8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.1
Reliability:
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2009 Mazda RX-8 Review

A weak engine drags the 2009 Mazda RX-8 to the lower end of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Usable back seat
  • Athletic handling
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Underpowered engine

2009 Mazda RX-8 Overview

The 2009 Mazda RX-8 features a 1.3-liter rotary engine that produces 212 horsepower when paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, or 232 horsepower with a six-speed manual. Even though the rotary engine is small for the class, the RX-8's 16/23 mpg fuel economy is less than many affordable sports cars'. Reviewers were intrigued by the RX-8’s unique rotary engine, but most ended up not liking it because it doesn't have enough power. On the other hand, many reviewers were impressed with the rear-wheel drive RX-8’s nimble handling and overall comfortable ride.

Rear-seat passengers enter the 2009 RX-8 though a set of rear-hinged doors. Reviewers said the back seats offer plenty of space for two passengers. However, many also said it’s hard to find a comfortable driving position in the RX-8. Automotive reviewers wrote that there’s a lot of plastic in the interior, but that it's of higher quality than what you’ll find in some other sports cars. The RX-8 has 7.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which is lower than average for the class. All RX-8 models come standard with air conditioning, cruise control and a six-speaker stereo system with a CD player and auxiliary input jack. Available features include a six-disc CD changer, leather upholstery, heated front seats, Bluetooth, a sunroof, satellite radio, a navigation system and an eight-way power driver’s seat with memory settings.

See the full 2009 Mazda RX-8 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Mazda Miata has a four-cylinder engine that reviewers said produces adequate power. The Miata also posts great fuel economy figures for the class.

Even though the 2009 Scion tC coupe is not considered a sports car, it has a sporty look and a peppy four-cylinder engine that reviewers liked. Plus, it gets significantly better fuel economy than the RX-8.

Compare the RX-8 to the Miata and tC »

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