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2006 Mazda RX-8 Review
  • fantastic factory sound system, comfortable drive, great looking, well designed cabin
  • oil consumption, motor reliabilty, terrible OEM clutch, fuel consumption (for fuel conscious owners), squashy back seats

by Jaidan K

I have owned a number of cars over the years from Holden, Toyota, Mitsubishi which is my current car (evolution 8) but nothing has compared to the Mazda RX8 which I bought on my own money when I was 19.

The car gives you the sense of satisfaction and pride. Driving one of the most iconic Japanese models that Mazda introduced to the world the RX series has built on a foundation of building a tiny high powered motors capable of supercar power once tuners and enthusiasts get their greasy mechanic hands on them to build their dream.

From the first sight of looking at this car it’s definitely one of a kind, there is nothing on the road that compares to its design. Curvy and sharp is the words that come to my mind when someone says RX-8. From the wide pumped out wheel arches, sleek slip stream design, wide stance rear and the happy smile on the front bar. Open the doors and suicide doors and you’re welcomed to a beautifully designed interior boasting 4 full leather seats, semi bucket front seats with the iconic rotary symbol in the head rest, Bose surround sound system with huge treble and bass, 6 disc cd stacker within the head unit. Climate control, and a nice bright 3 gauge dash with a digital speed tacho.

Driving the car is comfortable and enjoyable which in some Japanese cars don’t seem to mix as their either ridiculously powerful but sacrifice comfort and vice versa, but the RX-8 has more than enough power to zip through and pushing the revs to 9k. The 6 speed gear ratio has been set nicely with the first 3 gears to be short and zippy, with the 4th being a nice cruising gear in city driving and the 5th and 6th to keep the revs as low as possible while driving down the highways.

The stability control has been a bit of an issue for me as it feels as if it almost kills the drive line to maintain stability which in some cases can cause the rear end to twitch unhappily. The electronic steering rack can be a bit lethargic at cruising speed and when you’re on decent push of the throttle causing a slight bit of over-steer which is common regardless for a rear wheel drive, but it takes a bit off my trust in the car during wet conditions or in an emergency. Now even though it does come with 4 seats, the rear really is cramped for a small person which forces me to slide the front seats forward to try and provide some comfort for the rear passengers which in end makes me sit too close to the steering wheel. Oil consumption is quite high so the recommended 10,000km service can sometimes force you to ensure it’s topped up after 5,000km as it does burn it quite quick as it uses a raw mineral oil (no synthetic). The recommended warm up process to ensure the oil is actually doing its job does stop you from starting the car in the cold morning and driving as the ECU does kick in a restrict your rev range and tends to idle uncomfortably until it’s at proper running temperature. The standard clutch is definably an issue as it started slipping at 48,000km and there is a number of reports from owners experiencing the same issue, but a change to an organic standard duty clutch will fix that but it’s still an inconvenience. Fuel economy obviously isn’t the best compared to what is on offer in the marker, but what’s the point of owning a car like this if you’re going to complain about fuel economy – DO YOUR RESEARCH!! Finally, the most documented issue with Rotary motors is the dreaded 100,000km loss of compression due to the apex seals giving way and requiring a rebuild which I had to fix when it was at 110,xxxKm.

My final word about this car is that it is definably an enjoyable car to own and a beautiful garage ornament. Take away the bad points and what your left with is a car which can be enjoyed by all generations and will leave you with a smile when you drive it and that stare that you give to someone you love as you walk away from it and still is my most favorite car to date.

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2006 Mazda RX-8 Review Review
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