Mazda RX-8 2011

The rotary engine of the 2011 Mazda RX-8 sets it apart from other vehicles in its class and offers an astonishing 9000 RPM at the top end.

This does not translate into enhanced acceleration, however; the RX-8 manages zero to sixty in seven seconds, placing it well behind the real competitors in the performance field. Fuel economy is an issue with the RX-8 as well with only 16 miles per gallon city and 22 on the highway.

2011 Mazda RX-8

Buyers can choose among the Sport, Grand Touring and R3 trim levels. Essentially, the Mazda RX-8 represents a triumph of style over substance, but its sleek good looks and easy handling make it a viable choice for fun-minded buyers.

Under the hood
The 1.3 liter two-rotor engine offers solid performance at higher RPMs but may suffer from reduced power at the low end. The manual transmission offers slightly more horsepower under the hood, while the automatic six-speed offers smooth shifting for city and highway driving. The rotary engine offers smooth power transfer and a unique sound signature, making the higher gears even more fun for drivers.

Inside the cabin
Rear-hinged doors provide easy entrance for drivers and passengers. Both the Sport and the R3 models include manual air conditioning systems while the Grand Touring trim level incorporates automatic climate control. Power locks and windows are standard on all models. The Sport features a six-speaker AM/FM radio and CD stereo system, while both the Grand Touring and the R3 come with a nine-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system with six-CD changer as standard equipment. Touchscreen navigation is available as an option for the Grand Touring.

On the road
Rear-wheel drive provides the motivating force for the 2011 Mazda RX-8, which goes through its paces rather sedately considering its sports car styling. The RX-8 offers drivers and passengers a smooth ride with sports-tuned shock absorbers and front and rear stabilizers. Power-assisted steering and ample power at the high end ensure that the RX-8 offers driving fun along with its visual appeal.

Performance-minded motorists in favor of a more powerful, equivalently priced V-6 or V-8 vehicle may want to steer clear of the Mazda RX-8 since the gas mileage of the RX-8 is about the same as these more powerful sports coupes. For those looking for something unique and fun to drive, however, the Mazda RX-8 delivers an unforgettable driving experience.


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