2008 Mazda RX-8

Pros & Cons

  • Small engine produces competitive horsepower
  • Excellent handling
  • Four-door suicide-door design makes entering the rear seat an easy task
  • Comfortable rear seat fits two adults
  • Rotary engine requires constant maintenance and care
  • Poor fuel economy for such a small engine
  • Four-door suicide-door design makes exiting the rear seat a complicated task
  • Head and legroom restricted in front seats

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Mazda RX-8 has a score of 8.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 80 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Mazda RX-8 Overview

Most auto writers agree that the 2008 Mazda RX-8 is both sporty and practical. "Performance is often synonymous with a pricey and punishing ride. But the Mazda RX-8 defies convention," says Forbes. Still, the RX-8 ranks in the bottom half of its class because its combination of engine power, great handling, and a practical interior can't make up for its poor fuel economy, high-maintenance needs, and less-than-perfect interior construction. On the plus side, the RX-8 is the only affordable sports car with a truly comfortable backseat -- an advantage few shoppers are likely to brush aside.

The 2008 Mazda RX-8 is offered in three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.

  • "No other sporting car on the planet sounds and feels anything like any Mazda Wankel-powered vehicle. Mazda's continuous and relentless development has kept the Wankel smog-legal and relevant for 40 years, and there's no foreseeable end in sight." -- Motor Trend
  • "Due to the nature of a rotary engine, it loses trace amounts of oil thanks to the need of lubricating the rotors. This can be a bit of an annoyance, as the oil should be checked after every second fill-up, and will need replacing more often than with piston engines." -- Automobile.com
  • "The RX-8 is a true sports car but its rotary engine makes it too inconvenient to appeal to most drivers." -- BusinessWeek
  • "Minor grievances aside, the RX-8 is a wonderful automobile, more of a civilized sports coupe than a sports sedan. Prospective owners should be sensitive to the complexities of ownership, as this Mazda tries to be a different type of sports car." -- Road and Track

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