2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test


2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Trigger Pull

March 09, 2010

MS3ClutchLead.gif

There's a lot to like about our Mazdaspeed 3, but I'm stuck on the touchy clutch. It's been noted before, but I thought I'd give you a more graphical (but not at all scientific) representation.

MS3ClutchAnim_01.gif

In this animation, you'll see where I place the friction zone in the travel of the clutch pedal. Before the plates begin to grab, there's a bit too much travel and effort for my tastes. I liken it to a pistol trigger with a heavy spring and lots of freeplay - a double-action revolver, for those who have done any plinking.

EliseClutchAnim_01.gif

Here is the clutch action in one of the cars I think got it right - a Lotus Elise. Yes, I know, I'm biased, but several professional drivers have commented on how this particular clutch just seems perfect. There's not as much travel before the initial bite, and the friction zone is much wider.

ClutchComparison.jpg

Does anyone out there prefer the setup in the Mazdaspeed 3 over the typical clutch profiles?

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 8,720 miles

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

$146 per month*
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