I really don't know why you bought this car if you wanted something economical for city driving! Wouldn't a nice automatic diesel hatchback have made more sense?
I... Well, my experience isn't quite the same as the original poster, but I certainly can't argue.
Mileage. I just drove to Chicago and back from Cleveland, and even taking route 20 on the way back, never got over 19.5 MPG. That's at an average of 52 MPH according to the GPS. The sticker says it should do over 20, and I believed it. My Mini would get well over the sticker indicated 38 if I took it easy.
The car has been in for the first recall, and it now misses. The dealership drives it and screeches that "all is well!" yet the car gets terrible mileage, and stumbles in an obvious way.
Ah, well. They'll get it right. Still a nice car, and still corners very well.
Wow, I was really considering getting one. Until I read this board, and comments.
Thanks for everyones input.
I was considering an RX-8 until seeing the comments posted. I'm mainly interested in the 6-speed manual - is the reliability and MPG a lot better than the automatic? sure hope so - it is a nice looking car with 50/50 weight distribution.
I had an 04 six speed with lots of engine problems, and interior quality problems. Handling and breaking were great, but the lack of torque was really annoying in day-to-day traffic. Usually got about 19 mpg in mixed driving. I don't recommend this car.
I just picked up my 2004 RX-8 this past weekend - Feb 16th for those who would like to keep track.
I must say that I fell in love with the car the moment I sat down. After taking her up the nearest highway during the test drive, I decided to ask for her hand in marriage.
Of course, it was a long two weeks from the time that I took that first test drive until the day I brought her home, so needless to say, I've been all over the internet researching my purchase. In all fairness I must say that the posts on this site have been very helpful.
With all that I read I opted for the 3 year extended warranty on top of the current factory warranty (current odometer reading is 27,500). That being said, there is a certain level of comfort that I obtained by doing this especially after reading some of these posts.
For those of you complaining about the gas mileage, please keep in mind that you did purchase a sports car... a high performance sports car that still gets better mileage than most of the V8's that I'm out running on highway. Also... I hear that this is supposed to improve as the engine gets broken in and accustomed to the way it's driven.
As for the interior, I love it. Yes, more expensive materials could have been used, but if that's what you want go and get a Lexus SC450. The cabin on the RX is smooth and pretty much a breeze to maintain and keep looking good. The controls are all well within reach and I'm amazed at the roominess of the cabin. I'm 6'3" and never thought I would fit into a sports car. I came to this conclusion after sitting in the 350Z only to have the salesman tell me that for an extra grand they could through in longer seat tracks (that was the funniest thing I heard that day).
I have come across some little things like the driver side mirror rattle that's talked about in this review. Also, the silver emblem on door step is stating to peel up. All small things that can be remedied with glue and tightening of a few screws I'm sure.
As for maintainance, only time will tell. I assure you that I'm not worried about it being that I took the initiative to get an extended warranty, as I would recommend anyone purchasing a used car to do.
As for driving... NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I DRIVEN ANYTHING THAT WAS SO FUN TO DRIVE... I swear I don't feel that I'm being fair to other drivers because nothing else on the road comes close to this car. (well, I've never driven a Ferrari or Lambo so I can't honestly say that).
If you are looking for a sports car without the bulkiness or gas consumption of an American muscle car, and the agility of a cat... look no further than the RX-8. This car, in my opinion, is perfect in every sense of the word. And should the time come that it's not perfect, it provides peace of mind having that extended warranty to fall back on.
Moral of the story:
1. Don't expect to get Toyota Prius mileage from a high performance rotary powered Mazda
2. Warranty, Warranty and once again Warranty
3. Don't get a car on looks alone. Plan your purchase, decide what you will be using the car for and weigh your options. I traded in my 2001 Navigator that was getting 13 MPG. My 8 appears to be hitting right at about 18 MPG right now, but I've only had it a week so I've already one that battle. Also, it was so nice to pull up to the pump with a $50 bill and get $17 back in change. I couldn't leave the pump without dropping $75 in the Navigator.
Also, keep in mind that this is not a ordinary car. That being said, you will have to treat it differently than an ordinary piston powered auto. Do you research, read your manual and get familiar with the workings of your machine. I plan to keep mine around for a long time. '04 Brilliant Black Baby. The only thing I'm missing are leather seats, but I'll be taking a trip to the junk yard soon. It's been 3 years since they were introduced and I'm sure that some one out there wanted to experience the true power of that rotary engine and their car didn't quite make it due to some one's misjudgement.
Happy Motoring - a satisfied consumer!
A bit of advice: Stick with the cloth seats. Mazda uses very poor quality leather seat covers that wear prematurely. Cloth may be more durable, and cheaper to replace if/when the time comes.
Thanks for the heads up on Mazda leather. I've seriously been thinking about taking it to an auto upholstery shop and have some custom seat covers done. I'm thinking that may be cheaper and a better grade of leather than what Mazda offers. I really appreciate your advise on that!
Just completed my first 1000 miles and I'm still in love. This is by far the best driving car I've owned compared to (95 Honda Accord, 98 Chevy Malibu, 01 Lincoln Navigator)... Stay posted as I will definitely keep you up to speed on the Maintenance.
Both cold-starting difficulty and oil consumption appear to both well-recognized and inherent problems with the RX-8 rotary. It was reported in Automobile magazine's long-term review of the RX-8. So at least the mechanic was not being deceptive. Unfortunately, however, I cannot explain why the car would not start in moderate temperatures.