2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Does Torque Steer Kill the Fun?
June 01, 2010
Over the weekend, I learned that a friend of mine who'd told me he was going to heed my suggestions and get himself an unassuming gray Mazdaspeed 3 backed out of the deal. The reason? Torque steer. "You warned me about the torque steer," he said, "and it drove me nuts."
Then, he looked over and saw that I was driving our Mazdaspeed 3. (We met up at a grocery store.) "Well, you obviously like the car," said my friend, "and for the price, it really does offer a lot of performance. And I like how it feels so solidly screwed together."
"Yeah," I said, "I've kind of just accepted that torque steer is part of its personality like with the current Mini Cooper S. And I like the total package that the Mazda offers so much -- the ride, the straight-line performance, the handling and the good driving position -- that I'm willing to look past this shortcoming."
So here's a question. Would torque steer stop you from buying and enjoying a Mazdaspeed 3?
By the way, I subsequently took my friend's frankenbmw, an E36 M3-powered 318ti, for a spin around the block, and that car completely recalibrated my sense of abrupt clutch engagement. Drive that car and you'll never again complain about the comparatively easy-peasy setup in the MS3.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 11,842 miles