really fun to drive
By shooz on
2009 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)
First new car I've ever owned, now 8k miles. I live in LA and it's terrific to get around town with some style, nimble on the freeways (although it has large blind-spots), and way too much fun in the canyons. Fine in rain but lousy in snow. Engine's quirky but really fun once you get used to it. Doesn't feel underpowered, but I know Mazda changed the gear ratios in 2009, I don't drive below 2800 RPM when in traffic, and I'd never consider this car as an automatic. Precise gearing/steering + sport suspension means your girlfriend probably can't do her make-up while riding shotgun. As designed it drinks oil, about 1 quart every 1k miles, no biggie. I'm 6' and have just enough headroom.
The handling and road grip is terrific; love the engine at high RPM and the feeling of the gearbox. Love the body styling. Interior feels classy. Pedals are spaced close together. Backseats are okay for short hops; suicide doors are a cool touch, and the trunk will fit a couple suitcases.
Fuel economy is my only real gripe. I get 13-14.5 mpg in the city/freeway. On highway I've gotten 23. Turbo would be a fun option but outside of a track there doesn't seem to be much point.