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Mazda RX-8

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  • $7K under sticker would be almost impossible for me to turn down. I'm looking for black with the GT package.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    The Base model with automatic shoudl be close to $20K, then.

    I thought it over and I think a 4-speed would be just fine, actually. The 4-speed I test drove a few months ago was lightning fast in and out of traffic, so I wonder other than having two tall overdrive gears, exactly how much improvement a 6 speed will have.

    My guess is they'll move 1st gear to 30mph, 2nd to 50, 3rd to 80, and so on, which would mean shifting in city traffic and to pass on the highway a lot. Gas mileage aside, being able to downshift and whomp on it in 3rd gear all the way up to as fast as you need - that's slick.
  • Does anyone know what the dealer holdback is on the RX-8?
  • I went for my test drive of the automatic RX8 tonight. I was really looking forward to it and brought my 12 yr old so I could see how much room he'd have for those times he had to ride in the back. Unfortunately, I left rather underwhelmed. I've narrowed my search to the RX8 and Cooper S, both with autos, but I hadn't driven either. The RX8 was the first of the two I've taken for a test drive.

    First, having nothing to do with the car, the salesman knew NOTHING about the car. I asked him if the increased output in the '06 was due to changes to the engine or a result of the new hp measurements. His response, "they changed how the engine puts the power down to the rear". What the HECK does that mean? Of course, when we first met, he greeted me with a, "Sup?"

    I was happy to feel the pep the car had with 3 full sized people in the car (my son is 5'11") and the a/c on. My old 12A RX7 was decidedly slow with 2 people and a/c on. The suspension felt nice and taut and the steering weighting felt good. I didn't find the brakes grabby at all despite posts I've read on that. I was surprised by the lack of headroom for me even with the seat lowered all the way down and I'm only 5'11". It was tight. The car had a sunroof so I'm sure that takes room away, but I didn't think it should be that tight. The transmisison is what really left me disappointed. That was my fear. I can't drive manual due to my knee and I was hoping this new generation of autos with some driver input would be a good development.

    Here's what I experienced and my question to auto owners out there: What I expected from the tranny was actually very little. All I expected was that it would respond to MY inputs without question unless doing so would harm the engine, like if I asked it to downshift if it would cause overrevving. Once fully warmed, I drove at 40 mph. I was in 4th and changed to 3rd and then 2nd. It was fine. I then went back up to 4th. Fine again. Then, while still at 40 mph in 4th, I quickly shifted 2nd. The car said NO! The digital display quickly showed 3rd and then 2nd, but the transmission stayed in 3rd and the display went from 2nd to 3rd. I shifted to 4th and tried again. Nope. Did it a third time and this time it DID go to 2nd. Tried it again and it stayed in 3rd. I turned to the salesman and asked what was going on. He said he didn't know. He watched the dash display go down to 2nd but then go back to 3rd since the tranny only shifted down to 3rd. Now, I never pressed on the accelerator at all. I kept the pedal in the same spot doing 40 mph. Is this normal? It shifted fine if I went down with 2nd with maybe 2 seconds between shifts, but if I asked for a quick pop down to 2nd, it refused 3 out of 4 times? I only test drove this one car so maybe it's peculiar to this one? Perhaps a software glitch? I was just really ticked because I like the car (as much as you can before driving it)and my only concern was the auto trans. I was so disgusted that it wouldn't do what it was asked to, we just drove back to the dealership and I left. Maybe overreacting a bit, but I'm really disappointed. For a car that lists at almost 30k and claims to be so sporty, I'm very surprised. Once I drive the Cooper, I'll have to drive the RX8 one more time.

    So, auto owners, can you duplicate my issue? I'm hoping that it was just a weird thing to this car and not a common "problem".

    Thanks for any reply,

    Ron Brooks
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    Sorry to hear. The car drove fine for me, and I did a 3rd to 1st shift accidently(overshot 2nd) and it happily revved to 6000rpm at 30mph.

    Were you using the shifter or the paddles on the wheel? I find that the shifter itself is spot-on. As for driving, 40mph in 4th with the older transmission is definately lugging the engine. I left it in 2nd for most of my test-drive, with one quick burst into 3rd at 60mph on a straight road.

    The 6 speed definately should do better. Give it another try in a few weeks.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Yep, my 4 speed auto manages all aspects of the shifting. Keep in mind, a computer is actually doing the shifting, not the human. The human provides input via the paddles, but there's other data that the computer considers, which may, over ride the human input. I made the error of shifting the AT to park while moving once and the computer said NO, you don't want to do that.

    There's is an sensor that detects momentum forces and traction control potential, even at low speeds, which does over ride my choice of which gear to shift to. Even if you try to turn off DSC, the computer will still watch and interrupt your selections.

    When Jet pilots went through the transition of flying hydrolic to fully electronic controls (they call it steam driven verses glass) there were years of aguments as some pilots complained they were being cut out of the direct control. They even said a computer was being placed between them and life threatening critical situations.

    Today, however, pilots, military and civilian, pretty much agree, the computers make the act of flying thousands of times safer. It's also easier and more comfortable. New steam driven jets haven't been made for years now.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    I've just started to research this car as I'm looking for a 4-door car with great handling. My wife has an 05 Acura TL and I love the handling of that car and its V6. I was searching around for a car with the same routine handling rating as the TL on consumer reports website and came across the RX-8.

    Questions...

    1. How is this car in the snow? I will be using this as my primary car and live in the Chicago area.

    2. Can you get it with all-season tires?

    3. Does it have traction and stability control?

    4. What do I need to know about the rotary engine? I really don't know anything about them...

    Thanks!
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Hi

    1) & 2) My RX-8 AT is fine now with Avon Tech all-seasons replacing the summer stock tires. The summer stocks have better traction in warm dry conditions, but in snow, slush and ice, the stock tires are horrible. Some RX-8 folks are however equally horrified with all season tires on such a performance car, but the Avon Techs give 90% of the performance and 90% of the snow tire traction, but with 40% cost savings $139ea. vs 200ea. and tread wear of 360 vs 140 for the summer stock tires.

    In Boston's latest big storm I was trapped in traffic for two hours with 6" inches of snow dropping so fast that my wipers jammed solid four times. But the Avon Techs took me through packed and unpacked snow, heavy slush and ice sheets without any problems.

    3) As for the the Dynamic Stability Control/Traction control, I did need to turn off the DSC/TC to spin through the unpacked snow, but that's normal operating procedure for all DSC/TC systems. The DSC/TC is very good in slick condition reacting fast and smooth.

    4) Rotor engines get crappy MPG. In city driving the RX-8 is not going to get better than 15MPG. On the highway at steady 60MPH I've gotten 25MPG though. But driving a smooth revving rotory is just hugely fun otherwise.

    Rotories are designed to burn a little oil, so you need to keep two quarts of 5/20 oil in your trunk at all times. Few places carry 5/20 so keep your own stock I say. You'll need to check your own oil regularly which is little bit more work, but I just consider it part of the fun of own a rotory.

    Lastly, you'll need to do the 5 minute complete warm up and 3000RPM 10 second rev procedure to make sure you burn all the gas before shut off to avoid the possible engine flood. But again, these little procedures are a privilege of ownership, rather than a curse. Any excuse to play with the RX-8 is a good excuse in my book.
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    trispec,

    Thanks! I was also wondering what the regular maintenance is like on the RX-8? And is the driver's position really narrow? I test drove an Acura TSX yesterday and my knee kept hitting the door. Nothing wrong with the car, it is just the way I normally sit when driving...
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    Regular maintance seems the same was any car. I've only got 8700 miles on mine though. Nothing special is listed in the 7500 intervals. Folks say the engine can go to 200K easy. I had a rotory in 1987 which pretty much had the same cost associated, adjusted for inflation obviously.

    Driver seat fill very roomy to me. I'm 6'1" 220lb on a good day and before seeing any doctors. My feet can't touch the firewall and my knees pull back in front of the console on the right and in front of the power window button console on the left. And the seats are the most comfortable seats I've ever sat in.

    I did a 2000 mile trip from Boston to NC. Eight hour stretches on the road with lunch breaks only. I drove 84MPH most of the way. I was wonderfully refreshed at the end of the day. No road buzz, no excessive tireness, no headaches. Just comfortable satisfaction that driving my RX-8 AT is simply pure fun. The RX-8 is so easy to drive it's simply astounding. Love'n it every single day.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    Thanks for the update bunnygirl. I have decided to wait on the new model - I want the 6-spd AT and have decided to just go for it and order exactly what I want for once. My local dealer is also quoting $400 over invoice for the Costco program, but isn't ordering cars since they don't know the prices for them yet. He did tell me that the Mazda rep at the Washington DC Autoshow was telling the dealers that Mazda was skipping the 2006 year on the RX-8's and will be coming out with the 2007's early, probably sometime in April or May. I couldn't attend the show, but plan to attend the Motor Trend Auto Show in Baltimore this weekend, so if I learn anything I'll post it.
  • Really??? I went to the one in Portland and they had a book of Mazda's 2006 lineup and there was a 2006 RX-8 listed in there, so I don't know. I know the Shinka has been displayed as an 07 although according to MNAO (Mazda North American Operations) it is supposed to be for the 2006 model year. I'm not sure why your dealer wouldn't do an order without an invoice price or anything. On the other RX-8 forum (the one with "car name" club in its name, which I also belong to) I am aware of several people that have already done special orders through their dealers on them, including me. I can think of four others besides me without actually doing some digging to see. I know one person said their local dealers in Texas would't do an order until the new 06s were out, he thought probably because they still had some 05s around on their lots.

    The Mazda rep may have been referring to the Shinka because the months you quoted are for when they are expected to come out. My car was originally supposed to be here Jan. 27, then pushed back to Feb. 17, then March 1, and now quoted at the end of March. They were behind in production still since they had had that factory fire about a year ago. It had put them over three months behind in building and are still trying to catch up.

    I am hoping there is no further delay and it gets here soon. Although, the longer it takes to get here, the longer I don't have to make a car payment!!!
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    The salesman did say that the RX-8 at the DC auto show was the Shinka, so maybe that was the confusion. That, or the reps just didn't know. I personally had to show two dealers the cut sheet on the new options for the 2006 after they insisted that there wouldn't be any changes to the A/T model for the 2006 year. I plan to ask the rep in the Baltimore show on Friday or Saturday, and then I will probably try to pre-order my car again. There is only one Costco certified dealer in my area and they have about 10 2005's on the lot, so that might be why they weren't ready to order cars last month.

    It sounds like I need to order mine now if I want it this spring. I have the same advantage about not making a car payment, but I am also wanting to sell my current car before I have to replace the timing belt, so I figure I have about 3 months to get my new RX8.
  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    There are 22 2005 RX-8 ATs in the Boston area that are going no where fast. I'm thinking about putting a bid down on one just to see if a dealer bites. If there are no 2006 models coming, then they won't take my bid. But if some new models, including 2007s are about to hit North America, I'm guessing the deals will'ah be fly'n.

    Please, please let us all know if some new models are about to hit the dealer show room. I'm gonna wait till then. Thanks much.
  • hmm...starting to sound like they are going to skip '06 altogether! :D

    glad I got an '05. discounted and no wait.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    They are not actually "skipping" 2006. The delays (mostly because of the high orders for Mazda 6s - made on the same line and selling better with better margins than the RX-8) have pushed the 2006 RX-8s into the time frame that they can call them 2007s. They will still be made in 2006, will look like 2006s, but will be labled 2007s. It will make it "safer" for a dealer to put them in stock, as they will have lots of time to move them before they "deteriorate" into one year old cars. Kind of like my 2001 Pathfinder, which I picked up in June 2000.
  • They are definitely coming and they are supposed to be 2006 models (well mine for sure anyway). I have my VIN number and it has just come off the production line to be shipped in the next week or two. The 2006 model year is just going to be a more limited production because of the delays and the fact that they intend to have the 2007s out in late October to early November. I have an invoice for my car order and it says it is a 2006. This is also my VIN confirmation with its production date for February week 1 when they started building it.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    bunnygirl - Let us know when you get it so that we know at least someone has one! Did they ever tell you how much it will cost?

    trispec - The dealers in this area (Wash DC/ NoVA) were quick to give all of the rebates, but when I offered them $2K less than what they were offering, they weren't interested. I didn't think they would be, but I want the changes that are being made to the 2006 more than I want the 2005, so that was as high as I was willing to go to get less than what I wanted. I'm actually glad now that they didn't take my offer, as now I will order exactly what I want. I did have a blast driving the 2005 - one dealer has a 30 mile test route that really shows off the car.
  • duke15duke15 Posts: 161
    I am looking at getting an RX-8 with the GT package - I am currently trying to make final decisions on my audio options and would appreciate any opinions from others that already have their 8's. How necessary is the 6-disc CD option? I had a 6-disc changer in a car before, but my tastes in music vary so greatly that I was always ejecting the cartridge and changing CDs out, and I have found that a single tray was easier to operate when I drive. Plus, if I get Sirius, I would probably listen to CD less. The follow on question to this is whether or not there is an easy place to store a CD wallet in reach of the driver, I know storage is limited. Plus, does anyone know if the CD player recognizes CD's burned from your PC? Currently my wife's 2002 4Runner can play my CDs, but the 99 Accord that I am replacing cannot.

    Does anyone have an Rx-8 with the factory Sirius option? I tend to not like after market products, I like everything to be stock and work all-together in one unit, so if I don't get it when I order the car, I probably won't ever get it. I have a 3-4 hour drive to my in-laws with horrible radio reception, and I would like to listen to NFL/Sports news/games, and have more music options - both on that drive and when I am stuck in traffic in the DC area.

    Any comments would be appreciated. thanks
  • mdw1000mdw1000 Posts: 171
    More questions about the RX-8...

    I have some health problems that cause me to get fatigued very easily - that is the main reason I'm looking to trade my truck in for something easier to drive. The reasoning for that is that we've noticed I can drive my wife's TL a lot further than my truck - I don't get as tired driving it. I've figured out that the steering is one of the main things that is helping me. The car just tracks so nicely. You don't have to make constant adjustments on the wheel like I do with my truck.

    I was wondering if RX-8 owners have noticed whether the car tracks really well? I would assume that it does, based on everything I've read about how good the handling is. I'm also encouraged because I just read where Mazda did a bunch of ergonomics research when designing the RX-8 seating to help reduce driver fatigue.

    Leaving on a Carribean cruise on Sat for our 10th wedding anniversary, but when I get back I will be shopping in earnest. Hoping that the whole "end of the month" thing may help a bit on price. I'm going to be looking for an AT in the Chicago area - anybody have any idea how available they are?

    First time i've ever looked forward to getting back from vacation... :)
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