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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Not everybody thinks it's pretty
Car and Driver
“Weird in good ways and bad
Freshened interior and exterior styling and a new R3 sport package
The Mazda RX-8 received a few slight styling changes for last 2009, but it rolls into 2010 unchanged. That’s actually fine, as six years after its introduction, this racy car still manages to look fresh—possibly because it’s a relatively rare sight.
The RX-8 combines the silhouette of a classic sports car with some very unusual details—such as the rear-hinged half-doors in back. Cars.com loves the "longish hood" and "pronounced fender flares" that give it one of the most unique appearances on the road. Unique isn't always a good thing, though, and Car and Driver reports that "not everybody thinks it's pretty," but overall reviews read by TheCarConnection.com aren't overly critical of the styling. Edmunds sums it up perfectly by describing the RX-8 Mazda as "weird in good ways and bad," with the styling leaning more toward the former than the latter.
Last year, the RX-8 received a few minor styling changes inside, but the same goes here; very little change is a good thing, as it still feels contemporary. Most reviewers appreciate the look of the interior. Road & Track points out that "the instrument panel was redesigned to 'give a feeling of dynamic movement,'" while some gauge changes for the 2009 Mazda RX-8 include a "variable red-zone, which should keep drivers from using too many revs when the engine is cold." Other styling touches on the interior of the Mazda RX-8 include "numerous circle and triangle details throughout the cabin," which Edmunds says are "a visual homage to the car's rotary engine design."
It’s been six years since the Mazda RX-8 was first introduced, yet it looks like no other—and quite contemporary.