RX-8 UPDATE: Reader Tony von Krag emails:
IIRC you got your RX 8 just about a year ago. So any thing you like or hate to a tremendous degree? BTW AutoWeek just did their year long test wrapup this week too.
I like the car to a tremendous degree. There’s nothing I hate. The Autoweek testers experienced much worse fuel economy and oil consumption than I’m experiencing. Perhaps that’s because I was meticulous about the break-in period, or perhaps it’s because their car was just different. My mileage isn’t great — about 18-20 mpg in mixed driving, and I think I got 21 or 22 on the highway once, but it’s substantially better than theirs. And my oil consumption is much, much lower. I don’t think it’s that they drove it a lot harder, because I generally keep the revs pretty high. It’s a lot more fun to drive that way, after all.
I had a battery problem (covered under a recall), but that’s the only problem I’ve had with it. The car is fast — and, more importantly, it feels fast, something that other cars with similar numbers don’t always deliver. It’s loads of fun to drive, the seats are shockingly comfortable, even on fairly lengthy trips, and the back seat is actually functional. I’ve actually had it since August of ’03, and I like it at least as much as when it was new.
I haven’t tricked mine out with lots of Japanese Domestic Market gewgaws or anything, and it’s kind of sad that you can’t get one of these for the RX-8, as you could for the RX-7, but I’m very happy. I had an elderly (1980) first-gen RX-7 in my youth, and this car captures the pleasures of that car without any of the downsides, and with far more refinement.
UPDATE: A reader emails:
Thought I’d give you my impression of the RX-8. I’ve had one since June 2004. My gas mileage is about the same as AutoWeek’s (I actually stopped keeping track after about 6 months, but I haven’t seen any noticeable improvement in miles per tank). The only time I went over 20 mpg was on a long trip from CA to AZ. I usually get 15-17 mpg. (And yes, I drive it pretty hard, what’s the point of getting a car that revs to 9300 if you don’t get it at least 2/3rds of the way there).
My oil consumption is almost the same as AutoWeek’s. I had my oil changed 3000 miles ago and have added 1.5 quarts.
The other most common complaint of the RX-8 is the snow performance of the tires. I’ve never driven in the snow (we don’t get much over here), and I don’t plan to.
I am VERY satisfied with the car. My wife, on the other hand, is not so happy with it. We have a 3 year old daughter and there is not much room in the back seat for her. Therefore, when all 3 of us are in the car, my wife doesn’t have much room in the passenger seat because we have to move it up just to fit our daughter. Plus, it’s kind of awkward to get our daughter in and out of the back seat.
The back seats work (and my daughter fits behind me OK without me moving the seat up, but she’s old enough not to need a carseat), but their chief virtue is that they exist. You can put a small-to-medium adult in them for short distances, but you wouldn’t want to go far.
Meanwhile, reader Steven Headley emails:
Regarding your posted comments about your RX-8 … I am glad that you really like your vehicle, and definitely have been looking at the car as the wife’s “next car”, but have to take issue with your characterization of the RX-8 as “fast”.
As an owner of an American musclecar (2000 Pontiac WS-6 Trans Am) there is nothing like the experience of 400+ horses from the GM Gen III LS1 engine (“slightly modified”) coupled through a 6-speed tranny to the rear wheels.
0 to 60MPH in a little over 4 seconds, now THAT is “fast” … !
No, that’s “absurdly fast.” And reader Paul Music thinks I should get this car, but he seriously overestimates my tipjar proceeds . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Charles Austin emails:
I’ve had mine for about 4 months now and I love it. My daughters (8 and 15) fit comfortably in the back seats tooling around town. I get 16-20 MPG depending on how I’m driving and added 1 quart for the first 4,000 miles.
What’s not to love about this car? It is fast, though clearly not the fastest, but I do enjoy the off ramps where I zoom zoom by the Mustangs, BMWs and 350Zs that pass me on the straightaways.
Yes, it’s good on the “twisty bits.”