Mazda RX-8 R3 Road Test

Mazda RX-8 Interior

Mazda RX-8 Review

Mazda RX-8 R3 ReviewMazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part TwoMazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part Three

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.

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 Mazda RX-8 features a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, immobiliser and remote central locking with deadlocks.

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 more down to our flexibility than anything else. Cabin space is good and the Mazda RX-8 can comfortably seat 4 adults.

Our test car featured leather upholstery which also includes a powered driver's seat and heated driver and front passenger seats. 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. On the down side, the driver's seat is not height adjustable which is awkward if you are on the shorter side.

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, rain sensing wipers, remote central door locking, remote opening fuel flap, remote opening boot lid, digital clock, interior lights, courtesy lights, lockable lit glovebox, front door pockets, R3 logo on the floor mats, Recaro sports seats and LED rear brake lights. The boot can be opened via a boot release button operated from inside the car or via the key fob; it would have been helpful to be able to open the boot via the boot lid itself.

The standard BOSE premium audio system is excellent and features nine speakers, six CD auto-changer and steering wheel mounted audio controls although it does require quite a bit of volume to get it going.

The Mazda RX-8's build quality is excellent - in fact there is little to fault. Mazda's renowned reliability and 3-year warranty combined with the Zoom, Zoom factor ensures that owning this car will not leave you disappointed.

At £24,473, you get a lot of performance for your money and Mazda's modifications to the RX-8 have made a dramatic difference to its overall performance and handling and prove that Mazda know how to build an entertaining performance car.

28 July 2009 Melanie Carter
Mazda RX-8 R3 ReviewMazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part TwoMazda RX-8 R3 Review | Part Three
Mazda RX-8 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMazda RX-8 R3
Body TypeCoupe
ColourCrystal White Pearlescent
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph6.4 seconds
Top Speed 146 mph
Transmission6-Speed Manual
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban18 mpg
Extra Urban31 mpg
Combined24.6 mpg
Insurance Group16
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Price (when tested on the 28/07/09) £24,473

The information contained within this Mazda RX-8 review may have changed since publication on the 28 July 2009. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Mazda dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018