Pros Excellent Handling and acceleration, brakes are fantastic, great interior space and interior trim. Seats are fantastic.
Cons Turbo lag exists, but isn't bad. Torque steer exists, but isn't bad.
Summary Whoever reviewed this car for Cnet is insane. This is a fantastic car. I got the MS3 with the GT package and the stereo is great. Aux jack works fine. 0-60 times are substantially better than posted here. The Mazdaspeed 3 is a blast to drive all the time, and I find myself looking for reasons to go out to drive her. Check out a consumer reports magazine or any other reputable automotive review agency. I hate to say, but I have to suspect a bit of Honda/VW bias here... This thing crushes both the Civic Si and the VW GTI, overall. The Si has the 'Honda' name and the VW has great interior materials and one of the best steering wheels I have ever seen, but other than that, neither car can compare to the Mazdaspeed 3. I can say this because these were the three cars I researched, on a daily basis, for 4 months. I also test drove all three.
If you are in the market for a 'hot hatch', please don't use this review to determine your descision. Check out some other sources, you owe it to yourself.
Pros Torquey powerful engine. Incredible grip. Great Interior. Roomy. Perfect driving position for heel toeing.
Cons Bit of torque steer under full throttle. Occasional lack of soundproofing evident with stereo
Summary Not sure what this reviewer was thinking. This is without a doubt the best Car I have ever driven. Cnet should stick to the interiors. Not sure how Cnet managed to get that high a 0-60 time considering Car and Driver and Road and Track both got 5.8 seconds to 60. This is a bit beside the point. This is an amzing car with a little turbo lag and a little torque steer. Put your foot down and the traction control does a great job of controlling the power. Occasional squeal from the tires after a gear change when too much power is given. Test the car on a winding road and you can see where it truly excels. The car seems to be stuck to the road and with proper driving techniques you can really power out of the corners. Great value. You cant get this kind of power for this cheap in any car. Ive driven the GTI as well and though fun to drive and technically a great car, it really lacked the fun of the mazda. This is probably attributed to the absurd power in the mazda.
Anyway a wonderful car and the best deal in the hot hatch segment.
Pros power, handling, rare, subtle, wagonesque room
Cons some turbo lag, lacks some creature comforts
Summary I replaced my favorite car of the past 16 years (B13 Sentra SE-R) with my Speed3 in 11/06. The Speed3 offers the best of all worlds - incredible power, fantastic handling, 5-door hatch roominess.
One of my favorite aspects is how subtle it is - nobody knows what kind of screaming rocket I have unless they read the performance car magazines. I am hoping most cops mistake it for a regular Mazda 3. So far, so good.
I have been very impressed with the steering, suspension, and power combination. Autocross has been a barrel of laughs with the outrageous power when the turbo kicks in - mostly seemless, but some lag is inevitable. Overall, the best product of this type that is available for this money.
Pros pocket rocket = Mazdaspeed3
Cons none really.
Summary I own one. and this is a great car. Almost everyone on the MAzada3 forums is modding this car in one way or another. This is also a very fast car and not for the faint of heart. specially if you don't know how to speed shift or how to drive a manual.
For example. Mr wayne Cunningham and his buddy are a R-****, they posted possibly the worst times one could get from a mazdaspeed3. I have a little sister who can drive better than those two. and Cnet you take off this review and its wrong in so many ways. Youtube for MAzdapssed3 videos and what you will get is people doing 0-60 in 5 seconds flat and running a 1/4 mile at over 100mph and mid 13's. Wayne, if its got a skirt of wheels, you're going to have problems.
Pros Performance, Price, Style
Cons Bit of Noticeable Tubro Lag
Summary Overall this is great sports car for people not willing to spend top dollar. Also the car can get pretty good gas mileage if you treat it right. I get from anywhere from 24 City to 28 Hwy. The car handles pretty well especially moving out and in traffic and going around corners. Some might find the ride a bit stiff and bumpy but that is how sport cars are supposed to drive in order to get better performance.
Another Con also mentioned by the CNET review is the audio jack. If the car has satellite radio, you need to buy a switch box from the dealer in order to get the audio jack in the dash to work. That is why the CNET reviewer couldn't get the MP3 to work in the car. Mazda should of included that with the sat radio add on.
Still overall this is fun car to drive and own.