If you watch the youtube channel subaruwrxfan, you would know that Matt just reviewed the Mazda RX-8. Matt covers the basics, but in the comments section, an owner of a 2004 RX-8, Xmvw2X, provided some facts from his experience with owning an RX-8. He also auto-crossed his RX-8, a Honda S2000, and a Subaru BRZ back to back.
This is what he states:
“The RX8 is a great car. It’s especially a great GT car being softer and more comfortable than the BRZ or S2000. I’ve had a 2004 RX8 for about a year now and quite enjoy it. I’ve also auto-crossed the RX8, BRZ, and S2000 back to back, and have been in all three on more than one occasion.
What’s unique about the RX8?
- 1) Usable back seats..for full sized adults. That’s a rarity outside of 4 door sedans. You don’t see it in the Mustang or Camaro either and end up going to a full sized Challenger/Charger or to a BMW 3 series to start getting something with a usable back seat.
- 2) It’s designed moderately for comfort, more so than you’d expect. The spring and dampers are pretty soft. The cabin is very quiet going down the highway. Plus you have a decent amount of room inside where you don’t feel overly cramped. The BRZ does feel more spacious though, but the RX8 fits your body better.
- 3) Power output is nearly the same as the highly praised S2000 engine. You’re looking at the same power, torque, and even similar rpm figures. Back to back, the RX8 actually is a little more torquey feeling than the S2000 (AP1). The BRZ feels a little weak versus both of these.
Problems with the RX8?
- 1) It purposely consumes oil, basically like a 2 stroke engine. It has oil injectors that use oil to lubricate. You will use 1 qt every 1000 miles. It is throttle dependent, so heavy driving will consume more.
- 2) The coil packs tend to not last long, around 30,000 miles only before heat wrecks them. Make a habit of swapping in new coils and plugs every 2 years.
- 3) Engine failure often is byproduct of heat generated by a plugged cat. A plugged cat is generally caused by failed coil packs and neglect, so refer back to #2.
- 4) Engine life is somewhat short with most stating these engines will operate to mechanical failure (sometimes catastrophic) or compression loss within 75,000 to 125,000 miles. It is rare for these engines to last longer. Repair parts are not expensive but dealer replacement is astronomical. Full rebuild kits are only $1000-$1500 depending on needed parts. Third party rotary repair services will be around $3500 but you pull the engine and ship freight. Dealer replacement can be $5000-$7000 and only for cheap remanufactured engines, not even new.
- 5) If you opt for the power seats and sun roof, both lose you head room. Tall people should look for cars without sunroof or power seats. However, there are tricks you can do to gain head room back. You can add spacers to the seat bottom and trim foam to gain several inches of extra room if necessary. There are ways to make you fit, but that fancy power/leather option and sunroof will compromise your comfort until you make the fixes. Expect to fit well if you’re 5'6" to 5'8" tops with power seats and sunroof. Taller will be cramped. Modified, a 6' person can fit fine even with the fancy stuff.
- 6) Manual only. Everyone will tell you to not even consider the autos in this car. You lose power, fun, and I believe the reliability of them were not great. (someone else can clarify on this one)”