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Discussion Starter #1
Before I bought the MS6 I was torn between this car and the RX-8. Although my dealer didn't have any RX-8s I ended up getting the MS6 without ever driving an RX-8.

So, for those that have driven an 8, how does that vehicle compare to our 6 in terms of handling and performance? Is the rotary with the high rpm motor comparable to out 2.3L turbo?

Just curious. :)
 

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The rx-8 and ms6 are two COMPLETELY different cars IMO. The 8 is light, has an extremely high revving motor that realizes its full potential in the upper rpm band and is a much more sport oriented vehicle. The ms6 is for the person who wants that low end torque and sporty handling feel, but it still can't compare to an rx-8 around a track (but could probably keep up nicely because of the motor and awd). Also the driven wheels create a big difference also, since the ms6 is mostly fwd while the rx8 is rwd. All in all they can't really be compared that much other than numbers, which they are almost similar in, except for skidpad and accel. Once you get to drive an rx-8 just a little aggresively you will understand the difference in dynamics.
 

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I was in the same quandry, but I ended up buying the RX-8 instead. The RX-8 is a sports car, corners flat, is incredibly well balanced, and just happens to have useable back seats. The Speed 6 is faster in a straight line, or at least it feels that way, but it plows into turns (understeers). You have to really brake early and wait before you can nail it coming out of a turn. By contrast, you can balance the RX-8 with a little trail braking and get on it much sooner coming out of a turn.

In the real world of everyday driving, the Speed 6 is probably a better balance. Loads more room, gobs more torque, and you can just forget about it and drive the whee out of it. The RX-8 makes you work a lot harder, but I think the rewards are greater (which is why I bought it).

Do I have regrets? You bet!! The RX-8 is still a bit funky looking to me, even after a year of ownership. And I miss that deep torque surge that the Speed 6 is capable of. The RX-8 also had a lot more issues than the Speed 6 has had (multiple generations of ECU program updates to fix driveability and starting issues). The cold starting problem in particular makes the car really hard to live with. If you do EVERYTHING right, it will start every time. But if you screw up, you could be flat-bedded back to the dealer (again). Don't ask me how I know this...

Enjoy your Speed6. It's a hell of a performance bargain. Of course, if you're a two-car family, you could buy both! :love:

YMMV,

Comet
 

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I was in the same quandry, but I ended up buying the RX-8 instead. The RX-8 is a sports car, corners flat, is incredibly well balanced, and just happens to have useable back seats. The Speed 6 is faster in a straight line, or at least it feels that way, but it plows into turns (understeers). You have to really brake early and wait before you can nail it coming out of a turn. By contrast, you can balance the RX-8 with a little trail braking and get on it much sooner coming out of a turn.

In the real world of everyday driving, the Speed 6 is probably a better balance. Loads more room, gobs more torque, and you can just forget about it and drive the whee out of it. The RX-8 makes you work a lot harder, but I think the rewards are greater (which is why I bought it).

Do I have regrets? You bet!! The RX-8 is still a bit funky looking to me, even after a year of ownership. And I miss that deep torque surge that the Speed 6 is capable of. The RX-8 also had a lot more issues than the Speed 6 has had (multiple generations of ECU program updates to fix driveability and starting issues). The cold starting problem in particular makes the car really hard to live with. If you do EVERYTHING right, it will start every time. But if you screw up, you could be flat-bedded back to the dealer (again). Don't ask me how I know this...

Enjoy your Speed6. It's a hell of a performance bargain. Of course, if you're a two-car family, you could buy both! :love:

YMMV,

Comet
[/b]

Comet,

I'd say you pretty much hit the nail on the head. I test drove the RX-8 when I was car shopping and it was fun to shift at 9k rpms (the carmax guy didn't particularly appreciate it) but down low it would have driven me nuts. When does it make power? Like 6000 RPM? The speed6 is more driveable around town, the RX-8 I would guess is more of a track monster. For me, the torque of the speed 6 made me know I'd be buying it as soon as I test drove it, whereas the RX-8 I was on the fence about. I enjoyed the drive but didn't think I wanted it as my daily driver.

Granted, I'm also 6'6 and hit my head on the RX-8's moonroof :nana: that could have biased me as well
 

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The big plus for the RX-8 is that it is more fun to drive - but there are a number of reasons to pick the MS6 over the 8 - most have been mentioned and relate to a blend of functionality and fun.
as a side note.... I already own a RX-7 (1st gen) and that car is more fun to drive than both. :love:
 

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Put me on the list of RX-8 cross shoppers. Like others here, when I went to the dealer, it was with the intention of getting an RX-8. I left with the Speed6. The RX-8 is certainly a better handling car and is a rewarding drive overall, but the lack of power (not just torque) was underwhelming to say the least. I drove them back to back and the accessibilitiy of the Speed's usable power was great with adequate handling as an accompaniment. It doesn't have a knife edge to it, but with the current mods on mine, it handles pretty damn well; crisp turn in, flat through the curves and good overall grip and handling balance. It goes into off-throttle oversteer nicely and is pretty easy to steer with the throttle in general. Its biggest problem is weight.
 

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Put me on the list of RX-8 cross shoppers. Like others here, when I went to the dealer, it was with the intention of getting an RX-8. I left with the Speed6. The RX-8 is certainly a better handling car and is a rewarding drive overall, but the lack of power (not just torque) was underwhelming to say the least. I drove them back to back and the accessibilitiy of the Speed's usable power was great with adequate handling as an accompaniment. It doesn't have a knife edge to it, but with the current mods on mine, it handles pretty damn well; crisp turn in, flat through the curves and good overall grip and handling balance. It goes into off-throttle oversteer nicely and is pretty easy to steer with the throttle in general. Its biggest problem is weight.
[/b]

The other horror is winter driving with the RX-8. It's well balanced, and with Blizzaks and limited slip, it's surprisingly good. But it's a LOT less sure-footed than the Speed6. Something to think about if you're in a northern climate. Fortunately (for me) I have an Audi S4 for the white stuff :D But for around $25k it's tough to find another car with the sophistication, power and polish of the Speed6.

Just my $.02

Comet
 

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I've owned both. I got into the Speed6 because I have a 5 month-old daughter and just needed the room. I hated to get rid of my 8 and really regret it. You need to get snow tires for both of them, so I'm not sure what difference that makes.

If sport is what you are truly looking for you need to understand that the Speed6 doesn't even come close to the 8 in terms of giving a true sports car driving experience. Don't let things like 0-60 times and hp and torque ratings fool you. There are more important things when it comes to having a truly sensational driving experience. You've got to drive the cars - I mean really drive them - more than you ever could on a 5-mile test drive. People often come away from test drives of 8s and say the don't have enough torque, feel slow, etc. Well those people either don't know how to drive the car (the rotary is a different animal) or they didn't drive it hard enough, which is understandable when you are test driving a car.

The more I drove the 8 the more I liked it. The more I drive the Speed6 the less I like it, which is truly disheartening. I find that the engine of the Speed6 feels and sounds like it is laboring, particularly when you get up around 4500 rpm, which is where you would expect the real fun to begin. Then it just totally flattens out. The car does not feel like it has 274 hp. On the other hand, the Renesis is so smooth and sounds like it will never stop revving or making more power, which is an incredible sensation.

"That's all I have to say about that." -Forrest Gump
 

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I've owned both. I got into the Speed6 because I have a 5 month-old daughter and just needed the room. I hated to get rid of my 8 and really regret it. You need to get snow tires for both of them, so I'm not sure what difference that makes.

If sport is what you are truly looking for you need to understand that the Speed6 doesn't even come close to the 8 in terms of giving a true sports car driving experience. Don't let things like 0-60 times and hp and torque ratings fool you. There are more important things when it comes to having a truly sensational driving experience. You've got to drive the cars - I mean really drive them - more than you ever could on a 5-mile test drive. People often come away from test drives of 8s and say the don't have enough torque, feel slow, etc. Well those people either don't know how to drive the car (the rotary is a different animal) or they didn't drive it hard enough, which is understandable when you are test driving a car.

The more I drove the 8 the more I liked it. The more I drive the Speed6 the less I like it, which is truly disheartening. I find that the engine of the Speed6 feels and sounds like it is laboring, particularly when you get up around 4500 rpm, which is where you would expect the real fun to begin. Then it just totally flattens out. The car does not feel like it has 274 hp. On the other hand, the Renesis is so smooth and sounds like it will never stop revving or making more power, which is an incredible sensation.

"That's all I have to say about that." -Forrest Gump
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Just as piston-engined-car drivers need to recalibrate their butt dyno to the power delivery (?) of the RX-8, so must rotary-engined-car drivers adjust to pistons, especially turboed ones. There's no doubt that the Speed6 runs out of power a couple thousand rpms before the rotary begins to make it. Try jumping out of a modded VW TDi and into an RX-8 for a test drive, talk about engine shock! When I made that test drive a few years ago, my TDi was making 150 hp and 250 ft-lbs. of torque, sort of the reverse of the 8.

On my more recent test drive of the 8, I did ring it out and it's engine's strength is shall we say, hidden. The salesman remarked that I was the first person he's ever seen brake the tires loose going into second gear. So, it's not necessarily weak, but it doesn't feel at all like the 13B TT it replaced. However, I have to say that it is, perhaps without exception, the most balanced car I've ever driven, even better than the MX-5! It is an awesome car, but its focus is none the less narrower than the 6. It is an anomoly, that much is certain. It's also lacking headroom with the sunroof, which all of them on the lot had, another downer.

For what the 6 is, it's quite good, but it's not a true sports car at all. I have no regrets of getting it, but I can understand how it leaves an 8 driver wanting for more (or actually less, like 600 pounds less). I've generally faired well against 9's at the autocrosses, but it is the better track car, no doubt.

Really though, this debate has raged on in this forum many times before, but there's really little point to it. It's a little like comparing a Corvette to an Impala SS or a 911 to a Cayenne. You don't necessarily go wrong with either car, their just different. I prefer to look at the fact that a relatively small car company like Mazda is able to offer the Speed6, Speed3, RX-8 & MX-5 on the same lot. Compare that line-up to virtually any other maker and you'll find they all fall short, especially for the money.
 

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I owned an RX-8 for 2.5 years, and I currently own a 350Z and a MS6. I spend a lot of time at the track (road courses - did about 10 events this year), and I've never driven a car as spectacular as the RX-8 from a handling perspective. Sure, it is somewhat underpowered, I'll concede that. But, on a road course, it is just magic.

But it's a fickle beast. You have to really love the car to enjoy it, and the harder you drive it the more it rewards you (and the happier the engine seems to be). I miss mine every time I go to the track. The Z is nowhere near the true driver's car that the RX-8 is.

That said, I lap seconds faster in the Z than the RX-8, so that's fun. And, I have a nice MS6 to use as a daily driver. I love the MS6 for that, and it's pretty darned good in its own right from a handling perspective. Much more neutral than I expected. For mountain road blasts, it's quite good. I'm not sure it would stand up at the track without some improvements, but I also don't need it to. As a do-it-all car, the RX-8 was perfect, in my opinion, and the best thing going for the money. But, I really like having the MS6 for daily driving duties and for occasional fun, and having the Z for dedicated track use is nice so I don't have to worry about getting to work if it's in pieces during the week (my RX-8 was track terror and daily driver, so it always had to run - which it did, even with a turbo on it, and proved very reliable and durable despite the issues some have had with them).

So, which one is better? Depends on what you want to do with it. RX-8 wins hands-down if you're looking for a telepathic extension of yourself in a car that gets poor gas mileage, drinks oil, and is somewhat fickle at times but has TONS of character and charm. If you want a great all-around car that has some power potential, a very competent (bordering on great, for a sport sedan) chassis, brake feel that almost matches the RX-8's, and generally a less expensive S4-like sedan (another car I've owned in the past), the MS6 is the pick.

For me, if you need one car to do it all, including going to the track (road courses), it's the RX-8. If you don't plan to go to the track and want something for everything else life throws at you (short of towing something or hauling lumber), the MS6 is pretty darned nice, and with the rebate I got it's just unbeatable.

And, as for the motors, no, they aren't remotely comparable. You spend a lot of time in gear in the RX-8 due to the wide rev range, whereas the MS6 has a small window of usable power between turbo spool-up and the dead zone after 5700-6000. I have two buddies who have RX-8s and did a little speed comparison with one last week. The MS6 is definitely a little faster, but I was much busier rowing the gears. The RX-8 has a silky smooth power delivery, whereas the MS6 is abrupt and somewhat coarse. If you like the kick in the pants that the MS6 turbocharged engine gives, you might be a little underwhelmed by the Renesis, which is the epitome of linear. If you love a flexible engine that is extremely linear and loves to rev, you won't find a better one than the Renesis.
 

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I like how someone else summed it up above, it describes my feelings perfectly.

The more I drove the 8 the more I liked it. The more I drive the Speed6 the less I like[d] it.

The Speed6 never gets to the point of not liking it. Not by a long shot. But it never has given be the thrill that the RX-8 has. I get giddy as a schoolgirl whenever I drive one. The spool of the MS6's turbo has never come close.
 

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First off a little back ground; I have been autoXing and tracking my Miata for 4 years (quite well) and driving like I stole it before that. I have spent considerable time in my friends 2nd gen rx-7, and back in my days at the body shop I went on a few pick up runs for some neat cars. I particularly remember driving the viper GTS... I hope they didn’t look under the back bumper! I have owned some mid 60's muscle, a 01 golf TDI, and some other sport compacts.

Now, just about a month ago I drove my friends RX-8 for the first time. He has a lightened flywheel, short shift kit, CAI, full exhaust and springs. Back when I went from my Miata to my MS6 I about sh!t myself I was so excited. I think that really ruined it for me for the RX-8 because I felt like I was back in my little 1.6L Miata - there is something to be said for peak torque at 3k. The rx-8 handling was amazing though, the MS6 is definitely a sedan. When my friend said 'how do you like it?' I replied with "eh, its alright...” as I shifted to 3rd after hearing the beeeep... and thinking oops did I just say that out loud?

In conclusion: they are two completely different cars. There are too many variables in play; there is no comparison to be had. To make an accurate decision you will have to know yourself very well and know exactly what you need your car to do for you.

Me? All I can say is TURBO :drool: :yesnod:
 

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i got a speed6 an my brother drives an rx8, when we race i always always beat him, and i have fun driving my car more than his, although he says he has more fun driving his.... its a owner thing... i think... anyways when the Mazdaspeed Rx-8 coming out? or... is there even one coming?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the comparisons guys!

Basically what it boils down to is that I was having regrets getting the MS6 without at least driving the RX-8. But, since I am a family of 5, that pretty much killed the RX-8 for me anyways...but we do have other family haulers in the stable.

I think I understand a bit better the difference in the two vehicles and ultimately I think I made the better choice for now anyways. After getting on some of the RX-8 forums and reading about cold weather starting, oil consumption and poor fuel economy, maybe I made the best choice. Of course you do have to read those forums with a grain of salt to weed out the whiners :D

Now if Mazda ever decided to make a Mazdaspeed8 with a supercharged rotary and AWD, then I think I would be all over that (even if I had to leave one kid at home)! :drive:
 

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The MS6 will dance around the RX. RX has no TQ or speed. However both vehicles are completely different. I only like the looks of the RX.
 

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I drove an RX-8 at a the ATL. zoom, zoom and I was not that impressed. Yes it handles good but the Mine and the Speed6 I drove at the same event handles just as good I thought.
 

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I loved the RX-8...I like the feeling of being so low to the ground. The RX-8 is a lovely vehicle, but the mazdaspeed6 Owns it in a race,
 

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Tough to compare a fairly large AWD sedan with a high reving RWD sports coupe. I drove both. I was originally going to get a RX8, but I didnt fit well in the car.

The RX8 is more like the MX-5 a lighter more tossable car. The MS6 has a lot more low end power but you feel its heft in every corner. RX8 is a more willing dance partner in the twisties.
 
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