Honestly - how bad is the RX-8, anyway?

Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
34
Location
First State
Car(s)
Subaru Impreza Outback, Triumph Daytona 675
When I was in high school, I babied an '87 RX-7 Sport through NY winters and hot summers, because the car was just so brilliant. It sucked gas and flooded like New Orleans, but it was just so nice to drive something different.

I've only had my Impreza for a little over a week (thanks for the advice!) but today I was given a very, VERY nice job offer by a company to start just before I graduate. My salary is basically going to double, and i'm thinking about celebrating by getting the car I always wanted. A Mazda RX-8.

Enough with all the rhetoric, is a Mazda RX-8 really as bad as everyone likes to say? I can deal with pulling the EGI fuse once in awhile if it floods, and checking my oil religiously. I like the rotary engine, I like things that are different. But my huge fear is that I will end up putting 61,001 miles on it, and end up replacing an engine that is no longer under warranty, and still subject to monthly payments.

Anyone with first hand experience?
 

tigger

Forum Addict
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
5,737
Car(s)
'88 Vic Wagon, '92 Honda VFR
I had the pleasure of test driving one a couple years ago, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a peppy little errand runner. The relatively poor gas mileage and oil burning kept me from buying it, but it was a lot of fun. Cornered great, shifts were light and well, you already know how a rotary sounds. Anyway, I'm sure there's someone on here who can give you a much more thorough run down of the car.
 

Alok

The TomTom did it.
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
4,558
Location
Germany
Car(s)
Seat Leon Cupra 5F
A user on this forum, homer-jay_simpson drives an RX-8. You could PM him.
 

MadCow809

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
6,375
The RX8 has a lovely silky smooth engine (9000rpm FTW!) and handles rather well despite the body roll when pushing hard into the apex. Its a real pleasure to drive, but the car has many issues, ppl are selling them like crazy in SA. And it depreciates like a stone, requires a lot of maintanence and check ups... and it definetely needs a turbo or something, the car needs more power to make it a real exciting ride.

To be honest, id rather go for a pre-owned S2000. Those V-tec engines go forever, you wont have any reliability issues with the S2000.
 
Last edited:

MadCow809

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
6,375
A user on this forum, homer-jay_simpson drives an RX-8. You could PM him.
hm... dont think he will be too happy with my comments on the RX8 :rolleyes:

im just stating my experience with the rx8, and it wasnt all that impressive, maybe i expected too much from it. But apart from the 2+2 coupe layout, i dont think the RX8 can match the S2000, in terms of both performance and handling.
 

The Chad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
570
Location
Northwest Ohio
Car(s)
'11 Fiesta SES
The RX8 has a lovely silky smooth engine (9000rpm FTW!) and handles rather well despite the body roll when pushing hard into the apex. Its a real pleasure to drive, but the car has many issues, ppl are selling them like crazy in SA. And it depreciates like a stone, requires a lot of maintanence and check ups... and it definetely needs a turbo or something, the car needs more power to make it a real exciting ride.

To be honest, id rather go for a pre-owned S2000. Those V-tec engines go forever, you wont have any reliability issues with the S2000.
I'm biased, because I own an S2000, but I drove an RX-8 immediately after coming from a spirited run in my car, and the RX-8 feels a lot like how Clarkson describes the Aston Martin AMV8. Albeit, a little differently.

The car looks fast, revs high, and you would assume you are going fast. Crisp gear changes can get the back end to break loose. But it just doesn't feel fast. It's not a slouch, but it just doesn't feel like you're moving all that quickly. It didn't really do it for me.

The RX-8 is infinitely more practical than the S2000, but the S2000 would be the smarter purchase for reliability sake.
 

P5138

Active Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
432
Location
New Jersey, USA
Car(s)
2001 Impreza RS
I learned to drive manual on an RX-8, the car is definately fun to drive. But it is very finicky and a bit high on the engine maintanance (plus I've never seen any other car get that much water in the oil from a car wash). I've heard about problems in extremely cold and extremely hot weather, but haven't actually seen them first-hand on the car I used. I can't really say about the long-term reliability of the car, though. The RX-8 I used was sold away in just over a year to replace it with an Evo.

But, it is a fun car to drive and it's very nice to play with in the corners.
 
Last edited:

Top Geek

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
10,837
Location
Canadaland :)
Car(s)
1995 Nissan 240SX
^ He's right about the extreme weather. For me, owning an RX-8 would be unrealistic (climatically and financially ;)), living smack-dab in the latitudinal center of Canada where temperatures range from -40C and +40C.
 

MadCow809

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
6,375
I'm biased, because I own an S2000, but I drove an RX-8 immediately after coming from a spirited run in my car, and the RX-8 feels a lot like how Clarkson describes the Aston Martin AMV8. Albeit, a little differently.

The car looks fast, revs high, and you would assume you are going fast. Crisp gear changes can get the back end to break loose. But it just doesn't feel fast. It's not a slouch, but it just doesn't feel like you're moving all that quickly. It didn't really do it for me.

The RX-8 is infinitely more practical than the S2000, but the S2000 would be the smarter purchase for reliability sake.
*nod* ive driven both cars back to back, tested them extensively back in 2005/2006(cant remember). The S2000 not only feels fast, it is actually BLOODY FUCKING fast around corners. On paper the car is already a mouth watering receipe, 1300kg, Vtec engine that revs to 9K rpm, RWD, rigid chassis and go kart like handling. The car exceeded my high expectations, the test drive was the most fun ive ever had in a convertible, back end just loves steps out (earlier S2K models have no T/C), catch it with an armful of opposite lock and nailed the throttle hard and an instant big smile on your face. I drove like a lunatic for the whole the test drive, with the sales in the passenger seat. Big up for the guy as he didnt mind me giving the car some serious stick. Pity that the deal never worked out, S2K wears a ridiculous price tag in SA, which is why i ended up buying the scooby.

If you are after performance, go for the S2000, no hesitation at all. Practicality wise... RX8. But you know what? Doesn matter which one you pick, both cars are superb.
 
Last edited:

Blind_Io

"Be The Match" Registered
DONOR
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
22,553
Location
Utah, USA
Car(s)
06 XTerra, '00 VFR800, '07 ST1300, '11 Multistrada
Fist off, let me say that Clarkson, a man who drives Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Koenigsegegegegegees, and every other super car on the road loved the RX-8.

Secondly, my dad bought one in 2004 (the design is unchanged) and the car is brilliant. The front-mid engine design gives wonderful 50-50 weight distribution and the car's light weight means it goes like stink. There is a learning curve to the Renisis engine as you become accustomed to the longer and higher power band. When launched properly the RX-8 (my dad's is named Rex) will pull with most on the road; there are cars that will beat it in a drag race, but I've seen none that can do that and hang with the RX-8 in the corners. My dad and I have dusted Audi Quattros, BMWs, and most everything in the Porsche line once we get into the twists. Kiddies in their rice rockets don't stand a chance, about the only two cars that actually could hang with the RX-8 are the Subaru WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Evo (and the Subaru has a turbo, while the RX doesn't).

The RX-8 is a brilliant machine, as sports cars go it's extremely comfortable, even for a big guy like me, it has a nice deep boot, four usable seats and that party-trick suicide door.

If you think it's a bad car then you have never driven one and given yourself the chance to learn how far you can push it. The redline is 9,000 RPM, and it loves it. Other cars may rev that high but you are well out of the optimal power band and the engine is screaming to be shifted long before you get there.

About the S2000: It's a brilliant car, I just wish I could fit in one. For a guy my size they are woefully impractical, uncomfortable and downright painful. I have nothing against the S2000, I really wish they made it with an interior I can fit in. The RX-8 might not feel fast but it is, I can take my Honda Civic on the twists and the car feels like I'm flying down the road when I'm only doing 30 mph because it was never made for those speeds. Now I'm not saying the S2000 isn't made to go fast, but in the RX-8 you can easily hit triple digits and feel like you are putzing along at 40. Only the blurry landscape is there to clue you in. The chassis is amazing and feels solid and planted at any speed even on bumpy broken roads.

Regarding the RX-8 and extreme weather: I call bullshit. We live in Salt Lake City; our town passes through the freezing point more than any other city in North America. Summers will see temps over 100 degrees and winters as low as -10. We have never had a problem with our RX-8 in extreme weather.
 
Last edited:

No Boss

Neener, neener, I banned your title!
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
6,889
Location
Wherever the Coast Guard sends me.
Car(s)
'07 Volvo XC70 Polestar, '01 Miata SE
where temperatures range from -40C and +40C.
What part of Canada is that.... Venus?

Fist off, let me say that Clarkson, a man who drives Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Koenigsegegegegegees, and every other super car on the road loved the RX-8.

Secondly, my dad bought one in 2004 (the design is unchanged) and the car is brilliant. The front-mid engine design gives wonderful 50-50 weight distribution and the car's light weight means it goes like stink. There is a learning curve to the Renisis engine as you become accustomed to the longer and higher power band. When launched properly the RX-8 (my dad's is named Rex) will pull with most on the road; there are cars that will beat it in a drag race, but I've seen none that can do that and hang with the RX-8 in the corners. My dad and I have dusted Audi Quattros, BMWs, and most everything in the Porsche line once we get into the twists. Kiddies in their rice rockets don't stand a chance, about the only two cars that actually could hang with the RX-8 are the Subaru WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Evo (and the Subaru has a turbo, while the RX doesn't).

The RX-8 is a brilliant machine, as sports cars go it's extremely comfortable, even for a big guy like me, it has a nice deep boot, four usable seats and that party-trick suicide door.

If you think it's a bad car then you have never driven one and given yourself the chance to learn how far you can push it. The redline is 9,000 RPM, and it loves it. Other cars may rev that high but you are well out of the optimal power band and the engine is screaming to be shifted long before you get there.

About the S2000: It's a brilliant car, I just wish I could fit in one. For a guy my size they are woefully impractical, uncomfortable and downright painful. I have nothing against the S2000, I really wish they made it with an interior I can fit in. The RX-8 might not feel fast but it is, I can take my Honda Civic on the twists and the car feels like I'm flying down the road when I'm only doing 30 mph because it was never made for those speeds. Now I'm not saying the S2000 isn't made to go fast, but in the RX-8 you can easily hit triple digits and feel like you are putzing along at 40. Only the blurry landscape is there to clue you in. The chassis is amazing and feels solid and planted at any speed even on bumpy broken roads.

Regarding the RX-8 and extreme weather: I call bullshit. We live in Salt Lake City; our town passes through the freezing point more than any other city in North America. Summers will see temps over 100 degrees and winters as low as -10. We have never had a problem with our RX-8 in extreme weather.
Who has two thumbs and the right idea?..... THAT GUY! :thumbsup:

/got nothing.
 

Steve Levin

Master of Disaster
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
1,482
Location
Sunnyvale, California
Car(s)
Spec Racer Ford!
Before you take a massive hit on your Impreza, why not throw some track tires on it and really push the limits with it? Even if it's not a WRX (and I gather it's not), you can still have a blast, really learn to drive quick, and do all your novice thrashing on an engine/suspension that Subaru "owns" via warranty.

I know it's not as glamorous but remember that at this point you effectively have an entire "free" year with the Subie because you won't get any more money for the week old car than you will for the year old car.

I've done a couple of "quick swaps" when I was younge and in your condition and in the end looked back and I don't ever think I got the thousands of dollars I lost back in coolness over that first year.

Steve
 

Silverstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
1,246
Location
Marion, Iowa
Car(s)
'11 Impreza STI Sedan
I test drove an RX-8 when my STI was in for an oil change, they were having some Mazda/Suzuki/Subaru sale with cars and trucks for test, had a dirt track setup and the dealer for testing and what not.

Got to take one that had a decent amount of miles on it, so none of that babying. I think it's a great car, very stable and stout in the high R's as it's meant to be. Felt very connected to the car, took it around Palmdale for about 15min of drive and it felt pretty good and was nicely made IMO. Compared to my STI, I can say it's a lot more comfortable and easier to drive, but not so close when it comes to acceleration. It has power no doubt, but it's not the same.

Getting back into my car afterwards felt like sitting in a Radio Flyer wagon :D. But going from a rally-bred road car to a GT car is a bit of a difference :lol:
 
Last edited:

cvrefugee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
4,114
Location
Corona, CA
Car(s)
2005 Scion xB
The RX-8 is a brilliant machine, as sports cars go it's extremely comfortable, even for a big guy like me, it has a nice deep boot, four usable seats and that party-trick suicide door.
I test drove an RX-8 when they first came out and I could barely fit in it. Other than that, it was a pretty nice car - just way too small for me.
 

MadCow809

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
6,375
I test drove an RX-8 when they first came out and I could barely fit in it. Other than that, it was a pretty nice car - just way too small for me.
okay.. time to confess..

just about how big are you guys? cvrefugee and Blind_Io:mrgreen:
 

Ottobon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
3,310
Location
Detriot Metro Area
Car(s)
2 Rust buckets and a confused 1999 American.
Before you take a massive hit on your Impreza, why not throw some track tires on it and really push the limits with it? Even if it's not a WRX (and I gather it's not), you can still have a blast, really learn to drive quick, and do all your novice thrashing on an engine/suspension that Subaru "owns" via warranty.

I know it's not as glamorous but remember that at this point you effectively have an entire "free" year with the Subie because you won't get any more money for the week old car than you will for the year old car.

I've done a couple of "quick swaps" when I was young and in your condition and in the end looked back and I don't ever think I got the thousands of dollars I lost back in coolness over that first year.

Steve

Assuming you haven't been to a few track-days then i would do what this guy says. It doesn't matter how much goofy driving you've done on the roads pretending your a race-car driver, you will not be prepared for the environment that comes with a track. Plus it sounds like you already have a decent car for this, so why not?

I think the biggest issue with the RX8 is that if you keep it 100% stock it can be a bit boring, i derive this from other youngsters who have owned them. They do almost everything pretty damn good, but they lack a little sizzle, i think with a mild (stainless, so it will throw flames :mrgreen:) exhaust and some decent tires, as well as a knowledge of how to properly drive such a car, you'll be set for a good while!

I personally like the S2000, but it sounds like you have reason to love the RX8, and i think side by side they both score really well in there own rights, just make sure you enjoy the 2nd and 3rd test drives. If your looking for information on the reliability of RX8s then i would hang around some RX8 forums if you haven't already.
 
Last edited:

Whappeh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
2,657
Location
Seattle, WA
Car(s)
05 Nissan Xterra 4x4
I own one. Its fun to drive. I'm not technical, so all I can tell you is: its fun to drive.

Edit: Oh, and where I live, the Suicide doors make it count as a 4 door car for insurance. That is pretty cool, too.

Double edit: I've posted a few threads about it here, too. A few bitching about upkeep costs because I'm only in University. You may want to read them.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
34
Location
First State
Car(s)
Subaru Impreza Outback, Triumph Daytona 675
I'm 6'2" and 155lbs. I seem to fit okay in sports cars, albeit ones with fixed roofs.

I definitely would keep it 100% stock, other than some proper winter tires and stuff.

Taking a hit on my Impreza doesn't really worry me. I got it for far less than KBB, so I think any loss would be minimal. And I wouldn't lose any warranty, because, well it's a used car. It only comes with a 30 day warranty as mandated by the state.

I've done plenty of track days before, on two wheels. Now THAT is a blast.
 

Jay

the fool on the hill
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
11,280
Location
Aurora, IL
I would wait it out...get the Subie payed off, then buy an RX-8 and keep the Subie for the winter.
 
Top