2010 Mazda RX-8 Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Mazda RX-8 Coupe

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Mazda RX-8 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.3 L Rotary -cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 232 hp @ 8500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Mazda RX-8

  • Providing sports-car performance along with four-passenger capacity, the 2010 Mazda RX-8 would be the ultimate in a practical sports car were it not for its SUV-like fuel economy and lack of torque.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Nimble handling, comfortable ride, smooth rotary engine, innovative body style that can actually seat four adults, impressive feature content.

  • Cons

    Poor fuel economy, meager low-end power, small trunk opening.

  • What's New for 2010

    For 2010, the Mazda RX-8 lineup loses the Touring model and the Premium package. As a result, equipment shuffling ensues and the Grand Touring trim picks up more standard features.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


What a great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)

Purchased as a car-show dealer's demo in OCtober 2010. Driven three seasons - never in snow. Currently at 12,000 miles. Bets handling car I have ever owned, or driven. Test drove about 25 cars before buying this one (and a VW GTi for my wife). Best of all of them, including BMW roadster, Mitsubishis, Toyotas (no real competitor with the demise of the S2000), Porsches (too expensive to repair!), and Nissan Z. I think this is the best affordable sports car available. Holds its value as well, at least so far. No mechanical or other problems to date.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A sports car like no

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)

I used to own a RX8 6 years ago. It slipped out of my hands, and now I'm proud to say that I'm back in this car: A 2010 RX8 R3. There's a lot of criticism on this car within the media. Mostly because of its lack of power, poor fuel economy, and higher than normal oil consumption. Not many people understand how good of a sports car it is. It has an extremely rich driving experience. It's one of the lightest and most nimble cars out there, and you can really appreciate that when you start pushing the car. The last 2 cars I've owned before this were clearly more faster & expensive, yet this is the car that I truly connected with. It's hard to explain in words, but this car is irreplaceable.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Mazda is back!!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)

This rotary demon is impressive and fun to drive. Too many people (piston people) DO NOT understand the ROTARY engine. It is powerful, quick, and its super sporty (R3) suspension make it a demon on the roads. Horsepower is NOT a problem IF you know how to drive the RX-8. Not everyone is meant to drive the RX-8. The RX-8 must first pick you and then you and the RX-8 will bond and become one, only then will you truly appreciate the power, handling and excitement of Zoom-Zoom!! Once the union of car & RX-8 have commenced, then you two will be inseparable, and the road your friend. You will fear no curve, nor any Z monster encountered on the highways & biways of your travels. ROTARY forever!



Full 2010 Mazda RX-8 Review

What's New for 2010

For 2010, the Mazda RX-8 lineup loses the Touring model and the Premium package. As a result, equipment shuffling ensues and the Grand Touring trim picks up more standard features.

Introduction

The 2010 Mazda RX-8 marches (or should we say drives) to the beat of a very different drummer. First of all, it's pleasingly lightweight and boasts a communicative, well-balanced chassis, two things that are increasingly rare in today's world of bloated sedans and SUVs. Second, the RX-8 boasts a rotary engine rather than typical sports-car choices like an inline-4, V6 or V8. The RX-8 also has a surprisingly roomy backseat that's easily accessed by a pair of smaller rear-hinged doors. The RX-8 might be a bit of an oddball, but it's certainly an endearing one.

No other current production car in the world has a rotary (a.k.a. "Wankel" after its inventor, Felix Wankel) engine, which has a pair of somewhat triangular-shaped "rotors" that spin smoothly in one direction, as opposed to pistons that move up and down. This design allows the RX-8's engine to rev up to a 9,000 rpm redline with the ease of a Makita drill. This eagerness, along with the uncannily smooth power delivery and jet-enginelike sound, make piloting the 2010 Mazda RX-8 a real kick for enthusiasts.

But there is a price to pay -- actually two prices to pay -- for the thrill of driving the only rotary-powered car on the planet. One is the rotary's lack of low-end torque, which can sometimes be annoying in everyday use. "So just keep in on the boil -- it's more fun that way anyway," you may think. But while the 1.3-liter rotary is very efficient in terms of power for its displacement, the inverse is true of fuel economy. That lovable high-revving nature does a job on fuel consumption -- mileage ratings for the 3,000-pound RX-8 are the same as those for the company's full-size, 4,300-pound seven-passenger CX-9 crossover SUV.

Sadly, that last point really hurts the RX-8's recommendation factor. Given the car's stellar handing and smooth performance, we could live with the rotary's soft low-end performance if it got decent mileage. But having the former along with a V8-like thirst for fuel is a double whammy for the Wankel. The BMW 128i, Chevrolet Camaro, Mustang GT and Nissan 370Z provide better performance and/or fuel economy for a similar price. That said, none of those cars provide the RX-8's practical four-door coupe body style or that uniquely thrilling rotary engine.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Mazda RX-8 is a four-seat coupe with a pair of rear-hinged access doors. There are three trim levels: Sport, Grand Touring and R3.

The base Sport features 18-inch wheels and performance tires, a rear lip spoiler (manual-transmission models only), air-conditioning, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, full power accessories and a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The Grand Touring trim adds a limited-slip rear differential, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-way power driver seat with memory, heated front seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Bose surround-sound system (with satellite radio and a six-CD changer).

The high-performance R3 trim level has a handful of the Grand Touring features (such as xenon headlights, Bluetooth, keyless ignition/entry and the Bose audio system) and adds a more aggressively tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, a rear wing spoiler, a restyled front bumper and Recaro front sport seats.

The lone option is a touchscreen navigation system (with voice commands) for the Grand Touring.

Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive Mazda RX-8 is powered by a 1.3-liter rotary engine. The engine's output depends on the transmission selected. Models with the six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters) receive 212 horsepower and a redline of 7,500 rpm. The six-speed manual version has 232 hp and an atmospheric redline of 9,000 rpm. All RX-8 engines produce a rather meager 152 pound-feet of torque.

Although generally quick by most measures, acceleration is hardly impressive for a sports car. In our tests, a manual-equipped RX-8 went from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds. Fuel economy is unimpressive at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined for a manual-equipped RX-8.

Safety

The 2010 Mazda RX-8 comes standard with antilock brakes, front side airbags and front side curtain airbags. Stability control isn't offered on the Sport trim but is standard on the Grand Touring and R3. In government crash testing, the RX-8 earned a four-star rating (out of a possible five) for driver protection in frontal impacts and five stars for the front passenger. In side-impact testing, the RX-8 received four stars.

Interior Design and Special Features

Giving the 2010 RX-8 a serious advantage over class rivals is its true four-passenger capacity. The Mazda-dubbed "free style" reverse-opening rear doors -- they're of the same design that many extended-cab compact pickups have -- make loading people and cargo much easier. Provided they are shorter than 6 feet tall, passengers seated in the back will find supportive seating and ample room all around. The rear compartment is equally accommodating for luggage or grocery bags. The trunk is a different matter, as its opening is small and no flip-down rear seat function exists to increase luggage capacity.

The RX-8's cockpit features a circular theme, with three round gauges and a circular central dash control stack that houses the stereo and climate control functions. Look closely and you'll also spot numerous triangle details throughout the cabin, a visual homage to the car's rotary engine design. Although the gauges are easily read, we have mixed feelings about the central display used for the audio system and climate control, which some find to be too crowded with information. The optional navigation system is operated through a touchscreen and voice recognition interface, which works well.

Driving Impressions

Although the 2010 Mazda RX-8 has the look of a race-tuned sports car, its demeanor on the road is considerably more docile. There's plenty of grip in the corners and solid feedback through the steering wheel, but its compliant ride means that the RX-8 won't beat you up on the daily commute. The rotary engine requires high engine speeds to make serious power, but the delivery is virtually vibration-free and noise levels are subdued. If you like a smooth engine (in feel, sound and power delivery), there's none smoother. Overall, the RX-8 is one of the best examples of a car that's both fun to drive and very livable on a day-to-day basis -- just be prepared to pay at the pump.

Talk About The 2010 RX-8

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs