Possibly 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.
1 - 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?).
1- 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.