U.S.A.:2004 Mazda RX-8 - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
Ford Forum Ford Forum

» Auto Insurance
» Featured Product
» Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Ford Cars and PAG Vehicles > Mazda Forum
Register Home Forum Active Topics Photo Gallery Auto Loans Garage Mark Forums Read Auto Escrow

Mazda Forum This area is for discussion of Mazda vehicles

FordForums.com is the premier Ford Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-23-2003, 22:01   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Stacy94PGT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Posts: 7,859
U.S.A.:2004 Mazda RX-8

He Drove, She Drove

Mazda RX-8's style makes up for flaws
By Paul & Anita Lienert / Special to The Detroit News

Fans of the now-departed Mazda RX-7 should have been cheered by the arrival earlier this year of the all-new RX-8. This so-called "quad coupe" marries sports car styling with an extra set of rear-hinged doors to access the back seats.

We can't imagine anyone ever wanting to actually ride back there. But even as a two-seater, like its predecessor, the rotary-engine RX-8 is a hoot to drive.

We tested a manual-transmission model, which makes considerably more power than the automatic-equipped version. The bottom line: $31,239.

HE: At around $27,000 for the base model, Mazda's new RX-8 is a true bargain for sports car lovers. The twin-rotor Wankel engine produces a lusty 238 horsepower, if you order it with the six-speed manual gearbox, and it has an agility and poise you'd normally find only in much more expensive two-seaters. The domestic manufacturers, including Mazda's U.S. parent Ford Motor Co., don't make anything quite like it for the price. If I had to sum it up in a single sentence, I'd say the RX-8 is everything the Chrysler Crossfire wished it could be.

SHE: Yeah, but what about those guys waiting next to the car as I came out of the rest stop on Interstate 94 and then followed the RX-8 for miles? What about the guy who rolled down his window on 9 Mile to tell me what a great-looking sports car this was? Isn't that more important than horsepower? The fact that this new Mazda evokes such a strong reaction from men tells me that the styling is right on. Even though Mazda kind of overdid it on the little rotary triangle shapes all over the car, the package really works.

HE: The same week we tested the RX-8, we also had a Mini Cooper S "Works" model in the driveway, and it was a constant struggle to decide which vehicle to drive. If I had to choose one of the two cars to live in every day, it would be the Mazda. The handling is really crisp and responsive, and the suspension is just a tad harsh on really rough pavement. You'll notice it, but it won't jar your teeth loose. And those seats are superb -- some of the nicest we've sampled lately in a sports car.

SHE: I really appreciated those seats the day I put 400 miles on the RX-8, driving to and from western Michigan. But what I didn't like was the poor over-the-shoulder visibility. With those thick rear pillars blocking much of your view, you are completely dependent on your side mirrors. The RX-8 is also thirsty; I had to make three fuel stops on my 400-mile trip. More importantly, the oil light came on with only 1,500 miles on the car, and needed a quart.

HE: I never took a long drive in the RX-8, but put plenty of miles on the clock just doing short hauls around town. I noticed even after a week, I still had to hunt to find the digital speedometer readout buried within the big analog tach. Another pet peeve is the wide center console, which really cuts into leg and knee room. Speaking of room, those back seats are virtually useless -- which kind of makes the whole idea of rear doors rather pointless. I did think the red and black cabin was very cool, especially the piano-black trim.

SHE: I liked the little details, like the mesh visors and the aluminum pedals. Overall, Mazda seems to be doing some of the freshest, hippest cabins in the business. I also liked the standard safety features, which include antilock brakes, side-curtain air bags and a tire-pressure monitor. You have to pay extra to get stability control, which you really need in a high-performance rear-wheel-drive car like the RX-8.

HE: As much fun as that rotary engine is -- and it's the only one available in North America -- it has another downside in addition to mediocre fuel economy and above-average oil consumption. The torque is amazingly low compared to the horsepower -- only 159 pounds-feet on the manual-transmission model. Even the Volkswagen Beetle Turbo and the Mini Cooper S make more than that.

SHE: Never mind the nitpicking. I think the Mazda RX-8 is one of the most adorable and authentic sports cars we've driven this year. It actually lives up to that silly "zoom-zoom" advertising campaign. Happily, the RX-8 is also very civilized and easy to live with -- a great combination for the money.

Anita's rating: 4 out of 5
Likes: Trendy "quad coupe" layout sure to spark copycats. Great 48-month/50,000-mile warranty, plus free loaner and roadside assistance. Good safety features, including standard ABS and side-curtain air bags. Comfortable, supportive seats. Great stereo, Clever mesh visors.

Dislikes: Ride is harsh over uneven pavement. Lousy visibility. Too thirsty.

Paul's rating: 4 out of 5
Likes: It's everything the Crossfire wishes it could be. Very cool, distinctive styling. Sexy cockpit with handsome piano-black trim. Spunky 238-hp rotary engine. Crisp, responsive handling.

Dislikes: Unusable rear seat makes rear doors pointless. Front legroom is restricted by wide center console. Surprising lack of torque.

2004 Mazda RX-8
Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-passenger four-door coupe
Price¹ : Base, $26,680; as tested, $31,239
Engine: 1.3-liter 2-rotor; 238-hp; 159 lb-ft torque
EPA fuel economy: 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway
12-month insurance cost²: $1,630
Key competitors: Acura RSX, Audi TT, BMW 3-series, Chrysler Crossfire, Infiniti G35, Mercedes-Benz C180 Sports Coupe, Mini Cooper S, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Nissan 350Z, Toyota Celica, Volkswagen GTI, Volkswagen New Beetle Turbo

Where built: Japan
1 Includes $520 destination charge
2 Estimated by AAA Michigan. Rates may vary depending on coverage and driving record.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg g03drovedashboard250.jpeg (24.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpeg g03droveseatsbottom400.jpeg (34.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpeg g03drovemain400.jpeg (22.8 KB, 5 views)
__________________
Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
Stacy94PGT is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Ford Cars and PAG Vehicles > Mazda Forum



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Full list of cars for Gran Turismo 4 FPRXR-6 The Pub 106 12-17-2003 22:46
Mazda MX Sportif Design Concept Hints at an All-New Mazda RPO83 Mazda Forum 2 03-04-2003 21:09
Preview: 2004 Mazda RX-8 Stacy94PGT Mazda Forum 2 11-15-2002 23:02
Mazda To Strengthen Domestic Dealer Network RPO83 Mazda Forum 0 10-31-2002 03:30
Mazda banking on use of Ford platforms to help ensure profits Stacy94PGT Mazda Forum 0 05-29-2002 08:37

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:59.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.