A very mercurial car. Fun to drive on smooth roads, but the shorter sidewalls of the 17" tires result in a very stiff ride and really hurt the front end grip on rough roads. The car has good power, but only at wide open throttle and under full boost, which doesn't kick in until about 4500 rpm. With a fuel cutoff at 6500 rpm, the powerband is VERY narrow, so expect a LOT of shifting if you're going to drive it aggressively. And don't make the mistake of shifting early - falling out of full boost on an upshift can really upset the balance of the car. Same brakes as the SE MX-5, so they feel underpowered with the extra weight of the Mazdaspeed. Lots of potential, but it misses the mark.
Looks good. Handles well on smooth roads.
Fuel map is awful. Fuel pump is unreliable (my second is failing). Intercooler is too small. Powerband is too narrow. Shifter is too short and notchy. Even with a 6-speed, top gear is too short. 17" inch wheel/tire package is too heavy and detrimental to handling on uneven pavement. Brakes are weak.