2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 as Family Car

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 as Family Car

June 07, 2010

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A suburban duty cycle for the zoomy MS3 this weekend had me fingering the car's hatch-mounted belly button several times. The first time was to install my daughter's car seat and the second was a grocery run. I found something I liked and something I didn't like.

Those of us with children understand why the center position in the rear seat is preferable for mounting a LATCH-equipped car seat: That position is effectively in the center of the car and as such is farthest away from potential intrusion from any side. Also in the Mazdaspeed3, it happens to be between the rear-seat headrests that in some other cars are sometimes in conflict with the top edge of the child seat. All seems to be going well, right?

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But then I went into the cargo area to affix the top tether and found only the outboard positions had anchoring points. Bummer. Seems like an oversight to me.

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We also did a little grocery shopping and, as hatchbacks do so well, the MS3 swallowed up a week's worth of groceries. I love the hatch's easy access that obfuscates having to put on a miner's hat with a light to see the entire mother load of booty. I did, however, introduce my forehead to the cardboard luggage cover--once-- when I reached for the back.

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Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 12,090 miles

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