When you drive this car because your own grin and the feel of this car will remind you why you like to drive. 1) yes, the previous speed3's were better looking, but much harsher. 2) the pull from the turbo is great from 3500 to 5500 rpm. 3) torque steer exists, but not much more than a maxima's, and can truly add to the fun. 4) well put-together, with great shifting, suspension and steering! Had a Volvo v70r (300 hp turbo) that was super-clunky, expensive, and both raw and numb in comparison. 5) hatchback design is very useful. In conclusion, does this middle-aged guy look a little unconventional driving such a silly looking car? Probably, but what fun, utility, economy, reliability and fun!
Superb steering, tight suspension that also takes bumps with quiet grace, strong turbo kick, useful rear seat and cargo area, great value for such high entertainment and finally a burbling exhaust that reminds you this isn't the regular mazda3 you had before you realized you wanted the speed version
Put HID lights & rain-sensing wipers on US models. At the risk of being labeled a heretic: maybe add 100 lbs of noise-dampening materials?
Nothing from me that contradicts the other positive reviews. I've driven my car for a few months now, and I have to remind myself of how inexpensive this car is; great handling, powerful engine, comfortable interior with loads of standard features, practical and reliable -- all for ~$23K! When I consider how aggressive the exterior styling is, I'm really surprised at how comfortable and civilized the car is. As a middle-aged guy, I tend to feel a bit self- conscious due to the car's styling, but it just drives SO well! Be advised that if you live in an area that gets snow, you should plan on buying a set of snow tires for winter since this car is fitted with summer performance tires.
Everything you want with nothing you don't - standard. I like not having to pay a grand for a sunroof I'll never use. Dual-zone climate control is an unexpected luxury in a car at this price. Perfectly nice stereo. Plenty of interior storage. Comfortable, supportive seats.
I may be a heretic, but an optional automatic transmission would be nice. Exterior styling isn't for everyone; to be honest, I would prefer something more subtle. In a perfect world, such performance could be had with higher mileage on regular gasoline.
bought an 05 3s and loved it, i test drove the speed 3 one day while mine was having work done, and i was sold. its just crazy fast, too much fun, other than the little bit of turbo lag and torque steer which is to be expected, its amazing. the best performing car you can get for under 25k
263bhp and 280flb torque, its a rocket
car looks a little too happy, should have a more aggressive look, stance is good but the grin needs to go, also when you sell fwd car with that much power in New Jersey, its probably not the best idea to equip it with performance summer tires. a set of 4 seasons might not have been a bad compromise.
Had many GTI's and recently a 3 series BMW, got tired of the endless maintenance issues and awful customer service by both VW and BMW. My wife has had a Mazda 3 for 6 years and I finally noticed how it was just so reliable and fun. Tested a Speed 3 and realized it was time to buy one. A very good car that trounces the VW and BMW. I was actually treated like a human by Mazda. Kudos to Mazda, learn some customer service and build reliable cars to VW and BMW.
I have owned only Taurus SHO's for the past 17 years - all manuals. My last one just turned 190k as I went researching for a honorable replacement. It surely wouldn't be the new SHO as it was released w/o a stick and way too much $$$. As I went to different review and "best of" sites the MS3 was always ending up in the top two spots. Anyway ended up test driving the WRX (not as refined inside + more $) and the GTI (more $ and slower than the MS3). Since I have owned it (the MS3) I have to admit it just gets better every time I drive it - even with that goofy smile in the front. I did have to get used to a turbocharged car as far as shift points and turbo lag but all are quite manageable.
Push button start (just like Bat mobile in the TV series), Bluetooth (phone right through the speakers), Nav - it instantly knows where you are and works not like aftermarket navs that seem to take an eternity to locate, Keyless entry - touch the key fob once all day (put in pocket), fold-down rear seat
Performance car should have temp, oil & batt guages. Gas and boost gauges should be analog. Power really flattens @ high RPM. If you want to get really picky offer a sunroof, an "all windows up" button and make white one of the exterior color choices