2008 Mazda RX-8

2008 Mazda RX-8 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Mazda RX-8 was new.

The RX-8's ranking is based on its powerful and lightweight rotary engine, as well as its smooth handling, stylish cabin, and comfortable two-passenger rear seat. Despite its poor fuel economy and frequent maintenance requirements, the RX-8 remains a strong contender within the class of Affordable Sports Cars.

8.6

Overall

Scorecard

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

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

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
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode