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Mazda RX-8



  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    iexplore....good luck in your continued car search. It sounds like the RX8's feature set isn't what you're looking for (trip computer?). Since you're looking for an automatic equipped car, you may also want to look at automatic Mustang GTs for comparison's sake as they will give you the "off the line grunt" you're looking for while spending a lot less money. As cheezeboy has stated, he owns an automatic RX8 and loves it. It also sounds like your Mazda salesperson wasn't too "in-tune" with what the RX8 is.

    It also sounds like your Nissan salesperson didn't mention the suspension and tire issues with the 350Z, stereo issues, fit/finish issues, and some of the paint issues. You really should pay a visit to some of the 350Z/G35C sites on the WEB to get owners impressions of some of the issues with those cars.

    No need to change anytthing with the RX8's engine. It's already won the International Engine of the Year and is one of the top 10 engines being produced according to Wards.

    flooding...first and foremost, the vast majority of people who own the RX8 haven't experienced any flooding issues. If anyone is concerned about it, then the easy answer is to "blip" the throttle a little when you shut it down to clear out any unburnt issue! Don't know why that sent a "chill down your spine", but so be it.

    Everyone should check their oil regularly, regardless of the car they drive. I don't know why this is an issue. My RX8 hasn't used any oil over the first 6K miles. I still check it regularly, though (as I do with all my cars). Personally, even if I had to put a 1/2 quart of oil in the car between oil changes, it wouldn't matter to me.

    latex, there is a lot of "misinformation/disinformation" about the RX8 going around since it has been so widely praised. Remember that as you take your test drives. Like the 350Z/G35C and the RX8, they all come equipped with "summer" performance tires. Given car with performance/summer tires and you're going to have some problems in the snow. I live in the Midwest, too. I haven't had any problems so far in the "dusting of snow" or heavy rain I've had around here. I won't take it out in deep snow, though. That said, all reports from those who have used the RX8 with snow tires have said it does just fine.

    Personally, I liked the previous gen TLs. I haven't made up my mind about the new ones....I'm lukewarm about the styling. As others have said, the new TL may have "hit a barrier" in the re-design by keeping it FWD, however. That said, I haven't driven one so I don't know this to be fact.

    Oil pan issue was from some early builds (mine). Nothing wrong with it except it tripped the "low oil level" light. Those that are "on sale" now should have the "fix" already in place from the factory. Essentially, baffles were put in the oil pan and the "low oil level" sensors were redone. I had this done on mine under a problems.

    The RX8 warms up very quickly (less than 1 mile of driving). I don't know anything about the "7 second" rule. I've moved my RX8 in and out of the garage/driveway...starting it for a few seconds and shutting it down and restarting again for a few seconds. I've done this in all weather in temps ranging from 95+ degrees to the teens. No problems.

    Like any other car, if you flood it, you just depress the gas pedal to the floor and crank it for a few seconds. This shuts down the fuel being injected and clears the chambers. then you can start it normally. Again, this isn't an issue with the vast majority of the 12,000 RX8 owners currently out there.

    As most of the trade rags have said, they pick the RX8 over the 350Z/G35C....all for various, back seat, room, handling, fit/finish, performance, comfort, features, price.......etc.

    blh....I've seen the Nordic Green. Very sharp. It's kind of a some light it looks almost "black". In other light, it is a deep, sparkly green. To me, there are no "bad" colors for the RX8. I have the "winning blue" and love mine, but could have been happy with any of the colors. Look real close at the paint on the Nordic Green and the Mica'll notice that they contain "flecks" of gold in them.

    dools...Mazda already makes a roadster. It's called a Miata. I doubt seriously, if they make a convertible RX8, though. Keep watching, however. Mazda is getting ready to "re-do" the Miata in the very near future.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • rodlcwrodlcw Posts: 45
    I TEST drove two different Rx-8's , one auto and other 6-speed. As I was talking to sales I noticed that both had condensation. Found that interesting on new cars. Went back by next day and looked at several and no condensation. Figure it has something to do with happening when I drove them. It was night time, so I had lights on.
  • Thanks again to everyone for giving me their feedback concerning the RX8. After sleeping on it, I can honestly say that I really do like the RX8, but I am just somewhat afraid of the "maintenance" issues (i.e. adding oil, revving engine, etc.).

    Currently I have a 2003 Envoy XL V-8 and for the most part, I just drive it. Simple turn of the key, drive, never add or check oil because it's serviced every 3K miles. I will definitely have to give it more thought and perhaps prolong my search to see what happens. In all fairness, I am really in love with the concept of having a back seat (even though it may not be highly usable). This definitely helps with insurance and can even aid in storage of items, therefore I can probably see myself leaning more towards G35 coupe. Oh well.. this is gonna be a very tough decision.. Wish me luck and once again, thanks for your assistance!

  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    iexplore2000 - If you are leaning towards the 350Z/G35 Coupe, I would select the G35 Coupe without thinking twice about it. You get most of the power you would with the 350Z and a more polished vehicle inside and out. For me, if a vehicle isn't a convertible, it at least needs a sunroof. I don't care what type of car it is. The 350Z doesn't come with this option. The roadster version is overpriced if it reaches close to $40K.

    I agree with you about not checking the oil every other fill up if you have it changed routinely. I don't think I should have to do that with today's vehicles and rarely see people lift up hoods at the gasoline stations. I've never done that with any of my vehicles in the past and they were always in good shape years afterwards. The reliability issues with the RX-8 have yet to be determined since the car hasn't even been out a year yet. It's fair to say that not knowing concerns you and has persuaded you to get a 350Z/G35 Coupe (since those have been out long enough to acquire some reliability feedback).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,360
    carliker, I would suggest you post comparison comments in our ongoing topic about the RX8 vs. the 350Z.

    This forum is to discuss the RX8 itself (as much as we can keep it that way) and for people who want information on that car specifically or who have information to give on that car.

    The link you want is:

    Infiniti G35 Coupe or Mazda RX-8???

    thank you


    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    In response to your last post where you said:

    "...if Mazda's EPA rating drops 1-2 mpg (as real world performance suggests), they will be subject to a gas guzzler tax which I suspect will significantly hurt sales. They are already selling at or near invoice in the DC area and a $1,000 gas guzzler charge won't help things. And lest you think an EPA rating change isn't possible or likely, the EPA rating on the 2004 S2000 was lowered by 1-2 mpg. Any spec change in the RX8 engine will automatically trigger an EPA review and the repeated reports of below average MPG has also triggered revised EPA ratings in the past."

    What spec change has the RX-8 had that would lower the EPA rating? The 2004 S2000 has a larger engine displacement (2.2L from 2.0L) that produces more power earlier and throughout the powerband that makes the car quicker and smoother from the 30 to 70 MPH range than the previous versions. Along with more torque, it's a different engine that hasn't required much more fuel, if any at all (20 city / 25 highway), to become "easier to live with" as quoted by Car & Driver in their 2004 Top Ten. If the RX-8 changes specs, the vehicle's engine will be modified by Mazda to rectify any changes that could lower gas mileage. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you are saying, but the government came up with those EPA ratings (whether real world performance or not) and so why would the ratings change if the car's engine hasn't? Were you talking of a mistake that may have been made in the first place in evaluating the RX-8's gas mileage rate? If that's the case, the 2004 S2000 was a bad example to use since it's a different engine from its predecessors and required a new evaluation; just like any new car would. No correction was made in that vehicle's EPA ratings (if there was any change at all).
  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    I'll do better in posting in the correct threads!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,360
    Thanks. Just figured you'd have a more interesting conversation if you were in the comparison topic.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • latexlatex Posts: 4
    Hello all,

    This is the first time I’ve found a forum about car buying and other interesting stuff. I find it very useful in my endeavor to shop for a sports car. I’ve been longing for the RX-8 since I first saw the initial commercial. As I am getting more and more intrigued and seriously about buying it, I’ve heard and read so many problems the car may possess.

    I would like to obtain some feedback regarding the problems I’ve heard and maybe getting a more that I have not.

    1) My salesman reinforced me that the flooding problem has and will continue to exist. He said that because of the rotary engine, you would always need to start it a certain way and let it warm up for more than 7 seconds to prevent flooding.
    2) He believes that Mazda will likely issue a recall regarding the oil pan.
    3) High oil consumption
    4) Not good on snow

    Since I live in the Midwest, snow is somewhat prevalent, I’m not certain if RX-8 should be my primary choice, but since I love the look of it and the extra doors for my young ones, I wonder if the above problems can be overlooked.

    Although I have not yet test driven an Acura TL, I have heard great things about the car. So before I set my heart on the RX-8, I will have to give TL a try.

    I would appreciate any comments you may have to persuade or dissuade my decision to buy a RX-8.

    Thanks. Have a happy New Year.

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I have never found my rotary vehicles use more oil than any other vehicle. My 2001 Pathfinder uses about 1 L between oil changes (6000 km). That is the same as my 3rd gen RX-7, which uses more oil than the RX-8.

    In other words, all vehicles use oil (they have to or the rings of piston engines would seize - same as the rotary apex seals - it's just that the rotary engine must inject the oil into the inlet tract as the apex seals are not exposed to the oil storage area (oil pan). Both engines burn whatever oil is used to lub. the rings/apex seals. They both seem happiest using about 1 L per oil change. Even my 2 stroke m/c uses about that amount.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    1. Yes, you can flood a rotary engine a bit easier than a piston one. I've never flooded my 3rd gen RX-7 in 6 years of ownership. It just takes a bit of common sense. It doesn't have to be towed if it does flood. Unflooding system is built in (hold gas pedal to floor and crank in 10 sec. increments until it starts - this cuts off fuel injection).
    2. There already is a replacement program on the oil pan (it's not the pan that's the problem - they modify some internals and the pan has to be replaced because there is a good chance that removing it will bend it). It's a no cost fix and you should just make that part of your offer to buy.
    3. Oil use delt with in my previous message.
    4. The car comes with "summer performance tires". They do not work on ice or snow just like any other summer performance tire! We put on all season tires here in 6 month winter Edmonton Alberta, and the car does very well in snow/ice. 50/50 weight distribution and low torque is great for slippery surfaces. The DSC and ABS is amazing! You can do whatever you like (well, almost), and the car will recover. We used Nokian WR tires (17 inch - got a new set of non-Mazda aluminum rims and used the stock width and modified the aspect ratio to keep the diameter the same). Wanted larger sidewalls to protect the rims better in grungy winter so went to 17 s.

    It may not be the car for you, but don't let the above be the reason.

    On the plus side:
    1. Much more fun to drive than the competitors (the 350Z feels like a truck compared to it).
    2. Amazing room inside (went to Home Depot to get new flooring supplies - had a cart load and it all fit in the trunk)!
    3. At fancy restaurants car gets parked up front with the Mercedies, Feraries, etc. Pretty funny for a car that costs 1/3 or less than the others.
    4. Seats 4 comfortably. I'm 6' 220 lb and find the rear seats quite nice, even for long trips. Does take a little getting used to when you first get in as it looks very tight. Lots of room for legs etc. though.
    5. Not too sure if the attention you get is a good thing or a bad thing. Nice thing is my 3rd gen RX-7 no longer stands out alone when we travel together ;-).
  • i finally got a drive Saturday. 6MT, sport. As far as test drives go, this was not the best. The salesperson knew nothing about the car, and seemed uninterested.

    We drove mostly through subdivision roads, never really got a chance to feel what the car can do. even then, i took every opportunity to pull the engine to redline in 1st.

    Initial impression is that the car quietly goes about its business, and it can be driven very fast without much drama. it's so easy to drive that it actually seems less thrilling to drive than lesser cars going much slower.

    I had very high expectations for this car going in. It'd be unfair to say it doesn't deliver based on such a short and uninformative test drive, but I think i'll pass for now and get a used S2k.

    On a final note, I told the sales manager i'm not impressed by the power, he proceeded to claim that Mazda will have a 320hp turbo RX-8 in 2005. I think turbos would be wrong for this car, would make the car more difficult to drive, and would not enhance the appeal of this car at all.
  • updates- still maintaining 16 to 19 mpg in town. I've added about a quart of oil in the 4500 miles I've driven. No stalling. Drove fine in the rain. (God forbid I ever have to drive in snow again!) Ran out of wiper fluid yesterday. No warning lights for oil. Still love her! and I just added the clear side markers, visit here to view pix!

    I started out wanting the Nordic green, but it was way too dark in real life for me. Also, would not a convertible be really hard to do with this car due to the side B pillar is in the suicide door? Wouldn't you have to kill the suicide doors to gain strength for the ragtop? I defer to the experts on this one.
  • r2s2r2s2 Posts: 93
    Does anyone else become amused when people like this drop in out of nowhere, declare their interest in the RX-8 and/or ask a bunch of questions, only to announce loudly a day or two later how the RX-8 didn't live up to their expections? I wonder . . .
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Your right, I mixed apples and oranges. The 2.2 liter S2000 is a different engine; hence the different EPA estimate. However, I find it interesting that the S2000 highway rating dropped from 26 to 25 mpg when, in fact, I have broken 30 mpg on all of my pure highway tankfuls. And the 2004 has taller 6th gear ratio for even better mileage?!

    The issue I raised was that, in addition to automatically reviewing it's ratings due to engine changes, the EPA will also reevaluate on occassion, if they hear of enough consumer complaints. In an opposite move, the BMW 545i EPA rating was actually increased shortly after it first came out, resulting in a rebate to very early buyers of the gas guzzler tax.

    It's probably unlikely that the RX-8 would be downgraded from its current 18 mpg city rating to 16 mpg (triggering gas guzzler). It would certainly be embarassing to think a 3,800 lb sedan with a 325 hp / 335 ft lb V8 gets better mileage.
  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    People are allowed to have their opinions, r2. That is the purpose of these posts. It would be worthless if everyone gave the RX-8 a thumbs up and didn't criticize it at all. No car is going to be everyone's favorite. I don't think any of them said it was a bad vehicle, it's just that they preferred something else. That sounds fair to me. They aren't slamming the vehicle for the sake of putting RX-8 owners down. I like seeing new people post their thoughts and the fact that they have questions about the RX-8 and decide to go with another vehicle shouldn't be surprising. Penelope Cruz just isn't their type.
  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    That's in reference to the analogies on another RX-8 thread. I didn't want new posters shaking their head in confusion.
  • latexlatex Posts: 4
    How rude of you to make such comment, r2s2. I was sincerely considering in purchasing a RX-8. I actually test drove a Accura TL today and was extremely delighted. However, I may still go with the RX-8 for the price (especially with the A-plan) and the sporty look, in addition to the assurance from pathstar1’s comments.
  • I agree.. R2.. that is exactly what the purpose of the edmunds forum fulfils. It definitely allows sharing of information amongst those interested parties.

    To say the least, I am not bad mouthing the RX8, but I just think that it may have dropped a little lower in terms of "what I want for my dollar" on my comparison list. Why? Primarily for the reasons that I listed in my previous posting. Personally, I want a vehicle that will have very very low owner intervention in terms of maintenance. I don't want to check oil, etc. Just not my thing, especially if I am dressed up in a suit for work and bending over the hood of my RX8 at the gas station.. that poses a big problem for me..

    There still may be a chance that I will end up with an RX8 as well, but the issues that I mentioned above are of serious concern to me. Luckily, I have plenty of time before spring hits to make a well informed decision, therefore the pendulum can swing either way. Thanks again to everyone for their assistance!


  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    Just curious...since it sounds like you've had a relatively good experience with your GMC and it's so new, why do you want to switch?

    The answer to that question may tell you which direction you want to take.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • No.. actually I am keeping my Envoy. I am just looking for a second car to use during the spring/summer months.

    I will continue to use the Envoy during the fall/winter months and garage the second vehicle.
    Basically, I have come to the conclusion that my Envoy SLT XL is a little too long for everyday driving. Sometimes I just want to go someplace rather quickly without having to worry about finding a large enough parking space, etc.

    Hope that helps to clarify.

    Thanks again!

  • carlikercarliker Posts: 285
    I understand your situation completely. Sometimes it happens the other way around when you don't really want to squeeze inside a smaller car/roadster and want more space. I can see driving that big vehicle around can become difficult especially with how small some parking lots are.

    habitat1 - That is odd. I imagine that if you get around 30 when the EPA rating was 26, the people rating just assumed that the new type engine will use more gas. I don't know what goes on in the testing or whether they just estimate without doing real performance tests. Like your BMW example, they have made mistakes before.
  • Regarding the oil pan issue, there is already a TSB for it. Our local dealer has already changed the oil pan and sensor on the in stock RX-8's.

    I drove one before the change and the oil light did come on for a few seconds while I drove it over the course of a full weekend but the oil level was fine. The last one I drove over the weekend never had the light come on because of the fix and I never experienced any hard starts or flooding. I may be getting one soon so I will follow up with my thoughts and comments.

    Also, a friend of mine who owns an S2000 just bought an RX-8, and he really likes it but says he does not really think the two are comparable because of the vast differences. He likes them both for what they are and leaves it at that.

  • >Regarding the oil pan issue, there is already a >TSB for it.
    What's TSB and is there a TSB Number with it so I can call up my dealer to inquire.
  • >Yes, you can flood a rotary engine a bit easier >than a piston one. I've never flooded my 3rd gen >RX-7 in 6 years of ownership. It just takes a >bit of common sense. It doesn't have to be towed >if it does flood. Unflooding system is built in >hold gas pedal to floor and crank in 10 sec. >increments until it starts - this cuts off fuel >injection).

    What's the best way to avoid flooding in the first place then?
    I've heard that you'll need to take out the fuse for the fuel injection while doing the unflooding procedure.
  • Ok I have had my 8 since August 22,03. I've been in for service 4 times.
    Oil pan and sensor fix worked fine.
    Car gets about 14 mpg. I drive hard so its my lead foot I suppose.
    Oil consumption is about 1 quart per 1000 miles.
    Handling is amazing anyone who says otherwise has not driven this car.
    Top speed I have driven is 117 felt like 65 mph.
    My CEL light has gone on twice and then off have to go to service and have it checked.
    This car is the closest thing to driving a motorcycle on 4 wheels. Just amazing handling in the rain or dry pavement. No snow in Florida so I don't know about that issue.

    6,555 happy miles on my 8 and it is still just as tight as when new.
    Anyone know the real facts on the chip re programing issue. Both Mazda and my service dealer say nothing out yet. My car runs very rich black soot on the exhaust is as much a pain to clean as the brake dust on the wheels
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I know they run very rich during warmup but lean out after they warm up.

    1 quart per 1000 miles is kinda severe in my book.
  • Just wanted to post on some of the issues recently brought up.

    I'm pretty sure my car was flooded while it was at the body shop for a few weeks. When I picked it up and first started it, white smoke blew out the back and it smelled pretty funny, so I think they flooded it and unflooded it some time before I got it back. I, myself, have not flooded the car.

    Flooding is an issue you have to be aware of, but it is relatively simple to avoid. It should be stated that it really isn't good for ANY car to be shut off before it fully warms up. I avoid that scenario whenever I can. However, if you simply CAN'T WAIT for it to warm up, graphicguy's suggestion of revving the engine up to, say, 4000 rpm for 5 seconds or so and then shutting off the engine as it winds back down WILL keep the car from flooding. So, simple enough.

    As for oil usage, my car has 6900 miles on it. I had the oil changed at 5000 miles (according to Mazda's severe maintenance schedule) and added 1 quart during those 5000 miles. I've got 1900 miles since the oil change and just added a 1/2 quart today. The oil usage isn't really that bad. It will use more oil if you drive it at high RPMs constantly, though.

    And you don't have to check the oil every time you fill up the car. I just check mine every other weekend or so. Once you see how much oil yours uses, you can decide how often it needs to be checked.

    My gas mileage was around 22-23 mpg in mostly highway driving when I first got the car. It has dropped back to around 20 since winter hit. I think crappy winter gas has something to do with that. Either way, I'm not ecstatic, but I can certainly live with that kind of mileage.

    Yeah, the rotary takes just a bit more attention than other engines. But this car is so much fun, and gets such a great reaction from everyone, that I just can't view these few little things as a problem.

    Best of luck to all who are considering the RX-8!
  • r2s2r2s2 Posts: 93
    If people are entitled to their opinion about their criticisms of the RX-8, then so are those of us who like the RX-8. I find those who swoop in from nowhere and in the course of a day or two, after asking for "advice," ignore it and go their own way, a little suspicious. Motokichi had a "short and uninformative" test drive of the RX-8, and based on that decided on a used Honda? How could he have seriously been considering the RX-8. I wonder why he came here at all. iexplore suggests that Mazda put a non-rotary engine in the RX-8 (aw, c'mon) and says he'll buy a 350Z or G35C. Latex asks about the RX-8 and goes off and drives an Acura. You may think me rude, but I am asking simple questions about these non-sequiturs. Let's talk about the glories of the RX-8 now.
  • flatsoflatso Posts: 24
    Does anyone want to comment on the black soot on the tailpipe and the chance that the catalyst converter might become clogged quite quickly.
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