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!
engine, acceleration, handling, sound of the engine, brakes, comfort, tech package, looks, the wheels...just about everything!
Better quality sound system with more power going to the speakers, bigger wheels, better stock tires, sunroof would be cool, HID headlights.
Having had the car for almost two months now, I can say that overall I'm very, very happy with it. Turning is crisp and the car stays flat even with sudden direction changes. The trans in this car certainly isn't on par with any Honda or even modern VW I've ever driving. Shifting takes some effort and missing the 2-3 shift is fairly easy by hitting the 1-3 gate. However, the limited slip is fantastic for tightening up the car in a corner. Turbo lag is present, but not horrible. The stability control sometimes intervenes without letting you know, making you think the lag is worse than it is. Overall, an excellent car and if performance is more important to you, blows the GTI away.
Power Handling Bluetooth phone and audio Boost Gauge Limited Slip Diff
Turbo lag is fairly pronounced below 2700 RPM The transaxle is a bit tough to shift at times, 2nd to 3rd can be difficult and I hit the gate fairly often Offer a sunroof and factory HID lighting Less obtrusive stability control, return the power sooner
If I could go back I would buy it all over again. This is a very responsive & quick car with lots of features to make your ride & needs feel beyond met. I am still finding new features that make my ride exciting, I enjoy the blue tooth I can listen to my Iphone wireless & answer calls while shifting hands free. The Bose system is awesome, my previous car had subs & I don't miss them at all. The blue lights underneath the dash and on the stick are a fun feature for a night drive out on the town. I feel safe in this car without the feel of being in a mini van. The stock dual exhaust sounds great, like a race car. This is definitely a luxury car that is affordable and fun to drive. Zoom zoom!
The blue tooth. The dual exhaust that hums like a race car. The two toned leather interior. The Bose sound system. The climate control. The very informative deck. The blue lights. The quick turbo of coarse!
This would be really fun to have a sun roof in. A bigger turbo. Other than that keep doing what you're doing. Thanks Mazda!
I've owned the car for about 3 weeks now and it is an absolute pleasure to drive. I was planning on waiting for the new STi, however I'm glad I decided on the MS3 for both practicality and affordability. Plenty fast for a mid-thirty year old, gas mileage is a solid 26 mpg (I do a lot of city driving), and it handles like it's on rails through the curves. Motor Trend just did a comparison between the MS3, the wrx, gti and ralliart, and out of all of them, this is the "point and shoot racer" that simply feels much more "dialed in". Believe me, they're spot on. I simply can't stop grinning.
Honestly, the entire car, from the styling to the tech package, performance, handling and excellent gas mileage for a vehicle with 263 hp and 280 ft/lbs torque. Sure there is torque steer, but it is quite manageable and not overbearing.
A sunroof and the cup holders. I find that my forearm occasionally hits the top of my girlfriend's water bottle when shifting (perhaps I should raise the seat more) . Also, the forward sliding armrest prevents a drink from occupying the second holder.
It's a great all around car for the price. Good power with slight turbo lag and torque steer. Once the power is there, hang on! Interior features are awesome for the price. Bose audio sounds rich but the in dash navigation is about the same quality as if you had bought a $50 Garmin, but still a nice feature. Love it or hate it, the front grille grows on you after a while. Combining the power of the car coupled with the price/power and features, it's a really good deal.