Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3 - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

So, I went to the Mazda dealership yesterday and for fun I decided to test drive an RX8 Touring and a Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring, both MTX as the MS3 does not come in ATX (I would have done GT vs. GT but they didn't have an RX8 GT in stock) Anyway, I figured that I would post about my experience. I'm sure this has been done before, but here is what I took away from the back to back test drives.

RX8::




I liked the short throw shift and standard layout of the gears. It was amazing to me that I didn't need to depress the accelerator to put the car in gear. I simply let off the clutch and the car moved forward. While I did not get to take the car down an extremely curvy road or through a slalom course, I did test the car's handling. I found the car to be very responsive and handled extremely well. I was impressed with the amount of visibility I had around the car. Many sports cars have an amazing look but plenty of blind spots to go with that look. While the car had plenty of pickup and acceleration to have plenty of fun, I thought it lacked just a tad for a sports car. On the highway I did a 5-4 drop and took the car from 70 to 90 in no time ... maybe a little too fast The car seemed to really like high RPM driving and high speed acceleration. Even at high speed I felt very much in control of the car. High speed braking was very controllable, but at some point I felt a thud and the car seemed to stop braking. I can only assume that it was something in the road because the brakes continued to work and bring the car to complete stops with no problems after that first test.

MS3::






The most notable difference in the 2 cars once you sit in the driver's seat is that the shifter is not short throw, and also has an odd layout of the gears. Reverse is up and to the left beside 1st, not down and to the right beside 6th as is the standard in MTX. My first notion was to put the car in the first gear I could and then the next gear over to the right to put it in 1st .... welp, I put the car in 3rd instead (thinking I was in 1st) and proceeded to release the clutch. This had the effect that one would expect ... sort of. The car almost stalled out, but surprisingly, once I gave it a little more gas the car moved even in 3rd gear. Once I figured out the shifting layout the car was a lot of fun to drive. Visibility was about what I expected and what I'm used to, so it was hard for me to judge it from a biased point of view. The car had more punch and pickup than the RX8, but not nearly the same handling. It did not respond as well to turns as the RX8, but that should be expected in car not designed to be considered a sports car and still handled well for comparable cars in it's class. Again I did a high speed downshift from 5-4 and took the car from 70-90 seemingly quicker than the RX8 with a nice little jolt that threw my head back into the seat. The car did, however, feel a touch looser at high speeds than did the RX8, most likely due to it's higher center of gravity. Braking was smoother in the MS3 without any crazy noises, but on the long end of a high speed stop I could feel the back end loosen up a tic.

Overall::

I really liked the pickup and acceleration of both cars, but if I were to pick a car to take to the Drag strip I'd pick the MS3 in a heartbeat. It also has a bit more versatility in terms of use. Having a 5 door with some cargo space would be a useful and very fun car for someone with a family.

If I were to pick one for overall fun or for Auto-X, I'd pick the RX8. It lacks overall usability, but it had a lot of H.A. and excellent handling. It seems like the kind of car that doesn't want to be a car that you take to the grocery store and back every day. From time to time this car should be driven hard and fast to let it flex it's small, yet strong muscles.


There's my review. Hope it makes for a good read. Hit me up via PM or post if you have any questions or comments.


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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 07:27 PM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

i have driven MZ3(mine), MS3(girls), and RX-8(room mates). I have driven the MZ3 and RX-8 very spiritedly on PA back roads. The only chance i got to drive a MS3 was highway and FL traffic.

Needless to say for the back road fun the RX-8 wins any day. There is nothing like kicking the ass end out around a 90 degree turn just to get it lined up for the next one. I agree with everybody that the RX-8 should be offered in a speed version with a little pressure going to the engine. The RX-8 i drive has a Mazdaspeed intake and exhaust(a world of difference IMO, if not only for that sound), and as long as you keep the revs up, the power is there.

The MS3 is the pinnacle of FWD awesomeness in my mind. A great handling car with a generous amount of power to the wheels. I can't wait until i get the chance to hustle one around some of the winding roads in PA.

Kinda compairing apples to pears...but still both great cars....
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

[quote author=brandontrek link=topic=95059.msg1863362#msg1863362 date=1195428439]
Kinda compairing apples to pears...but still both great cars....
[/quote]

Yeah, the cars aren't meant to be compared I guess, but for my next car I want something with some giddy-up that has a cool look so I decided to test drive both cars.


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 01:31 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

both are good cars but if you want rwd car that handle good and has power. I will get 350z over a Rx-8.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 01:35 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

[quote author=speedkid link=topic=95059.msg2122809#msg2122809 date=1204695113]
both are good cars but if you want rwd car that handle good and has power. I will get 350z over a Rx-8.
[/quote]

+1 same here.. but in this case he's comparing the rx8 and ms3... i test drove both also... i preferr turbo

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 04:39 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

nice writeup


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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 04:50 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

Nice, I wanted the RX-8 but due to my family being asian giants and the lack of room... we picked the 3.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 05:33 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

Speed rx-8 would own.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 10:14 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

[quote author=ITHURTZ link=topic=95059.msg2123006#msg2123006 date=1204709584]
Speed rx-8 would own.
[/quote]

i think that is the only intelligent/positive thing i have seen you post...and i have to agree with you...mazda should throw a snail on the renesis
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 10:25 AM
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Re: Test Drives: RX8 VS. MS3

[quote author=brandontrek link=topic=95059.msg2123209#msg2123209 date=1204726455]
[quote author=ITHURTZ link=topic=95059.msg2123006#msg2123006 date=1204709584]
Speed rx-8 would own.
[/quote]

i think that is the only intelligent/positive thing i have seen you post...and i have to agree with you...mazda should throw a snail on the renesis
[/quote]

that would be interesting...but I would think it would have to be a pretty small turbo...

though it would be awesome...like others said 350Z > RX-8...thought between RX-8 and MS3, id go MS3, cause I like the practicality

but if I get the chance, not comparing bananas to apples and tomotoes, I still really want an EVO.
-no rice though all performance


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