Japanese Quality that's precision-engineered to implode at 36,000 miles
written on 08-07-2012
Never abused, raced, modified, or wrecked, and serviced only my Mazda dealerships, yet it still began self-destructing within 100 miles of the end of the warranty. From 36K to 55K:
· silly-putty factory rear motor mount began eating itself
· steering began clicking and popping, dealer could not diagnose
· pot-metal shift knob attachment rod sheared off while driving
· toy-car-plastic shift cable end broke off of gear knob
· BlOSE radio died
· engine developed incurable throttle lag
· 2nd gear (and no other) would either (a) engage smoothly (b) engage with notchiness (c) grind (d) not engage at all; dealer could not diagnose
· 1 passenger window failed
· power lock in driver's door failed
Alright so here is my review on the speed3. I have owned mine for about a year and a half now and I must say I'm extremely happy with it. You never forget that you are driving a Japanese tuner car. There is a lot of engine drone in the cabin and if you roll the windows down it gets even louder. I can take about every corner you can think of and still not lose control. It is front wheel drive so if you go up against a new WRX or EVO you will lose, but not by much. Not to mention this car brand new is about 5K less than those. For the money you get all kinds of fun. Anyone looking to by a practical, fast, stick shift car, the speed3 is your best bet.
I bought this 2008 speed 3 new but in January 09. I got a great price as the vehicle was discounted greatly to move it. It's definitely the great value that everyone has said it is and yet lately I have found myself at dealerships in search of a step up. The car is fast but the ride and handling don't reach my previous VR6 Jetta, driving experience despite more speed and power. The torque steer is enormous comparatively and the ride and handling are not up to par. I also happen to be an audio nut and the Bose sound system is quite awful. The speakers sounded crappy, the bass bloated and the system has a noise circuit that makes the volume fluctuate uncontrollably. It has been replaced.
My husband bought it for me, I'd not driven one, ever. Love the concept: small 4 door hatch, manual, fast, etc, BUT can't drive it very long cause the seats are painfully stiff. Only had it a day, but probably will sell soon. My butt and hips are literally numb on the sides from the awful seats.
All you need in a performance inspired car, and more
written on 07-15-2013
This car is exactly what I was looking for when I was shopping for a new one back in 2008. I've had it now for 5 years and not a single problem. Very fun and exciting to drive. More than enough power for a 2.3L 4 cyl, and plenty of space inside as well for passengers and cargo. I get compliments everywhere I go from friends to strangers, men and women.