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2004 Mazda RX-8 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Mazda Rx8 by Schnell63376



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I wasn't really thinking about buying an Rx8 when I went to buy a car. Once I took the Rx8 for a test drive, I was hooked. Some of the other cars I test drove at the time (2004) were: Nissan 350z, Acura RSX Type S, Dodge SRT4, Mazda6.

Reviewed: 2004 Mazda RX-8

4dr Coupe 238-horsepower 1.3L R2 6-speed manual RWD

Why the 2004 Mazda RX-8?


The Rx8 has precise handling abilities. It has an instantaneous response from steering wheel input. At highway speeds the car feels planted to the road surface as you change lanes or cruise around a mountain pass. The small size of the rotary engine allows the engine to be mounted low and nearly completely behind the front wheels. This gives the Rx8 perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

Driving position & visibility

The driving position of the Rx8 makes you feel like you are strapped into the cockpit of a fighter jet. The manuel stick shift is placed at the perfect spot where your arm naturally rests. There is no reaching to make a gear change. The gas pedal and brake are positioned optimal for heal-toe gear changes. The instrument cluster has a centralized slightly larger tachometer with an easily visible numerical speed indication. Great visibilty through the windshield over the hood.

Exterior styling

I love the way that every square inch of the Rx8 body is designed. The blue is such a great color. I know it's not everyone's favorite, but I think it is so cool. I think the exterior style is truly enhanced by the exterior appearance package with the front bumper lip, side skirts, and spoiler. The way the rear suicide doors open is truly innovative. Anytime someone new sees the rear doors open, they're always amazed. The paint has held up great over the last 9 years. There's no fading or flaking of the clear coat, just some rock chips from normal driving wear.

Powertrain performance

It doesn't have as much power as you would want for a sports car, but it has a buttery smooth power delivery. As you rev the engine up to its 9k rpm redline, you feel like it's going to just keep on climbing. Then as you shift into the next gear, the shifter has a satisfying engagement like a bolt action rifle.

Why Not the 2004 Mazda RX-8?

Fuel economy

For a small engine displacement and a relatively light vehicle weight, the gas mileage is weak. I usualy get around 19mpg, and that does not realy matter if I am doing all city or all highway driving. I think the real problem is in the sixth gear it isnt much different than fifth gear so it does not provide good fuel economy.


The suspension is setup with a lot of camber for cornering so it caused a lot more tire wear than expected. This camber also results in a little rear tire spin in the rain. The traction control keeps the car under control in the rain. If the traction control is turned off in the rain, you could spin the car.

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Response from Member6237

4:06 am January 12, 2015

I had 2005. Truely great car. keep traction control in this car becuase it is so fast in the corners, I crashed mine. Someone who wants to buy one of these needs to be mechanicaly inclined and keep to the maintenace schedule. This is an enthusiests car not a show toy. If it idles ruff at all- get it looked at becuase if you keep driving it the motor gets damaged. Good review. Awsome handeling cornering machine. So much fun to dirve in the twisties. Good choice for weekend track car. Watch coils and plugs like hawk.


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