2008 Mazda RX-8 R3

Amy Skogstrom Jennifer Misaros Sam Smith David Yochum
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2008 Mazda RX-8 R3

The face-lift and styling updates provide a welcome refresh for this aging but excellent platform. The R3-specific elements help turn up the volume a bit but don't make the RX-8 a boy-racer that's unbearable to drive at a normal pace. The seats, however, leave a lot to be desired, what with their jutting outcroppings in the lower seatback and their extra-large side bolsters.

For $32,000, you get an extremely sporty car that also has back seats and a decent-size trunk (as long as you get run-flat tires). The back seats aren't huge, but they're among the best for a sporty coupe. I even drove three friends to a Tigers game, and the guys in the back seat - one of whom is six-foot-one - were shocked at how much room there actually is back there. I wouldn't want to drive to Florida four-up, but for an hour's ride, it's surprisingly tolerable.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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