Friday, April 9, 2010

Mazda RX-8

MSRP: $26,435 - $31,930

The 2009 Mazda RX-8 is, in the words of Edmunds reviewers, "a four-seat coupe with a pair of rear-hinged 'suicide' doors" that comes in "four trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and R3." Those who love the striking exterior design of previous Mazda RX-8 will be pleased to hear that "the RX-8 carries on with only minor changes to the exterior," according to Automobile Magazine. Otherwise, it's still what ConsumerGuide calls a "sporty coupe," and loves the "longish hood" and "pronounced fender flares" that give it one of the most unique appearances on the road. Unique isn't always a good thing, though, and Car and Driver reports that "not everybody thinks it's pretty," but overall reviews read by aren't overly critical of the styling. Edmunds sums it up perfectly by describing the Mazda RX-8 as "weird in good ways and bad," with the styling leaning more toward the former than the latter.
The interior of the Mazda RX-8 has been restyled as well, though some reviewers still have a few complaints about the layout. Automobile Magazine devotes quite a bit of space to criticizing the stereo controls and is disappointed to find that in the Mazda RX-8 , "the channel selector is on the left, and the volume control is a large, centrally located knob," which results in reviewers "changing the station when [they] really only wanted to change the volume." Aside from that criticism, other reviews read by appreciate the new styling touches. Road & Track points out that "the instrument panel was redesigned to 'give a feeling of dynamic movement,'" while some gauge changes for the Mazda RX-8 include a "variable red-zone, which should keep drivers from using too many revs when the engine is cold." ConsumerGuide lists a few pros and cons with the styling; while they love that "the navigation system doesn't incorporate any other functions, which is a plus," they don't like that "when the console cupholders are in use, shifting the manual transmission is awkward." Other styling touches on the interior of the Mazda RX-8 include "numerous circle and triangle details throughout the cabin," which Edmunds says are "a visual homage to the car's rotary engine design.


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