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I am new to this forum and am about to become a new RX-8 owner!
I wanted to get some opinions from fellow RX-8 drivers in the LA/OC area.
Currently I am torn between getting the RX-8 in an Automatic or in a Manual. I pretty much have everything else decided though.. (touring package and spoiler in sunlight silver or the titanium grey! GT package was just a bit out of my price range)
As an AT driver my entire life, I would be "cutting my teeth" driving stick. However I have no worries about being able to pick it up. Yet, my biggest concern would be my commute. There are obvious advantages to driving an AT in heavy stop and go traffic. I was leaning on getting the AT for this reason until I found that the engine significantly less powerful than the MT and the fact that there are so many MT owners out there enjoying it (besides it IS a sports car) I have test driven the AT and will be testing the MT in a week or so (got to practice..) to get a better idea of the differences in the cars.
I just moved back to SoCal(graduated college) and currently live in North OC and commute to the South Bay area. And given the traffic in on the 405 or 91 it is normally a bear of a drive.
I guess my question is.. AT owners do you ever wish you had a MT? Am I going to be missing a lot? Or is the traffic situation make you say thank heavens I got this in an AT!
And for you manual owners, how much of a pain is it? I seem to have this notion of never being able use the MT and really enjoy it considering the density of traffic in this region.
Thanks for any responses or advice. I look forward to the day that I can really be called an RX-8 owner!
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well as a owner of a 6spd i really like it...well before i got the car i was driving an AT car....when i got the 6spd i really enjoyed driving it even in traffic...but i guess it all depends on the person...but in my opinion i think if your gonna get an rx-8 you should get a 6spd...its worth it.
I love my MT, and there is no easier car to learn/relearn stick if you haven't done it in awhile. Down in SD traffic isn't quite as bad as what you have in OC, but I will tell you in stop-and-go any stick in a pain in the butt. On balance, though, this car was meant to be manual 6-speed. I love it and will tolerate traffic for the fun I have on the open road.
Owner since 7/17/03: Velocity Red GT, 6MT, black/red leather, navigation, rotary accents, 6-disc CD. Sold the spare kit.
If you are getting it cause you like how it looks and handles, but dont really care much about speed, racing or modding the car, and like the ease of driving an auto, then I'd suggest getting an AT.
If you like the car for its 9000 rpm redline, performance capabilities, looks, posibility of modifying the car some more, and the pure enjoyment of driving stick, then a manual is in your best intrest.
I have a 6 speed, and live in LA with plenty of traffic, but Id never think twice about getting a AT. Its just not fun.
Manual is much easier in heavy traffic if you un-learn some of the bad habits that are fostered by driving automatics. Most people follow much too closely and in dense traffic are either on the gas or on the brakes - they alternate constantly between the 2. If you try to emulate this with a manual you will be forever shifting gears and in and out of neutral. Learn to see the overall flow of traffic, put some faith in physics and learn to anticipate further than 5 seconds ahead. That is, if the overall *average* speed of traffic in the next few miles is about 10 mph, don't get caught up going 30/0/20/5/10/0/45/10/0. Try 10 mph. Let the space ahead of you grow and shrink to absorb the transient changes. Done well, you'd be surprised at how much driving you can do under these circumstances without any shifting at all; just using the throttle to speed up and slow down *gently* and *gradually* while coasting. With a manual, letting off on the throttle results in "engine braking" which is exquisitely controllable and once you master that art you'll spend a lot less time shifting to neutral and using brakes. It is much more enjoyable as well.
Here is a site that describes this driving technique -- the author's interest is in reducing traffic jams but it really is an intelligent way to drive aside from that.
On any given day, I may commute 200 miles from Glendale to Riverside to Irvine. The soft clutch on the RX8 is no problem even when I get stuck in traffic on the 91 (nothing is worse than the 91, except maybe the 405).
You really need to get the manual. When I was still considering the Accord V6 Sedan and the Acura TSX, I was focused on the respective automatics (the TSX has a sequential shifter on the automatic kind of like the RX8). But with the other two cars I was considering, the RX8 and Nissan 350Z, it was manual all the way. It's what a sports car is made for, a part of its soul.
I'm more concerned about the mileage on your commute to the South Bay. Are you aware of the mileage issues with the RX8?
For me to justify buying the RX8, I had to first decide to keep my econo car and split my weekly miles between the two cars.
Thatís a great site Nubo! I can see that my current bad habits are going to be very difficult to break! Hopefully I can start practicing some better habits. I remember in college a friend talked about traffic and modeling it as fluid flow.. very cool!
Yeah , I am aware of the mileage issues with the car. As a new graduate I just moved back home to CA, and started my job in the South Bay area about a month ago so I am definitely not living in an ideal place. I do plan on moving closer to work though! (probably first of the year) In the mean time I do carpool with a coworker who just happens to live close to me so that will cut down on the drivable days. And you are right that 91 out of Orange County really sucks.
The real problem is that I never have had a car that can be so powerful, versatile, and fun!.. I mean growing up I never had the chance to get a real sports car.. I just got lucky to get my dadís old car.. (ahh that good olí BuickÖ got me from point A to B and started every time! I will be sorry seeing it go) So as you can tell, the RX-8 will be a totally different experience. Itís a tough decision one I have been giving it much thought and one I am lucky to be making! You can bet I will be mulling over this for a couple weeks!
Just real quick any automatic owners out there that want to give me some of their thoughts? Thanks!
I may not live in SoCal, but I do not experience the same traffic headache in NorCal on a daily basis.
I have an automatic as my daily driver to give a more relax drive to the BART station. I usually reserve the 8 for weekend driving only.
After having someone bumped into the rear of my 8 a couple of weeks ago I decided not to drive it back to the office from Mon to Fri. I was thinking of showing my car to my colleagues that day when someone kissed the rear bumper during the stop-n-go commute. The bright side is that I wil be getting a bodykit to cover up the indented portion.
04 RX-8 6MT GT & nav w/MS wing!
02 MPV ES w/GFX & 4-season pkg
02 Protege5 w/RB Catback
Looking to pick up a Titanium Gray A/T between Jan-Feb as a joint purchase with my GF. Since she doesn't know how to drive stick shift, or much experience on the road for that matter, A/T is a must. Least with the RX-8, it's a FUN automatic! Paddle shifter or sporttronic on the shifter It's very bearable. Insurance is less expensive on the AT as well due to the lower hp ratings...which is good since I've got 3 tickets and one fender bender on my record within the last three years.
04 TG RX-8 AT - Touring Package
00 VSM Civic 5 MT - EX package
I want a FC3S M/T!!! No one selling any for under 3500 around hurrr though..
well the deal is final and the ink has dried and I drove home my RX-8 today!
To let everyone know, I got a Sunlight Silver 6 Speed with Grand Touring, Rotary Accent, Spoiler, 6 cd changer, and mud guards.
Not exactly what I wanted as I could live without the Grand touring package, the rotary accent, and especially the stupid mud guards. But I ended up getting the car for S-plan minus 250 bucks(negotiated) and minus 500 for New grad program. final price before taxes was about 29K out the door at 31.5K roughly..
more expensive than I would have liked but driving it home (albit a bit shaky at first) made all my concerns go away!!!
My Baby! "Rexy"
Sunlight Silver 6spd MT Grand Touring (blk/blk) Rotary accent, Spoiler, 6CD changer, mud guards.. 11/29/03