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Friday, December 26, 2008


FULL Review: Mazda RX8

OTOREVIEW'S OPINION: The RX8 is in one of my "MUST BUY" lists. There are more and more units in Malaysian roads. Prices varies as it's only available thru gray Imports. More on the pricing later. As usual, I don't have a unit to test drive, hence I dished out 2 Articles from UK, One from "" another from Enjoy!


Summary 3.5/5 starsstars
Mazda is the only manufacturer to continue with the rotary engine. Traditionally they guzzle fuel and munch their rotor tips. However, Mazda claims to have eliminated the latter problem so you can enjoy the stratospheric rev limit without fear. You also get the relatively unique advantage of a sexy coupé that drives well will genuinely carry four people thanks to the stylish solution to rear access.

Performance 4.5/5 stars

Tell your friends your sudden burst of speed and seemingly limitless rev range is being provided by a 1.3-litre engine, and they'll be amazed. Trouble is, while this 1.3 performs more like a 2.6-litre, it drinks like a 3.9. The rotary engine has far fewer moving parts than a conventional engine and is much more compact. In the RX-8 it is mounted very low in the engine bay helping improve the car's centre of gravity. The 189bhp model has a slightly higher torque output than the 228bhp model, but the high-power variant will spin beyond 9,000rpm. A little warning beep is let out once the car reaches 9,000rpm, but there is no heavy-handed rev-limiter cutting in suddenly - the car allows you a further few hundred rpm grace before you need to change up.

Comfort 3.5/5 stars

Automatic climate control is standard on the RX-8 and driver and front seat passenger have pretty much as much space as they need. The optional sunroof encroaches on headroom, though. An electrically adjustable driver's seat is offered as an option with leather trim. The rear compartment is accessed through doors which are hinged at the back and can be opened after the front doors have been opened. Not as easy to get in and out of as a conventional saloon, but better than most coupes, and once you're in the back there is a surprising amount of space.

Practicality 3/5 stars

The boot (above) is bigger than in most coupes although not a match for £20,000 saloons (it's about equivalent to what you'd get in a Volkswagen Polo with the rear seats in place). However, it should carry enough luggage for a week's holiday for two, or a weekend away for four. You also have to monitor oil consumption (checking every second time you fill up with fuel is recommended for the first couple of thousand miles) and ensure it's topped up, which could be seen as an unnecessary hassle for those not truly committed to the cause. The rotor tips need protecting for longevity.

Equipment 4/5 stars

The level of equipment is impressive, even in the cheaper of the two models you'll get a nine-speaker Bose sound system with CD autochanger. High-power version has xenon headlights over standard model. Leather and metallic paint are optional, as is sat-nav. PZ model adds lowered suspension, new springs and dampers, a rear wing, bespoke OZ alloy wheels and is available in either metallic dark grey or solid black.

Behind the wheel 4/5 stars

It's all very stylish and hi-tech inside as befits an X-Men 2 movie extra. One of the things that makes the RX-8 stand out as a great car, rather than merely a good one, is the attention to detail paid to the interior. There are no cheap-looking fittings, and while it would have been relatively easy to base the instruments and controls on those used in the Mazda6, the RX-8 has its own bespoke interior. The few hard plastics around are black high-gloss plastics that look rather classy, and the way Mazda's designers have repeated the triangular rotor shape as design features in other parts of the car is one for the anoraks out there. There is a digital speedometer set into the over-size rev counter, and the steering wheel is fitted with audio controls.

Safety 4/5 stars

Lots of safety equipment including six airbags (front, side and curtain airbags). Traction and stability control are standard along with alarm, immobiliser and central locking.

Reliability 3.5/5 stars

Rotary engines used to suffer premature wear problems, but Mazda claims to have this resolved, as long as the car is well maintained. If oil consumption is not monitored regularly and the level falls too low, the rotor tips will wear out, which will prove very expensive in the long run. Otherwise reliability should be good.

Buying used: 3 stars/5

Many private and trade sellers with RX-8s at the moment. While a sizeable share of those on the used market have been run as company cars, there are many below-average mileage private cars that have lost a few thousand pounds off their new price but still have some of their manufacturer warranty left.

Selling: 3.5 stars/5

Shouldn't be difficult to sell - people looking at an RX-8 should be well aware of its ability and its fearsome thirst. It's a far more practical car than its main rival coupes like the Nissan 350Z and Audi TT. While the Mazda can seat four adults, the Nissan has just two seats and the Audi has very small rear seats. Compare it with premium saloons like the BMW 3-series and Audi A4 and you find that as well as having sensational looks, the RX-8 is far better equipped for the money and more fun to drive.

ARTICLE 2: Source 2:


Performance (4 stars/5 ****)

Mazda is the only manufacturer to use a rotary engine, which uses spinning rotors rather than cylinders. There are two 1.3-litre units, with either 189bhp or 228bhp. Performance is strong from both, with a high rev limit and distinctive sound. The base model has a five-speed manual gearbox while the more powerful car has a six-speeder.

Ride & handling (5 stars/5 *****)

Balancing the ride and handling of a sporty car is a tricky job but one Mazda has pulled off. The low-speed ride is firm but not jerkily so and it’s very comfortable at high speeds. But it’s the body control that truly impresses: no matter what the surface or how tight the corner, the RX-8 just keeps on gripping.

Refinement (4 stars/5 ****)

There is a very distinct note to the rotary engine when it is revved. The sound has a pleasing edge that lets the driver know the car is working hard. Road and wind noise is isolated well from the cabin and the RX-8 makes a good long-distance cruiser as well as a fine back-road blaster.


Buying & owning (4 stars/5 ****)

Both models are keenly priced and undercut the equivalent Audi TT - the RX-8’s key rival. Given the amount of standard equipment, the Mazda is great value. Only the car’s fuel economy and emissions spoil things, with the RX-8 falling into the top 35% company car tax bracket. Residual values are strong for a car without a prestige badge.

Quality & reliability ****

Being a Mazda, owners can expect clockwork reliability and build quality that is extremely good. The cars we have driven have been constructed with care. The rotary engine should present no problems because Mazda has been building it for decades and it has won a reputation for durability.

Safety & security *****

Even though there is no central door pillar, the rear door’s leading edge is heavily reinforced to create a 'virtual' pillar when closed, for safety in a side impact. Twin front, side and curtain airbags are standard, as are stability and traction controls. The RX-8 has followed other Mazda cars and scored reasonably well in our security tests.


Behind the wheel ****

The driver of the RX-8 has electric adjustment for the seat, helping towards a great driving position. Steering adjustment is for height only but most drivers should be able to make themselves comfortable. In true Mazda tradition, all the controls are logically laid out in the stylish cabin.

Space & practicality ****
Mazda’s clever reverse-hinged rear doors allow excellent access to a pair of individual rear seats that can accommodate adults with ease. There's also a reasonable boot that can cope with a couple of suitcases, making the RX-8 a very practical for a coupe.

Equipment *****

Mazda has loaded both models of the RX-8 with plenty of kit. Foremost on the list is the superb Bose sound system with no less than nine speakers and excellent sound quality. There’s also climate control and 18-inch alloy wheels. Optional extras are limited to metallic paint, electric sunroof, leather seats and satellite-navigation.

END OF ARTICLE 2, Source 2:



Engine type

Front-midship Renesis - 2 rotors in-line, naturally aspirated, multi-sideport

Engine capacity
1,308 (654 x 2) cc

Compression ratio
10.0 : 1

Maximum power
170 kW @8,200 rpm

Maximum torque
211 Nm @5,500 rpm

Fuel system
Multipoint electronic fuel injection

Fuel tank capacity
61 litres

Recommended fuel
Premium unleaded (min. 95RON)

Fuel consumption
city/highway: 18/23MPG

Manual transmission

Gear ratio:
1st 3.760
2nd 2.269
3rd 1.645
4th 1.187
5th 1.000
6th 0.843
reverse 3.564
final drive 4.444


Brake type

front Ventilated disc
rear Ventilated disc

Brake diameter
front 323 mm
rear 302 mm

Shock absorbers type: Bilstein
Steering type: Electric power assist steering

front: Double wishbone
rear: Multi-link

Turning circle:
kerb to kerb 10.6 m

Tyre size: 225/45 R18 91W

Weight distribution: front : rear 50 : 50

Wheel size: 18 x 8.0 JJ

Wheel type: Alloy

Wheel type (spare): Space-saver (T125/70 D17 98M)

(192ps) Auto: 4d 7.0 s 139 mph 189 bhp (more info)
(231ps) Manual: 4d 6.2 s 146 mph 227 bhp (more info)


Airbags SRS:

front (driver and passenger)
side (front)
curtain (front and rear)

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Child restraint anchor points

Day/night rear vision mirror

'Double lock' door deadlock function

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) - switchable on/off
Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
Engine immobiliser
High mount stop lamp
Intrusion-minimising brake pedal

Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) torque-sensing

One touch (up and down) power window (driver)
Remote central locking and boot release
Seat-belts (front) with pretensioners and load-limiters
Seat-belts 3-point lap-sash (all seats)
Side impact door beams
Traction Control System (TCS)
'Triple H' safety construction with front and rear crumple zones

Whiplash-minimising front seats


Ground clearance: 120 mm
Overall height: 1,340 mm
Overall length: 4,435 mm
Overall width: 1,770 mm
Track:- front: 1,500 mm
rear: 1,505 mm
Wheelbase: 2,700 mm
Cargo room: volume (VDA) 290 litres
Kerb weight: 1,374 kg

Besides Articles, I ALSO NEED 2 Malaysian or Singaporean Owners of RX8 to write REVIEW on their RX8. Don't worry, I will acknowledge your work (your name will be there).

PRICE: In Malaysia, Price varies greatly as different Importers have different pricings. There were 2 specs. Type E's 189hp tiptronic style Auto, 16" rims. Type S is 228hp Full blooded 6 speed manual with 18" rims. Price for 2003 unregistered are now from RM143k to RM160k depending on Specifications. On 26 February, there's one used 2003/05 unit up for RM131,800. Another used unit 2005/07 Auto's up for RM168,000.


1 comment:

  1. sells the Protech Performance PTP RX-8 Turbo Kit On Sale Now for $4,995! This RX-8 Turbo Kit was featured in the June 2006 Car & Driver USA.

    Protech Performance is located in Austin, TX and can be reached by phone (512) 490-4694 or via email:
    Dealer Inquiries Welcome.
    Ask for Alan - He sells the kits at PTP, along with Jon (Protech's Tuner)

    Here is a link to the Car & Driver Review: