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2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe

Feb 2009 - Final Report (12,400 miles)

Click photos to enlarge 2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe 2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe 2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe 2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe

After 2 years and 10,000 miles, the RX has moved on to pastures new. A change of circumstances at work meant that I found myself with a fully expensed company car and, as a result, one of ours had to go.

Initially, the plan was to sell the Kia Sorento but having recently moved to the Yorkshire countryside, and with the recent extreme winter weather, we decided the Sorento would stay. So it was a fond farewell to the Mazda.

The RX8 is a truly remarkable car. With stunning looks, award winning engine, four proper seats and a boot that can take substantially more than an overnight bag, it is a real sports car that the whole family can enjoy. The fantastic Bose stereo system, ours with mp3 compatibility, is an aural delight. The interior lighting, especially the instrument pod with it’s bright white in the day and cool blue at night, is striking. The cloth sports seats are comfortable and supportive and that means that any journey, whether cruising the city streets, munching the miles on the motorway or attacking the b-roads, is a pleasure.

Find a good, twisty country road and the RX is really in it’s element. The steering is positive and direct with loads of feedback and the car’s composure, balance and grip make b-road blasting a real hoot. This doesn’t come at the expense of comfort though as, although the ride is firm, it is surprisingly compliant so you don’t need to visit a chiropractor after each journey.

The gear change is also a joy to use. The lever is stubby and the action is both short and satisfyingly chunky. This, however, is just as well, as it has to be worked hard to make the most of the wankel rotary engine’s high revving nature. Whilst it pulls smoothly throughout the rev range it’s only above 4,000 rpm that it actually starts to feel quick, and only above 5,500 that it really starts to fly so you have to work the gearbox to keep it in the power zone.

This brings another reward too. Keep the loud pedal mashed into the carpet and your ears are treated to a screaming wail as the engine spins above 5,000 rpm. It sounds fantastic and it’s addictive. The rest of the time the engine is smooth, refined and, well, a bit weird sounding.

You will find yourself using all the revs as often as you can just to feel the power and the noise and that highlights the Mazda’s biggest weakness...fuel consumption. Over 10,000 miles it’s averaged about 22mpg and consumed 4 litres of oil and, to my mind, it’s not nearly fast enough to justify it’s thirst. It was never really a big issue to us due to the low miles but if you do more, then you might be better looking elsewhere. Oh...and the road tax is now £400 a year!

Other negatives? Rearward visibility is mediocre, road noise is sometimes intrusive and...well, that’s about it really. Apart from the depreciation...we paid £17,500 at six months old with 1,800 miles on the clock and sold it two years later with 12,400 miles for £7,900. That was a shocker...but, with the economic climate in early 2009, no surprise. Even so, it’s fair to say that the new owner has got a veritable bargain.

So - if you can live with the running costs and want a motor that has looks, agility and practicality for, let’s be frank, not a lot of money - now’s the time to buy.


Nov 07 - First Report (5,300 miles)...More

Feb 08 - Second Report (7,050 miles)...More

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2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe
2006 Mazda RX8 (192) Coupe