Mar 23, 2004
Reviewed By Jeff Sabatini
Price as Tested $31,200

Unique rotary engine, 9,000-rpm redline; snickety short-throw shifter; perfect suspension that’s never harsh but always firm.


Busy styling, poor fuel economy; naturally aspirated rotary means no torque; no two-seat version.


The rotary engine makes its return in this successor to the RX-7, even if the clean lines of Mazda’s iconic two-seater didn’t survive the trip into the 21st century. A true sports car, the RX-8 is lithe and fast (once you get it moving), and as fun to drive as anything on the road. But why the backseat? Admittedly, the mini rear suicide doors make it possible for even adults to climb semi-comfortably into the back, but we purists might prefer a two-seater. Then again, you won’t have to sell your RX-8 and buy a Camry when it comes time to start a family.

Fun to Drive
5.0 rating
Fun to Look at
3.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating