The Driver Is Smiling, Too - 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazdaspeed 3: The Driver Is Smiling, Too

October 27, 2010


I haven't driven the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 enough to understand all the things that make it so happy all the time, but I can tell you one thing that puts a smile on my face: Driving a manual transmission again after years of automatics.

I forgot how much fun it is to drive a manual (particularly one with a six-speed transmission). I forgot how it keeps a driver engaged. As I got the feel of the gears last night in speeding and slowing rush-hour traffic, I found I wasn't as bored as I sometimes am. I didn't even shake my fist as traffic crawled through the South Bay Curve.

Maybe the joy of shift would wear off in time. After a few years of driving my manual-transmission Toyota Corolla, clutch tedium definitely kicked in. But in a car like the Mazdaspeed 3, I think it would take a long time for my smile to fade.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 21,038 miles

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