Mazda RX-8

As we are looking for a car, we went test driving last weekend.

2005 Mazda RX-8 Shinka

The Mazda RX-8 is a very interesting car. The rotary engine definitely appeals to an engineering nerd like me. But at the same time, I realize that it is the only car using that engine and that could be a negative.

Mazda RX-8 is a nice looking car but sometimes it reminds me too much of Mazda6 and Miata, both of which I am not fond of. Among the available colors, the Black Cherry of the Shinka edition definitely stands out.

When the RX-8 first came out, I thought the reverse-opening rear doors were just a gimmick, but when we checked out the car last weekend, they turned out to be very useful. They will definitely help a lot in taking Michelle’s car seat in and out as well as getting Michelle into the car.

In terms of price, the base price of the RX-8 is very reasonable. However, that doesn’t include much in terms of comfort and the optional packages are expensive. Add leather seats, sunroof and a few other things and the price climbs quite a lot.

Speaking of the sunroof, it reduces the head room which is normal, but that reduction means my head touches the roof of the car. Now I am not a tall person (6 feet or 1.83m), so I didn’t expect that. It’s not a complete deal breaker as I could recline the seat a bit more than my usual position and that would work, but it’s definitely a negative for me.

We took Michelle’s car seat with us when we test drove the RX-8. When the infant car seat is in the rear facing position in the back, the front passenger seat has to be moved quite forward. I can definitely not fit in there, but Amber wasn’t too comfortable either.

During the test drive, the ride was smooth and changing gears was easy. I hadn’t driven a stick-shift in more than 2 years, but I found the stick to be simple and smooth. One downside of the car is that it is a high-rpm engine, so there is not a whole lot of power at low rpms. It does, however, accelerate quite nicely in the 3rd gear.

While the fuel economy of RX-8 is rated by EPA at 18/24 (city/highway) miles per gallon, which is not much lower than 19/26 for Infiniti G35, I have heard that the RX-8 gets poor gas mileage.

Overall, RX-8 is a nice sports car at a decent price. I like it reasonably well but I am not wowed by it. We’ll have to check out Infiniti G35 to make a decision.

You can also read Edmunds’ road tests.

Categorized as Cars

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. Seems a good car…I didnt know they were now putting those rotary things into cars. By the way what is the engine power? It seems quite high from the mileage you have given!

  2. Asif: The manual transmission RX-8 produces 238 hp (177 kW).

    Mazda had put a rotary engine into this car’s predecessor, RX-7, which was available from 1988 to 1995. I think there have been a few other cars with small production numbers using rotary engines.

  3. RX 8 is basically meant for ladies . Rotary engines are nOt long lasting engines.. I appreciate nice piece of engering ! RX7 was something i alway’s like to cruise in full throttle..

  4. Hey buddy…you have presented a complete review about this vehicle along with a cool picture collection…excellent work…

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