Dishing the Dirt

Whose stupid idea was that?

Having cleaned the R3 midweek so it would be looking at its best when my kids got to see it, I drove up from London to Norfolk early on Saturday morning. Unfortunately the drizzle in places meant that there was enough dirt and salt on the road to make the car dirty at the back, but still they loved it.

And then there was the football match on Sunday…

Jack, his mate Dan and Dan’s grandfather in the car after their match. And now the interior is dirty. Maybe I should have just had him adopted or made them walk home?

iPod Integration

A bit of a nightmare, this. The R3 comes with an auxiliary socket in one of the cubbyholes to allow you to connect an MP3 player to it, but all the play or selection functions have to be performed from the player.

When I ordered the car, I also spec’d it to include Mazda’s iPod integration module which is by no means cheap.

And it’s full of fail!

So far, I’ve tried it with three iPod nanos of varying age and although all connect to the system fine, none of them will actually play through the Bose system. And worse still, fitting the iPod Integration Module apparently disables the auxiliary socket as well! So I’m worse off with it fitted.

I’m giving it one more try: with a birthday coming up, I’ve asked for a new, 5th Generation 16GB iPod nano which should – in theory at least – work. We’ll see. Mazda’s Customer Service department did not have a clue when I specifically asked them the question…


The Bose audio system – which is fabulous – also includes Bluetooth telephone compatibility which dispenses with a car kit. It allows you to pair a number of phones with the car as well.

Sadly, it appears that one manufacturer’s implementation of Bluetooth differs from another and I have had some ‘issues’ getting one of my phones to work properly. I presently have a Nokia N97 for general use, a BlackBerry Curve 8900 for work and a Sony Ericsson W595 as a spare (those hyperlinks take you to the results of Mazda’s tests on the handsets).

Whilst all three phones successfully paired with the R3, the Nokia will only receive calls through the audio system and make calls only if dialled from the handset. Both the other phones make and receive calls by voice alone, which is effectively another nail in the coffin for the Nokia.


Oh dear! I have been running in the R3 more a few days now and around 360 miles down so far. By ‘running in’, I don’t mean running in like we used to do – keeping the revs below a certain limit for a few miles then slowly increasing, etc. – but more not revving the nuts off it everywhere.

So I was surprised that despite having a load of motorway miles in the total so far, I am only averaging 17½mpg!

It should hopefully loosen up and improve with a few more miles.


A fellow R3 owner over at the RX8 Owners Club has pointed out that his R3 has a Mazda badge in the usual place on the boot lid and mine hasn’t. Looking at the Gallery over at Mazda UK’s site, this also shows a Mazda badge there. One for the dealer to answer, I think.

His and Hers

Well it’s here and this is what it looks like on our driveway with both the RX-8s together:

RX-8R3 and RX-8 40th Anniversary

I picked the new one up this morning from Nunns of Grimsby with just 3 miles on the clock. Lovely!

Goodbye ST200

A day of mixed feelings: after almost 132,000 miles, I had to take the ST200 in to the dealers, Nunns of Grimsby, who will be scrapping it as part of the Government’s scrappage scheme.

So it averaged 25.8mpg over the last few years of my ownership and – other than the little issue of the under-bonnet fire – it’s been … emotional. Worse then that, though, is that in a couple of days’ time, someone will wind down the front windows, run some chains through and then use them to hoist it onto either a skip wagon or on top of another car and away to grave.