2011 Mazda RX-8 Consumer Review: Poor person's exotic

2011 Mazda RX-8 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

5 Total Reviews

R3 Coupe (1.3L 0-cyl. 6-speed Manual)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Poor person's exotic
By DLu on


2011 Mazda RX-8 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.

Best Features

  • Road holding
  • Braking
  • Shifting
  • Steering
  • Instrumentation
  • Quality of materials
  • Logic of controls
  • Interior design
  • Climate control
  • Repair frequency
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Electronics
  • Purchase cost
  • Maintenance cost

Worst Features

  • Noise and vibration
  • Ride comfort
  • Cargo storage
  • Bluetooth
  • Fuel economy
  • Resale value

Recommend (4) (0)

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