Overview & Reviews
Mazdaspeed, Mazda's internal high-performance tuning and race division, has a long history in Japan. Known for producing exciting limited-edition performance models, the division turned its attention to the second-generation Mazda 3 and the result is the Mazdaspeed 3. Note that this article is about the second-generation model; we also have a review of the first-generation car, known as the Mazda Mazdaspeed Mazda 3.
The Mazdaspeed 3 features a turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension and many other exclusive components. Priced affordably, the second-generation Mazdaspeed 3 is a performance bargain that should appeal to any enthusiast thanks to its balance of speed, practicality and affordability.
Current Mazdaspeed 3
The Mazdaspeed 3 is a front-wheel-drive, high-performance hatchback with four doors. Its turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine pumps out 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Zero to 60 mph takes 6.3 seconds, which is pretty quick for this class of car.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, foglights, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, front sport seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a Bose stereo with a CD player and iPod/USB interface. Option highlights include adaptive bi-xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry and a navigation system.
In reviews, our editors have noted that this Mazdaspeed 3 handles markedly better than the previous-generation model, posting superior results in both instrumented handling tests and subjective canyon drives. We've also lauded the high-quality interior materials and upscale dashboard design. There is plenty of cargo room in the rear hatch, and the 60/40 split rear seats fold down to open up even more space. There's also decent seating room in back for adults.
On the downside, the exterior styling is controversial, and while the 2.3-liter turbo doesn't fall flat at higher rpm like it did in the first-generation car, it also hasn't gained any power. Moreover, torque steer remains an unwelcome companion when accelerating hard on uneven surfaces or powering out of corners. Overall, the Mazdaspeed 3 isn't without its faults, but we still rate it very highly among cars of this type.
Used Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Models
The current-generation Mazdaspeed 3 debuted for 2010 and carried on for the first few years with only minimal changes. The optional navigation system for the 2010-'12 cars was a smaller, less useful version than the larger touchscreen unit found in the current Mazdaspeed 3.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 77.00
Most affordable fun - 2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By crh_usa - October 7 - 2:00 am
I hesitated for a long time between the more reasonable Civic Si, the Golf GTI and the speed. The strong financial incentives on the Mazda 2010 made it an easier decision. This car is so much fun to drive. Without the turbo on, it is a peppy economical car. With the turbo on, you wake up the beast.
Awesme ride - 2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By James - September 30 - 3:10 pm
I've had the car for about a month. I have about 2k fun miles on this car. The car looks good and is a blast to drive. The car's handling is excellent. It hooks up well on the curvy roads. I use this car as my daily commuter and put about 140 miles a day round trip. I'm totally happy with this car. I have the tech package and would recommend it. There is some carbon build up on the tail pipe and some of it ends up in the back hatch as noted on a previous post. Not an issue. A good coat of wax will protect your paint and make it easy to clean off. The best bang for your buck!!
All fun and no issues - 2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By Driving can be fun - August 19 - 8:26 pm
A fun car, with performance and an appealing appearance, has always been important to me. Sometimes there have been limitations that you live with: expensive maintenance (German) ,little storage (Corvette, Miata, 911), low technology (GTO). No more! A dream to drive with some small challenge with torque steer in first and second. A small price to pay for the Zoom-Zoom. Carries my golf clubs without lowering the rear seats and a 47" LCD HDTV, still in the box, with the seats down. Rear passengers have real seats and leg room.
First Mazda, or Japanese car for that matter. - 2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By chriskojali - July 29 - 1:38 pm
I'm a performance guy...I don't care about horsepower but driving dynamics mean everything to me. My last 10 cars have been several M3s, a couple Audis, and a GTI. The easy choice would've been another GTI and I would be quite content. But I took a chance on the Speed3 and I'm ecstatic I did. This car has excellent handling and the monster torque steer (hard to handle under hard acceleration) is kind of endearing...you know you need to pay attention when you press the GO! pedal. I'm not a fan of the interior, especially when compared to an Audi, but it works and is growing on me. The styling is a bit 'out there' but it's growing on me too. You won't see yourself coming down the road.
Lasting Fun - 2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By vnmn - June 6 - 9:55 am
After now owning the Speed3 since March I have come to find this little car to be a very good sports car as far as power delivery and over all athleticism goes, it just does everything it is supposed to no matter how hard you push it. I really look forward to driving it daily. The seats are a bit fugly and uncomfortable, those being my two largest complaints(MAZDA, GIVE US ALL BLACK LEATHER WITH POWER!).As far as the front grille topic all the new Mazda's have a grin so bare it. Torque steer on this Gen is not an issue, it actually makes this car more fun and I wouldn't want it without some. I drove a 2012 GTI yesterday and it seriously bored me, it really felt lethargic in comparison.
Just what I wanted - 2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By rockinkuwait - January 1 - 4:22 am
I wanted a used Speed3, but ended up going new as there were only 2 used pre-owned Mazdaspeed3's in the state when I started car shopping. It has been everything I've wanted. Currently commuting to work and it even does that well (avg 28 mpg, and most is a little two lane highway where I have the power to pass in this). Lots of fun, no problems at all mechanically so far and 40 thousand miles into the car, I still smile every time I drive it. Only issue I had was wishing you could pick something other than summer only tires if you live in colorado, though I did manage on those through two winters...
Believe the Hype! - 2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By Herkdriver - December 12 - 3:06 pm
Best deal going for the $! Paid $21,900 w/Toyota owner loyalty rebate. Didn't get the tech package but the audio w/std system is great! Single CD is annoying, but BT is awesome. Has built in MP3 plug w/power in center console. Impressed with std opts (dual zone auto A/C, info center w/trip computer, steering wheel cntrls, stainless steel ft pdls). Car is FAST but well behaved on the roads. The turbo kicks in smoothly w/no lag. Downshifts on the highway N/A for passing. Just step on the gas & let the turbo work for you! Tires are VERY loud on the road but grip well in rain. Lights work well at night w/fog opt. Econ-75 mph=27-32 mpg depending upon gradient. Sports car, folks! Not a luxury car.
Defintely "What Do You Drive" - 2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By alfagtv630 - November 26 - 9:52 pm
A car built for drivers, with little compromise. If you don't love to drive (and I don't mean tour), this is not the car for you. Congrats to Mazda for being willing to build a car like this knowing that it will be a low volume seller at best. Think a practical, budget Lotus, older 911, Alfa GTV6 (or maybe a 75 sedan or 164S), BMW Z3 coupe or E30 M3, Saab 9-3 Viggen or early 9000 turbo, Audi Quattro GT or a first-gen A-4... or a number of true Europe-only hot hatches (Ford Escort RS). Go look up an Alfa 146 GTA, maybe that is the best comparison! The styling has grown on me, in black, silver or now available pearl white tones it down a bit for more mature drivers.
2nd One I've Owned - 2012 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By brentonlange - November 17 - 2:57 am
This is the 2nd Speed3 I have owned. The first one was a project car. This one will be a project car as well. The overall value is unbeatable. So what, the NAV screen is small...but you still have nav compared to other models. The price is amazing for a small sports car. So far I have not lost a redlight-to-redlight race yet against trucks, or other cars. What you may not know, this car is lighter than most and with 263HP stock, you can beat many people right off the line and keep your edge for the mile long run. Great car, will definatly buy another one unless Mazda screws it up (doubtful). I have bought three Mazda's in the past year, all have of them have been amazing!
Simply Awesome! - 2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
By Gary - November 12 - 1:33 am
I have been researching this car since spring of 09 and just last week bought one...I have been smiling ever since! The engine is AWESOME. The appearance of the speed3 is certainly polarizing and it seems that you either love it or hate it. The pictures simply DO NOT do it justice, you have to see it in person. The acceleration is great, handling is crisp, stick takes getting used to but no problem and the brake feel is great. The tech package is worth it, GPS while small is still good, Bose system is not quite aftermarket quality but will please most people, bluetooth is cool, seats are comfortable and the space inside is nice. If you want bang for your buck...look no further! Zoom-Zoom!