2011 Mazda RX-8

  • 2011 Mazda RX-8 Grand Touring Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      23
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      212/159
    • ENGINE
      2.6L R2
    • MSRP
      $32,960
  • 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3 Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      22
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      232/159
    • ENGINE
      2.6L R2
    • MSRP
      $32,290
  • 2011 Mazda RX-8 Sport Coupe
    • MAX MPG
      22
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      232/159
    • ENGINE
      2.6L R2
    • MSRP
      $26,795
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  • Review

2011 Mazda RX-8 Review

Practical advantages come with SUV-like fuel economy.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2011 Mazda RX-8 is considered an oddity within the automotive marketplace, with suicide doors on this four-seat coupe. The linear successor of the popular RX-7, Mazda creates spectacular balance and athletic ability in the 2011 Mazda RX-8 sport coupe.

With minimum displacement, the 2011 Mazda RX-8’s unique engine design can squeeze maximum power out of this lightweight coupe. Since its introduction in 2004, the RX-8 continues to provide a worthy competition for the rival sport coupes on the market. It is still the only production car that is powered by a rotary engine and uses a triangular-shaped pair of rotors that smoothly spin in one direction instead of the traditional up-and-down movement. This particular design has excellent power on the upper end of 9000 rpm, but the down-low power is meager.

The Range

Body Styles: sport coupe
Engines: 1.3-liter rotary
Transmissions: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: RX-8 Sport, RX-8 Grand Touring, RX-8 R3

What's New

The 2011 Mazda RX-8 continues on without changes from previous years.

Exterior

The 2011 Mazda RX-8 has a choice of beautiful exterior colors: Liquid Silver Metallic, Sparkling Black Mica, and Velocity Red Mica.

The Sport model comes standard with performance tires and 18-inch alloy wheels, while options include a spare tire kit, rear wing spoiler, and door edge guards. The models with manual transmission include a rear lip spoiler and limited-slip differential.

The Grand Touring model includes automatic xenon headlights, heated side mirrors, foglights, keyless ignition, keyless entry, sunroof, and rain-sensing wipers, along with a spoiler and limited-slip differential. The R3 model shares a few of the Grand Touring standard features and adds 19-inch wheels, an aggressively tuned suspension, and a rear wing spoiler.

Interior

The 2011 Mazda RX-8’s interior offers cloth front bucket seats with reverse-opening doors that Mazda calls freestyle. The legroom is sufficient for rear passengers, and there is ample storage space in the rear compartment. Without the option of flipping down rear seats to increase space, the trunk area is slightly narrow for fitting larger objects into. The cockpit is equally pleasing to the eye as the luxurious design of the circular theme that it incorporates within the gauges and central displays is unique to the rotary engine design of the car.

The base interior features include cruise control, full power accessories, leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel, CD player with a six-speaker stereo, air-conditioning, and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Grand Touring model adds a power driver’s seat that has driver-memory, leather upholstery, heated front seats, Bluetooth, satellite radio, six-CD changer, Bose audio surround-sound with nine speakers, and automatic climate control. The R3 model provides Racaro sport seats in the front, as well as the same features as the other 2011 Mazda RX-8 models. There is also an optional navigation system with touchscreen and a voice recognition interface on the Grand Touring model.

Performance & Handling

With the 2011 Mazda RX-8 race-tuned look, some would expect a less docile road demeanor. The RX-8 with manual transmission accelerates to 60 mph from zero in seven seconds. Even though it is quick once it is gets in the upper area of the tachometer, the acceleration tests show lag compared to others. Overall, the 2011 Mazda RX-8 is a car that is virtually vibration-free and has solid steering feedback that is pleasant to drive every day.

The 2011 Mazda RX-8 rear-drive is powered with a rotary, 1.3-liter engine that produces 232 horsepower through a manual six-speed transmission or 212 hp with the automatic transmission. Every one of the 2011 Mazda RX-8 engines produces about 152 lb-ft of torque.

Safety

2011 Mazda RX-8 safety features include front side airbags, curtain airbags on front side, and anti-lock brakes. The Grand Touring and R3 models offer stability control as well. Other safety features are pre-tensioners on the front seatbelt, engine immobilizer, emergency interior emergency trunk release for safety, and child seat anchors.

The government has not yet rated this vehicle for the 2011 crash testing, though it received four stars during 2010 safety tests. In the testing for side-impact protection, the Mazda RX-8 got four out of five stars and in the front-passenger frontal impact testing the automobile achieved five stars.

EPA Fuel Economy

RX-8 Sport Grand Touring: 16/23 mpg city/highway
RX-8 R3: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Comfortable ride
  • Impressive feature content
  • Nimble handling
  • Innovative body style
  • Smooth rotary engine

You Won't Like

  • Meager acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Small trunk opening

Sum Up

Practical advantages come with SUV-like fuel economy.

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