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Mazda RX-8 or Toyota Celica?

Nov 1, 2019
Mazda RX-8 or Toyota Celica? My Wife is turning 24 in November 15. Few days ago she got a drivers license but she does not own a car yet. She loves old-school-ish sport cars like these two which i mentioned. I want to gift her one of these two cars, BUT i do now know which car as a first car for a girl would be better and less expensive.
I own a chryssler Crossfire and she wants something similar.
I just simply do not know which car would be better as a first car for her.
I like the RX8, however, I would never own one.

Here are some of the reasons:
Poor reliability and many mechanics do not work on them
Oil is constantly burned by design
Poor fuel economy and emissions.

Toyota makes some of the most reliable cars out there, so the Celica will last awhile. Also, most of the newer Celicas will be fuel-efficient and more practical.
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Reactions: COLGeek
Nov 1, 2019
I like the RX8, however, rotary engines are plagued with reliability problems and most mechanics will not work on them.

The Celica will run forever and probably be more practical, assuming its not like a 70s model or something.
So you also think Celica? I was thinking about Celica also. Rotary engine is a pain in the <Mod Edit> to fix, too expensive but I like the body of Rx8 more than Celica has.
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I added some reasons above you might want to consider.

The RX8 does look good and would likely be more fun than a Celica, however, I would never buy one for your wife who I assume is using this as a commuter car.
Your wife may not be too happy if her car leaves her stranded or is always in the shop.

The Celica is likely a better car for your wife.

What model year are you considering?
Reactions: COLGeek
I have owned two RX8's and they are absolutely fantastic to drive with stellar handling and great fun to push and remarkably quite practical with space for 4.... The most recent one was the RX8 R3 (the last of the RX8's) which also just looks great and had most of the issues ironed out....but, you have to keep on top of maintenance!!! You must check the oil as it use oil to lubricate the seals. Also if you do buy one make sure you get a compression check done....this is critical, if it has good compression you will have a great RX8..if not you will be in trouble....Finally nothing better than reving all the way to 8500 to 9000RPM's....

Though if it is not going be revved out every now and then by your wife, the Celica will probably be the better and safer option....


Dec 23, 2014
Just ask yourself, do you want it to get you to work or school everyday?
If yes, then get the Toyota.

If you go to RX8 forums, many have when they had their engines replaced as their signature. As good as the car is to drive (yes, I have driven one), it's not a reliable one.


Jan 24, 2011
For non petrol-heads mechanically inclined, stay away from the rotary engine. It needs extra TLC to keep it running.

Celica, MX-5 Miata, honda s2000, with conventional engines are more reliable.

Celica in particular has the very durable engine of corolla with sleeker lines on the bodywork. In some opinions it's less of a sport car.
Same with MX-5 - ordinary engine that is mass produced to be reliable cheap and nothing too complicated.
S2000 is real sport car with it's dedicated sporty engine.

For a sport car to be reliable and low maintenance you need such a car that uses a run of the mill engine used in a plethora of other family cars. Like celica or mx5


Apr 28, 2014
I've always loved the rotary engine, but I don't think it's worthwhile to have one as a daily driver. I've always fantasised having an RX7 as a weekender, or even putting a 13b into my mx5 as a project.

But would definitely get a Celica over an RX8, I don't doubt the fun or extra modding you could get out of an RX8 (if you're so inclined to be that way), but I think the more efficient choice is the Celica, especially as a first/sole car she owns. There's nothing wrong with old Toyota reliability, when I grow up a little more I have also considered importing a Toyota Crown at some point, just a nice luxury Japanese car with an engine that'll keep going as long as you give it the usual maintenance.
Nov 18, 2019
I've daily driven a Celica for a few months. Rather boring/standard to drive if I'm being honest, I found my old Ford Focus SVT (ST170) far more enjoyable. Mechanically it's still a Toyota, so it's reliable :). Drive isn't too stiff so it would actually be okay as a daily driver.

I imagine you've already looked into an mx5/miata? Commonly recommended for good reliability and being RWD can be an absolute blast to drive.
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