2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 263 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3

  • The old Mazdaspeed 3 was already our top choice for a budget performance car; the redesigned 2010 model is even better.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong turbocharged performance, sophisticated ride and handling, upscale interior, hatchback utility, lengthy features list, reasonable price.

  • Cons

    Unavoidable torque steer, no sedan option.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 has been completely redesigned. In addition to gaining the same changes as the regular 2010 Mazda 3, the new Mazdaspeed version benefits from suspension changes that improve its handling abilities over the previous-generation car.

Full 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 has been completely redesigned. In addition to gaining the same changes as the regular 2010 Mazda 3, the new Mazdaspeed version benefits from suspension changes that improve its handling abilities over the previous-generation car.


Since being introduced in 2007, the Mazdaspeed 3 has thumped all who have dared to take it on. Its combination of power, handling, practicality and value has proved to be unbeatable in the various Edmunds comparison tests it's participated in over the years. For 2010, the champ has reloaded in the off-season. Like the late '90s Yankees, the redesigned 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 maintains the bits that made it a champion while bolstering the rest of its roster.

Like the redesigned Mazda 3 upon which it's based, the 2010 "MS3" has softer styling than its predecessor, including a happy (some would say goofy) new face. The Speed version differentiates itself with a nicely integrated hood scoop for its turbocharged four-cylinder's intercooler and a few other subtle body modifications. The 3's interior is also new, and it features improved materials and a more visually interesting design. As before, standard equipment is generous, and luxury features like keyless ignition/entry and a Bose surround-sound stereo are available.

The previous MS3 was already our favorite high-performance hatchback, but Mazda's engineers felt that its suspension was in need of an overhaul, as it had a tendency to get unsettled over bumps and around pockmarked corners. The result of their efforts is impressive: Not only does the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 ride noticeably better than its predecessor, it also slithers through our slalom cones a whopping 4.6 mph faster.

Under the hood, however, it's more of the same, with a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that cranks out 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque -- unchanged from the last MS3. There are a few minor tweaks, though, including a new electric power steering pump, a reworking of the manual-transmission gear ratios and new controls in place to mitigate the car's still prodigious torque steer.

Overall, these changes add up to a more refined and capable car than the previous model. Though the Mazdaspeed 3 is a performance hatchback intended to compete with other such vehicles, it's good enough to take on rear-drive sport coupes as well, earning our nod over a Hyundai Genesis Coupe in a recent comparison test. Only time (and a full comparison test) will tell whether the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 can maintain its champ status against the Chevy Cobalt SS, Mini Cooper S, Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, Subaru WRX, VW GTI and whatever other contenders may come its way. But we're guessing it's safe for Mazda to make room in its trophy case.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 is a four-door hatchback available in one trim level known as Sport. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, high-performance summer tires, a limited-slip differential, foglights, full power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, front sport seats, leather and cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a digital turbo boost gauge, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker stereo with CD player, auxiliary audio jack and steering wheel controls.

The Mazdaspeed Tech package adds keyless ignition/entry, an integrated compact navigation system and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo with satellite radio and a six-CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mazdaspeed 3 is powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. All that thrust is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission equipped with a limited-slip differential. In performance testing, the Speed 3 went from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds -- midpack for its class and a bit slower than the old car. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.


Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. The 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 itself hasn't been crash tested, but the government awarded the regular Mazda 3 five out of five stars for driver and front passenger protection in a frontal crash, five stars for front side protection and four stars for rear side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2010 Mazda 3 its highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side crash tests, and the title of Top Safety Pick.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Mazdaspeed variant differs from the regular 3 with its upgraded gauges and standard black leather upholstery with red pattern cloth inserts. Otherwise, it boasts the same class-leading interior design, quality and feature content as the regular 3. Despite its relatively low price and single trim level, the MS3 greets its owner with high-quality materials, comfortable sport seats, ample space and easy-to-reach controls. The optional navigation system is saddled with a small screen, but it's mounted high, easy to use and cheaper than other systems.

The front seat offers a wide range of adjustment (though no power adjustment is available) and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel is a welcome feature. Some may lament that no sedan body style is available, but the standard hatch allows for a greater level of practicality. The trunk provides 17 cubic feet of space with the seats raised and expands to 42.8 with them lowered.

Driving Impressions

Routing 280 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels is usually a recipe for annoying amounts of steering-wheel-tugging torque steer. This phenomenon is certainly present in the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3, but a revision of the engine's torque-limiting software help keep torque steer under better control than last year. In any case, there's no doubt that the MS3 is one of the best-handling and most entertaining hot hatches on a winding road.

Another nice change is that pavement imperfections that would have flummoxed the old car are now handled with grace by the retuned suspension. Pin-sharp as ever, the steering provides plenty of communication and faithfully transmits road information like few front-wheel-drive cars can. Throw in a feisty 263 hp and you've got one fun little hatchback.

Read our Mazdaspeed 3 Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A fun jack of all

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I have owned my speed3 for almost 2 years now. In that time I have put 54,000 miles on it. I can say that it's a fun car, It has a good amount of cargo space, and it roadtrips well. The fuel economy isn't bad, but the read out is a bit optimistic. I use the car for family roadtrips (500mi one way my wife and I), work (multiple 500 mi days per week), and even the ocasional track day. Currently at 77k and really nothing unexpected as far as maintence goes. Spirited public roads driving the speed3 is as much fun as the GTO and 540i M-sport I have owned previously. It does have understeer at the limit, and that does sap a bit of track day fun.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Don't hesitate, it has everything

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

To start off, I've only owned this car for 4 days now. I was a very proud rx8 owner and loved every bit of it, except for the gas mileage. This car, has everything that you want. Perfect handling, the right amount of power, it's very practical and to be honest, economical. I know people will be like "economical? it only gets 18mpg!" Yeah, when you're flooring it everywhere. When I drove home from the dealership I was about 50 miles away from home. I drove it like a grandma and averaged 34mpg. So if you really want to economical, this car can definitely do it. I can't talk on the reliability as I just got the car, but I still rated it a 5 because I love everything about this car.

Fantastic car if you have

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I owned this car for about a year and had absolutely no issues with it. Added on a couple of goodies (Corksport intake and cat delete, Cobb Accessport) which significantly increased the power without sacrificing MPG or driveability. For the $$ the MS3 really is the performance bargain of the century. Great build quality and reliability, handling, power, it's all there. Don't listen to the weenies who complain about torque steer, it's really not bad or difficult to control. Wheels spinning? STOP PUSHING THE GAS PEDAL. It's not complicated. The only reason I got rid of the car was the ride comfort. We have horrible roads in Ohio with giant potholes and lots of speed bumps so it was just a pain

Work of art!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I bought my Speed 3 w/ tech package after driving my girlfriends new Mazda 3 S. After driving her car I knew a Mazda would be my next purchase. These cars are amazing! They fly around the corners with ease! I not talking about cornering around a curb at 30 mph, Iím talking sideways at 60-70 mph. These things hold a line so well itís like youíre on rail! The best thing about going around a corner in my Speed 3 is that itís absolutely flat while doing it. Iím in love! Power is a huge + this thing is a rocket ship!! Fuel economy is great too. I averaged 28 mpg on my last tank. Only thing I would complain about is thereís a small amount of torque steer, but that adds to the fun. Great job MAZDA!

34,000 happy miles!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Owned this baby for 34,000 miles now! First off, this is a really fun car to own. I have three kids (9yrs and 6yr twins) and they fit with no problem in this car (even with boosters). Never get tired of the power this car makes in every gear, passes without downshifting. Fuel eco is not exceptional, but coming out of a 12mpg truck I've at least doubled it. Have to use premium fuel, runs like hell on lower octane fuel. If you live in an area that gets snow you will need a set of winter tires, I don't care how great a driver you think you are, the performance tires on this car are outright dangerous when temps fall in the 30's. All in all I would highly recommend this to anyone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love me love me not

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I have had my Mazdaspeed 3 for 3 months and 3700 miles now and have noticed things I love and things that need improvement. The car handles very well, but may be a bit harsh for some. The interior is very nicely laid out (love the blue accent lighting). The exterior styling can take a bit getting used to. I bought mine in Black, so the "happy face" is not noticeable at all. I drive very conservatively so I have been averaging around 23-24 mpg with a 60-40 mix of city and highway driving. Overall a nice car and a great value, but Mazda needs to work on the clutch on these cars. My clutch is taking away from the fun of driving it, which is a big reason why people buy these cars.

Talk About The 2010 Mazdaspeed3

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Read more about the 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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