2005 Mazda RX-8

  • 2005 Mazda RX-8 Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.6L R2
    • MSRP
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2005 Mazda RX-8 Review

A smooth, quiet sports car with a small but powerful engine.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Mazda RX-8 is a stylish sport coupe packed with a high-revving 1.3-liter, rotary engine while achieving up to 238 horsepower. It also features precision handling, as a result of its flawlessly balanced 50-50 weight distribution. This setup permeates the feel of a sporty car into the driver, while helping to ensure a comfortable ride. Optional packages provide add-ons that offer an even more intense racecar presence. The RX-8 is a follow-up to Mazda’s previous sport model, the RX-7, which was given much praise by auto critics.

The four-seat, four-door coupe offers owners enough room to take their kids to basketball practice, since up to four grown adults can be seated comfortably. Alternatively, consumer can also go on a solo cruise.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door coupe
Engines: 1.3-liter four-cylinder rotary engine
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Mazda RX-8, Mazda RX-8 Shinka Special Edition

What's New

The RX-8 differs only slightly in 2005 from its prior year’s introduction. A satellite radio option was added, and the color of the exterior paint was modified. However, the RX-8 has some notable differences from its predecessor, the RX-7, which was used more for just speed and racing. But the RX-8 is better for more practical uses and seats four, instead of only two.


The sporty design of the RX-8 is marked by its elegant front and back ends, along with curvy lines on the side. Its dimensions are nearly exactly like the Porsche 911. There are four doors, including two small ?suicide doors.? The door system is called ?Freestyle,? since the rear and front doors open in opposite directions. Even the base model of the RX-8 comes equipped with 18-inch wheels with performance tires. On top is a sunroof that is powered electrically. In the rear of the car, there is a dual-exhaust muffler.


The interior is designed with a nice touch for comfort, style, and usability. The interior is roomy enough to comfortably fit four grown adults. Trunk space is adequate, allowing for enough room to fit luggage for a weekend getaway for four. The optional leather seats are a definite attraction to match the steering wheel. There is a front console with storage, front door pockets, and rear and front cup holders. Some controls, such as audio and cruise control, are conveniently located on the steering wheel. There are reading lights located in the front and rear of the interior. Illuminated vanity mirrors are located on both the driver and passenger’s side visor. A sweet sound system and power seats round out the lineup of features in the car’s interior.

Performance & Handling

The 2005 Mazda RX-8 is powered by a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder, high-revving, rotary engine. It operates incredibly smoothly, even at its maximum of 9000 rpm. The six-speed manual model boasts 238 horsepower, while the four-speed automatic model runs at 197 horsepower. This provides the driver with a pretty powerful ride, fully capable of competing in motorsports. Smooth acceleration is easily noticed. The RX-8 goes from zero to 60 mph in six seconds.

With its multi-link rear suspension to go along with a solid double wishbone front, the RX-8 handles like a racecar. It has excellent balance and control, so it is able to take turns remarkably well. The rack and pinion steering works beautifully. One notable trait of the suspension is that it gets better as it is worked harder. For an even driving performance and a more comfortable ride, consumers could look into getting a limited edition RX-8 Shinka.


The designers of the RX-8 paid considerable detail to safety. In particular, accident avoidance and protection were planned out. According to crash test results reported by the NHTSA, the RX-8 had ?acceptable? to ?good? ratings in crash and rollover resistance.

There is also a number of passive safety features included in the vehicle. Equipped with large anti-lock brakes on every wheel, the 2005 Mazda RX-8 is able to stop on a dime when it needs to. In the event of an accident, airbags are included in the front and on the side. There are also anti-whiplash seats. Additional safety features include a remote anti-theft alarm system, an engine immobilizer, and tire pressure monitoring.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda RX-8: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • High-quality interior
  • Great handling
  • Fun to drive
  • Low base price

You Won't Like

  • Below average gas mileage
  • Shifting could be smoother
  • Expensive to repair

Sum Up

A smooth, quiet sports car with a small but powerful engine.

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