I got this car as used one w/ 33k on his back. But it was worth it. First impression wasn't that good about accelerations, but as I learned about rotary engine, that was pretty standard for auto/manual transmission. Which I choose for comfort and pedal shifters kinda looking like in most expensive sports cars. Fact is that fuel economy is that what you expect from sports car... you have to take the power somewhere if you have 1300cc in ultra light sexy looking racer with handling of formule1. I am looking forward for new RX9 in future, for now I may just get newer version w/ six speed transmission.
Engine over 4500 rpm, shifters, sunroof, heated seats, brakes (I've got 'red stuff'). Man HANDLING!
Six speed trans. with a clutch for first gear take off. (I just love steering wheel shifters and I can't afford any cars close to 150k.)
Bought this gorgeous car new. At 20,000 miles it had been in the shop over 30x. At 30,000 miles and a new engine later they still could not resolve the problems going on with it. Yes it is a beautiful car and until this day I still think that there isn't another car looks as sharp but unless you don't care to pay out big bucks and never drive it I wouldn't recommend it. I do drive my cars I buy them to drive them not keep in the garage but I would still think at 30,000 miles a car should still have a lot of good usage left. Needless to say 20 grand in the whole I had to get rid of it because I need a dependable car.
I purchased this car in 2006 with only 11K miles on it. It is loaded including navigation. Overall I love the car, the way it looks, and particularly the way it handles. Throughout its life I noticed a steady decrease in power, and in gas mileage. Complaint about it several times to Mazda with no fix. The doors also rattle quite a bit after you have it for about 40k. The car now has 67K miles, it is at the dealership for a new engine; and somehow I am still responsible for the "bad" O2 sensor which probably was damaged by the overwhelm amount of gas going thru the cat converter. I also had to replace the clutch at 62k.
Style, interior layout, handling
I am assuming by now Mazda has fixed most of it not all the bugs with the engine. I would like to see the car built with more expensive material, better heat shield (cup holder area gets hot), and insulated doors so speakers won't rattle. They also need to beef up clutch and transmission.
I had this car for a 4 year lease and didn't have any major issues with it. It was pretty rock solid, I didn't have a major issue with anything really. It did have its quirks and things that irritated me but nothing that left me stranded. I wish it had more power, but on the twisties it was outstanding. The interior styling won it over for me over the g35 at the time. The g35 had more power but just felt bulky and heavy compared to the lightweight agility the RX-8 offered. I always felt I could toss it around and maintain full control. Most of issues I had have been fixed for the 09 year as listed below. Mazda must have really listened because nearly EVERY quirk has been addressed.
Rotary engine smoothness, interior style, exterior stlye, handling, handling, handling. 6 speed is perfect.
Gauge cluster looks cheap (fixed in 09). HVAC system is loud over level 2 (fixed in 09), arm rests not padded (fixed in 09), nav system is awful (fixed in 09, along with adding BT and touchscreen, no onetouch up and down windows (fixed in 09). Gas mileage (not fixed).
I'm a 37 male, I'd have to say I love all the attention I get with my RX-8. I have Mazdaspeed aftermarket parts along with Sportmax 502 Rims and a Soundstream amp and sub, and finally a MIO510 Roadmate G.P.S. I get looks from kids, chicks, and unfortunately the local 5-0 and state troopers. Heck I got pulled over just to have my tint inspected by one! When I get the car paid off I plan on putting a Greddy Turbo and upgrade the brakes. I hate that an ugly Dodge Neon SRT-4 can outsprint my lovely RX-8 but someday - Watch out! LOL
Looks, a total blast to drive, street cred! LOL
MP3 jack, quicker re-acting temp switch - I literally freeze to death in my car sometimes because the heat never comes on.