Mazda need not be introduced afresh to the world. This company is already famous for its innovative designs in sporty cars that look good and feel even better. The coupes especially are very famous for their light weight, neat pricing and good speeds, characteristics that few rivals have been able to match up to, consistently. The brand new 2008 Mazda RX-8 is a four door boon on wheels, according to some. Let us find out if it scores well in all aspects, like handling, performance, safety and styling.
The rotary engine is the highlight of this sports coupe and the naming itself is representative: renesis. ‘R’ & ‘e’ represent rotary engine of course, while the word itself is derived from ‘genesis’. The engine certainly has an unusual but Cool name, and with some really good revving, the 1.3 liter engine gets ready for a great performance. The engine design provides for better fuel economy than its predecessors, with less emission and greater power being the other plus points. The front and rear distribution of weight is an enviable 50-50, mainly due to the small engine. Suspension is better in this car compared to some predecessors. The car offers a fuel economy of 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
The short shifts really get you connected with the car, with its 6 speed manual transmission. Best experienced on curving roads, the coupe is reasonably good but not the speed demon you might expect. As far as styling is concerned, the exterior is a sleek, standard-looking style, but the four-door design is a new feature. Interiors in this car are okay, though nothing very cozy. There is rear space for adults, but just enough for a comfortable short drive. Of course, slightly big child seats can be accommodated. There are options for luxury packages like leather upholstery. The special edition Shinka package is another one you could try. Overall, a reasonably good car.
Engine: 4 out of 5….. rotary engine is quite powerful, though compact. Smooth drive.
Transmission: 4 out of 5…. Lovely 6 speed manual that connects you to the car. Great experience.
Handling: 4 out of 5… smooth rev and good steering. Great on curvy roads.
Safety: 3 out of 5 … standard anti-theft system and airbags.
Value 3 out of 5.. a good sports car for about $31,000. this car definitely has a good resale value in the general auto market.
Body: 4 door and 4 passenger sports vehicle
Engine: standard 1.3 liter rotary engine (R2)
Transmission: the standard transmission is a 6 speed manual transmission with overdrive.
Power: 232 hp at 8500 rpm
Torque: 159 at 5500 (ft-lbs)
Tires: 18 inch radial passenger tires, with rack and pinion steering.
Verdict: good car for the average routine travel and some fun here and there. Economical and reliable.
For: the smooth engine, good transmission and good fuel economy.
Against: performance could have been better, though we aren’t saying it is not good enough.