2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Base FWD 5-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

Base FWD 5-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

2010 mazda mazdaspeed3 Reviews and News

0911 03 Pl+2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3+rear Three Quarter View
0911 03 Z+2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3+rear Three Quarter View
There's one thing missing in love-it-or-hate-it cars like the Mazdaspeed 3: apathy. Whether you adore its tire-shredding, blistering acceleration or loathe its torque steer and turbo lag, you'll never get out of this hatchback feeling nothing. Redesigned for 2010, the Mazdaspeed 3 remains the muscle car of the hot-hatch world, and just like the last Speed, it remains the ultimate polarizer of the Mazda family.
For example, one could easily criticize the new Speed for offering no more power than last year's car. We won't. Word behind the scenes is that engineers experimented with more power (the engine will reportedly handle 300 hp with no problem) and even all-wheel drive, but the lessons of the late RX-7 stopped that thinking dead in its tracks. The RX-7 became too complex and too expensive, resulting in its demise. Demise is bad, so the Mazdaspeed 3 stays simple, cheap, and fast.
And that means it remains a hot hatch with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine furiously spinning the front wheels. The unibody is similar to the one in last year's car, with only slight structural enhancements made possible by the selective use of high-strength steel. The new Speed is roughly the same size as its predecessor, and weight has increased by only about 100 pounds. Even its electronically limited 155-mph top speed remains the same. So what's different?
Well, perhaps you've noticed the styling. And by "styling," we could only be referring to the Speed's freakishly happy yet uncomfortably sinister mug. Love it or hate it, the grille opening is roughly the same shape as the one on the standard version of the happiest car on the planet, but with a slightly perverse, almost Joker-esque, insert. Circular lenses replace the rounded-trapezoid foglights from the regular 3, and the front fenders are flared to house tires that have grown in width by one size. A hood scoop tells other would-be racers that this Mazda means business.
The functional scoop routes cold air directly to the top-mounted intercooler. The previous Speed 3 used ducting in the hood to feed the intercooler, which left no room for cold-air plumbing for the engine. The new configuration not only provides for better airflow to the intercooler but feeds the engine with chillier intake air as well. The better cooling results in higher engine output in hot conditions and at low speeds, such as when sitting in midsummer traffic.
0911 05 Z+2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3+front Three Quarter View
The engine itself - a 2.3-liter four-cylinder with direct injection, a turbocharger that produces 15.5 psi of boost, and peak output ratings of 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque - is unchanged. As before, we're tickled pink by its enormous thrust, but we're still irked by its copious turbo lag and relatively small operating range. Unlike other modern turbocharged engines with direct injection, the Speed 3's turbo takes its sweet old time spooling up, with practically no boost generated below 3000 rpm, no matter how long you wait. Lag is present in the midrange, too, even after redline shifts, and the turbo runs out of steam well before the engine's 6700-rpm redline.
Second through fifth gears in the six-speed manual transmission have been lengthened slightly in an effort to help this 3 put all its power to the ground. Also assisting is a limited-slip differential and engine programming that restricts output in the first three gears, depending on steering angle. You have to love a car that has so much power that its engine can't come off leash until fourth gear. We don't love the torque steer, though, which attempts to rip the steering wheel out of your hands under hard acceleration - even at highway speeds.
The Speed 3's body control over rough roads is flawless, although the lift-off oversteer we enjoyed in last year's car has been tamed. Both spring and damper rates have been increased considerably, and the ride remains commendably compliant - at least up front. Rear passengers are bounced a bit and are treated to lots of exhaust noise, but the back seats are otherwise very livable. Mazda has done an exceptional job of giving the 3 a deep exhaust note that sounds great at idle without filling the cabin with a boomy drone. That job is for the optional ten-speaker Bose sound system, which will accurately reproduce any sound track you ask it to.
Changing the hydraulic power-steering pump from belt to electrically driven allowed Mazda to give more steering assistance at parking-lot speeds and higher effort once moving. All of the controls in the Speed 3 are well-weighted, from the easy-to-modulate clutch to the positive brake pedal to the light, if a bit vague, shifter. In normal driving, the Speed proudly demonstrates everything that's made us praise lesser 3s - from the fantastic hatchback usability to the commendable interior quality, Mazda's little hatch is always one of our top compact-car picks.
0911 04 Z+2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3+rear Three Quarter View
With that said, the Speed 3's front seats feel less laterally supportive than last year's big-bolster affairs, and they lack thigh support, even compared with the power seats in the regular 3. And the optional navigation system, which Mazda appropriately names "compact navi," has a screen no bigger than that of an iPhone. Infuriatingly, its controls are placed on the steering wheel, meaning that only the driver can operate them, and destination addresses can be entered only while the car is stopped. How annoying.
We're also disappointed that many features available on less powerful 3s aren't offered on the Speed: you can beg, plead, or even hug your dealer, but he won't be able to get you a Mazdaspeed 3 with a sunroof, seat heaters, rain-sensing wipers, LED taillights, or swiveling HID headlights.
Then again, we think the Speed 3 ranks high on the bang-for-the-buck scale: at a base price of $23,945, it comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and that monster engine under the hood. Even fully loaded, your Speed 3 will barely break the $26,000 mark. You can love or hate its silly face and its distinctly turbocharged personality, but there's not much to discuss when it comes to price - if you like a whole lot of horsepower for your pennies, the Mazdaspeed 3 offers much to love.
0911 06 Z+2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3+cockpit
MazdaSpeed 3
BASE PRICE $23,945
ENGINE Turbocharged DOHC I-4
DISPLACEMENT 2.3 liters (138 cu in)
HORSEPOWER 263 hp @ 5500 rpm
TORQUE 280 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
TRANSMISSION TYPE 6-speed manual
DRIVE Front-wheel
STEERING Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SUSPENSION, FRONT Strut-type, coil springs
SUSPENSION, REAR Multilink, coil springs
BRAKES F/R Vented discs/discs, ABS
TIRES Dunlop SP Sport 2050
TIRE SIZE 225/40YR-18
L x W x H 177.6 x 69.7 x 57.5 in
WHEELBASE 103.9 in
TRACK F/R 60.4/60.0 in
WEIGHT 3245 lb (per manufacturer)
EPA MILEAGE 18/25 mpg
2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3
2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3
Though its styling is controversial, this hot hatch is still a performance bargain. The Mazda Speed 3 starts at less than 25K and manages to be a value at that. Lots of speed and sharp handling help the 3 rocket down the straights and blast through most corners. In fact, it handles much better than the previous generation of this model. A large degree of torque steer still rears its ugly head when powering out of a corner, especially over rough pavement.

Standard equipment is like a hot hatch wish list. 18 inch wheels, sport tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, a Bose audio system, and navigation are all present. The sole drive train combination is a turbo charged 2.3 liter four cylinder making 263 Hp mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission. This is good for 0 to 60 mile per hour times of 6.3 seconds. Pretty quick for cars in this segment.

The interior is nicely appointed with high quality materials and plenty of cargo room in the hatch. The rear seats can fold down for even more storage. The rear seats offer a reasonable amount of leg and head room. Enough that adults should be able to sit there, if only for short trips.
0911 02 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+head To Head
A bright red Mazdaspeed 3 recently showed up at the Automobile Magazine HQ, giving us the perfect chance to compare it side-by-side and back-to-back with our long-term Mazda 3s Grand Touring hatchback, which, conveniently, also happens to be red. After more than 10,000 miles in our long-term 3, how do our editors feel about getting behind the wheel of the boy-racer turbocharged edition?
0911 02 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+head To Head
I know that I'm supposed to like the Mazdaspeed 3's turbocharger, stiff handling, and studlier looks (bigger wheels, hood scoop, smilier front end, larger spoiler) compared with its more pedestrian sibling. But I must admit that my favorite part about the Speed 3 is that its gearbox and clutch are so much more user-friendly than those in our Four Seasons Mazda 3 hatchback, which has a clutch that seems to engage as soon as you brush the pedal and a gearbox that's nice but not quite as buttery-smooth as that in the Speed 3. The Speed 3, of course, also offers a 96-hp advantage, which is desirable but results in fairly extreme torque steer that tugs at the steering wheel. The regular 3's normally aspirated 2.5-liter four provides perfectly ample power but with little to no torque steer. Now that we've installed Continental winter tires on our Four Seasons Mazda 3, however, the car feels almost as torque steery as the Mazdaspeed version.
0911 03 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+head To Head
Like Rusty, I'm close to the target demographic of the Mazdaspeed 3. I've certainly sung its praises in the pages of Automobile and on these Web pages, and all of that has been well-deserved. But if given the choice, I'd put my own money towards the base Mazda 3 without a second's hesitation.
0911 08 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+front Three Quarter View
What's the point of 263 hp and 280 lb-ft if you can't -- or at least don't want to -- use it? Flooring the Speed 3 in first or second gear means fighting with the steering wheel. At this point, there are a lot of powerful, front-wheel-drive cars on the market, and very few of them behave this wildly under acceleration.
0911 05 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+top View
For the sake of full disclosure, I was once lured into Mazda showrooms by the Speed 3's predecessor, the Mazdaspeed Protegé. I ended up with a fatter, less powerful, and (most importantly) more affordable Protegé5 instead, but the Mazdaspeed products have always had a special spot in my heart.
0911 12 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+engines
2010 MazdaSpeed3
0911 10 Z+2010 Mazda3 VS Mazdaspeed3+rear View
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2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
Base FWD 5-Dr Hatchback I4
18 MPG City | 25 MPG Hwy
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2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
Base FWD 5-Dr Hatchback I4
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2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
Base FWD 5-Dr Hatchback I4
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
Base FWD 5-Dr Hatchback I4

2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.3L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
25 MPG
263 hp @ 5500rpm
280 ft lb of torque @ 3000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt (optional)
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
36,000 miles / 36 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
36,000 miles / 36 months
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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