2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Good Gearbox
November 18, 2009
Drove our 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 last night and had much the same feeling of euphoria Kurt did. I haven't driven a Mazdaspeed 3 in ages, and this is the best one yet. Everything just seems a little more refined, a little better sorted out in this car.
I particularly like the six-speed manual gearbox. The shifter's gates are well defined and there's solid, positive feel as you move between gates -- you can tell this hardware comes from the company that builds Miatas.
Along with that, heel-and-toe downshifting couldn't be any easier. The pedal spacing and clutch takeup are dead-on on for this activity. In fact, if I was going to teach someone to heel-and-toe, our Mazdaspeed 3 would be a great choice. Close gear ratios make it easy to find the right amount of throttle blippage. Big four-cylinders (turbo or not) are also good for novices -- a good amount of torque, but not too much, so you don't have to worry much about underdoing or overdoing your blips.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 2,960 miles