2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Refined Where It Counts
May 19, 2010
I spent a fair amount of time in the GTI before driving the Mazdaspeed 3 this week. The contrast has been interesting. Similar to what James wrote a couple weeks ago, I've found the Mazda to be much more the hooligan. Erin also summed it up nicely last month, writing that the Mazda is simply edgier.
What did surprise me though is that there's still an underlying level of dynamic refinement to the MS3 that the GTI lacks. The MS3's steering is more communicative, for instance; turn into a corner and the MS3 responds willingly, whereas the GTI's is quick but not particularly informative. And the Mazda's ride quality, while certainly firmer, gives up little to the GTI in terms of overall comfort thanks to its excellent damping. So while the MS3's engine certainly makes the car more of a riot to drive, don't assume that the whole dynamic package is lacking sophistication.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor