2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Not the Easiest Clutch
November 20, 2009
I'm going to have to disagree slightly with Erin regarding the Mazdaspeed 3's manual transmission. I've been driving it a fair bit this week and its clutch is still proving difficult to consistently drive smoothly. Normally, give me a few minutes and I'll acclimate quickly. But in the 3, I find the clutch engagement point and the eager turbo-4's throttle tip-in to be tough to modulate when driving around town. I actually stalled the damn thing when I got stuck at our garage's steep exit last night.
Give it the full wood and I've got no complaints. However, this lack of smoothness in sedate driving could be irritating to live with everyday, just as my old Acura TSX was. More driving is certainly in order.
I'm also not enamored with the gearbox, which could feel more mechanical and direct. Frankly, it's hard to believe the Miata's and Speed3's shifters come from the same company -- they couldn't feel any different.
Mind you, don't take these past two posts as a sign I dislike the Mazdaspeed 3. For the money, it's still a whole lot of fun.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 3,223 miles