Fleet News

Mazda RX-8 231

Mazda

Review

I LIKE to think I’ve joined an elite group in the town in which I live. I’m now eligible for a recycling bin which I duly fill with papers, cans and plastic bottles and place outside my house for collection every two weeks.

But despite the contents all being recyclable and the fact I hadn’t sneakily buried a bag of grass cuttings in there, I still received a warning notice.

It politely suggested that unless I placed the box on the boundary of my property and not next to my front door (ooh, at least 10 steps away), then it would not be emptied. These council officials who find my green box impractically far away obviously do not have an RX-8 as a company car. Reading the dipstick is enough to send any jobsworth round the bend.

As previously reported, rotary engines consume oil at a higher rate than conventional engines, which means you need to check the dipstick every other time you fill-up with petrol (about 450 miles).

The fact that the dipstick and oil filler are not easily accessible make this process a bit of a palaver.

Not only are they sited at the back of the engine bay but they are also under a cover that needs to be removed. While doing this recently, I noticed a smattering of what is best described as white gunk on the top of the dipstick and around its housing, as though a small amount of oil had solidified, but a call to my local dealer assured me this was normal.

Oil duties over, the reward is getting back behind the wheel of the RX-8. The negatives of regular oil checks – and frequent fill-ups at the petrol pump – are far outweighed by its cool, sporty look, roomy interior and zippy performance. And the roar of the engine has never failed to put a smile on my face.

Fact file
Model: Mazda RX-8 231
Price (OTR): £22,100 (£25,900 as tested)
Mileage: 7,500
CO2 emissions (g/km): 284
Company car tax bill (2004/5) 22% tax-payer: £256 per month
Insurance group: 16
Combined mpg: 24.8
Test mpg: 22.5
CAP Monitor residual value: £9,725/44%
HSBC contract hire rate: £502
Expenditure to date: Nil

  • Figures based on three years/60,000 miles
  • CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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