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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Innovative body style that can actually seat four adults
Appearance and quality of the interior materials is a cut above those of the Ford Mustang
RX-8 models gain redesigned seats
If you want a sportscar with incredible handling that you can show off to three friends at once, the 2009 Mazda RX-8 might be what you need. While it may not appear to seat more than two from the outside, the inclusion of a pair of rear-opening doors and a decent-sized backseat means this 2009 RX-8 Mazda is more practical than you'd think.
Cars.com states that the 2009 Mazda RX-8's "cabin has room for up to four people" thanks to the "bucket seats in front and back." Many reviews read by TheCarConnection.com point out that the seats have been restyled for the 2009 RX-8 Mazda, but even still, ConsumerGuide reports that most "testers found it difficult to find a comfortable driving position." They add that "the sunroof housing cramps headroom for even average-size adults," while "legroom is just adequate." Automobile Magazine finds "the seats are supportive but the side bolsters are so large and firm and protrude so far off the seat that shifting [is] difficult." Contrary to the cramped space in back that TheCarConnection.com found, Car and Driver remarks that the Mazda RX-8 features "useable back seats," and Edmunds claims the 2009 Mazda RX-8 gets "a serious advantage over its class rivals," thanks to "its true four-passenger capacity." Edmunds goes on to note that "those seated in the back will find supportive seating and ample room all around."
While the backseats may be great for passengers, there is little back there in the way of storage space. ConsumerGuide criticizes the Mazda RX-8 for the fact that "interior storage is very poor," finding "the door pockets are virtually useless, and the center console is shallow and located in an inconvenient spot aft of the front seats." The trunk isn't much help either, as Edmunds notes that "its opening is small and no flip-down rear seat function exists to increase that luggage capacity."
Overall build and materials quality on the 2009 Mazda RX-8 is neither good nor bad, as evidenced by the general lack of commentary in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. ConsumerGuide does devote a little space to the quality issue, reporting that the Mazda RX-8's "interior is composed of mostly hard plastic," though "appearance and quality of the interior materials is a cut above those of the Ford Mustang and Nissan 350Z." Automobile Magazine reviewers also mention that "the fit and finish on [their] test car was quite nice."
One area where the build quality is evident is cockpit noise, which is also average in the 2009 Mazda RX-8. ConsumerGuide reports that "wind rush is minimal, but the tires roar over most pavement surfaces." Edmunds reviewers add that "noise levels are subdued" inside the cabin, both in terms of engine noise and exterior intrusions.
And although the RX-8 has a firmly tuned suspension, as most sporty cars do, it isn’t too jarring; Edmunds notes that "a compliant ride means that it won't beat you up on the daily commute."
The 2009 Mazda RX-8 surprises many with its seating capacity, but in many ways, it still suffers from the traditional cramped confines of a small sportscar.