2007 Mazda RX-8 Interior
Reviewers, on balance, are impressed with the RX-8's interior design, as well as its pragmatic and comfortable rear seat. Nevertheless, some complain of questionable build quality and restricted head and legroom in the front seats. Even so, Automobile.com asserts, "Storage space, seating capacity, and comfort are all at useable levels, in a car that's foremost purpose is performance."
"To pay homage to the car's Wankel engine heritage," says Automobile.com, "they incorporated numerous triangular rotor shapes throughout the [interior] design." Edmunds adds, "'Piano black' accents lend a touch of class to the cockpit." Nevertheless, auto writers aren't able to reach consensus on the design's usefulness and build quality. While AutoWeek asserts that the cabin is "stylish, with a user-friendly layout, high-grade materials and nice build quality," Edmunds says that "an overly busy display for the audio system and climate control makes at-a-glance reading a challenge." Automobile.com adds: "The center armrest flexes quite a bit when taking the weight of my elbow and would likely be broken within a month in my care.... Several dash and door panels also don't quite line up properly, and don't seem to be solidly supported."
Auto writers seem generally impressed with the RX-8's four-passenger seat configuration. "With the 2007 Mazda RX-8, the lines of distinction between a sports car and a sport coupe are blurred," says Edmunds. While convention holds that the former seats two with either no backseat or one that's generally unusable, the latter sacrifices performance for passenger capacity. "The RX-8 combines the attributes of both -- it's a true sports car that seats four adults," says Edmunds. "It's hard to believe you can get pragmatic backseats in a car that looks like this," adds Forbes.
Reviewers, on balance, agree that the RX-8's front seats are supportive -- but not so ergonomically positioned. "Like the rear seats, the fronts kept me quite stable under hard cornering," says Automobile.com. Nevertheless, they maintain a "laid back configuration, which takes a little getting used to." Forbes adds, "Shorter drivers have to sit fairly close to the wheel to reach the pedals, but this forces them to reach slightly backward to shift." Moreover, Car and Driver asserts, "Taller drivers have a hard time fitting in front." Road and Track explains, "Seating is compromised somewhat by a steering wheel that doesn't telescope. It could really use another inch or two to keep taller drivers' knees from getting in the way." Most auto writers agree that headroom is tight.
With regard to the backseat, most reviewers are impressed with its comfortable and roomy design. "The clamshell door arrangement and the absence of B-pillars make it easy to slither into the aft part of the cabin or to employ the space for cargo," says Car and Driver. Once inside, Edmunds asserts, passengers under six feet tall "will find supportive seating and ample room all around." Reviewers at Popular Mechanics, however, state, "We can attest that those seats are roomy enough for folks with a 6-ft-plus frame." Automobile.com reports that the back seats "are sunken deeply, forcing the knees quite high. While this sounds awkward, in reality it's quite comfortable and should remain so for long distances."
Most reviewers choose to focus more on the RX-8's fit and finish than its long list of standard and optional interior convenience features. Nevertheless, About.com is unimpressed with the RX-8's proximity key: "No need for an ignition key to start the engine -- the key stays in your pocket or purse -- yet I was still required to twist a knob as if a key had been inserted. A simple pushbutton would have been better."
While the RX-8 Sport and Touring come standard with cloth upholstery, the Grand Touring features leather trim. Kelley Blue Book asserts that leather seats "won't have the same Velcro-like grip on your clothing of the standard seats, which is a nice attribute when hurrying around tight curves."
For entertainment, the RX-8 Sport features a CD player with AM/FM stereo and six speakers. The Touring and Grand Touring, however, come equipped with a six-disc CD changer, AM/FM stereo and nine-speaker/300-watt Bose sound system.
The Mazda RX-8 offers 7.575 cubic feet of cargo space. Though Road and Track complains of the trunk being "restricted by a small opening, and by the spare tire mounted oddly at the top," Edmunds asserts that its rear seat may do as a suitable alternative as it's "a great place to throw luggage or grocery bags." Even so, Edmunds says that "maximizing luggage capacity via a flip-down rear seat isn't possible, as the RX-8 doesn't have that feature."
Also standard on the RX-8 is an overhead and rear console, which Kelley Blue Book says "keeps siblings separate." Automobile.com explains, "The console stretches from the front dash to the back of the rear seat, housing storage compartments for front and rear passengers as well as two cupholders for those in back."