The Mazda RX8, is to me, one of the best "bang for the buck" sports cars on the market today. Ever since I was a teenager, I've been in love with the RX7, and was totally heartbroken when they took it off the market. Cars have always been a passion of mine, and having something as unique as a vehicle with a rotary engine was a dream of mine forever. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Mazda RX8, model year 2004 to be exact, and dove right in.
I have to say, it was one of the most fun to drive cars I've ever owned or had the pleasure of trying out. The straight-line power left a little to be desired, but the handling, with near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, was second to none. It had an RPM red-line of over 9000, which made the exhilaration you experience when revving into the power band just stupendous. It has a 6 speed transmission, and a sweet short-shifter at almost chest height making you feel like you are completely connected to the car.
The interior felt like a jet cockpit, the seats were comfortable, stylish, and kept you snug around those tight corners. The fit and finish of the knobs and controls were great, and very intuitive to use. The back seats were surprisingly spacious, although my 6'3" little brother did find it a bit uncomfortable, but anyone even a little smaller had plenty of room. The stereo was really good too, although it lacked the deep base I crave, so I threw in a small 10" woofer in the trunk making it perfect. Another really cool feature was the fact that all the dials had a shroud making them well hidden from passengers, which saved me a scolding on quite a few occasions with the wife in tow.
Now, after glowing about the beauty and design of this unique little vehicle, I have to go into the thing that bothered me the most. The gas consumption was absolutely horrible, I mean it made gas guzzling SUVs look almost green. Another issue was storage, the boot was really small, and that 10" woofer, even though it was in a small box, almost eliminated the utility of being able to carry anything around.
Overall I have to say I really liked it, and since I had to give up my RX8 due to the cost, maintenance, and utility that didn't jive with the adult in me, I am looking forward to the day that Mazda finally brings back the RX7. By then, it may just be time to buy a summer car.