Though this platform is not anything relatively new to our community, being behind the wheel of the Speed3 was definitely a first time experience for me, and I'll be the first to admit that this hatch definitely has an unexpected kick! The 2.3L DOHC DISI turbo 4-cyclinder engine produces 263hp along with a whopping 280 lb-ft of torque for a full on exhilarating driving experience. As expected, with this much power on a FWD platform, a bit of torque steer definitely comes into play upon maximum acceleration, yet, with a quick toggle of the traction control button, the issue is significantly reduced. Whether cruising through the city streets or zipping through traffic on the freeway, the stiff/sporty suspension proved to be more than responsive throughout the hairiest conditions of day-to-day travel and nighttime "journeys." Aside from the vicious stock power plant and the sporty drive of the vehicle, I was actually surprised as to how much room this "sport compact" had to offer. With a fifth door hatch and fold-down rear seatback, the Speed3 is able to accommodate more than a hefty load without reaching into the sporty front end of the interior or uncomfortably cramping the cabin. For a more realistic idea of the space the Speed3 has to offer, lets just say, I may, or may not have used the vehicle to help move apartments over the weekend. With a reachable MSRP, updated sporty styling and an endless array of aftermarket options, the Mazdaspeed3 is more than a viable option for anyone looking to dive into the sport compact scene.
The Sticker Pricing from MSRP $24,200
Engine 2.3L DISI turbocharged 4-cylinder
Transmission 6-speed manual
The Power 263hp at 5500rpm; 280 lb-ft at 3000rpm
Layout Front engine, front-wheel-drive
Wheels & Tires 18" alloy wheels with 225/40R18 tires
At the Pump 18/25 mpg (city/highway)
Deep Thoughts If an AWD Speed3 platform were to ever emerge, it'd be game over. Immediately.