Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The cockpit of the RX-8 is equally as stylish and modern as the outside. The piano black trimmed centre console houses easy to use controls for the stereo and ventilation system and there's a circular theme that runs through the design. Deep-set cowled dials and white lit instruments add to the sporty feel while the high mounted gear lever is perfectly placed - there's also a digital speedo set into the rev counter.

Quality is excellent and the sophisticated materials give the Mazda an upmarket feel.

There's decent space for the driver and front passenger and the seats are comfortable yet supportive. The compliant ride means the RX-8 makes a surprisingly good cruiser, although the engine buzz can be a little intrusive at high revs and the PZ and R3 models have stiffer suspension which can fidget over bumps. Taller drivers may also want to avoid the optional sun roof (climate control is standard on all models anyway) as it limits headroom.

Those in the back will find it snug - although there's more space than most coupes offer.