A Night On Team Mazdaspeed - 2010 Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazdaspeed3: A Night On Team Mazdaspeed

April 30, 2010

Mazdaspeed3 Bergamot JR.jpg

I'm a flag-waving member of Team GTI around these parts, but that didn't prevent me from being wildly amused by the Mazdaspeed3 last night. It's just a helluva hooligan, boosty, bucking bronco wild child that's absolutely impossible to drive in a relaxed manner. I don't think it would let you. I'm convinced that if you try to shift at 3,500 rpm, it'll suck you under the dash, spit you out through its great gaping maw and run you over with its Dunlops.

And yet, if you manage to somehow go easier on the gas, the Mazdaspeed is beautifully agile and controlled around corners. On a mostly deserted evening through West L.A. when I managed to make almost every light, my few turns were taken fast and with composure. I just love the nimble nature of hot hatches like the Speed3.

Of course, I'd come out of those turns and gun it. Holy crap, here comes the boost. There goes the steering. Shift to third. Here comes the boost again. There goes the steering again, though not as badly as before. I'm as much containing the car as driving it.

The Speed3 is just a hoot. I still wouldn't want to live with it every day and unlike that rat Candice from Survivor, my team allegiance won't be flipping. But for one night on Team Mazdaspeed, what a thrill ride.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 10,333 miles

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