Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
usable back seats
Car and Driver
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
With room for up to three passengers, the 2010 Mazda RX-8 is a rarity among sports cars. Without sacrificing its rakish sports-car roofline, the RX-8 includes a pair of rear-opening doors and a decent-sized backseat, making this coupe more practical than you might think.
The Mazda RX-8's "cabin has room for up to four people" thanks to the "bucket seats in front and back," says Cars.com. However, even though the seats were redesigned for 2009, 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 finds, 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." Given conflicts in the reported usable space, you’re going to need to check out the RX-8’s backseat yourself and assess whether it meets your needs.
Storage space is limited, according to all the reviewers who took a look back there. 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."
The RX-8 has a firmly tuned suspension, as most sporty cars do. It’s unsettled, but not too jarring. Edmunds notes that "a compliant ride means that it won't beat you up on the daily commute."
The 2010 Mazda RX-8 is neither good nor bad for build quality, but materials are an issue for some reviewers. ConsumerGuide notes that the "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." Noise could also be an issue to some shoppers. 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.
The 2010 Mazda RX-8 is in some ways a cramped sports car, in other ways surprisingly versatile.