Mazda RX8 Is it any good?

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, looking for advise about the Maxda RX8, i am looking at buying this car as it looks great and heard a few good reviews about. I would like to hear about performance,reliability etc. I am looking at getting the 1.3ltr 197 bhp version 2004 version upwards. I am really due for a car and though i have never driven a Mazda before i have been told they are very reliable. Answers will be highly appreciated

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    The RX8 is a great car in the hands of a knowledgeable owner.

    You get the handling prowess of a true sports car, good power, 4 usable seats, easy entry to the rear seats, a good trunk, phenomenal brakes, and a car that a blast to drive.

    Now, as for a 2004 auto trans...these are probably the most problematic version of the car. You really sacrifice HP in the 04 and 05 auto versions as they only used a 4 port rotary engine as opposed to the 6 port on the MT's.

    Also, auto trans drivers tend to be more sedate in their driving habits, and that can cause problems with the rotary engine. Firstly, this engine needs to see revs to keep itself clean internally. Secondly the oil injection system uses revs to increase injection and internal lubrication. Many auto trans owners in hot temperature zones who didn't give the motor good rev frequently ended up with a lubrication problem that required engine replacement. This was not truly an engine problem, but an un-knowledgeable owner problem.

    If you are looking at one ensure it has a full service history and has been in for all its recalls. Also ensure it has passed a recent compression and vacuum leak-down test from a Mazda dealership.

    The core motor warranty has been extended to 8 years/100K miles so you should be safely within this for a while yet.

    Go to the forums at: to learn how to properly maintain a rotary engine. It's not a big deal nor difficult, it just simple requires knowledge to get the most life out of the motor.

    Read up on the motor flooding issue, which although not common, is something you need to be aware of as it's a limitation of rotary engines in general. Basically, once started the motor should run until it's warm. If shut off cold you run the risk of flooding the motor.

    I've owned an 05 RX8 6 spd since new and have only had one issue (condensation in the tail lights...fixed under warranty). It's been a completely reliable vehicle for me.

  • RX8
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Simply put YES. I own a Mazda RX8 231ps. Fantastic car, lives up to all the hype. Bought it new in '04 and have had no problems what so ever. It is a four seater but the suicide doors make entry onto the back seats as easy as a four door saloon. Huge boot and plenty of legroom all round. My two big teenage lads sit in the back with ease. Digital speedo nice touch and great sounds from Bose speakers. Rear wheel drive with ceramic breaks that give awesome stopping. This is a twin rotary engined car that needs high revs, red lines at 9000. The RX8 can hit 60mph from a standstill in 6 seconds flat, and the top speed should be in the 150 mph range (untested by me!).

    You also have to top up the oil, I do about 1Lr every 1000 miles or so. Had a recall for petrol management system problem that I didn't know existed, fixed same day. Mazda dealership fantastic. Up grades worth it Sat nav and leather heated seats . Only negative thing i can think about is no rear window wiper. If you have to worry about petrol consumption then this is not the car for you. But who cares, I don't, it's worth every penny when you're driving. If you want to drive around with a smile on your face buy an RX8. It's a remarkable car. It truly offers something different from a style perspective and from a mechanical one. Go for a test drive you'll fall in love I know I did.

    Source(s): Proud RX 8 Owner.
  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Having been in a Mazda from 05 to the present, I would have to say the 3 is my favorite car to live with. The Rx8 is not practical for my lifestyle. It is high maintenance compared with today's vehicles. Rotary engine is old tech that needs oil topped off at every gas fill up or changed every 2,500 miles for instance. If you start it then cut the engine off, immediately start it again, prepare to wait on the tow truck you have just flooded the engine. I don't have that kind of time to be concerned about either. If that is not the case for you then consider the Rx8 its a great car. You seem to want to be a speed merchant. Neither the standard 3 or the Rx8 are for the speedy, rather the sporty. What Mazda does well is build a car with the potential baked into the car, stock the cars are engineered to be driven closer to 90% of its capabilities day in day out. Going back to the Rx8. It has a high revving engine that winds out to 8-9k rpm. The harder you drive it the better. However, you burn plenty gas and oil. Just because you spin the engine to those supersonic levels doesn't mean you are going supersonic speed. You could be in first gear and thats all that little 1.3l engine can handle from one shift to another. It sounds fast and furious and it feels like it, but the clock in the quarter or from stop light to stop light is not going to be the first to see overwhelming performance. By Mazda definition the driver is squeezing out of the car all its suppose to do. The stock 3 is not a killer either. It can handle the esses with the best of them, but the engine in the larger 4 pot is a low compression engine, best suitable for sporting pretensions. The car can be driven fast but it is neither quick compared to its peers or that fast. The 3 can be driven fast in a competent mannner. It can be outfitted with aftermarket performance parts and make a name for itself out on the freeway. I sure did. lol. You have to think about what are you competitive about? I am competitive about getting the best gas mileage I can get. lol. Therefore, the 3 is the hands down winner for me. Mazda has really good upside with the smaller mill, the skyactiv check it out on Youtube, good stuff. It can translate to speed, but they have zero performance parts, so you will have to be patient. However, the 2.3 and 2.5 engine has its share of go fast performance parts. What is interesting about the skyactiv engine is the bult in high pressure engine that motivates the automobile with better overall performance than its 2.3 and 2.5 siblings. Skyactiv is somewhat of a David against Goliath out here. Its a winner. I hope this helps. Best

  • 6 years ago

    Hot Start Cures:

    1) once flooded put your accelerator pedal to the floor before you crank so that you get the maximum airflow through the engine to dry out the combustion chamber (just like a 2stroke). In future to stop the engine, run the engine up to 4000rpm then take your foot off the accelerator to shut off the petrol, and when the rpm comes down to 1500rpm turn off the ignition key. This turns off the fuel supply and dries out the engine for easy restart. Perform the latest ecu software update which also stops over fuelling when cold or hot.

    2) drop by your local scrappy and install the biggest second hand (read £20) battery that will fit in your battery tray (Ford Transit Van battery etc)

    3) Mazda have a bigger starter option (£350) that will spin a flooded engine at the required minimum 200rpm (just like a 2stroke)

    4) Hot Start Cure: google "Mazda RX8 Ametech Engine Restorer" and just shake up and add a 400mls Ametech additive to the existing oil (under £30) and top up with Mazda mineral oil and drive normally. Hot start compression problem CURED within 300 miles or a week of normal driving. Lasts many years and adds £1000s to the value of the car. The tiny copper silver lead particles in the Ametech quickly fills in the rotational scratches in the double eliptical cylinder walls improving compression.

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  • 4 years ago

    Mazda rx8

  • 1 decade ago

    Be careful of buying an automatic 2004 RX-8

    (They are considered the worst batch ie 2004 auto)

    Revving is good for the engine.

    Make sure all the TSBs/recalls have been done on the 2004 as that year they had a weak starter motor and battery which were rectify in later years. 2006+ are safer bets.

    Rotary engines have to be cared for differently than piston engines.

    With that said, I love my blue RX-8.

    Source(s): bought used 2004 MT RX-8 recently
  • 1 decade ago

    IMHO, a good to great buy!

    However, the operation of a rotary engine has its own quirks! So read, understand and do what the owners manual tells you to do.

    This is most important when starting and turning off the engine.

    Rotary engines do not take well to being flooded with gas or other fluids. Use the wrong method and it can be major overhaul time.

    I would hold out for the turbo version myself.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not a good car. Not very practical, get poor fuel economy and tend to be unreliable. Unlike the rest of Mazda's lineup, this car uses a rotary engine. They are great in theory but have always been marginal. They get 18mpg on average, they burn alot of oil and have some quirks that make them hard to live with.

    For instance, if you start the car, move it, and then shut it down the engine can flood and its dead. You have to take it to the dealership to have it fixed.

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    5 years ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    This car has great handling and you will love the sound of the rotary engine, but the cons are that you will get poor mileage.

    Source(s): Car and driver
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