In-depth reviews

Mazda RX-8 Coupe review (2003-2010)

Not only does the Mazda RX-8 break conventional coupe rules by having two extra rear hinged doors to give access to passengers, but it also comes powered by a rotary engine

Mazda RX-8
Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Not only does the Mazda RX-8 break conventional coupe rules by having two extra rear hinged doors to give access to passengers, but it also comes powered by a rotary engine. Those rear doors might be considered a gimmick, but with proper passenger space in the rear they might actually be used. And why wouldn't you want to take a couple of passengers along for the ride - the RX-8 is a car you'll want to show off. Its unique high-revving 1.3-litre rotary engine produces either 192PS or 231PS, the bigger output car coming with six-speed transmission, the less powerful version making do with five ratios. Both are fast and involving, the body control is excellent with low roll in the bends, while ride comfort is also high. The engine needs to be revved, to the detriment of fuel economy, but combined with the slick transmissions it's part of the RX-8's appeal.

It looks sensational, and with its four doors is rather practical too. This really is a coupe that you could use as a family car. The interior is spacious with plenty of storage space, the instruments and controls are all well positioned in a style familiar to Mazda's more recent offerings like the 6. Prices are low and equipment is high, making the RX-8 an appealing proposition. A smart and able all rounder, the RX-8 really is one of the few coupes out there that you can buy with your head and your heart.

Engines, performance and drive

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MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

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Interior, design and technology

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Practicality, comfort and boot space

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Reliability and Safety

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