Loved it at first, then things started falling apart.
Broken motor mount recalled, EGR failure,
Started smoking at idle at about 30k miles.
I replaced the turbo inlet pipe,
valve cover vent (added restricter).
Made my own oil restricter bolt 66 instead of 98,
swapped out the bpv and springs and shims, still needed a custom tune to up the idle to 1100.
Now I find myself babying the thing so the turbo won't blow.
Canada made Mazda recall the k04 turbo.
We didn't get so lucky here in the USA.
So unless you're a mechanic or really good with a wrench stay away from this year and maybe a few others too.
Turbo when it is not smoking and suspension when the rear sway bar doesn't pop off.
Upgrade the EGR system.
Better ecu tune.
Better LSD instead of restricting the 0-60 in first and 2nd gear.
Better motor mounts.
Bought car new.
Like most owners have written, lots of power for the buck.
Surprise to get 30 mpg on highway driving 75.
So far it's been very reliable which I was concern since this was the first year model which by the way quicker than the latest models due to weight.
Much has been written about torque steer and touchy clutch.
Haven't experience such problems because I don't floor the car from a dead stop or release the clutch out fast which the dumb car reviewers from Autoweek, Road and Track, etc.do when testing the car out.
Can keep with BMWs, Porsches, etc. once you are rolling.
Some say VW GTI is a better daily driver which isn't true if you drive the car like normal driver.
Awesome power for highway and big turn mountain roads. Can't believe gas mileage due to the 6 spd transmission compared to the WRX which only has a 5 spd.
Interior is quality whereas the WRX is plain cause Subaru puts its emphasis to the engine and AWD.
Trunk is large 4 lots of cargo.
Love seeing expression of faces of drivers of BMW and Porsche drivers when you can keep up with them.
You will have more fun for the buck here than those expensive cars.
Besides, Mazda drivers are lot nicer than those snobs owners.
I had a Porsche before but never like the other owners.
Sold it after 6 months.
Great driving on the twisty roads with combo of power and nimbleness even for a heavy car.
The engine is too strong for a front wheel drive.
Mazda wanted to keep cost down which was a mistake because if it had AWD, it would outperform the 2011 WRX which is a great car in its ownright.
All Speed 3 owners I know would have gladly paid a few more dollars to have AWD.
This why the Speed 3 no longers is on the Best 10 list of Car and Driver as in the past.
I think the days of the Speed 3 is limited unless they make such improvement.
Speed 3 is no longer King of the Hill for Bang for The Buck!!
The ultimate "sport utility." Three and a half years into ownership, and it still feels new and fun. I can haul a half-stack bass amp rig, plus enough PA gear for a full band to play a bar, and there's still an empty passenger seat for the lady to come along. I can fit enough lumber for a weekend building project and still beat the pants off anything else on the road when I'm driving home. Fuel economy is good enough, would be better if my foot was lighter. Power is enormous in any gear, brakes are strong from any speed, and the grip is far beyond what you expect for such a tall car. If there was ever a better daily driver for the driving enthusiast, I couldn't tell you what it was.
Limitless thrust, huge cargo capacity, eye-searing red paint, priced for real-world people.
Smoother clutch, less choppy ride, more progressive electronic throttle. It's just a hard car to drive smoothly.
I own an 07 Mazdaspeed 3 and a 2007 VW GTI. The speed wins hands down for spirited driving on a back country road but suffers in town. A very short 1st gear and stiff suspension makes for a taxing drive in stop and go traffic. I take the GTI for around town driving and leave the Speed for the weekends. Oh and I average 15mpg city and 28-30mpg freeway. That's even when I skip gears and drive very lightly. The GTI on the other hand returns on average 20-25mpg city.
Motor and handling.
taller 1st gear for city driving. Work on the torque steer. Gas mileage.
I absolutely love this car!! 263hp, 0-60 in about 5.6 sec, handles like it's on rails, and I'm getting almost 28 mpg and all for about $18k. It was a no brainer. This car will have you looking for a longer, twisty way home. And to top it all off, it looks like a little hatchback grocery getter. Can you say sleeper anyone? I even debadged it for that little extra stealth. Most people think it's just a Mazda 3 until you drop the hammer. Now I just smile and wave at the pulled over guys and their hopped up Hondas, WRXs, STIs, EVOs, GTIs etc., knowing I have a better performance to dollar ratio.
Duh? The turbo! They don't call it a Mazda"speed" for nothing.
I actually like the torque steer and the stiff ride but more cushy drivers won't. Third gear is touchy but Mazda changed the ratio for the 2010. With an intake and a down pipe you may get another 30hp. I think the 2010 hood scoop and psycho Elmo smile were a move in the wrong direction.