The RX-8 has a spacious boot with 290 litres of space and a luggage compartment light and although the rear seats don't fold the RX-8 does feature a ski flap for loading longer items which is lockable for added security.
The RX-8 has a spacious boot with 290 litres of space and a luggage compartment light and although the rear seats don't fold the RX-8 does feature a ski flap for loading longer items which is lockable for added security. The console box also incorporates a new idea in space efficient stowage: the lid, which doubles as an armrest slides rearward to reveal two cup holders behind the gearshift lever. In its rearmost position the console box opens to reveal storage for four CD cases.
The RX-8 High Power version features Xenon headlamps as standard which illuminate the road ahead evenly and effectively in all weather conditions without dazzling oncoming traffic. Low beam is adjusted automatically to provide the best possible light pattern when the car is heavily laden. During our test we had to travel on the Motorway at night in atrocious weather conditions including fog and heavy rain, the Xenon's cut through the spray lighting the whole of the carriageway for full visibility and added safety.
Safety and Security
The Mazda RX-8 offers the latest in active safety technology including anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), dynamic stability control (DSC) with a traction control system (TCS) as well as a limited slip differential (LSD) which means that the car stays on the road, even if the driver pushes the RX-8 a bit over the limit. If the driver chooses to experience the sporty nature of the Mazda RX-8 even further, the DSC can be deactivated at the push of a button, something we cannot advocate on public roads.
In the event of an accident, impact energy is distributed over pre-defined load paths through the body of the Mazda RX-8, so that - depending on the severity - the passenger cell remains intact. Three-point seat belts with belt pre-tensioners and load limiters are standard. Standard front, side and curtain airbags combine to provide passive protection for both passengers and driver. Mazda RX-8 engineers have introduced a robust steel pipe reinforcement in the rear door that, when closed, functions as a B-pillar and provides the necessary stability in case of side impact.
Additionally the RX-8 features a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, immobiliser and remote central locking with deadlocks.
Comfort and Refinement
We found the Mazda RX-8 a very easy car to enter and exit, with good head and leg room and low sills to climb over. You do have to stoop to enter the car, but maybe that is down to our flexibility than anything else. Cabin space is good and the RX-8 can comfortably seat 4 adults.
Our test car featured the optional leather upholstery which also includes a powered driver's seat and heated driver and front passenger seats at a cost of £1500. The seats were comfortable and supportive and featured integral head restraints in the front and rear. The leather wrapped steering wheel is tilt adjustable enabling you to find the optimum driving position.
The dashboard is ergonomically laid out, simple and uncluttered. All the controls are tactile and stylish and more importantly logically laid out with everything to hand.
The climate control air conditioning was particularly efficient and very easy to operate via large tactile dials - keeping you comfortably at your preferred temperature.
The Mazda RX-8's level of refinement is high and includes: electric windows, drivers footrest, sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors, remote central door locking, remote opening fuel flap, remote opening boot lid, digital clock, interior lights, courtesy lights, lockable lit glovebox and front door pockets.
How It Looks - Exterior
We can see some similarity with Mazda’s ever so popular MX-5 and the RX-8's predecessor the RX-7, it seems to be a ‘butch’ evolution of them both and it works very well. There is none of the usual Italian influence that most Coupes are instilled with; the RX-8 stands on its own.
We love the way the front wings wrap over the 18” wheels, which in turn fill the wheel arches.
Mazda RX-8 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda RX-8 High Power (231 PS)|
|Colour||Winning Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||146 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||32.5 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-years or 60,000 miles (whichever occurs first) from date of registration, with unlimited mileage in the first year|
|Price (when tested on the 14/02/05)||£ 22,300 OTR|
Car as tested £ 24,125
included Leather upholstery - includes power driver's seat and heated driver and front passenger seats £1500
Metallic paint £325