Auto review: 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3

Auto review: 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3

There are 37 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Jan 11, 2009, titled Auto review: 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

For all the innovation we hear about in the automotive world, only one vehicle has a genuinely unique engine: the Mazda RX-8 and its rotary.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

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observer

Orlando, FL

#1 Jan 12, 2009
I had a gen II turbo, good car, a 89 convertable (junk) and a twin turbo 93. The 93 was lemon lawed after the apex seals went out for the second time at 19000 miles. I can only hope that the reliability issue has ben solved.
high and dry

Orlando, FL

#2 Jan 12, 2009
The way to buy the RX-8 is used. The value tanks so badly that you can pick one up with the extended warranty Mazda added to ALL RX-8 cars in the mid teens easily. That's a bargain, just save your dollars for fuel, you'll need 'em.
ADD

United States

#3 Jan 12, 2009
$33,000? Are you kidding me?!? That's why this car has never been a big seller. Just like they did with the RX-7, they prices themselves out of the market with this car. For the same money, you can now get a loaded mustang GT coupe or even a not to loaded up 370Z. The kicker is that both of those cars are way ahead in the horsepower area and are in relatively same class AND get the same if not better gas mileage. That's always been the problem with Wankle's wonder. The compression ratio and weight savings is great, but it's just not fuel effecient. And to make it make any amount of decent power, you HAVE to go turbo or you're not even just spinning your wheels.

I have a 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. Intake and axle-back (technical way of saying a different muffler). Not only do I beat these things all the time, but I also average 26 mpg, have a much bigger back seat (it's still small though for this class of car), and more storage room thanks to the hatchback design. If mazda would wake up, make a Mazdaspeed-8 with a turbo, then I'd be interested.
ADD

United States

#4 Jan 12, 2009
observer wrote:
I had a gen II turbo, good car, a 89 convertable (junk) and a twin turbo 93. The 93 was lemon lawed after the apex seals went out for the second time at 19000 miles. I can only hope that the reliability issue has ben solved.
What were you doing to the car that made the seals go TWICE after 19,000 miles. My dad's gen III went 85,000 miles with the turbos before having seal problems. Then we just replaced the seals and the turbos, and it was good for another 30,000. Dad left it to me when he passed and it's my project, but still running great.
Get Real

Melbourne, FL

#5 Jan 13, 2009
The rx8 has 2 rotors not 3.
high and dry

Orlando, FL

#6 Jan 13, 2009
ADD wrote:
I have a 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. Intake and axle-back (technical way of saying a different muffler). Not only do I beat these things all the time, but I also average 26 mpg, have a much bigger back seat (it's still small though for this class of car), and more storage room thanks to the hatchback design..
The RSX may be faster, it may be cheaper, it may have more room, but sorry, it's just not comparable at all. The RSX is a front wheel drive economy-car based (Civic) hatchback. The RX-8 is rear wheel drive, balanced sports car. It is not designed for 0-60 sprints or street racing, it is intended to offer balanced, nuanced handling and precision. If I wanted a cheap car to commute to work, the RSX is preferable. If I want a satisfying driver's car with which to enjoy a mountain road, the RX-8 has few peers (certainly not some FWD Honda!).
ADD

United States

#7 Jan 13, 2009
high and dry wrote:
<quoted text>
The RSX may be faster, it may be cheaper, it may have more room, but sorry, it's just not comparable at all. The RSX is a front wheel drive economy-car based (Civic) hatchback. The RX-8 is rear wheel drive, balanced sports car. It is not designed for 0-60 sprints or street racing, it is intended to offer balanced, nuanced handling and precision. If I wanted a cheap car to commute to work, the RSX is preferable. If I want a satisfying driver's car with which to enjoy a mountain road, the RX-8 has few peers (certainly not some FWD Honda!).
Just a few things. If you actually knew what you were talking about, then you would know that the RSX is anything but a civic. The RSX Type-S is the Honda Integra Type-S and Type-R. The cars are manufactured on the same assembly line in Japan then shipped over here (not anymore since they don't import it to america, but still make it in Japan). There is nothing in these cars that transfers to the civic in any way. The only thing that you could say now is that when they redesigned the civic, they put the LSD from the Integra Type-R onto the Civic SI, but the american RSX's didn't have that anyway. Other than that, even the block in the Civic SI is not cast from the same mold, even though it is a 2.0 liter.

Second, you obviously haven't driven an RSX Type-S before. If you had you would realize that it's anything but an econobox commuter. So it's a front wheel drive hatchback. Because of the angle of the roofline as it's going back, most car magazines actually want to classify the car as a coupe. The 2.0 liter in the Type-S is the highest compression ratio factory engine to ever hit the market with a 12.1/1. It also has the hightest power to liter ratio of any production vehicle under $75,000 with 210 hp to a 2.0 liter. Mine runs a 14.5 in the quarter mile and still averages 26 mpg doing it.

I have driven the RX-8. I drove one before I went running back to the Acura dealership. The RX-8 is an underpowered underachiever. Steering has good feel, but the car simply can't put the power behind itself to make the steering worthwhile. The car is cramped instead of comfortable, and they might as well take those rear seats out and seal the stupid rear suicide doors since the only thing that back seat is good for is storing groceries.

If anybody recalls, didn't Mazda say when it introduced the RX-8 that the car was a heads up competitor to the Nissan 350Z at the time? Well that fell flat as soon as they realized that they couldn't even stay on the same pavement as the 350. So Mazda quietly removes itself from the equasion and says that it's a good all around sports car. Guess what...less than 1% of owners autocross their vehicle or are ever in a position to take advantage of the small steering response that the car offers. The lack of power takes the fun out of a car. If you're an old man and you maybe don't want your blood pressure to be risen by a car, then go buy a buick or kia.

Mazda - Call me when you get a turbo on the car. Then we'll talk.

Class Dismissed.
ADD

United States

#8 Jan 13, 2009
By the way, we don't have mountains in florida.
ADD

United States

#9 Jan 13, 2009
Also if you look at the car & driver statistics of the RSX Type-S, it pulled a .89 on the skit pad. The RX-8 pulled a .90. Sorry, but it's just not a difference. They're both identical in the handling department.
high and dry

Orlando, FL

#10 Jan 13, 2009
ADD wrote:
<quoted text>
Just a few things. If you actually knew what you were talking about, then you would know that the RSX is anything but a civic. The RSX Type-S is the Honda Integra Type-S and Type-R. The cars are manufactured on the same assembly line in Japan then shipped over here (not anymore since they don't import it to america, but still make it in Japan). There is nothing in these cars that transfers to the civic in any way. The only thing that you could say now is that when they redesigned the civic, they put the LSD from the Integra Type-R onto the Civic SI, but the american RSX's didn't have that anyway. Other than that, even the block in the Civic SI is not cast from the same mold, even though it is a 2.0 liter.
Second, you obviously haven't driven an RSX Type-S before. If you had you would realize that it's anything but an econobox commuter. So it's a front wheel drive hatchback. Because of the angle of the roofline as it's going back, most car magazines actually want to classify the car as a coupe. The 2.0 liter in the Type-S is the highest compression ratio factory engine to ever hit the market with a 12.1/1. It also has the hightest power to liter ratio of any production vehicle under $75,000 with 210 hp to a 2.0 liter. Mine runs a 14.5 in the quarter mile and still averages 26 mpg doing it.
I have driven the RX-8. I drove one before I went running back to the Acura dealership. The RX-8 is an underpowered underachiever. Steering has good feel, but the car simply can't put the power behind itself to make the steering worthwhile. The car is cramped instead of comfortable, and they might as well take those rear seats out and seal the stupid rear suicide doors since the only thing that back seat is good for is storing groceries.
If anybody recalls, didn't Mazda say when it introduced the RX-8 that the car was a heads up competitor to the Nissan 350Z at the time? Well that fell flat as soon as they realized that they couldn't even stay on the same pavement as the 350. So Mazda quietly removes itself from the equasion and says that it's a good all around sports car. Guess what...less than 1% of owners autocross their vehicle or are ever in a position to take advantage of the small steering response that the car offers. The lack of power takes the fun out of a car. If you're an old man and you maybe don't want your blood pressure to be risen by a car, then go buy a buick or kia.
Mazda - Call me when you get a turbo on the car. Then we'll talk.
Class Dismissed.
Sorry, but the Honda RSX shares its entire floorpan and suspension components with the Honda Civic. It is an economical small four cylinder FWD entry level hatchback, it is not, nor was it intended to be, a pure sports car. That doesn't make you any less of a man, either. It's just a car afterall.

It is not a coupe. Power-to-liter ratios are meaningless statistics (and you might want to check the hp/L ratio of the Honda S2000, RX-8, and any number of forced induction cars before you claim the "trophy" on that one).

You obviously don't understand the design objective of the RX-8. It is not a car built for speed, burnouts, drag races, or numbers. It has a balance, a finesse, and a feel, that can only come from a perfect 50/50 weight balance, a smooth 9K RPM rotary, and rear wheel drive. IF you don't "get" it, that's fine, but to chastise Mazda simply because you don't understand what the point of the RX-8 is, or who the target demographic is, is folly.

There is more to automobile enthusiasm than bench racing. Numbers only tell part of the story. And if you NEED "power" to "enjoy" and "have fun" with a car, then you must not really know how to drive.

Truthfully, I think the RX-8 is too busy looking, and too thirsty, but its drive is sublime. The RSX-S, on the other hand, has a really wonderful engine but it otherwise a understeering bore to drive.
high and dry

Orlando, FL

#11 Jan 13, 2009
ADD wrote:
By the way, we don't have mountains in florida.
Some of us do leave Florida once in a while.
high and dry

Orlando, FL

#12 Jan 13, 2009
ADD wrote:
<quoted text>
Just a few things. If you actually knew what you were talking about, then you would know that the RSX is anything but a civic.
Sorry, but the Honda RSX shares its entire floorpan and suspension components with the Honda Civic. It is an economical small four cylinder FWD entry level hatchback, it is not, nor was it intended to be, a pure sports car. That doesn't make you any less of a man, either. It's just a car afterall.

It is not a coupe. Power-to-liter ratios are meaningless statistics (and you might want to check the hp/L ratio of the Honda S2000, RX-8, and any number of forced induction cars before you claim the "trophy" on that one).

You obviously don't understand the design objective of the RX-8. It is not a car built for speed, burnouts, drag races, or numbers. It has a balance, a finesse, and a feel, that can only come from a perfect 50/50 weight balance, a smooth 9K RPM rotary, and rear wheel drive. IF you don't "get" it, that's fine, but to chastise Mazda simply because you don't understand what the point of the RX-8 is, or who the target demographic is, is folly.

There is more to automobile enthusiasm than bench racing. Numbers only tell part of the story. And if you NEED "power" to "enjoy" and "have fun" with a car, then you must not really know how to drive.

Truthfully, I think the RX-8 is too busy looking, and too thirsty, but its drive is sublime. The RSX-S, on the other hand, has a really wonderful engine but it otherwise a understeering bore to drive.
high and dry

Orlando, FL

#13 Jan 13, 2009
ADD wrote:
Also if you look at the car & driver statistics of the RSX Type-S, it pulled a .89 on the skit pad. The RX-8 pulled a .90. Sorry, but it's just not a difference. They're both identical in the handling department.
Skid pad is a measure of lateral acceleration (ie grip).

Handling is not grip, is subjective, and cannot be quantified.
observer

Orlando, FL

#14 Jan 14, 2009
ADD wrote:
<quoted text>
What were you doing to the car that made the seals go TWICE after 19,000 miles. My dad's gen III went 85,000 miles with the turbos before having seal problems. Then we just replaced the seals and the turbos, and it was good for another 30,000. Dad left it to me when he passed and it's my project, but still running great.
Um, I bought it brand new. The car was full of bugs, why do you think they only built it 3 years? It had 12 recalls and I did nothing to the stupid thing other than drive it. BTW, one of the turbos went out at 14,000 as well. Mazda paid for it of course but it was an absolute piece of crap./ When it ran right, whoa, Trust me, I've got an 04 terminator (cobra) and I know a little bit about cars. Sorry about your dad
observer

Orlando, FL

#15 Jan 14, 2009
Honda....lol
observer

Orlando, FL

#16 Jan 14, 2009
One more post. The reason they don't "feel" fast is the lack of tourque. But winding one up to 9k is a thrill, no doubt.

Also they have a huge problem with "hydro saturation" ( wrong term I'm sure) it's when the gasoline gets into the oil and ruins the seals.

meh
fail wheel drive

Aliso Viejo, CA

#17 Jan 16, 2009
ADD wrote:
I have a 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. Intake and axle-back (technical way of saying a different muffler). Not only do I beat these things all the time, but I also average 26 mpg, have a much bigger back seat (it's still small though for this class of car), and more storage room thanks to the hatchback design. If mazda would wake up, make a Mazdaspeed-8 with a turbo, then I'd be interested.
you probably did, it was most likely an automatic...in order to get the full potential of this car, you need to drive the MT, its SOO much easier to get around that lack of torque and bring it within the powerband to make that little 1.3 liter wake up...throw on a short shifter and that car comes life...ive driven both and the rsx in NOWHERE near as good of a car the 8 is...ive never seen a FWD car in a GT race
Joe Blow

Littleton, CO

#18 Jan 16, 2009
observer wrote:
<quoted text> Um, I bought it brand new. The car was full of bugs, why do you think they only built it 3 years?
It was sold from 1992-2002 in Japan. The currency exchange rate priced the RX-7 right out of the US market in the mid 90's (along with 300ZX, Supra, etc).
Joe Blow

Littleton, CO

#19 Jan 16, 2009
ADD wrote:
Also if you look at the car & driver statistics of the RSX Type-S, it pulled a .89 on the skit pad. The RX-8 pulled a .90. Sorry, but it's just not a difference. They're both identical in the handling department.
Yeah, all handling is based on a skidpad number... Fail.
Joe Blow

Littleton, CO

#20 Jan 16, 2009
ADD wrote:
<quoted text>
(not anymore since they don't import it to america, but still make it in Japan)
Yeah, Acura/Honda felt in 2006 the new Civic SI was the same thing so they stopped importing to US.

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