Used 2011 Mazda RX-8

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling
  • comfortable ride
  • smooth rotary engine
  • innovative body style that can actually seat four adults
  • impressive feature content.
  • Poor fuel economy
  • meager low-end power and acceleration
  • small trunk opening.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$10,011 - $15,558

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Offering an adrenaline surge with four-passenger capacity, the 2011 Mazda RX-8 has some practical advantages over the typical sport coupe but is let down by a lack of torque and an SUV-like thirst for fuel.

Vehicle overview

In the automotive marketplace, the 2011 Mazda RX-8 is an endearing oddball, a lightweight four-seat coupe with suicide doors, spectacular balance and a unique engine design that squeezes maximum power from minimum displacement. If not the true spiritual heir of the beloved RX-7, the RX-8 is a worthy, linear successor.

The RX-8 is still the only production car powered by a rotary engine, which uses a pair of 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 motor to spool up to 9,000 rpm with ease, but doesn't offer much power down low. The rotary's lack of low-end torque can be frustrating in town or in traffic, but its eagerness to scream -- along with buttery power delivery and jet-enginelike soundtrack -- makes piloting the 2011 Mazda RX-8 a real kick for enthusiasts.

But kicks cost, and the RX-8 incurs them at the pump. For all its efficiency making exemplary power from a small mill, the lithe 3,000-pound coupe gets about the same mileage as Mazda's full-size 4,300-pound seven-passenger CX-9 crossover SUV. Here our enthusiasm to recommend the RX-8 dampens. Given the car's athletic ability, we could live with the rotary's soft low-end performance if it got decent mileage. But minimal twist with a V8 thirst is a double whammy.

This is pretty much the same thing we've been saying since the RX-8 debuted in 2004. Newer competitors like the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, 2011 Ford Mustang and 2011 Nissan 370Z provide better performance and/or fuel economy for a similar sticker price. But considering the RX-8's practical 2+2 layout and its comparable ease of access, it's a still a smart alternative choice in the sport coupe segment.

Mazda RX-8 models

The 2011 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, 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. Manual-transmission models gain a limited-slip differential and rear lip spoiler.

The Grand Touring trim includes the limited-slip differential and spoiler, and adds 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, available only with the six-speed manual transmission, 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 and Recaro front sport seats.

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

2011 Highlights

The 2011 Mazda RX-8 carries over unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The rear-wheel-drive Mazda RX-8 is powered by a 1.3-liter rotary engine that produces 212 horsepower through the six-speed automatic transmission, or 232 hp when equipped with the six-speed manual (at a breathtaking 9,000 rpm). Every RX-8 engine produces a meager 152 pound-feet of torque.

Although generally quick in the upper regions of the tachometer, the RX-8's acceleration is still below average for a sports car. In our tests, a manual-equipped RX-8 ran from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds; the last Mustang V6 coupe we tested did it in 5.6 seconds. Fuel economy is likewise unimpressive at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined (six-speed manual).


The 2011 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.

The RX-8 has not yet been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash tests. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011) were four stars (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.


Although the 2011 Mazda RX-8 looks like a race-tuned sports car, its road demeanor is actually pretty docile. It offers solid steering feedback and plenty of grip in corners, but the ride won't beat you up during a daily urban commute. The rotary engine requires high engine speeds to make serious power, but its delivery is muted and virtually free of vibration. Few engines offer smoother feel and power delivery. Overall, the RX-8 is one of the best examples of a car that's both fun to drive and easy to live with every day. Just be prepared to pay at the pump.


The "freestyle" (Mazda's term) reverse-opening doors give the 2011 RX-8 a unique edge on other performance coupes. Just as with an access-cab pickup, it's a lot easier getting into and out of the second row. Rear legroom is also decent and better than what you'll find in a Camaro. Passengers shorter than 6 feet tall will find supportive seating and ample room all around. The rear compartment is equally accommodating for luggage or grocery bags, but the trunk is a different matter. Its opening is narrow and there isn't an option to flip down the rear seats to increase capacity.

The RX-8's cockpit features a circular theme, with three round gauges and a circular central control stack that houses the stereo and climate control functions. Look around and you'll also see several triangle details, a design homage to the car's rotary engine design. The gauges are attractive enough and easy to read, but we get dizzy from the information overload of the audio/climate control central display. The optional navigation system, operated through a touchscreen and voice recognition interface, works well, however.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Mazda RX-8.

Average user rating: 4.7 stars
6 total reviews
5 star reviews: 67%
4 star reviews: 33%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • handling & steering
  • comfort
  • appearance
  • seats
  • road noise
  • engine
  • fuel efficiency
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • maintenance & parts
  • oil
  • value
  • warranty
  • sound system
  • climate control
  • transmission

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.125/5 stars, Unlike Anything You Have Ever Driven
Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)
The RX-8 as a sports car is amazing. It is such a nice car to be in and drive because it looks great both inside and out, is comfortable, and handles phenomenally well. When you floor it, you are treated with a very responsive, short-throw transmission and an engine that will rev up to 9000rpm. When you want to relax, the seats are comfortable, the cabin is quiet, and the rotary engine gently hums as you go along at highway speeds in top gear. The only drawback to this car is the rotary. It's low on power and torque yet is as thirsty as a V-8. It is also designed to eat oil and requires a topping off every second fuel up. There is also the issue of flooding.
4/5 stars, Poor person's exotic
R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)
If you want a car that has universally been loved for its handling prowess, especially for cars under $100k, and you want a unique vehicle (the only rotary engine available in a modern car, "freestyle" doors that offer easier rear stea access while avoiding ridiculously long coupe doors, 9000 rpm redline, non-vanilla looks, etc), then the RX-8 (now only available as used) is an excellent option. I got my R3 new for less than what Insideline paid for their FR-S, so the value factor is excellent too. I drive the R3 on a daily basis, except when there is salt/snow on the road. I swapped out the OEM summer tires, and the handling is still great. Mileage is not a problem for my 22-mi round trip. *************************************************************** Update Jan 2016: mileage up to 12,000 now. It has been very RELIABLE. I am sure the LONGEVITY will be lacking. To me, poor reliability is what happens to Jeeps, Jags and Range Rovers -- things stop working left and right, almost from day one, requiring you to replace the car little by little constantly. The RX-8 will not require much more than adding -- and changing -- oil, putting gas in it, pumping some air in the tires, etc in the first few years. Don't let the low price of entry fool you. If you want a lot of low-end (or any kind of) torque, need it to last 200k miles, stay away. Get a Solara or Accord coupe. This is a 9,000 RPM exotic engine. It is well-made, has no creaks or rattles. The piano-back interior is classy. I have been tempted by the FR-S/BRZ, but they are just a bit less refined. The Bose stereo is boomy. It lacks the clarity found in slightly higher-end cars (my G37 has a Bose system too, which sounds great). The bluetooth can be temperamental. No wonder the RX-8 sold very poorly. It really fills a tiny niche -- it fills it well -- but it is a very tiny niche. 5 Years Later: Takata airbag recall and need to transport kids were just weighing on me, so I traded it for a 340i M sport manual. That was the worst car decision of my life. The F30 steering get worse as I drove it. I sold it a year later.
4.875/5 stars, The 4-seat Miata
Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)
I am a Miata fan - had 3 of them in the past but had to let go due to having 3 kids. The RX-8 provides similar driving thrills but with the ability to seat 4 peoples so i can use it to pick/drop kids from school and still have fun driving. Everybody talks about rotary engine issues but Mazda offers 100K miles warranty on engine so don't see much point. Yes it requires topping off oil every 2nd or 3rd fillup but that's not a big deal at all. Infact, you will enjoy it - you will feel more involved with your car. I do miss the convertible part of Miata. Hoping they will build a rotary Miata someday.
4.75/5 stars, R3 is Brilliant!
R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)
If you are a true enthusiast, the RX-8 R3 is for you; I drove the usual suspects- 370Z, G37s, 335i, all are great cars However, the way this car comes together, the hand-in-glove feel you get, the intoxicating sound, and the perfect steering and shifter, and firm yet comfortable suspension tuning make this car truly special. You have to know how to drive to let this car's brilliance shine through- there is nothing like it. Drove it through the Tail of the Dragon (US 129) and the car is made for it; StIs couldn't keep up, it is sheer brilliance when driven hard.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
16 City / 23 Hwy / 19 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 gal. capacity
4 seats
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
Rotary 0 cylinder
Horsepower: 212 hp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 159 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Length: 175.6 in. / Height: 52.8 in. / Width: 69.7 in.
Curb Weight: 3111 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 7.6 cu.ft.


Is the Mazda RX-8 a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2011 RX-8 both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Mazda RX-8 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the RX-8 gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg to 19 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the RX-8 has 7.6 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Mazda RX-8. Learn more

Is the Mazda RX-8 reliable?

To determine whether the Mazda RX-8 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the RX-8. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the RX-8's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2011 Mazda RX-8 a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2011 Mazda RX-8 is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2011 RX-8 is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2011 Mazda RX-8?

The least-expensive 2011 Mazda RX-8 is the 2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,795.

Other versions include:

  • Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) which starts at $26,795
  • Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) which starts at $32,960
  • Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M) which starts at $26,795
  • Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M) which starts at $32,260
  • R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M) which starts at $32,290
Learn more

What are the different models of Mazda RX-8?

If you're interested in the Mazda RX-8, the next question is, which RX-8 model is right for you? RX-8 variants include Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A), Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M), and Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M). For a full list of RX-8 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2011 Mazda RX-8

Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Overview

The Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 is offered in the following submodels: RX-8 Coupe. Available styles include Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A), Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M), Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M), and R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M). Pre-owned Mazda RX-8 models are available with a 1.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 232 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed manual. The Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2011 Mazda RX-8?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the Used 2011 RX-8 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the Used 2011 RX-8.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2011 Mazda RX-8 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2011 RX-8 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New Used 2011 Mazda RX-8?

Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A)

The Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $33,755. The average price paid for a new Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) is trending $24,838 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $24,838 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $8,917.

The average savings for the Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) is 73.6% below the MSRP.

Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A)

The Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $27,590. The average price paid for a new Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) is trending $17,600 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $17,600 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $9,990.

The average savings for the Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A) is 63.8% below the MSRP.

Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M)

The Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $33,085. The average price paid for a new Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M) is trending $20,836 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $20,836 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $12,249.

The average savings for the Used 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M) is 63% below the MSRP.

Which used 2011 Mazda RX-8s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Mazda RX-8 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Mazda RX-8.

Can't find a new 2011 Mazda RX-8s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Mazda for sale - 5 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $13,152.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2011 Mazda RX-8?

2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A), 6-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
19 compined MPG,
16 city MPG/23 highway MPG

2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6A), 6-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
19 compined MPG,
16 city MPG/23 highway MPG

2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 6M), 6-speed manual, premium unleaded (required)
18 compined MPG,
16 city MPG/22 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG19
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Trainrear wheel drive
Displacement1.3 L
Passenger Volume96.6 cu.ft.
Wheelbase106.4 in.
Length175.6 in.
Width69.7 in.
Height52.8 in.
Curb Weight3111 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Mazda RX-8?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mazda lease specials
Check out Mazda RX-8 lease specials