7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mazda RX-8 Review

Although the 2011 Mazda RX-8’s small rotary engine caught reviewer’s attention, it left them wanting more power. On top of that, the RX-8’s fuel economy is among the lowest in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy second row
  • Nimble handling
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Underpowered engine

2011 Mazda RX-8 Overview

The 2011 Mazda RX-8 is equipped with a 1.3-liter rotary engine that produces 212 horsepower with a six-speed automatic transmission, or 232 horsepower with a six-speed manual transmission. The RX-8 gets up to 16/23 mpg city/highway with the automatic, which is one of the lowest fuel economy ratings in the class. Test drivers were unimpressed with the rotary engine. They said that it only feels truly powerful when the driver revvs it hard. They liked the sporty feel of the manual transmission, but also noted that the automatic transmission may be a better for those who run into a lot of stop-and-go traffic. Reviewers were generally pleased with the RX-8’s handling. They wrote that the RX-8 offers precise steering, and that its suspension, while nimble, is also comfortable enough for daily driving.

Most automotive reviewers said that the Mazda RX-8 has an attractive cabin design. Rear-seat passengers enter the RX-8 through a set of rear-hinged doors, and critics said the seats are comfortable for all passengers. Still, some members of the automotive press had trouble finding a good driving position. The RX-8 has 7.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than what the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have. The 2011 RX-8 comes standard with air conditioning, cruise control, a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. Available features include a sunroof, a navigation system, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, keyless ignition, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio and a six-disc CD changer.

See the full 2011 Mazda RX-8 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro is a great choice for those who want a more powerful base engine. 

The two-seat 2011 Nissan 370Z is available as a coupe or convertible, and it’s more powerful than the RX-8. Reviewers also loved the 370Z’s capable engine and lively handling.

Compare the RX-8 to the Camaro and 370Z »

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