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2010 Mazda Speed 3 Review

By Umberto Fulginiti - 01 Nov 2011


2010 Mazda Speed3

Zoom zoom… that’s their motto. And with the 2010 Mazda Speed3, you’ll do just that. First seen at both the LA and Bologna Auto shows, the Mazda 3 was manufactured as a replacement to the Protégé and Protégé 5 series. Categorized as a “compact” car, its 5-door practicality comes as a surprise when compared to its performance-oriented physique and engineering. Being quick, nimble, and sporty, the Mazda Speed3 is just downright fun; a perfect vehicle for a modern enthusiast driver.

Under the hood, the Speed3 comes well powered with a MZR 2.3L DISI Turbocharged engine. This tuned 4 cylinder packs quite a punch, producing a respectable 263 horsepower accompanied by 280 lb-ft of torque. While driving, the engine compartment emits a perfect note during acceleration and deceleration as if to let the driver know that all of the engine components are working together in perfect harmony. Paired with a 6 speed, taller-geared manual transmission, the Speed3 is a smooth, swift, and enjoyable ride. In the city, you can expect to get around 18 mpg and 25 mpg on the highway. MacPherson front struts and a multi-link rear end serve as a nice, tight suspension for the car and electrohydraulic assisted rack and pinion steering further adds to the sporty, tight, and nimble feel. The Speed3 also comes standard with Stability and Traction Control.

If you take a glance at the Speed3, it looks like a base Mazda 3 on steroids that has been dressed up and modified for rally racing. The Speed3 combines the perfect mix of smooth body lines with chiseled body dynamics to really give you the impression of modern performance. The front end has a large, wide mesh grille which was redesigned for this model year and is still used today. 18’’ Dunlop tires mounted on athletic aluminum alloys seat the Speed3. A swooped down front end as well as a deck lid mounted rear spoiler further add to the energetic look. The Speed3 is also equipped with a functioning hood-scoop which brings in cold air directly to the intercooler. And twin chrome exhausts finish the rear end. Overall, the Speed3 has a slightly tall and wide physique which helps to avoid body lean during sharp cornering.

Sporty, yet utilitarian. With the rear 60/40 split seats up, the Speed3 has 17 cubic feet of cargo room in the hatch. When you fold them down, you’ll fit a whopping 42.8 cubic feet of gear in it with ease. The interior of this car is very ergonomic and comfortable, sporting matrix fabric all over. The steering is smooth in performance as well as the physical feel of the wheel, and it comes well equipped with separate cruise control, audio, and Bluetooth controls. The MazdaSpeed Tech Package comes at a fair price and gives you lots of bang for your buck. Centered is a joystick like cursor that controls great features like a 242-watt Bose audio system, an in dash 6 disc CD changer, Sirius Satellite Radio, and a slick navigation system. Push button start, an advanced keyless system, and standard alarm are also available.

Last year I had the pleasure of taking one of these cars for a joyride. And believe me, it was definitely a joyride rather than a test drive. I loved every minute of it while I was behind the wheel. It did everything a sports car should do, despite being classified as a “sporty compact car”. The engine sounds and performs excellently. It handled like a dream, even around tight corners in the rain. The Bose system was out of this world. The seats hugged you and all of the interior components were easy to reach and operate. It all added up to one sweet ride.

Mazda has always been a mainstay brand in my family. Recently, a relative of mine just purchased a brand new Mazda 3 and she says nothing but good things. Why are these cars so popular? Mazda has done well to address all of the needs of the modern driver. Sporty, performance oriented design as well as drivetrain bless all of their vehicles, especially the Mazda Speed3. They have gone down a path that not only gives the car enthusiast an enjoyable vehicle to drive, but also feeds the need for cargo room, comfort, entertainment, and most importantly, reliability.

The 2010 Mazda Speed3 is a car that screams great engineering and enjoyability. Thinking of picking one up? You can expect to pay between $22,000 and $24,000.