Mustang GT vs Mazda RX-8, Can't decide which to buy

Discussion in '2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by KAUS, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Help! I think I love both of these cars and can't figure out which one is really the best fit for me. I want a decent sports car for under 30k and have pretty much narrowed it down to these two. I'm not the type of person who races or goes to drag strips, but I'd classify myself as an agressive driver who enjoys performance in a vehicle. I've test driven both the RX-8 and the Mustang GT and was really impressed with the ride in both of them. I guess I'm looking for more reasons why I should get a Mustang if I'm posting on here, but here's what I've gathered so far from my experiences with both vehicles:


    Handling: The Mazda dealership let my friend and I test drive an RX-8 by ourselves, so we really got to put it through it's paces. I was amazed at how well it took curves....I won't even mention the speeds at which we conquered some very windy roads but WOW! Definitely the best attribute of this car.

    Build Quality/Fit and Finish: The 8 seemed rock solidily built, well designed and very intuitive when it comes to the driver interface. Nothing seemed cheap and plasticky even with the cloth seats.

    Four Doors: I rarely have more than one passenger, but I do carry quite a bit of luggage and it's very convenient to be able to open a door and stow it in the backseat than lift it into the trunk. In addition, I will definitely be putting at least one subwoofer in the trunk which may cut down on cargo space.

    Transmission: Hands down the easiest manual transmission I've ever had the pleasure of operating. Buttery smooth shifting, me likey.

    Top speed: I would never drive the RX-8 this fast, but I believe it tops out at around 150 mph, which is 5 or 6 mph faster than the Mustang according to Road and Track.....I know this is probably the most meaningless performance spec in existence for a daily driver vehicle, but somehow it still seems like an advantage, if only in braggin rights.

    Looks: I give the mazda the slight edge on looks, but the mustang is a beauty too.

    Mustang GT:

    Power: No doubt about it, this stang accelerates quite a bit better than the 8, which is nice, but I think the size of the car negates the sensation of speed to an extent. It really didn't feel THAT much better in the corners than the Maxima I currently drive and the RX-8 was in another league as far as handling. Then again.....the power really is what it's all about.

    Customizability: I'm a HUGE stereo guru.....I love putting aftermarket systems in vehicles but unfortunately it's impossible to put so much as an upgraded CD player in the RX-8 without thousands of dollars in custom work or dozens and dozens of hours of my own labor (the climate controls are hardwired into the stock CD player). For me personally, this is a huge drawback for the 8 and huge plus for the mustang, although I realize it doesn't matter to 95% of potential customers.

    Trunk/Rear seats: The rear seats of the mustang fold down, making it much easier to store a lot of cargo or large items.

    American Made: I know it's goofy, but I somehow feel guilty about buying a foreign made car, even if mazda is a ford subsidiary. Something about the mustang just makes you want to salute the flag and sing the national anthem, and I guess I'm the type of guy that likes that.

    Gas Mileage: This really bugs me about the gets significantly worse gas mileage than the GT (by 6-7 MPG from what I read on here) without even matching the performance numbers! The GT looks like it could realistically get 20-22 MPG highway while 16-18 MPG is more accurate for the RX-8 from the info I gathered online. I could tolerate this without any problem if the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times were close but they really aren't. Stories about the weak AC and the renesis stalling in hot weather also make me give the Mustang serious thought. I'm not saying these problems are a deal breaker, but they're very disconcerting about the RX-8 and make the Mustang look like that much more of a better value.

    I can buy either car with the X-plan/S-plan, way so price on the two cars is about equal. Right now I'm admittedly leaning toward the 8. Every time I go to work I take a detour to the Mazda dealership so I can gaze at the 8's they have on their lot. Then I'll see a Mustang driving down the road and I'll think about how nice that power would be. I admit, the interior of the Mustang I test drove looked very cheap and plasticky, on the other hand it would be easy to work with audio-wise. Any advice or opinions are appreciated (flame suit on). Thanks so much to anyone who takes the time to read this. Convince me that the Mustang is the better car.
  2. The 8 ive heard from the mazda forums is only getting about 13mpg and that is barely driving it from what i have heard. and it seems horrible for a little 1.3 liter rotary engine. With mods the 8 will only get you about 260 with turbo. The stang with a vortech supercharger can get about 460 but that is adding about 5 grand. the stang can get about 16 to 18 mpg and being a gt. The 8 is smaller in the back than the stang by 2 inches at least where the seats are. Ive been looking at both of them as well and finally came to deciding on a stang by just seeing a roush o5 mustang, it looked beautiful. When coming down to it, its really up to you. The 8 does have styling so it looks sleak the stang well its a remolded of the great stangs of old it looks tight. But check this web site out I liked what they did with there o5 gt then decide
  3. Can you even get a Mustang without ordering it? I guess it depends on where you live. But from all the trouble I have read about people trying to get ahold of an 05/06 Mustang, you may be going for the 8 by default.

    With that said, I have an 05 black vert. It is the coolest looking car I have ever owned. People can't seem to keep their eyes off of it. I know this will end as soon as more of them show up, but it sure is fun now.

    But as always, the choice will be yours. Hopefully you won't get one and after a period want the other... hey I know, get one of each... :banana: :banana:
  4. actually i was in the same bind about 6months ago, i love the rx8 and i think it is a beaut. but i saw the concept stang like in 2003 at the la auto show and ever since then i fell in love with the beast. personally i look at it this way. the mustang fits my driving style better. since i am 16, i CANNOT afford tickets, so i am the type of driver that will occasionally launch hard off the line, but once i get 5 over, im off that gas like none other, so for me it wasnt a hard choice, the mazda will deff handle better around the corners at higher speeds, but thats just the type of driving that gets tickets, so i decided to order myself a mustang. But then again, i ordered my mustang a F****** long A$$ time ago and i wont be seeing her untill at least nov from what i can predict. i ordered first week you could order an 06, so if you ordered now, i dont even know when you would get her. The real question is if in your mind the mustang is that much better than the 8 to wait for it than to just go to a lot and buy an rx8. and once you answer that question, along with what kinda driver you are, weither you drive fast in a line or you take corners faster than anyone should know about then you should have youself a good idea of which car to go for. IMO they are both made by ford, i dont think you can go wrong.

    good luck and i hope you make the choice thats right for you, not what other people tell you
  5. I can get an '05 right now without ordering it. There are a few here and there, but most dealers want nothing less than MSRP + 3k. I'm really in no hurry to get my new ride, so I'll probably just find a dealer who will honor the X-plan and order an 06 through them. If that's not possible, then I guess it's the RX-8 for sure.
  6. The RX8 is a nice car. I test drove one before I made my choice to order the Mustang. My concern with the RX8 is the current recall surrounding thermal breakdown. I downloaded the latest TSB concerning this issue and I was amazed that Mazda will have to retro-fit the gas tank with a heat shield on the '04/'05 models to prevent it from deforming due to heat build up. I also noticed that the plastic connectors on the wiring harness is also vulnerable to heat issues. I'm sure Mazda will fix these problems but I would wait for the '06 models to arrive. Hopefully the new models will have these issues delt with at the factory level. The '05 Mustang on the other hand has more low end torque. This is what sold me on the Mustang and the fact that Ford did such a great job of preserving the retro look. I'm sure we will hear from GraphicGuy on his take. I followed his posts on the other RX8 forums when he owned his RX8 before it got rear ended. He kinda had a following on those boards before he bought his Mustang. Good luck.
  7. I traded in my RX8 for an 05 V6 vert. There is no doubt about the huge supriority in handling the RX8 over the GT stang. After a few months, I just became unimpressed and unmoved with the 8. The lack of torque made it seem a lot slower than it likley is. In 6 months it was in the shop 6 times. I got angry every time I filled it up with premium knowing I was getting about 14 mpg around town.

    While I lost on both HP and handling in the twisties by getting the V6 stang, I don't regret my trade for a second. There is a great deal of value, beyond HP, of the satisfaction you get seeing the 05 Mustang in your driveway. I love the look of the new Mustang. I also did love the look of the 8, a lot, before I bought it. I grew less impressed with its look after several months of ownership.

    You give and take with either choice. I have no regrets at all. I love the stang in a way that I just did not warm up to the RX8. I can't imagine regrets getting the GT. Just remember, they are such different animals you shouldn't do too much 1 to 1 comparing.
  8. RX-8 - underrated hp/tq...

    why the hell would i need to defend a mustang. get an RX-8 and regret the GT.
  9. I get 25-26 on the highway. 18-21 City...
  10. Best i ever got on a long interstate road trip in my RX8 was 20. Daily driving was around 15. No wonder the rotary never caught on. I think it is an engineering oddity with very little upside and too many downsides. I had an S2000 that just was a rip roaring good time to drive, would eat the RX8, and got 30mpg on long trips.

    If I could live with two seats, it would be those two seats. Loved that car.
  11. Same here 25 - 26 hwy, 19 - 21 city.
  12. I know it's been refined over the years, but the rotary engine would be troublesome for me. You're pretty much stuck with getting it fixed at a Mazda dealer. On the other hand, if you're out on the road somewhere and have trouble, most independent shops can work on a Mustang. And the jury is still out on resale value for the 8. Based on past history with the rotary, it may not be very good. Based on what you said, and the 2 items above, go with the 'Stang. If you're flexible on color and transmission, there are both GTs and V6s on dealer lots around here.
  13. Unless you're absolutely smitten with the handling of the RX-8, I'd say get the Mustang.

    The Mustang is, IMHO, a better looking car, has a V8 engine (no wimpy Wankel here!), better sounding, and better mileage (and takes regular unleaded).

    Personally, I'd take the GT in a heartbeat over the RX8.
  14. Check the Sept. 05 issue of Car and Driver - the long-term test of the RX8; they had a lot of problems with it.
  15. I like the RX8, but after driving it and the 05 GT, I knew for certain that I wanted the Mustang. The Mazda handles really well, but the lack of power and the bumpy ride from a tiny sportscar put me off.

    When I got to smoke a friend in his, I knew I made the right choice.

    Him=zero passengers.
    Me= three passengers.

    Won by three car lengths without really trying. :D
  16. Realistically, how much do you guys think I'd need to spend to get an 06 GT deluxe coupe bare bones with no options? The '05 retailed for $25,140 from what I understand. I'm pretty sure I could get an RX-8 for 26k out the door, don't think I'd be willing to spend any more than 27k for the mustang. Is that doable?

    I realize there will be a wait for the '06's. My Maxima only has 113,000 miles on it right now so it's got plenty of good life left in it, I'm in no hurry.
  17. View attachment 506767

    How can you say no to that face!!!??? lol Whatever choice you make as long as you're happy with it is all that matters! *subliminal message......MUSTANG!!!* :flag:
  18. I have an RX8. Well, it is my wife's.
    Buy a Mustang!

    The RX8 has TERRIBLE A/C with no fix.
    It gets terrible fuel economy, they have tons of computer upgrades to address all kinds of issues. Most upgrades are ineffective.
    It is diffictult to climb in & out of.
    Has lousy resale, they are having a hard time selling them new. It is small on the inside.
    That said, it handles quite well, and is fast. The build quality is likely better than the Mustang. (my mustang is being built 8/22) The 4 doors ARE quite handy for loading stuff. The stereo sucks and mods to it are darn near impossible.
    Go to and see all the problems there are with the car.
  19. My '06 GT coupe 5-speed Premium will be $27,110. And that includes IUP, Active Anti Theft, and side air bags. So getting a 'bare bones' car under $26K shouldn't be a problem.
  20. Get the Stang!!!!!