda as your last choice..
I am debating between a Mazda RX8 or Impreza WRX. Which one should I go for? Please give me your opinion.
Can't comment on the Subaru, but after owning an RX-8 for a couple of years I would never recommend one.
Real fun on a curvy mountain road, but unreliable, poorly put together, and very low on torque.
I am the original reviewer. The car is now 9 years old, and has just a tad over 55,000 miles on it.
I've finally had a real problem with it: a progressively slower starting engine led to a horribly misfiring engine, that finally led to it needing a tow truck. The diagnosis has gone the range from "the engine is going, replace it" (a Mazda dealer) to "it's not terminal" (a local rotary engine specialist).
So, a new set of spark plugs, wires, and coils (the culprit) have been installed. Everyone suggested upgrading the starter motor and battery ('04 RX-8's had a less capable set) and this has been done.
The car is still tight and a joy to drive. It still handles competitively with anything else I have shopped for as a prospective replacement. The interior has held up fantastically well. The cheap plastics look about as good as they did 9 years ago, and, yes, they're still cheap plastic bits, but the seats and leather look as good as new. Also, just like 9 years ago, I still wish the car had another 50 HP or so of power.
After 9 years and this most recent (and first) $1,500 unplanned repair I'm still a fan. I'd been lucky enough to drive a 2013 Audi S4 while the RX-8 was in the shop, and I was surprised at how glad I was to be back in the RX-8 driver's seat! Now to see if the engine is actually going to go out like the doom and gloom crowd keep hinting it will :-)