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2009 Mazda RX-8

At a Glance

Pricing $26,435 - $31,930
Drive Types RWD
Engines 1.3l
Transmissions A6, M6
Fuel Economy 16 (city), 22-23 (highway)

As the only rotary sports car, the RX-8 is a unique vehicle. Although not officially a replacement for the RX-7, this Mazda has essentially taken over the role of its predecessor as Mazda's premium sports car, positioned above the popular MX-5. Although the Nissan 350Z is its direct rival in this sports car segment, the RX-8 offers a radically different driving experience. Powered by a 232-bhp/159 lb.-ft. 1.3L Wankel rotary mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic (engine output drops to 212-bhp with the automatic), the RX-8 offers superb handling, but sacrifices straight-line acceleration in the process. Although Mazda's gearing exploits the Wankel's 9000 RPM redline, the penalty is poor fuel economy and a buzzy engine note on the highway. Available features include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), 18-inch alloy wheels, navigation system, and Bose 300-watt audio system. Despite its faults, the RX-8 is at home on a tightly curving country road, where its light weight and balanced handling ensure a truly enjoyable experience.

What Changed:

The 2009 Mazda RX-8 wears a restyled front fascia with new headlamps. In the back, a new bumper accompanies larger diameter exhaust outlets. The powertrain remains the same, but manual transmission models now include a lower ratio in the differential. A trapezoidal strut tower brace has been added for extra rigidity. The RX-8 continues to offer Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, but adds a new R3 sport package. The R3 sport package features a sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shocks and urethane-filled front suspension crossmemebers. The R3 package also wears a unique front bumper, side sill extensions, 19-inch wheels and a rear spoiler.

Model/Trim/Package Engine MPG VjI Base Price
RX-8 Sport 1.3l (212-bhp) A6 RWD 16/23/19 $26,435
RX-8 Sport 1.3l (232-bhp) M6 RWD 16/22/19 $26,435
RX-8 Touring 1.3l (232-bhp) M6 RWD 16/22/19 $27,860
RX-8 Touring 1.3l (212-bhp) A6 RWD 16/23/19 $28,560
RX-8 Grand Touring 1.3l (232-bhp) M6 RWD 16/22/19 $31,000
RX-8 Grand Touring 1.3l (212-bhp) A6 RWD 16/23/19 $31,700
RX-8 R3 1.3l (232-bhp) M6 RWD 16/22/19 $31,930