GREAT (except dealer-AutoTown Mazda, Portland OR)
By dlen on
Vehicle2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
ReviewPossibly the "best" car, for the money, I've ever had! (Except for dealership experience--see my review, no, see ALL the Edmunds reviews of the AutoTown [violative content deleted]) I previously had an '02 Z06, and while it was more HPDE capable, the 'speed3 is more enjoyable at all "public streets" speeds, and twice the value/dollar as the 'vette (assuming you don't need the "Corvette ego massage.") I've enjoyed a "decadent 2nd childhood" the last 20 yrs--including 2 M3s, 3 SVT Cobras (2 "R"s), and a few '60s muscle cars--and the 'speed3 is a balanced highlight, overall. I'm waiting 'til the warranty's used up before I try any mods (that could be used as an excuse to void my warranty); 2013 s/be fun.
Best Features1 - Very well-balanced (for FWD) in stock form. 2 - VERY comfortable for up to 3 hrs between breaks, on trips. 3 - Mazda's philosophy of making "almost everything" standard equipment on Mazdaspeed models; I chose the "Grand Touring" version due to the extensive "standard equip." list. OTOH, I wouldn't have got the "techno" pkg, but the best 09 'speed3 left in this market ('10s were already out) was dealer-ordered that way. 4 - Almost invisible to (or ignored by) L/Os...at least, in white, with stock exhaust (and maybe my grey hair?).
Worst Features1- REAL limited-slip (rather than "electronic brake compensation")-->"4" in performance. 2a - taller first gear ratio (i'm tired of "3000 rpm & a shift" before I finish crossing an intersection)...or 2b) even better, offer a "hi-po" A/T (like VW did in the '08 R32, eh?). 3 - Make the dang tire pressure sensors WORK...or at least make 'em diagnosible as to which individual one is malf'ing-->"4" in reliability. 4 - Upgrade the Nav. system controls--they're SLOW. (I can enter an address into my cellphone map app & have better route info, INCLUDING current traffic conditions, in "half" the time.
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