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Mazda RX-8

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  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    because Mazda had alot riding on this car. This isn't just about horsepower this is about Mazda as a brand. In the last decade in change they have had constant product flops. This just adds more to the fuel to the fire in my opinion. It looked like Mazda hit a home run with the Rx-8 but again Mazda always has to throw a bone when they launch a product. Mazda has a habit of shooting itself in the foot whenever the release new products in the last decade in change. Remember the 93 626? The car had great exterior styling and was penetrating the market well and then what happenens? The Ford Tranny in 94 which was a constant problem issue ruined what was an excellent product for Mazda and damaged Mazda's reputation for reliability. The 93-97 MX-6 looked like another home run. Same thing: Ford Tranny killed that car. 92 and 95 Millenia: 2 other flops. 03 6: Another home run: what happens there? Mazda tried to nickel and dime people on option packages except conumers didn't go for it. Bottom line with the RX-8: mazda runined what was going to be a smooth launch of a car. The 6 got off to a slow start sales wise and Mazda was hoping the RX8 would bring people back to Mazda after the mid to late 90's when Mazda was going through an idenity crisis. Mazda yet blew another chance to reclaim former customers and younger customers with another rough product launch.
  • I don't completely disagree with you, but I think you're being a bit too doom and gloom.

    Mazda has a better product line-up now than they have had for many years - not since the halcyon days of the early 90's. I still believe that the "poor" Mazda6 launch is much more about overly optimistic sales expectations for the car in NA, as well as dreadful advertising - "Come buy a real sporty 4-door sedan you 19 people in NA who want such a thing". This car should have been marketed as a more attractive, more sophisticated alternative in the mid-size segment. People don't know what a Mazda6 is and they don't know what segment its in. They don't know what they should be cross-shopping it against.

    The HP issues with the RX-8 is a disappointing repeat of Miatagate, but it will fade from the general public's mind very quickly - if it ever registered with them at all.

    With a very good entry level car - the Mazda3; a competitive car in the mid-size segment - the Mazda6; a worthy vehicle in the MPV; the world's best affordable sports car - the Miata; and a segment buster like the RX-8 Mazda should be able to do well if they can market themselves and their vehicles effectively. That remains to be seen.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    6 popularity has been building of the car the last few months which is good. The option packages were ridiculous in my opinion when Mazda first introduced the 6. Thats why it didn't sell well at first. The marketing wasn't the best but it was ok. In the debut commercial for the 6 they showed the car with a 5 speed manual. Mazda had 4 speed auto's on dealer lots and not enough 5 speed manuals. Another issue is brand identity. They have been out of the spotlight since 1995. People have forgotten about Mazda a little bit too. On the RX-8 people have been waiting for this car a long time. Then comes the dissapointment about the HP issue. The thing that drives you nuts about Mazda is they always mess up a good product with either a bad Ford Part or something else. Mazda doesn't cash in on their opportunities to capture market share like it should. The 93 626 could have been a bigger hit but wasn't. The 6 and Rx-8 I hope do well for Mazda. I will give credit to Mazda on the Pro 5. Mazda got the younger buyer they hadn't had since the days of the MX-6. Also Mazda did a good job with the 99-03 Protege sedan.
  • Originally posted this at the RX8 vs G35 thread, but thought it belongs here and would appreciate the feedback.

    Must say that I was very impressed, but the engine is a too quiet. It was difficult to know when to shift. I felt like I was always shifting too quickly, but that's probably because I'm not used to high rev engines. Other than that, I'm ready to buy one. I want to test drive the G35 one more time though.

    I thought the blue looked nice and isn't that common, but my gf said blue on a car is unacceptable! Also read a previous post from someone who slammed blue. Hmm, don't we have enough red, black and silver cars on the road already?

    Anyway, the two dealers I visited had several in stock, one with seven or eight, and claimed several more that were unprepped in the back, another with five in different colors and not all were loaded up. Not a single AT, all were manual. Saw a red that was almost a base model for around 27k, others with just GT package and a few small add ons such as splash guards. I didn't get the sense the dealers were trying to gouge anyone. They did say that they would only sell at MSRP, though. I'm in the Los Angeles area. Not sure why LA dealers has so many in stock when I hear others have to wait 3 weeks or more for pre-oreders.

    Thanks for all the great posts, everyone. Just thought I'd add my 2 cents.
  • blacktalonblacktalon Posts: 203
    Those time slips are a good sign. Glad to see it, because I still want my RX-7...

    Starbuck, I think the RX-8 looks great in blue. "Unacceptable", since when? If you like the performance, I'd go for it.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    Just passed break in. Car's more fun than anything I've ever driven (which includes, recent vintage Z28, Mustang Cobra, BMW 3 series and Z4, 350Z/G35, Thunderbird, Mini Cooper Infiniti M45, PT Cruiser Turbo with the same engine as the SR-T, Evo, WRX).
  • I'm trying to decide whether I should keep my RX-8 or not. To be honest, I'm not too concerned about the hp rating difference. I really enjoy the power it has and I love the handling. My biggest concern is the gas mileage I'm getting.

    I commute 100 miles a day to work and back most of it freeway driving. But, I'm only getting about 18 MPG. Now, I do drive fast and like to push it when in the city but I expected better mileage because of all the freeway driving.

    So, I'm not too happy with having to fill up every 2.5 days at $30 a pop. Is this consistent with what others are getting?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'll be interested in the responses you get from other owners regarding the low mileage you are getting.

    I have averaged 22.3 mpg over 13,700 miles with my S2000, heavily weighted to 10+/- mile enthusiatic hops. Individual fill ups have ranged from a low of 19 mpg to 32 mpg for a 280 mile highway leg with the cruise control set at 76 mph. I have heard very bad mileage reports on the old RX7. At the time I had a 1997 Supra Turbo, a friend an RX7. I averaged 23 mpg, he only averaged 17. His dealer responded that "nobody gets the EPA rating with the RX7".

    Perhaps there is something inherently inefficient with respect to rotary designs.
  • I read a review in which the reviewer claimed the dipstick was very difficult to reach, which in a rotary engine is important to check regularly.

    Is burning oil between changes not a problem with the new Renesis. Anyone have any experience with this?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    Is the dipstick difficult to get to with the RX8?....no.

    Is it as easy as on more mundane cars?...no. You just have to reach a bit further and "snake it out" from a couple of wires.

    Mazda claims that oil usage in the Renesis is 1 qt for every 100,000 miles in some of their development material. That said, the owners manual says that it's not unusual for the RENESIS to use oil and to check it every fuel stop.

    I check mine every couple of fuel stops. I'm just under 1,000 miles on the ODO, but no oil usage yet.
  • I have 1,900 miles on my RX-8 over the last two months. I was on of those guys who bought the first one off the truck and fully loaded.

    Also, I have my "HP" letter from Mazda ... and I am considering returning it.

    I am averaging close to 18 to 20 mpg (no better than 20) I commute @ 35 miles one way (most highway). I am refueling every three days.

    The lack of torque in 1st and 2nd gear becomes a bit of a burden at "highway" stop lights where other cars are getting a stronger and smoother jump start.

    Finally, I live in North East and while looking at other cars (the 350Z) those Nav systems worked fine and I took to RX-8's Nav system for granted and did not "test" it prior to ordering it as an option... the Mazda Navigation system does not have North East addresses programmed in it so you can get directions... NOT EVEN THE ADDRESS TO THE DEALERSHIP I BOUGHT IT FROM ! Great toy and the GPS positioning is cool as you drive - but unless you "mark" your destination on the map in advance you are not getting directions - having to "mark" your destination on the map, when you don't know where it is in the first place, is RIDICULOUS... Test the Nav system for "local information" before opting to buy it.

    The feel of the car is awesome, excellent road handling, great stereo, four seater (just enough for the two young kids), and strangers on the street are stopping to admire ... however, it is not long until day to day performance becomes an issue and then the recent news of the HP seems to fit. However, the good outweighs the not so good (some day they will update the Nav software/DVD) and I am still undecided about whether or not I will keep the car?

    Anyone else seriously considering returning it?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    like you, i got THE LETTER. I've had my RX8 for about a month.

    I looked at a ton of cars when shopping, those extensively test driven were the 350Z/G35, Thunderbird, 330ci, MB C-Class coupe, Z4, WRX, EVO, Cobra and others.

    It took a month to drive all of them and make a decision, which was overwhelmingly for the RX8.

    Then, like you, I got THE LETTER.

    I thought about it and drove the 350/G35 again since they were my 2nd choice. Again, I was always glad to get back into the RX8 afterwards. Long and short of it, I've yet to find a car with all the positive attributes of the RX8 vs anything else I've driven for the price.

    My mileage, while still not great, is starting to creep up. And the power seems to be getting better, too (not that it was anyting but fast to begin with).

    In order to get SIGNIFICANTLY more performance, I'd either have to spend a lot more money (like about $10K more for a Corvette) or give up the precision, handling, build quality and/or style (and look hideous in an EVO or WRX) that the RX8 possesses.

    The only other car I would probably consider would be the '05 Mustang, but that's several months away and there are still too many unknowns about it.

    I've checked some reliable sources, and what few used RX8s that are on the market, they are still being sold pretty near MSRP, (why do that when you can buy a new one?), even after the restatement of the HP.

    So, the RX8 is a great car and a good deal less expensive than it's competition (you'll spend $3K-$4K more for a 350Z/G35 similarly equiped). Plus, Mazda is giving us $500 and free maintenance for what amounts to a clerical error. That's pretty strong from where I sit.
  • I agree that the RX-8 is a great car for the price (you must not have the GPS however, because that is really annoying) however, with regard to the "free" maintenance ... Did you get a chance to check the FACTORY maintenance (the owners manual book)schedule vs. the DEALER maintenance schedule vs. the web site maintenance schedule ... In my case, the dealer recommended schedule is at every 3,750 miles, the factory has a 7,000 mile schedule, and the web site recommends a 5,000 mile schedule for "heavy" driving. I understand the 3,750 is for routine oil changes and inspections ... but will Mazda cover the dealer's schedule which is printed with the Mazda name and service promises all over it ... or just the factory recommended schedule ... or the web schedule?
  • I saw some on ebay that went well over sticker, and the hype had people paying in advance, but now I see a dealer in Boston selling under sticker...
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    My dealer is "giving me" his recommended service, which is more extensive than even the "severe schedule" that Mazda recommends. I'm fairly certain Mazda reimburses the dealer.

    Dealer said he'd even replace the tires, which will most certainly be shot before the 4/50 Mazda warranty runs out.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    Eventually, they'll come down to under MSRP. From what I'm hearing from good sources is even the few used RX8s that are at the auto auctions are holding MSRP. When I was looking at 350Zs, I could have bought an '04 Touring for $1,000 below MSRP.

    Once supply catches up to demand for any car, MSRP will be tough to get.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Several things to suggest:
    1) Don't pay MSRP or even slightly less when a new model comes out. If everyone held out it would be much better pricing for all.
    2) I know it can be exciting when a favorite returns. But you really have to question whether the value is in the RX-8 compared to a 350Z. I don't particularly like the looks of the Nissan, but it is a reasonable price and has more power.
    3) I don't care how advanced or hi-tech an engine design is, if it doesn't deliver. Mazda should be embarassed to put out an engine with little torque off the line, gets moderate hp (why Accords get 240hp), and gets 18 - 20 mpg hwy as someone here mentioned. My low-tech '01 Firebird LS-1 w/auto gets 25mpg combined and 28 mpg on hwy. while delivering hp and torque. I'm not trying to trash the RX-8 but you should be able to get either power or economy from that engine.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    your low-tech (with pushrods!) LS-1 goes boing boing boing, while the RENESIS goes swoosh swoosh swoosh, and THAT is a difference you have to try to find out.

    as for value-for-the-dollar factor, the Z is a great value now because dealers have begun aggressive discounting off MSRP. RX-8 STICKERS at 27k to start with, give it a few more months and it will be a BARGAIN priced performance car.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    It's not all about 0-60.

    Don't forget that others like an agile car more than a powerful car...

    Dinu
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Yes I'm not making the Firebird out to be a great car. It has compromises for the power. Just saying I'd think for an extra $1K - $2K of cost to Mazda they could have made the engine more powerful - same design, slightly larger? With the relatively low weight of the RX-8, and the advantage of being a fresh design with the latest technology, I would have expected that if you were just cruising on an interstate trip that you could get high-20's to 30mpg out of it.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    I think most of us RX8 owners did a direct comparison to the 350Z when looking to purchase. Like me, most of us found the difference in power between the two negligible and something that wouldn't mean anything in real world driving.

    If you are going to buy either car for track racing only, then there might be a case to buy the 350Z over the RX8. My guess is that the vast majority of owners will not be doing much track running of our cars. Therefore, the minimal differences in 0-60 or 1/4 mile times really don't come into play.

    IMHO, looking at both cars as a total package as most of us do, I would pick the RX8 over the 350Z even if they were priced the same. Given the $3K price difference equipped the way most of us would buy the cars, the decision was a "no brainer" in favor of the RX8.

    You really have to drive and compare the two cars "back-to-back" to understand this.

    I did so in repeated test drives. While both cars are sports car bargains, I kept coming back to the RX8 as the one that I overwhelmingly prefered over the 350Z for myriads of reasons. While this list is strictly mine, I've heard them echoed by others:

    For the RX8 over the 350Z:

    --$3K price difference
    --better ergonomics
    --higher build quality
    --sunroof
    --better interior
    --better ride and handling characteristics
    --better clutch and shifter performance
    --exterior/interior styling
    --gorgeous legible guages
    --useable back seat

    And those are just a few.

    I don't see any discounting for a while....maybe when the winter months hit, but I doubt you'll find much in the way of RX8s having substantial discounts for a while given their aggressive MSRP pricing to begin with.

    Personal opinion, but I haven't been able to find anything remotely offering what the RX8 offers at MSRP.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "My low-tech '01 Firebird LS-1 w/auto gets 25mpg combined and 28 mpg on hwy. while delivering hp and torque. I'm not trying to trash the RX-8 but you should be able to get either power or economy from that engine."

    What you get is super small, super light, and super smooth engine that seems like it will rev forever. If you haven't driven a rotary engine car, you will not understand. The rotary feels like a jet engine like the LS1 feels like a dump truck motor. I have driven twin turbo RX7s and LS1 Camaros and both of them are a blast to drive in their own way. The rotary feels turbine like with almost no vibration. The way a rotary pulls is hard to explain. Not that the LS1 isn't smooth or refined, it's just that it feels and sounds brutal and starts to crap out in an RPM range when the rotary feels like it's starting to get it's afterburners going. The LS1 is a bad-[non-permissible content removed] motor though, probably one of the most efficient high powered AND high torque engines around.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    This was was silver w/Sports package, on the same section of the 401 where I saw the 1st one.

    Tagged along in the left lane at about 135km/h until we hit a traffic jam and I exited.

    Was a sweet-looking car!

    Dinu
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,141
    "What you get is super small, super light, and super smooth engine that seems like it will rev forever. If you haven't driven a rotary engine car, you will not understand. The rotary feels like a jet engine like the LS1 feels like a dump truck motor. I have driven twin turbo RX7s and LS1 Camaros and both of them are a blast to drive in their own way. The rotary feels turbine like with almost no vibration. The way a rotary pulls is hard to explain. Not that the LS1 isn't smooth or refined, it's just that it feels and sounds brutal and starts to crap out in an RPM range when the rotary feels like it's starting to get it's afterburners going. The LS1 is a bad-[non-permissible content removed] motor though, probably one of the most efficient high powered AND high torque engines around."

    EXACTLY!!!!!

    Couldn't have said it any better myself. Being a fan of good ole' V8 pwwer, you've hit the the differences between big displacement V6s or V8s (like the Nissan 3.5 or small block V8s like the Mustang GT or GM LS1) and the rotary right on the head.

    Truth is, if you want a torque monster, forget the Nissan 3.5 V6 and get some V8 muscle. You'll get more of what you want regarding torque with the American V8s. If you want hi rev power, go to the S2000 or the RX8.

    Going with the Nissan 3.5 V6 in any of its fine iterations won't do what a V8 will do, but still have the "low tech" feel to it. Go all the way and get a Mustang Cobra (about the same price as a "Z") or a Corvette if that's what you're looking for.
  • I would not dis-qualify the "low-tech" 3.5 V6. There is a reason why its one of America's best V6 engine, right up there with BMW's I6. Sure it may not have the grunt of a V8, not does it have the high 9000 RPM redline of the RX-8 or the S2000, but is has respectable horsepower compared to some V8s out there and it is quite the reliable engine. Having been in Ward's 10 best list for 9 consecutive years is a testament to that.

    I ordered my Enthusiast 6MT 350Z for $28,130, last time I checked the Mustang Cobra was going for $35,000. I dont think the Cobras are going to be that low in price, because Ford does not make a "stripper" Cobra. People who dont care about leather or a sunroof, but want a reasonably fast/good handling sports car would consider a 350Z a good choice. The better value would be the Mustang GT, having similar performance with the Z and a lower price tag.

    However, to those belittling the RX-8's torque, what do you expect from a 1.3L engine? I think 159 lb/ft of torque is par for the course for such a low-displacement engine. I am amazed at what this wonderful rotary powerplant can do. There is not a single 1.3L piston engine that can make 238HP. And while the Accord does have better HP and MPG, it is a front-heavy car that will never handle as good as the RX-8 with its perfect 50/50 weight distribution. There is some trade-offs, but I dont think Mazda has to be ashamed of anything.

    Despite me being a 350Z owner, I have respect for the RX-8. Just that in this point in time I dont need a sports car with a rear seat, and I am more comfortable with Nissan's proven V6 as opposed to the newly designed Renesis. I like the 350Z, and I like the RX-8. I dont feel the need to bash the RX-8 to justify my 350Z purchase.

    The 350Z has been called a "pig", not a true sports car because it weighs 3200 pounds, a disgrace to the Z name because it does not look like other Z's, yadda yadda yadda the lists goes on and on and on. You RX-8 guys are going to have deal with your own list as well.

    I have realized that whatever car I buy, its gonna be a "Piece-Of-Junk" to someone else. Whether its gonna be the "Altima-Engine" 350Z, or the "torque-less" RX-8, there is gonna be someone out there that is gonna think I made a bad mistake. That being the case, I have come to the conclusion that I should not be worried about what others may say, as long as I am happy with my purchase.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    The RX-8 does offer a lot for the price (these days), and I'm sure it's a lot of fun to drive. There is a certain satisfaction of having a manual and driving a vehicle near its limit.

    I just don't get why Mazda would bring what they want to be is their flagship performance car to market with what is "somewhat adequate" power. Is Mazda missing that there is a HP War going on here in America? Why wouldn't they have made the rotary engine 33% larger displacement? It might have added 100Lb by the time you redesigned the trans. That would have been an alternative to expensive turbos. I would think Mazda would want their flagship to run close to the Cobra and base Vette.
    As it is they are now committed to this design for a few years while competitors will be coming out with new models - for example the '05 Mustang and the C6.

    Oh by the way, I see '03 Cobras now are being offered with a $2500 rebate or low financing. So press those Mazda dealers for a discount!
  • I think to compare the RX-8 with these behemonths is unfair. Not even the 350Z can run with the Cobra or base Vette. No currently Japanese built automobile will ever match the price/performance ratio of these wonderful sports cars. The import taxes alone will ensure that our domestics will always have the upper hand when it comes to price.

    I think the next round of Japanese sports cars will be the ones to compare to the Cobra/Vette. For Nissan/Infiniti, that would be the GT-R. For Mazda, that would be the RX-7.

    The RX-8 is Mazda's "mainstream" sports car. It should be compared to the Mustang GT, not the Cobra.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    like the one I saw at the auto-show earlier this year. I don't know if it was the more intimate surroundings or the lighting, but the car doesn't have the same oomph.
    That being said I'm surprised that there are already 8's hanging around the lot. You'd think they'd still be filling pre-orders. It took months before you could just walk up and buy a G35 or 350Z. How many are they targeting to sell?
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