Advertisement
Go
2011 Mazda RX-8 Photo
7.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

?
Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$24,819
BASE MSRP
$26,795
Quick Take
On the market since 2003, the Mazda RX-8 returns for what could be a final model year in 2011 with... Read more »
7.6 out of 10
Browse Mazda RX-8 inventory in your area.

SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
Sign Up

Save this car now, and view it in your Showroom!

Save to My Showroom

On the market since 2003, the Mazda RX-8 returns for what could be a final model year in 2011 with no changes.

The four-door sports car has an unusual look to go with its unusual set of doors and its unusual powertrain. The arched wheels, relatively long wheelbase and stubby side rear windows give it a distinctively Japanese look that's polarizing, and it's not growing more handsome with age. The cabin is one of Mazda's nicer efforts, with a flowing, low-slung design.

The sports-car stance wraps around a 2+2 cabin that's just barely roomy for adults in front, and very tight in back for anyone but children. Making that rear seat a touch more accessible are rear-hinged doors that can open once the front-hinged front doors are open. The arrangement mimics the old Saturn Ion and the Honda Element, and it seems to make more visual and conceptual sense on the SUV instead of a sporty car. There's simply not enough usable back-seat room to make the exercise worthwhile.

Mazda's trademark rotary engine tries to engage drivers as best it can. It's a compact powerplant--a 1.3-liter, twin-rotor Wankel engine that provides 232 horsepower with the standard six-speed manual transmission, though it's detuned to 212 horsepower with the available six-speed Sport A/T automatic transmission. And it feels most engaging with the manual gearbox, but rotary engines aren't as rev-happy as the best four-cylinders can be--and the RX-8 gets meager city fuel economy of just 16 mpg.

The RX-8 has nimble handling, with a confident feel at cruising speeds. The ride quality can go jittery on some surfaces, and abrupt changes of road cambering reveal some twitchy responses, but the typical Mazda lightness and vivacity is here.

Crash tests have been calibrated by the NHTSA for the new model year, and the RX-8 hasn't yet been rated on the new scale. In past years, the RX-8 has received mostly four and five star scores. One disappointment is that electronic stability control—a standard feature on nearly every other sports car now isn't available on the base Sport model, though it's included in the other Touring, Grand Touring, and R3 models.

That R3 edition is the weekend racer's target model, and possibly the reason to buy the RX-8. It gets a sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shocks, and high-performance tires on 19-inch wheels. It's also endowed with a 300-watt Bose Centerpoint audio system, Bluetooth interface, and smoky forged-alloy wheels.

If you're interested in more details on this distinctive sports car, read our most recent full review of the Mazda RX-8.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Other Choices
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Cars
Go!
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.