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TheCarConnection.com looked at a wide range of reviews in order to compile this full review covering the 2010 Mazda RX-8. The editors at TheCarConnection.com have driven the RX-8 on the street and out on the racetrack and have included their firsthand driving impressions—including those on the track-oriented R3.
- Sweet, rev-happy rotary engine
- Nice, precise shift linkage
- Nimble, surefooted handling
- Excellent build quality
- Head-turning design is like no other
- Thirsty rotary engine
- Dearth of low-rev torque
- Stability control not standard
- Busy ride on imperfect surfaces
Whether you look at its design and profile or its spec details, the 2010 Mazda RX-8 is like no other vehicle on the market. It’s a small sports car with seating for up to four, two small rear-hinged back doors, a unique Wankel rotary engine layout, and rear-wheel drive. It follows a long line of rotary Mazdas, including the best-known RX-7.
After getting some minor styling changes, equipment and powertrain improvements, and a new track-oriented R3 model for 2009, the Mazda RX-8 continues into 2010 with no significant changes.
The RX-8 has changed very little in the six years since its introduction, yet it still turns heads. From a distance, it looks like a low-slung coupe with a long hoodline, lipped wheel wells, and low-profile tires. Get up close and you’ll no doubt notice the two small rear-hinged back doors, which provide access to the small backseat. The RX-8’s rakish side profile is unusual for any vehicle with a backseat; the roofline arcs over the back and smoothly meets the rear decklid.
Inside, it’s all sports car. The cockpit-oriented interior of the 2010 Mazda RX-8 feels low-slung, and you’re seated mere inches above the road; the instrument panel flows smoothly into a matte-metallic-trimmed center console that runs from the instrument panel all the way back. There’s actually plenty of legroom and just enough headroom for taller occupants—wider drivers might find the seats rather narrow—yet in back, the two rear bucket seats are just for kids. It’s just more than a 2+2, but they’re not normal-sized backseats either.