mazda rx-8Day 1

It's a tough life being an automotive journalist. I say that sarcastically after I spent an evening and morning commute in the 2004 Mazda RX-8.

When the bright red test car was dropped off yesterday afternoon it exuded sports car attitude. Those huge front fenders, large wheels, and of course the paint job, all screamed to Chicago police to ticket me immediately.

Compared to the tuner-like sports compacts I've driven recently, I find myself giddy to be behind the wheel of a true sports car again. And that's what the RX-8 is. Despite the rear suicide doors and four seats, this car is an exceptional return to form for Mazda's sports car heritage. It's also one of those rare cars, that because of the decent trunk space, back seats and modest sticker price makes an almost reasonable mid-life, or quarter-life, crisis purchase.  

We'll see if I still feel that way after a full week of real-world driving, but so far I can't complain.

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