I love these cars. All-around they are practical. I have three kids, all of which fit. The car is very zippy. My current one has a little over 400 to the wheels, and I still average 26mpg with a lead foot! I've had 0 issues out of both of them. Only thing I've had to replace is the front wheel bearings, and some end links. I couldn't ask for anything more reliable!!
I wanted a used Speed3, but ended up going new as there were only 2 used pre-owned Mazdaspeed3's in the state when I started car shopping. It has been everything I've wanted. Currently commuting to work and it even does that well (avg 28 mpg, and most is a little two lane highway where I have the power to pass in this).
Lots of fun, no problems at all mechanically so far and 40 thousand miles into the car, I still smile every time I drive it.
Only issue I had was wishing you could pick something other than summer only tires if you live in colorado, though I did manage on those through two winters...
I had a few integra's and this car really shows the difference between torque and just horsepower.
Lots of fun in the curves.
Mtn roads are just a blast to drive, and it sticks to the road.
Kinda looks a little like a fighter jet threw up on the inside with all the controls, but put together cleanly
I fit an 8' ladder in this thing, 3 dogs once, 500 lbs of potting soil... fold down those back seats and there's piles of room.
Oh, I am 6'2" and sit in this thing just fine.
If someone short is up front that includes the backseats.
Headroom is great
Not sure why Edmunds says the negatives are torque steer (don't push the gas so hard, it's like saying things come at you too fast is an issue with a Buggatti Veyron...)
And I love that there is no automatic for this car.
Same with the sedan.
It's a hot hatch for a reason.
Three things I was looking for in this car, not entirely sensible negatives.
Only thing I would have negative to say is that the fuel mileage indicator is VERY optimistic.
It will show me having 450 miles of range, and on an 11-12 gallon tank, not even holding at the perfect speed all day could I hit that or get even close (seriously, it thinks you will get 40+ mpg when you fill it up).
This is the 2nd Speed3 I have owned. The first one was a project car. This one will be a project car as well. The overall value is unbeatable. So what, the NAV screen is small...but you still have nav compared to other models. The price is amazing for a small sports car. So far I have not lost a redlight-to-redlight race yet against trucks, or other cars. What you may not know, this car is lighter than most and with 263HP stock, you can beat many people right off the line and keep your edge for the mile long run. Great car, will definatly buy another one unless Mazda screws it up (doubtful). I have bought three Mazda's in the past year, all have of them have been amazing!
C'mon now, the outside of the car is only part of the package, We sit on the inside of the car, that is where the money is at.
I have sirius, nav, great displays, xenon AFS headlights, and pretty sweet air-conditioning settings.
You cant beat that.
I also like the feel of the clutch in the 2012's versus the 2011's.
The handling and acceleration of this car is amazing stock.
If you decide to get a Subaru WRX, then you sacrifice interior quality at a more substantial sticker price.
Plus, when you buy this car, you become part of the unspoken club of MazdaSpeed3 owners.
Have you ever had other owners of the same car wave to you just because you drive the same car...I think not! Go Mazda!
I would say that the exhaust needs to be improved, otherwise nothing.
If you really want that clean-cut exhaust sound and other upgrades, then corksport is the company to go with!
After now owning the Speed3 since March I have come to find this little car to be a very good sports car as far as power delivery and over all athleticism goes, it just does everything it is supposed to no matter how hard you push it. I really look forward to driving it daily. The seats are a bit fugly and uncomfortable, those being my two largest complaints(MAZDA, GIVE US ALL BLACK LEATHER WITH POWER!).As far as the front grille topic all the new Mazda's have a grin so bare it. Torque steer on this Gen is not an issue, it actually makes this car more fun and I wouldn't want it without some. I drove a 2012 GTI yesterday and it seriously bored me, it really felt lethargic in comparison.
I really think this thing looks wickid for a hatch.
Power delivery is exceptional for a stock machine in this segment and handling is precise for a FWD with minimal to no body roll.
Overall this car is VERY fun to drive and thats what a car like this is supposed to be all about. This car alone has made me take interest in weekend track days.
I like the fact that when you are driving this car it feels like you are driving a more refined and expensive auto than you actually are.
Seats are the issue ,cloth color could be better, bolsters and seat cushioning are a bit to stiff and tend to leave you uncomfortable on longer drives(though they do keep you planted in.)
Power seats should be an option along with a full leather package w/heat. This car IS good enough to demand a bit more money. A grand or two more for a few key better options would still work for this car. Heck a GTI AUTOBAHN is 29G and that car doesn't give you as much as the Mazda already.
Rear passanger leg room is terrible, if you are a six foot driver like myself and expect to have another adult behind you forget it. They will have to sit sideways. This car should have been a 2 door.
I just bought this car (July 2012) after doing lots of research on fun sporty cars on Edmunds. I needed passenger room, but wanted something fun to drive. There's only a few cars that fit that category. This happens to be the cheapest- and the best. No other car offers such speed, handling, technology (like bluetooth and Bose radio), solid design and build quality, in a multi-passenger vehicle. I simply love it. The closest competitor is at least 5K more money.
Engine. Steering. Passenger room.
Radio control could be easier, but the radio itself is great.