2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazdaspeed 3: I Love Torque Steer!

February 17, 2010

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In yesterday's open thread for our 2010 Mazdaspeed 3, our good friend, Bob Holland (rsholland), commented, "I've heard reports of severe torque-steer upon hard acceleration..."

Torque steer? Oh, yes, indeed, there's torque steer. Frankly, though, it would feel strange to drive a front-wheel-drive car rated at 280 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm that *didn't* have torque steer. There's got to be a price for asking the front wheels to manage this much torque, plus steer the car.

But I'd call the case of torque steer in our Mazdaspeed 3 moderate, not severe. It's there every time you accelerate full-throttle down an open highway, but there's no danger of the steering wheel getting ripped from your hands. The car just feels squirmy, much like a current-generation Mini Cooper S, and you either like that or you don't. And the acceleration itself is pretty exciting.

Also in the open thread, crazydavefym asked, "Would you guys enjoy this car (more/less/same) with the DSG transmission from the GTI?"

I suspect our staff is divided on this one, since Al and James have gone on record as disliking the clutch. But if I get to answer this question, and I do, since I'm blogging here, I say no.

I don't mind the quick (--> abrupt) clutch engagement, I like the shifter's mechanical feel through the gates and, most of all, I like heel-and-toe downshifting in this car. That said, Mazda would be wise to offer a twin-clutch transmission on the Mazdaspeed 3 in future years, because then more people would get to enjoy the MS3.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 in VA is:

$145 per month*
* Explanation