1985 Mazda RX-7 User Reviews

1985 Mazda RX-7 Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 31 reviews

  • Performance:4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars 4 / 5
  • Appearance:3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars 3.9 / 5
  • Build Quality:3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars 3.9 / 5
  • Overall: 4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"power" 19 reviews
"ride" 13 reviews
"handling" 9 reviews
"speed" 4 reviews
"brakes" 3 reviews
CONS
"power" 8 reviews
"fuel economy" 5 reviews
"steering" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 31 1985 Mazda RX-7 reviews.

ophelious writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
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4

Pros

1. High original build quality
2. Fairly easy to find parts for
3. Established enthusiast community
4. Reasonably easy to work on
5. Eye catching
6. Fair prices for good condition examples  
7. Unique rotary engine.   

Cons

1. Poor fuel economy (when considering the size of the car and the HP),
2. Uncomfortable for long trips,
3. Low powered by today's standards
4. Harder to find ones in unmolested condition
5. Complicated emissions system
6. Not t the easiest car to upgrade the stock stereo on.

ophelious
85

A Fun "classic" At Fair Prices — I grumble about certain things regarding the 1st gen RX-7, but I still haven't gotten rid of mine (which should tell you something.) It's a fun car to drive and you don't see them every day on the road. They have pretty lines to them. Kind of graceful. One thing I like is that they're not particularly difficult to work on. Don't let the unique engine design fool you...unless you're planning to rebuild the thing it won't make any difference. It has plugs, wires, and a distributor just like other cars. It's a small engine so there's plenty of room to work, which I like. The engine compartment isn't as "packed" as modern cars and contains less electronics. I don't keep mine for performance (by today's standards the stock 12A is a bit sluggish with something like 100 HP) but because it's a cool car to have. I like the first generation (79-85) better because I think the lines are more appealing than the 2nd (albeit the 2nd is faster.) There are guys who do a lot of jiggering to make their cars a lot faster than stock, so if you are into that, it's quite doable. Out of the box, though, they just aren't very fast any more. The best you could do is try to get an 84/ 85 GSL-SE with the 13B engine in it, as that would boost things by about 30%. I prefer the GS trim level, myself. The "S" model had steel wheels, a lesser stereo, and lacked a few other features. And while I would have liked to have the moon roof, the other things in the GSL model I can do without: the leather seats, power windows and locks, and rear wiper on the GSL are just more things to break. The leather usually doesn't hold up very well after all these years. I like to keep things simpler. It uses a lot of gas by today's standards (which is annoying because it's not very fast) but what can you do. I think I get about 16 MPG in the city with the AC on. it's better on the highway. I'm probably at about 25 there. It has a carburetor, which people seem to have forgotten about how to work on, but if you keep the car maintained it's not hard to adjust now and then. The ride is low to the ground (and not very comfortable) but I always feel like I'm going faster than I really am so that makes up for it. This car blows in the snow. I put in in the driveway one day when I was moving some stuff around in the garage and it started to snow. With a couple inches on the ground, I couldn't get it up my angled driveway. On the road it's like a hockey puck. With snow tires and some weight in the back you'd do better, but there are no airbags in this car so if you get hit you're going to feel it. Overall, they were well made by 80's standards and good examples are still fairly easy to find. If you're up for it, get a 1979 and own a real classic. Otherwise, the 85 model year is pretty popular. I know I said that the GS trim was best, but I'd still pick up a GSL-SE if you can find one. Despite the increase in electronics, you'll step up to fuel injection and a bigger engine. Of course, it's all relative. If you're really into speed you'd probably want to look at the turbo-charged second generation or the ultimate prize: third gen.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Justin writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

FUN FACTOR

Cons

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ROTORYS

65

Buy One If You Can — performance of the mazda 12A rotory engine is very impressive. It will hold 8,000 RPM's all day long without a problem. Car is a blast to drive with the manual 5 speed transmission, and LSD rear end. Build quality is amazing for a car that is 25 years old she is in excellent shape, only has 84K miles. Appearance is very unique, in my opinion these where the best looking RX-7's ever built (1st Generation) Maintenance can be a little hard if you dont know how to work on the rotary engine. THIS CAR IS A BLAST TO DRIVE!

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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shlibotnik writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
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2

Pros

I bought this used for 4k (SE) and it's best years were past.  I loved the feel (my first and only sports car) and the whir of the rotary engine. I bought it primarily based on looks.  Performance wise by today's standards it's mediocre with 135 hp. The ride was OK and road noise wasn't bad.

Cons

My main complaint with the car is the rotary engine itself.  It uses 3 spring loaded apex seals on the two rotors which must be lubricated with oil.  Unfortunately since it's the nature of the engine to burn about a quart of oil every 1500 miles or so many people fail to keep the oil level where it should be and the engines get killed quickly because of this.  Mine eventually lost compression to the point I had to prime it with oil to get it to start, at which point it looked like a civil war battlefield with the smoke it produced and I traded it in on a Honda Civic.

shlibotnik
65

Fun For A While But More Trouble Than It's Worth — I know Mazda went on to squeeze a lot of performance from the rotary engine in subsequent versions but for a daily driver with the oil burning and lousy mileage there were better options I didn't consider at the time (1991 when I bought it). My current Toyota Matrix rivals it performance wise but 1985 was a long time ago.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Andrew writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

It`s fast

Cons

It`s an import

45

Never Attempt To Fix Someone Elses Screw Up — Performance- It was very light and extremely nimble, cornered awesome and stopped awesome, It was lacking on torque but revved to like 8 or 9k RPM Build Quality- Fit and finish was pretty nice for being a 1985 Appearance- It is in my opinion the best body style RX-7, but its also the lightest and simplest. Cost of ownership- The gas mileage wasn't what you would expect for something that was a little over 1.1 liter.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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launcher writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

Radil tires have 4,00 miles.Cooling system recently rebuilt.Clutch and throw out bearing just replaced.

Cons

Has 220,000 mules on orignal rotery.

launcher
45

Still A Hot Looking Car!over All In Quite Good Condition. — Great looking auto,handles very well,is the rare GSl-SE five speed transmission model.Four wheel disc brakes,sun roof,interior leather trim,White sheep skin seat covers,factory air.power out side rear mirrors and windows.Color is REDStill turns 6000 if you drive that way,Good brakes(12,000 miles on them.Gets around 15 mpg in city and 25-28 mpg on high way @65-70 mph.My second one and I still enjoy driving it!

Primary Use: Family transportation

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Jacob writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
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Overall:
5

Pros

Fun fun fun!

Cons

only two seats, make it hard to take friends for a ride.

45

Fun Weekend Warrior — It looks like a wedge on wheels. That being said the performance is unbelievable with an 8000 RPM RPM range, it truly is fun to drive. You find yourself shifting quite alot, both because you need the extra rpm's and because its fun to hear it wind up! The cornering and handling is stiff, and solid. You find yourself wanting to jam into a low gear, crank the wheel, and gas it so that you can slide around instead of merely driving.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Nich53 writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
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5

Pros

Fantastic sports car! Great  handling, brakes, smooth 5-speed, true 125 mph top end, totally reliable, fantastic brushed aluminum interior trim, beautiful clear coated aluminum wheels, large removeable sunroof, great low rpm torque, smooth passing power, quiet, tight, even the exhaust smelled sweet.

Cons

Only that it is distressing to park where thoughtless others could damage body with door, very appealing design but cops notice it too.

Nich53
55

Perfect Example Of Quality Japanese Engineering, And The Rotary Engine Brilliance — Just a little small for two people on a trip, needs higher quality tires and headlights from OEM versions, could use more rear downforce above 100 mph. I wish I had kept this car in a garage instead of selling when I suddenly couldn't drive a manual transmission after Nov 1988.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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jamnblues writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL Review
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4

Pros

sway bars front and rear, Panasports with Michelin Pilots- this is the best cornering car I have ever owned- where are its limits? and the Rotary engine is a hoot

Cons

love this thing but the rotary engine needs to be babied

jamnblues
8,045

Defines The Word "sportscar" — This is just fun- I found a 30 mile long road with no traffic and at least 100 nicely banked turns- now I've had my fun and it's time to sell it before I kill myself- slow down, old man!

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Restoration writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
Back Seats:
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5

Pros

Man,you could really get on the freeway,with the greatest of ease

Cons

it was a hatch back {Glass},so not much could be carried that was out of sight!

Restoration
815

Very Smooth Body Lines,had A Leather With Suede Insert Seats. — It was a chore to get the spare tire out, you had to watch out,not to bump your head.If you went out somewhere,only 2 total passangers could go.But the highway performance was totally awesome.It was a little car,but people allways wanted to go with you.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Ozzie writes:
1985 Mazda RX-7 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

Handles and drives awesome, Its not super fast, but its still really fun.

Cons

carb + rotary= bad idea. get a GSL-SE

365

I Would Love To Own Another One, Preferably Fuel Injected And Turbo'd — Performance- It was very light and extremely nimble, cornered awesome and stopped awesome, It was lacking on torque but revved to like 8 or 9k RPM (don't remember where the fuel cut off) Build Quality- Fit and finish was pretty nice for being a 1985, I loved the removable sunroof, it was glass in the summer and had a solid piece for the winter. Appearance- It is in my opinion the ugliest body style RX-7, but its also the lightest and simplest. I can't imagine it with a 3rd gen engine in this chassis. Cost of ownership- The gas mileage wasn't what you would expect for something that was a little over 1 liter, It could be that I could never get it to run well with the carburetor. I would have liked to drive a fuel injected rotary and see how it compared.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 31 1985 Mazda RX-7 reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2002 Mazda RX-7 Reviews

Spirit R Review By Desmond

A great ride. Last batch of the production line, the spirit r is the best ever rx-7 of all time. The classic is also included in various racing video games at a good price. G R E A T car! Read More

Mazda Rx7 Fd3s By Willi

my mazda's rotary engine is the best in it's class, it's 1300cc rotary engine can give me somewhat 250+ Bhp, wonderful acceleration, very nice grip since mazda surely know how to built a high perform... Read More

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2001 Mazda RX-7 Reviews

Awsome By Matt

When the second turbo hits its like a kick in the back of the head. Good handling likes to get the tail out a fair bit. Appearence is awsome looks like sex on wheels!!!! It would be the most fun car i... Read More

Read all 2001 Mazda RX-7 reviews

2000 Mazda RX-7 Reviews

Cool By Billy

overall it is a veri good car to drive around . one bad ting about tis car is high petrol consumption . the design wise is timeless . the best rotary base engine car every build in history . my favour... Read More

Fast With Amazing Lines By Benjamin

It's mine. I wouldn't swap it for anything. And the mods have only just begun! Twin turbo 13b, abs, lsd, power windows, air cond, power mirrors etc etc Read More

Read all 2000 Mazda RX-7 reviews

1998 Mazda RX-7 Reviews

Okay By Cole

Performance- Moderate acceleration. Braking is okay. and handling is moderate. Build quality- No repairs or strange noises. appearance- interior needed work,. exterior is like a Miata. Cost of Own... Read More

Mark 2,1.3 Litter With After Market Large Twin Trubo Beats A Cbr600 On 0-100km! (then Over Heat!!) By Camaron

Had 2 of them at one time... Great fun to own... good looks too! Later vesion of the 1.3 Rotary Engine with twin turbo would gave 260ghp is much better then the 2.6litters earlier version. However the... Read More

Read all 3 1998 Mazda RX-7 reviews

1997 Mazda RX-7 Reviews

Rx-7 Fc By Josuah John

like it so i recommend it for those people who love potato engines and to add its an FR so drifting is quite easy the acceleration is also good so definitely a car that you must have that's all i can ... Read More

Mazda Rx7 3rd Generation By James

car had 280bhp standard but had mine boosted to 350bhp. car has tonnes of power and as is a rear wheel drive does not tolerate mistakes but is a proper purist drivers car and in the right hands great ... Read More

Read all 3 1997 Mazda RX-7 reviews

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