5 out of 5 stars
2011 RX-8 Sport - Perfect for mountains or tracks
from Denver, CO
on Wed May 18 2011
I have test driven quite a few different cars over the years, as it has become a fun weekend activity. It is nice to see how different companies tackle the same problem - How do we get the average consumer to part with lots of money for one of our cars?
The thought process that lead up to my test drive of the RX-8 was simply "Is there a car that blends my 2007 Nissan Altima with my 1998 Porsche Boxster?" It has to seat 4, handle really well, and make the driver enjoy driving it.
It took about a day to put a list of cars together, and the RX-8 was the first one to look at. It was the best of the bunch, too.
I test drove every version of the RX-8 that was available to me. The R3, the Grand Touring with automatic, the Grand Touring with manual, and finally the Sport with manual.
I eventually chose the Sport with Manual, because I wanted the more comfortable seats that it provides over the R3, but doesn't have headroom stolen away due to the sunroof in the Grand Touring.
If I could piece the three cars together, I would take the rims, suspension and seat color scheme of the R3, combine it with the leather seats, Stability and Traction Control from the Grand Touring, and put it all in the Sport. Plus, it has to be a manual transmission.
Driving the car is where the car stands out. If you live in an area with nothing but straight roads, you really shouldn't even bother considering this car. You need to live someplace with curves. The more curves, the better. If you have mountain curves, canyons, and passes, even better.
I live in Colorado, so I have an unfair abundance of these. I feel sorry for you people who are stuck in Florida, as I stole your share of the curvy roads. I'm not sorry about this, however.
What can the car use more of?
Fuel Economy is #1 on that list.
I've been averaging between 16 and 19 in the first 3k miles I have driven mine.
2 inches more rear legroom would also be a nice addition.
A trailer hitch option here in the US would suit my needs too. Why can the UK have a hitch, but not the US?
More hp isn't really needed in this light weight car, but I wouldn't say no. Anywhere between 275 and 350 would drive everyone crazy about this car. But like I said, it's not really needed.
I don't feel bad about trading in my Boxster and Altima for the RX-8, with the sole exception of the lost fuel economy. It really is a great blend of the two cars.
It puts a smile on my face when I take it for a fun drive in the mountains that doesn't go away for hours. Also, it is very light on it's feet in comparison to the Boxster's heavier, very well planted feel.
Sort of like comparing a heavyweight boxer vs a ballerina.
11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
from Manchester, NH
on Wed May 23 2012
I bought this new, one of last 3 remaining in New England. My goal was to buy a car that handled well -- this car fit the bill perfectly and was surprisingly practical to boot.
Comfort is decent considering how flat it corners. The "Performance" grade was based purely on handling. Acceleration is certainly peppy (faster than a lot of reviews may suggest). I still like the styling before the refresh in 2009. One bonus is that, because they sold less than 3000 of these since the 2009 refresh, many people won't know what kind of car you drive (if you like to be unique). Most will definitely have trouble understanding what a "rotary" engine is.
The Recaro seats are pretty bad -- I have only read one review that mentioned the highly uncomfortable bar at the seat bight -- it will dig into your sacrum. This is the only reason the "Interior Design" is not a 5/5.
I got it for a huge discount, so it's an amazing value for the fun, easy to access (because of the rear-hinged "freestyle" doors) and surprisingly roomy rear seats, keyless access/start, xenons, Bose stereo, etc.
I see some great values in the used market.
It is really too new for Reliability assessment, but the workmanship appears good. I think the rumors about the rotary engines may be overblown.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
A joy to drive!
by Pete in Kansas
on Sat Jan 29 2011
We owned a Mazda RX-7 from 1979 to 1991, and then had a child! Our daughter is now a senior in college, and off we went to test drive sports cars. After driving 28 sports and sporty cars, from Subaru WRXs, to Inifinitis, to BMWs, to Nissan 380zs, we bought a 2010 Rx-8 R3 in aurora blue.
What a wonderful car. Only gets about 19 mpg, but the way I drive it is not surprising. Handles beautifully, just as "scapel-like" as Car and Driver reported in Spetember 2010. Can carry four adults, if the front seats are pushed forward, very comfortable for two, even pretty tall people (I am 6 foot 1 inch tall). Seats may seem very tight, if not really tight, at first. However, after you have driven the car for a couple of weeks, they will feel tlike they were sculpted just for you.
Highly recommended - a true sports car, with plenty of pep and wonderful handling. Do get the R3, and of course, only in a manual transmission -- which is perhaps the best manual shifter I have ever driven.
15 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
More fun than my 350Z!
from Georgetown KY
on Mon Jun 18 2012
This is not an every day car! I used to own a Nissan 350Z. The RX8 R3 is a much more fun car to drive! This car is definitely made for back road driving; the Recaro seats are form fitted to hold you in, it has super responsive steering and stiff suspension to hug the curves. The interior styling is very clean, not alot of cluttered buttons. This all combines to make a fun ride. I don't recommend this car for long trips as it's made to be fast, not comfortable. But...it is very fast!!
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
by Rendezvous with you
from Las Vegas, NV
on Wed Mar 28 2012
I purchased my RX8 in February 2006; it was a brand new 2005, and I received a pretty good deal on it. I never put many miles on my vehicles, and my 2006 only has 34,500 now. In 2011, the manufacturer's warranty expired, but I was lucky to have purchased the extended warranty for another 2 years; it expires in 2/2013. Right after the manufacturer's warranty expired, my check engine light came on. Mazda said the fuel injectors needed to be cleaned, at a cost of $1200.00. Then, a few months later, my check engine light came on again, this time due to a problem with the intake manifold, this time $1400.00. Just recently, I took my car in for the 30,000 mile check-up and was told both of my engine mounts were cracked, a $700.00 repair. I only have to pay a $100.00 deductible due to my extended warranty, but if I did not have it, I would have paid out over $3000.00 from my own pocket in the last year. I will not purchase another RX8 and do not recommend it to anyone unless you have a lot of loose change lying around and can afford the costly repairs and inconvenience. I am somewhat disappointed in these problems over the last year. I am planning to sell my cRX8 before the extended warranty expires.
Other than that, I love the car, the way it looks, and the way it drives. It is somewhat unique because you do not see many of them on the road. I would advise anyone who is thinking about purchasing the RX8 to also purchase an extended warranty.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?