This car is amazing.... It is like no other car I have owned. It is fun, sporty, sexy and fast. It may not be the fastest in a straight line but if you are concerned about that you have missed the point of this car. I live in east TN where there are twisty roads everywhere. This car is as close as you are going to get to perfect handling for the money. my only concern is gas mileage. mazda really needs to spend some time on this. I understand this engine is in a high state of tune and it is a sports car but averaging 18mpg is pretty sad when you drive mostly highway. Before buying this car please read the FAQs page on RX8club dot com. there are many things that are unique to this car.
This is my 6th car, 5th brand new car. I had to give up a manual, knee problems, and give up a car I just loved, an Infiniti G20 1996. I wanted something that would be different so I wouldn't compare, something fun so I wouldn't miss the G20. Ha! I got it! This car is fun enjoyment. And it's a car I fit into. I never thought it would accommodate my 6'4" frame. You feel the road and it really hugs the road. At highway speeds it's as smooth a ride as the G20. The handling is sure and real responsive. My favorite stretch of Highway 1 was no disappointment with this car, handling the switchback and tight curves with a sure footing. This car seems capable to give more than it is asked to give.
I honestly could not see myself in one of these cars, but I'm really enjoying the experience. Perhaps with just buying this lovely car I'm not quite qualified to offer an opinion but here is my initial impressions. I was fortunate to find a low mileage ( 25k,in kilometers ) GT model with the luxury package and automatic ( wife needs auto. ) We took it for a good run on a winding highway,,,,wow, it has more than enough power for me ( I'm 64 ) the handling was great, the paddle shifters are great fun, so smooth a ride. The interior is so luxurious and very comfortable, oh sure it sucked some fuel but that is a known fact with this car and that's the price you pay,,no big deal. Nice car !!
I own this car and it has not even come close to the expectations I had for it. It looks great. But that is it. Performance is poor, it is slow, and finally it has not been very reliable at all. The starter has been a constant problem in the cold weather. The electrical system has given me problems. The tire pressure monitoring system has given me problems. If I could do it over again, I would absolutely never buy this car again. After my experience with the manufacturer, I will never buy another Mazda for that matter.
After a few years - Still tons of fun to drive, but not good for heavy traffic commuting. Don't drive it on snow or ice - you will die. On the other hand, its a great road trip car and the handling is amazing. Turns and stops better than anything I've ever driven. It will do a decent 0- 60 if you are willing to abuse the gearbox and clutch, but why? The thing really turns on above 5,000 rpm and is a hoot. It took some time and practice to learn how to maximize the performance, but once you figure out the engine it is the easiest car to drive fast that I've ever experienced.