2004 Mazda RX-8 Manual Coupe Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2004 Mazda Rx-8 - Consumer Reviews

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2004 RX-8 Consumer Reviews

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Rotary Engine-MAJOR PROBLEMS
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By raya4
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

I bought the car on a whim because of how much fun it was to drive without doing much research. After buying the car almost EVERY mechanic I knew told me that I made a terrible choice. These rotary engines in these cars suck. My engine blew at 80k miles and mine lasted longer than most. Buying this car was a waste of money.


Suggested Improvements

Get rid of rotary


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Fun to drive
15 of 38 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By riqqie
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

This car is great. It is amazing to drive. It grips the road and corners like a dream. It isn't the fastest car from a stop, but it more than makes up once you get moving. If you plan on buying though, do some research. The rotary engine should not be driven like a normal piston engine. It requires high rpms to run correctly. If you try to baby this car, you will have problems (carbon build-up, flooding). The best advice Ive seen about this vehicle is drive it like you stole it. BTW, get the manual transmission, it gives you a lot more horsepower than the automatic version. Make sure you check that the engine recall was taken care of before you buy and you shouldnt have any problems.


Favorite Features

The seats are so comfortable, they really hold you in place. The suicide doors are great for the kids. There are airbags everywhere! This car has a lot of bells and whistles.


Suggested Improvements

The AC is not the best because it goes into a power saving mode at stops.


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Fair review for the last Rotary
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By zero11534
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

The RX8 is a true 4 door 4 seat sports cars, what it lacks in low end torque it makes up for in handling. Rotary motor propels the 3100lb RX8 to 60 in 6.0 sec. and a ľ mile in 14.9. Fuel consumption for the RX8 was Avg for when it first came out, 17city/24 Hwy. The cars light weight stiff chassis and electronic steering makes this a point and drive sports car allowing even the novice of sports car owners the ability to get behind the wheel and take the turns like a pro. This car does come at a price requiring you to add oil about ever 4 fill upís. This is a good daily driver for hwy only commuters


Favorite Features

The Rotary engine exhaust note, nothing else sounds quite like it when hitting high RPMs. One of the best handling cars on the market today, even it's big brother the RX7 can not handle the turns the same way, yet still give you a comfy ride on the street. The cabin lay out is excellent while at the same time providing room for 4 adults 6ft and under. (not a car for larger people, if your over 6ft and 210lbs I would look at other cars as this may not fit you well).


Suggested Improvements

It would be nice if it did have more torque, however it is a Rotary and with that 150tq N/A is pretty good I do recommended a Greddy Turbo kit. Engine Coils, wires, starter and battery all were upgraded on 05+ models, due to issues of flooding the motor so be advised with that if the car has not had those upgrade. At min the Battery needs to be at 640CCA. Factory coils go bad at about 25k miles (they are easy to change for even a novice of car owners) taking about 15 mins to change. You tube has a lot of videos on that. I would purchase NGK spark plugs, Magnacore wires and ESMERIL or Black Halo coils. Remember 29 developers on the Rotary 10000's on the piston motor, so it will have quirks.


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Amazingly Expensive
21 of 65 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By themare
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

Bought it used at 76k miles, and had it until 86k miles for only one year. One of the most fun to drive cars, but also one of the most unreliable and expensive cars to own. Spent over 12k in one year in maintenance alone. PROs and CONs are listed in the full review.


Favorite Features

PROS: ABSOLUTELY FUN to drive. One of the most amazing experiences while driving this car. The handling and throttle response is beyond comprehension. Horsepower is adequate enough to please most people in CA freeways/highways. Torque is just enough to give you little kick, although just a bit more would be a blissful dream. EXTREMELY sporty looks on the exterior and in the interior that would surely turn heads. Adequate sound system Great room usage for such a small sporty car.


Suggested Improvements

CONS: Total cost of ownership is expensive mostly due to maintenance/repairs Reliability of these vehicles are HORRENDOUS. Engines are very fragile, and must be maintained extremely carefully, and must be driven a particular way (recommended not driving at low RPMs) Maintenance can be VERY EXPENSIVE, especially at the rate your vehicle may be going to the garage. MPG is BELOW AVERAGE with most people averaging around 16MPG in this car. Gas also requires premium, which makes it more expensive for such a small car. Avoid heavy traffic at all costs. MPG drops a lot more in traffic, and driving and stopping damages your engine components. Front Cup holders are in a bad position Small trunk


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BAD REVIEWS GIVEN BY CLUELESS PEOPLE
61 of 73 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rottenrotary
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

The rotary is an amazing engine but different from regular piston engines & should be treated w/ that in mind. Many of these bad reviews stem from individuals who havent researched or properly cared for it. There are a few minor issues & if you RESEARCH it you will easily find ways to avoid those- not to mention 10 yr/100k mi warranty on the engine core components is a nice bonus should it be necessary. A rotary engine needs time to warm up. Turning the engine off while its still cold will flood it. There are reviews of people complaining about this but you can easily avoid it by letting it run for a minute or 2 Thanks to researching the RX8 first, I've never had an issue.


Favorite Features

The ride is unbelievably comfortable & smooth for a sports car. The RX8 come stock with incredible suspension & handles like a champ at high speeds on corners. A very cool feature is it beeps when it reaches 9 grand letting you know itís time to shift. If you are going to buy an RX8, I suggest buying model years 04-08. Not only has Mazda extended the warranty on these years, there is also technology, such as the Cobb Access Port for the 04-08 RX8s computer, that is not available for the 09-11 year models & never will be. Value is rising since Mazda discontinued the RX8. My cars kbb value was $10,600 summer 2011. I put 15k miles on it since then & kbbs listed value today is $12,700


Suggested Improvements

Mazda recommends the WRONG oil, 5w20, to get higher EPA ratings & improve gas mileage to appease buyers but it will ultimately harm the RX8 causing the catalytic converter to eventually clog, suffocating the motor & lose a noticeable amount of power. 5w20 is too thin for the rotary engine. 10w40 regular motor oil has been tested & proven in RX8s across the WORLD to provide optimal performance. You will lose a few MPGs, but you will save more by keeping your engine healthy. There is an awful amount of complaining being done by owners about the MPGs (even with the wrong oil). Those owners belong in a Prius! If you cant afford to spend a few extra dollars in gas, you cannot afford the RX8.


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True Drivers Car
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By zero11534
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

The Mazda RX8 is not a car for everyone as it has a 1.3L rotary motor in it. But if you are looking for a well balanced, excellent handling decent accelerating sports car then this is the one for you (although it's not a true SC since it's got 4dr). The best 0-60 I've done is 5.9sec launching at 5k and no roll out on Perli Zero's. The Renie motor more reliable then the 20B was, however do to no forced induction the motor losses a bit of tq and a few hp. But no need to worry as she makes up for it in the corners. This is a true lux sports car for a very well equipped price of 25k with heated seats 6spd man 6disc cd changer and many more options. Drive one just know the limits of the motor.


Favorite Features

The styling of the RX8 is unlike any other car, although some claim it's a bit to busy I think it's just right. Almost all the body parts are meant for down force or some aero dynamic means. There will never be a 100% loved car but the 6spd man is wonderful. If you drive the Auto you will be less then thrilled and may have some motor issues on the Early models as you lose 2 ports from 6-4 ports. Not a recommended buy.


Suggested Improvements

If you do want more HP and TQ buy a Greddy turbo kit (roughly 4g) and have it installed at Peter Farrel Super Sports in VA for about 1500-2000. I highly recommend these people ( I am no way affiliated with them) however in 2003 they worked on my RX7 and did a phenomenal job, fixing the issue the dealer spent 3 months on in less than a day. I do not recommend any more then 330hp pushed with 8psi from the RX8 on a stock motor. You can't improve HP with and exhaust and intake, however if you want a deeper sound and better looks I recommend the change over. Mazda did an excellent job squeezing all HP out of the little 1.3L


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Don't buy an rx8 Mazda will not help you
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Lou
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

Hello I purchased an 04 rx8 in April 2010 I have 135,000 miles on it now worst investment ever. There are recalls after recalls and if the car has more than 100,000 miles Mazda could care less unlike Toyota who fix their mistakes Mazda won't. Let's start with the airbag recall $1200 to fix Mazda won't fix it for me bad harness, crack in clutch pedal $600 Mazda won't fix it, lower ball joint I replaced roughly $50 Mazda wouldn't. All of these items are recalls. Also lousy fuel to power ratio and extremely high maintenance and cost. Go to a search bar and type Mazda rx8 complaints and recalls pages and pages will come up.


Favorite Features

watching the tail lights leave my driveway with a new owner because i'm selling it to get a nissan 350z.


Suggested Improvements

Mazda to acknowledge and fix their mistakes regardless of mileage.Unsafe is unsafe.I would to keep this car it is a lot of fun to drive when running if I got some help from Mazda even if they covered half the cost after 100,000 miles but to pay nothing is unacceptable!


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Fast, Practical, and Dignified
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By daniel
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

I've owned BMW's Audi's, VWs and other exiting cars, and this is one of THE BEST. A coupe with all the practicalities of a sedan without the drawbacks. If you have passion for exciting cars, this is the right for You.


Favorite Features

Easy to drive fast Four passengers seats


Suggested Improvements

It's is sport car, so gas consumption is reasonable.


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Car just great
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By gfschoone
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

I bought brand new a 2004 rx-8 and had no problems, for 5.5 years. Not bad. had 75k on it when in 10/09 discovered the oil cooler line(s) was/were rusted. Common problem (they should have been anything but rust-prone metal), and they were recalled in Canada. Anyways, the car sat for 9 months ($2500 repair approx), and was started with not much problem. I temp repaired it with a hose clamp and drove it for a month now (still leaks a good bit) , but it drives nearly as good as in march 2004. You either love this car or hate it, and i do feel for those who "have towed it 8 times to the garage in its first year", but i have had NO reliability problems; peace; out!!!


Favorite Features

Styling. I put a "terminator II" wing on the back, it makes the car. Had a body kit but messed it up and took it off. put chrome fuel door and chrome door handles on. I like the rarity of the car (see one per month if even)


Suggested Improvements

you can get rid of the rotary....and 13-14 mpg....increase torque...get rid of rwd, had a huge ice-wreck yrs ago...


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Nothing but problems
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By MBates1969
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Manual 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)


Review

Everything from not wanting to start on days at 50 degrees to starter problems. Cd player crapped out, brake sensors, air bag sensors, you name it. My girlfriend's is currently sitting in the driveway with a failed starter. I guess the way you have to crank these cars to get them started really takes it toll on the part. When it drives, it's great, but it just has way too many problems. Not worth the aggravation, in my humble opinion.


Favorite Features

It handles great and has a nice amount of torque.


Suggested Improvements

More durable parts that experience daily wear and tear. Fix the mild weather starting issues.


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