2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Screaming performance and value, impressive stability at high speed, well-constructed and comfortable interior, hatchback utility.
  • Annoying torque steer in certain situations, suspension loses composure on rough roads, so-so fuel economy.
Other years
Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 for Sale
List Price

Used Mazdaspeed 3 for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 appraisal values can range from $3,025 - $7,272.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Possessing impressive performance capabilities as well as plenty of daily-use utility, the 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 is our favorite sport compact.

Vehicle overview

The 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 is sorta like George Foreman, only there's no Mazdaspeed Lean Mean Grilling Machine and it doesn't hawk mufflers for Meineke. Other than that, totally analogous. Even though it's based on the aging 3, the 'Speed 3 keeps knocking out the competition, just like George.

Like any good high-performance special edition, the Mazdaspeed 3 benefits from being based on an excellent car to begin with. Frequently hailed as the most enjoyable car in its class to drive, the regular Mazda 3 lends some very regal bloodlines. The 'Speed 3 takes those genes and adds a turbocharged engine that cranks output up to a sensational 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.

But the transformation from civilized 3 to "MS3" doesn't stop with the powertrain. In addition to the usual litany of changes like a lowered ride height and firmer springs and dampers, Mazda added various braces to minimize flex during aggressive cornering. Eighteen-inch wheels and performance tires are fitted to each corner for better grip, while larger brakes produce stopping distances suitable for a high-end sports car.

All these upgrades make the Mazdaspeed 3 the top dog in its segment. On a smooth road with sweeping turns, the 3 can keep pace with almost anything in this price range, including some rear-drive and all-wheel-drive cars. Meanwhile, the comfortable and well-equipped cabin and the utility provided by the four-door hatchback body style makes this small dynamo a great daily driver.

The ability to provide knockout acceleration, excellent handling manners and hatchback practicality at a very reasonable price has made the Mazdaspeed 3 a victor in every comparison test we've put it in. Rivals like the Honda Civic Si, Mini Cooper S, Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI have all fallen at its feet. While some may offer a little more of this or a tad more of that -- particularly AWD and available automatic transmissions -- the mighty 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 is still the best bet in its weight class.

2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 models

The 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 is available only as a four-door hatchback and in two trim levels: Sport and Grand Touring. The Sport comes standard with 18-inch wheels, performance tires, a limited-slip front differential, a roof spoiler, automatic climate control, sport seats, a tilt/telescoping steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with built-in audio and cruise controls, special Mazdaspeed interior trim, electroluminescent gauges and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and pre-wiring for satellite radio. The Grand Touring adds auto on/off xenon headlights, LED taillights, rain-sensing wipers, leather seat bolsters, a trip computer and a seven-speaker Bose stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer. A navigation system with satellite radio is optional on the Grand Touring.

Latest Mazda News from Edmunds
Watch Review
Best Small SUV Comparison 2021: CR-V vs. RAV4 vs. CX-5 vs. Rogue vs. Tucson

2009 Highlights

There are no changes for the 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3.

Performance & mpg

The Mazdaspeed 3's 2.3-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine pumps out 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. All that power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, the only transmission available. A limited-slip differential and an electronic torque limiter (which regulates the torque based on gear selection and steering position) are used to enhance traction and minimize torque steer.

Acceleration is exhilarating, with the 0-60 sprint taking just 5.9 seconds and a blast through the quarter-mile taking only 14.2 seconds. That turbocharged power takes a toll on fuel economy; the EPA estimates 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.


Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are all standard. In frontal-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the standard Mazda 3 scored four stars out of five. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the standard Mazda 3 received a "Good" rating (the highest on a scale of four) in frontal-offset impact tests. No side-impact crash tests have been conducted with a Mazda 3 equipped with side airbags.


Launching the 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 is always exciting, as the turbocharged engine offers tremendous low-end thrust. Turbo lag is virtually nonexistent, and this is an easy car to get into and drive fast. Of course, should you nail the gas mid-turn -- say at a left-turn arrow -- be prepared for a "Whoa Nelly!" moment of torque steering as all that prodigious power yips and yaws the steering wheel on you. In a straight line and when up to speed, it's much less of a problem.

Fling the Mazdaspeed 3 down a smooth ribbon of road and you can carry as much speed through sweeping turns as you could in more elite rear-drive and AWD cars. Credit goes to the sport-tuned hatchback's prodigious midrange torque, stiff suspension and considerable grip. The steering is exceptionally responsive when just off center, which makes flicking through transitions as easy as it is quick. Suspension damping is adequate on smooth pavement, but on rougher roads with tighter turns, the MS3 can get a little unsettled. Braking performance is outstanding for a car in this price range, with a stop from 60 mph taking only 111 feet.


Like the rest of the Mazda 3 line, the Mazdaspeed 3 boasts a cabin with a distinctive and upscale design. It also shares the same large, clear gauge layout, precise controls, high-grade materials and tight build quality. Unique touches for the Mazdaspeed edition include more aggressively bolstered front sport seats, aluminum pedals, a red-and-black color scheme and "Mazdaspeed"-embossed floor mats. Accommodations up front are first-class, and even taller drivers should be able to get comfortable. The well-shaped and supportive backseat is fine for those under 6 feet tall, but taller passengers will feel pinched for legroom. Cargo capacity stands at 17 cubic feet behind the rear seats and expands to 31 cubes when those seats are folded. The 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 is fun to drive and practical -- a definite win-win.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Blvd Posers need not apply
Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
You want a rig to massage your ego? Maybe make others look at you longingly in traffic? You never take you car to the redline, don't know that 'matching revs' means, but like to pretend that you could run a hot lap at a local track day? Well then, stop reading here, this isn't your ride...not by a mile. The Mazdaspeed 3 is a stealthy performance car, with a high build quality, that can embarrass a great many more pricy rigs. It doesn't have many interior 'toys' and it's looks don't say "I dipped into my 401K for this...worship me". But it does go, stop, and handle like it cost 50K. Need coddling? Look elsewhere. Want high speed-per-$? Then this is your ride.
Bang For The Buck.
Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
No other car sold in America, in 2009, gave you more. Performance and Fun for the Money. Not Even Close!
Stephen H,11/23/2017
Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
The good: This is just an amazing performance car. Great ride/handling balance, big power, super fun-to-drive. I think it looks great too. The bad: DO NOT buy one of these if you can't give it the attention it requires (ESPECIALLY a high-mileage one). This car has a few major parts that often have problems - mainly the turbo, the timing chain/ vvt tensioner, and various suspension components (all of which are time-consuming and VERY expensive to repair). BE SURE to read up extensively on mazdaspeed forums on these and other potential issues. If you do buy one, CHECK THE OIL WEEKLY (at the least). These cars tend to eat oil more than your average car. I would also have it thoroughly inspected by a reputable mechanic. Ideally, check for smoking exhaust after idling for 10+ minutes (sign of bad turbo) and do a compression test and oil pressure test if possible. Again, a great car, but if you're buy one, just know what you could be in for. It's like having a really beautiful, high maintenance girlfriend - you take the good with the bad : )
Still impressed after 3 years
Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
On the advice of a car dealer/racer friend I purchased my Speed3 after first test driving the GTI, WRX sti, Mini S, Lancer RalleyArt and Cobalt SS. This car made me say "Holy cr@p!" more than any of the others. The Speed3 was an upgrade from my 2005 Pontiac GTO which was incredibly fast, but lacked cornering, braking, space, utility, and was extremely expensive to own. The Mazda is a much more complete performance car. After 36,000 miles it's still capable of shocking the bejeezus out of me with its acceleration, cornering, and braking. I've had no quality issues, rattles, squeaks. etc. We take this car on long trips instead of my wife's Maxima because it's more comfortable. I love this car!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3

Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Overview

The Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 is offered in the following submodels: Mazdaspeed 3 Hatchback. Available styles include Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M). The Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 Sport is priced between $10,616 and$10,616 with odometer readings between 100723 and100723 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2009 Mazdaspeed 3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,616 and mileage as low as 100723 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3.

Can't find a used 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $18,630.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $15,228.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,607.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $25,003.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mazda lease specials
Check out Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 lease specials