The first energy crisis really took the shine off Mazda’s rotary engine cars. The timing of the introduction of its new RX-4, larger and heavier than its previous cars, was not exactly fortuitous. But R&T rightfully pointed out that its competition was V8-engined American cars, and in that regard, its 17.5 mpg thirst was not bad at all. And it did scoot, better than the majority of American cars, with a 9.7 second 0-60 sprint.
Although R&T gave it a very positive review, the RX-4 was never really successful in the US, and its replacement, the first 626, was piston-engined only. The RX-4 was effectively the end of the line for Mazda’s rotary-powered passenger cars, except for the sporty RX-7 and its successors.