Used 2004 Mazda RX-8 Consumer Reviews - 588 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2004 Mazda RX-8 Consumer Reviews

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Best College Car/Roadtrip Car/ Daily Commute Car
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
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By Hariz Radzi
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Automatic 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 4A)


Review

Before you buy a used car, its your responsibility to check every single possible indicators that will say your car is a lemon. I'm the 6th owner of my rx8 with 132000 miles on it. And since day 1 I got it till today, it only went to the mechanic ONCE during my last roadtrip to Maine from Ohio because I forgot to change the ignition coils. After changing it for 30 minutes at the mechanic, I was back on my road to Maine. My car never got towed during my ownership ever before, even when the 2 coils were cracked that time it could still run (like not more than 30 mph of course) and I could still drive it to the workshop. Owning it was hard work (especially maintenance) but once you get to know what your rx8 needs, it will be easy. My routine every single time before I shut the engine off was redlining for couple of seconds and maintain it to 4k rpm, then shut it off just to preserve the engine from flooding. And because of this, my car is still running very well. The only problem I had with this car is the cost of maintenance. It burns a hole in my pocket so I had to learn DIYs to survive college. I saved almost $2000 on repairs and maintenance costs at the mechanic just from learning things online (changing ignition coils, plug wires, spark plugs, heater console problem, and even deflooding procedure) and I got it from rx8 forums and google. So if you're saying it is a bad car well you are wrong. Rotary could actually be reliable and last till 250k miles in my opinion. To those who had a lot of issues with it in my opinion are just either unlucky who got lemons OR are just a bunch of ignorants who treat rotary cars the same as other cars. Before you buy any used rx8, read up the rx8 forums they have a guide on buying used rx8s out there. It does have its pros and cons but I love my rx8. I traveled the whole east coast and southern parts with it and had no major issue other than the Maine trip. I just wish I could have manual version though.
Pro tip of choosing an RX8: Choose a used rx8 with great maintenance record. And STOCK too. Never buy a car with check engine light on unless you know what are the codes are (I had CEL lights on when I first bought my rx8 but it was just telling me the secondary pump injector was faulty) so I knew it won't affect my engine so I bought it anyways.


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You get what you put in!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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By Derek
on

Vehicle

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


Review

While there are a lot of horror stories with these cars, the majority of those cases are people that do not realize how to care for their rotary. Rotaries are unlike traditional engines and must be treated that way through preventative maintenance and care (there are many forums which list ways to care for your car). Just letting it heat up before driving, revving it, and letting it cool down will lengthen the life of the engine by several thousand Km. That being said, like all mazdas there are rust issues that are unavoidable, and winter driving should be avoided given the tailhappiness of this car. Dealers for the most part are unhelpful and I would recommend to go to a rotary specialist if possible. I got my Rx-8 up to 235,000km by taking care of it, nothing too excessive (an extra 5-10 mins/day).


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How to Make A Rotary Last, and Last, and Last!
6 of 11 people found this review helpful
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By Gary Itano
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Automatic 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 4A)


Review

My '04 RX-8 (after 5 RX-7s, since '84) just turned 143K original miles with the last 60+K as track-only, since being replaced in '06 with a Prius daily driver. So, rotary reliability is entirely dependent on NEVER bogging the engine (detonation breaks the rotor seals in an instant) and routinely redlining the motor to minimize carbon build-up. Other than routine maintenance and strictly maintaining fluid levels, that's all one needs to know about keeping a rotary healthy. Looking forward to seeing a 1.6L with improved torque and direct injection for better mileage and emissions.

Btw, be sure to look up the maintenance sheet that guarantees FREE LIFETIME REPLACEMENT BRAKE PADS (at least for the 1st gen RX-8s), as the pads last for about 4-6 track days (front brake rotors lasted to 130K after 40K of extreme "use"). It turns out that the RX-8 brake rotor/pad chemistries are ideally engineered for optimum braking, fade resistance and durability, so no need to seek after-market solutions. Oh, and be sure, if at the track, to turn DSC off, to gain another 5+% better braking and 3% acceleration (absolute necessity when entering Laguna Seca turns 2 & 11 or Auto Club Roval turn 3!).


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Not for grandma's????
45 of 60 people found this review helpful
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By Lori Trainer
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I have seen many posts by men. I'm assuming younger than me that have mentioned "this is not your grandma's car", or "not your girlfriend's car". Well, for all you men out there......... I am a 54 yr. Old grandma of seven. I own the rx 8, not my husband. I red-line it and drive it like it should be driven. My husband complains because I take corners fast. I lovr my car. It is the best handling car I've owned. It has had some issues. Having this car is worth it though. So quit being chauvinists when it comes to sports cars. I have even put some men in there place who wanted to take me on!


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WOW! Mmmm...
10 of 17 people found this review helpful
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By scooterluv1
on

Vehicle

2004 Mazda RX-8 Automatic 4dr Coupe (1.3L 2rtr 4A)


Review

I've owned 4 RX-7s (2nd/3rd generations) and loved them all! So I decided to give the 2004 RX-8 a try; big mistake... Love the look/speed/dynamics of the car, but the reliability was awful! It should never be someone's primary source of transportation.


Best Features

Love all the dynamics of the the car (looks/speed (performance)/styling/etc.)...


Worst Features

It was in the repair shop almost as much as in my garage. It was a rotten "Lemon", that made bitter, bitter lemonade... I owned it for less than a year.


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