MazdaSpeed3: A sporty hatchback with exceptional performance credentials

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Playing out your sporty thrills usually requires a deeper wallet than average, which can limit how far you can go. The Mazdaspeed3 may have successfully solved that problem, so keep reading for more.

Making compromises in the world of automobiles rarely ends up producing sufficient pleasure for drivers. But, as technology progresses, you begin to see more and more unexpected combinations and crossover-type vehicles that offer the best of two or more worlds sufficiently well. When on the market for a car with a compact hatchback form that also has a particular affinity for speed and excitement, your options would have been limited if it wasn’t for the incredible Mazdaspeed3. Keep reading to learn more about this unusual and hugely exciting car.

A Fairly Unassuming Hatchback With Racing Appetites

The culprit for the smile you’re going to have on your face the moment you get into the Mazdaspeed3 and put your foot down is a 2.3-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s responsible for generating a respectable 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and with the help of a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, generates 280 lb.-ft. of torque. In other words, this is a recipe for immense thrill whether you’re driving for groceries or hugging twisty pavement somewhere on a sunny weekend. While the 0-100 kilometres per hour takes 6.9 seconds, the 80-120 kilometres per hour is faster at 4.8 seconds, meaning highway overtakes are the ideal chance to channel your inner racer. The best part? Hitting the throttle and listening to the turbo whine up. But, that’s just the beginning.

A Subtly Inspired, Yet Masterfully Crafted Interior

The Mazdaspeed3 boasts an interior that’s not too different from the standard Mazda 3. Notable differences include a leather-wrapped parking brake knob to match the shift knob, as well as a change to the backlighting of the instrument cluster for better readability. The sport bucket seats are not only exceptionally comfortable and provide good support in all the right places, but they’re also heated. Even taller passengers won’t struggle with finding plenty of legroom, which applies both to the front and rear of the car. Traditional Japanese design also incorporates more standard and useful tech features than you can count, with a number of additional ones available through optional upgrade packages.

Easy To Drive, But Requires A Firm Hand

The one aspect of the Mazdaspeed3 in which its racing affinities become particularly obvious is the transmission. It will take a significant amount of concentration to get a clean upshift without any jerkiness, at least in the lower gears. The shifter has well-defined gates, but will probably be a bit stiff for most. As a result, the Speed3 clearly prefers a firm hand on the shifter and a clear road to play on. That said, another incredible aspect of the Mazdaspeed3 is how well it’s able to create a connection with the road, as well as almost instant and detailed feedback. This is thanks to the sport-tuned suspension, which incorporates electro-hydraulic power steering, stiffer stabilizer bars and springs at both ends. In fact, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to argue that the only thing separating the Mazdaspeed3 from its racetrack cousin in terms of handling are the dynamic stability control and standard traction control. It’s THAT awesome.

The Mazdaspeed3: An Ingenious Compromise

The Mazdaspeed3 encapsulates a compact hauler and sports car in one. If you happen to be on the market for a four-wheeler in this category, it needs to be said that you also have more sophisticated options available. But, the real question that needs to be asked here is – why would you want to? The Mazdaspeed3 is almost like their antithesis in that it’s frantic, rawer, has a quirkier design and taking more effort to tame the right way. Instead of being put off by its innate brashness, try welcoming the challenge. One thing is certain: if you don’t warm up to the Mazdaspeed3 on the first go - you can always go again.