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Should I buy a new MazdaSpeed3 ? Opinions?

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Should I buy a new MazdaSpeed3 ? Opinions?

 
Old 10-24-2009, 06:50 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by JerriVette View Post
Nice looking hot hatch... good color choice too! Best of luck with it.
Thanks!!!
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:42 PM
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How bad is the torque steer?
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:42 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by C4DC View Post
How bad is the torque steer?
Still breaking it in, no violent WOT accelerations yet. But so far, even with some 75% pedal into fairly high turbo boost in the 3k- 4k rpm area (kickin' out some decent torque to the wheels), I'm not feeling any torque steer at all. I'm new to FWD hot-rods, so I think I'd notice torque steer since it would feel pretty foreign to me. But, so far, I am not detecting anything out of the ordinary. But... I'll report back once it's broken in and I can give it a few WOT runs. But, considering I've put a good deal of torque down a few times and felt essentially zero torque steer makes me think that it's not going to be a problem. The car has equal length axles and a torque management system, both of which supposedly cut down on torque steer. So far the car is a lot of fun to drive, it's certainly no Vette, but it's a cool little grocery getter, quite peppy once that turbo kicks in... and I'm averaging around 29mpg around town, stop and go.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:26 AM
  #44  
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A few extra pics:





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Old 11-20-2009, 09:28 AM
  #45  
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Congrats!!! I am in a similar situation. I am looking at the Subaru WRX hatch. I test drove it and like it a good bit. I am going to check out the MS3 too.... I am a little worried that at 42 yrs old I might look outta place in either car.... But I will still have my '06 Z06, so who cares. I will let you know what I think once I test drive one!!!

Congrats again... the pics are great!!
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:59 AM
  #46  
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Great choice of an awesome car!
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:29 AM
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Vet, just curious if you also test drove a VW GTI before your purchase, and if so, how did it compare?
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:40 PM
  #48  
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Thanks guys! I will post some more notes about the car once I have more time in it. Just did the first oil change yesterday at 1140 miles.

Originally Posted by JLC629 View Post
Vet, just curious if you also test drove a VW GTI before your purchase, and if so, how did it compare?
No, I did not test drive the GTI. It was important to me to have as much lower end torque / power as possible... the GTI is lacking here compared to the MazdaSpeed3 so I ruled it out early on. It also appears that the GTI is a tad bit smaller too, and I wanted the "biggest" car possible of this class (actually the WRX may even be a tiny bit bigger than the MS3).

I know there's a big comparison test article in a recent Car & Driver pitting the MazdaSpeed3 against the GTI (it might be online too). The GTI "won" the comparison... but they do point out how the GTI is grossly lacking in power, at least compared to the MS3. For me personally, I'm willing to trade a little "refinement" for more power. Having said that, I feel the MS3 is quite refined, overall it's very smooth and quiet, it feels and rides like a more expensive car than it is.

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Old 11-22-2009, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Vet View Post
Thanks guys! I will post some more notes about the car once I have more time in it. Just did the first oil change yesterday at 1140 miles.



No, I did not test drive the GTI. It was important to me to have as much lower end torque / power as possible... the GTI is lacking here compared to the MazdaSpeed3 so I ruled it out early on. It also appears that the GTI is a tad bit smaller too, and I wanted the "biggest" car possible of this class (actually the WRX may even be a tiny bit bigger than the MS3).

I know there's a big comparison test article in a recent Car & Driver pitting the MazdaSpeed3 against the GTI (it might be online too). The GTI "won" the comparison... but they do point out how the GTI is grossly lacking in power, at least compared to the MS3. For me personally, I'm willing to trade a little "refinement" for more power. Having said that, I feel the MS3 is quite refined, overall it's very smooth and quiet, it feels and rides like a more expensive car than it is.

I did read the comparo, was just wonderin' if you might have had first hand experience. I looked at a MS3, but didn't drive it, dealership was closed. Didn't really care for the "red splash" seats especially since it was on a blue car. Odd you say the Mazda is bigger though, seemed that the VW was larger but again I didn't drive the Mazda. Pricing was a little easier on the 3 than the VW.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:47 AM
  #50  
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The biggest improvement for the 2010 model is the better fit for the right knee for a person over 6' tall. In older models, my right knee would hit against the dash. My new 2010 Mazda 3 GT doesn't have this problem.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:30 AM
  #51  
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Any further updates?
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:57 AM
  #52  
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you can get a WRX for the same price, and it comes with AWD
much better and more reliable car than the mazda
comes in hatch or sedan

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:19 AM
  #53  
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The WRX came in 4th place out of 7 in this test:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...mparison_tests

But the WRX has a little too much body roll while cornering, the steering and brakes are a shade too inert, and the shifter is too rubbery—factors that sap the thrills,....

Last edited by Dave68; 01-13-2010 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:14 PM
  #54  
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Have about 2000 miles on it now, zero problems, I'm 100% happy with it. There's really nothing I DON'T like about it. I fit in it just fine (and I'm nearly 6' with long legs), it runs fine, shifts fine, brakes fine, etc... no noises or rattles... ok, I know, it's only 2k miles... but it's off to a great start. It's been a lot of shorter stop and go trips though over bumpy roads, traffic, etc, so it's definitely got some use on it.

One thing that sort of got me into a bit of a bind... and I SHOULD known better...

The MazdaSpeed3 comes with "summer performance tires" fitted. For whatever reason I tended to ignore the fact that these tires are literately USELESS in the snow. I did nothing about this situation until it was too late. We had a big "blizzard" here and I had to use the car the following week. I got around, but it was obvious that these tires were downright dangerous on any type of snow / slush... I got stuck several times in situations I know I never would have gotten stuck in my other cars that have typical "all-season" tires fitted. The car had seemingly ZERO traction.

I called TireRack, because the 2010 was / is still so "new", they could not offer me an aftermarket wheel that they would "guarantee" would fit this car properly (and new stock wheels for this car are like over $400 each and thus not an option). So I did tons of research on the web, still couldn't seem to get a solid answer about this. There were rumors that the 2010 models had larger calipers than previous models, etc. Days are going by and I felt the need to borrow another car (which was a bit of a headache) to avoid the risk of getting into an accident with the MS3.

Finally, I rolled the dice and ordered some inexpensive aftermarket rims with dedicated snow tires fitted, from Tire Rack... very reasonable. I lucked out, they fit beautifully and work great. Now this thing bites into snow like there's no tomorrow... has limited slip FWD. I can back up my steep driveway in the snow like a banshee . It's amazing the difference tires can make... not surprisingly.

Yes, I know all too well of course about how the Goodyear Supercar tires on our Vettes are bad in the cold... I guess I just didn't expect that this MazdaSpeed3 would have tires on it that were as bad or worse in the snow as Supercars. I don't really look at the MazdaSpeed3 as a "supercar", didn't expect it to have "track" tires on it... thus I did get a little "tripped up" by overlooking this tire issue.

So... in sum, the one thing I learned about the MazdaSpeed3... even in the northeast, it comes fitted new with tires that are not adequate for snow use, you will need to buy some tires that ARE adequate for snow use. But once you do, the true limited-slip FWD is plenty for pulling you through snow.

Also noted, even though the stock tires that come on the MS3 get bad ratings at TireRack, I found them to be excellent on warm / cool dry roads. They stick like glue and handle great. They are worth keeping. At first when I realized I needed better tires for snow, my first thought was to ditch the summer tires and just get some performance "all-season" tires for year-round use. But then it became more apparent that it was better to keep the summer tires for the best warmer weather performance, and run dedicated snows for the best snowy weather performance. This seems to be the case.

Just like how on my Vette I run Supercars in the summer and GS2s in the winter, gives me the best performance per season. The downside... you need to store an extra set of wheels / tires at all times. I can deal with this "inconvenience" in the name of yielding the best performance possible year-round.

Other than this little tire headache (which was my own fault and has now been rectified), the car has been perfect.

But the first day I had the MS3 in the snow... I had to pull out of a parking lot and accelerate onto a 55mph road... there was some slush in my path, not even that much... I could not get ANY traction whatsoever... I had the traction control off, as hard as I tried, I could not bite the pavement at ALL no matter what I did... it almost became dangerous as I was now in the lane trying to accelerate but going nowhere and trucks were now headed towards me at 55mph... I know for a fact that in my other cars with all season tires, I would not have had an issue in this same situation. It took me by surprise and was an eye-opener... I've never had tires perform that poorly on slush.

Then I went on a Mazda forum and guys were like, "were you trying to commit suicide taking stock MS3 tires on the snow, how stupid can you be????"... and my first thought was, my dealer or owner's manual probably should have at least mentioned something about this. They sell a car in the northeast and expect everyone to automatically know that they NEED to go out and buy new tires for the winter months?

Ok, I foolishly overlooked this issue, but... when you consider all the other safety stuff they smother you with in general, you think they would have made mention of the tires. Well, I'm not complaining, I got my snows on now and I'm loving the car!

Last edited by Vet; 01-24-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:06 PM
  #55  
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My brother drives an all-wheel drive Subaru every day in CT/New York. Every Fall, he has snow tires mounted. They do make a HUGE difference and he wouldn't be caught dead without them by November.

The MS3 is designed to be an all-out, extreme version of the 3 and thus comes with high performance rubber from the factory. It's good to see that you are enjoying this amazing car.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:55 AM
  #56  
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The Speed3 was an awesome little hatch...until Mazda murdered it with that fugly exterior design. The last generation was near perfect except for a little quirk here and there. I <3 the last gen, was going to buy one, but this gen...ummm...no.

Did you keep your C6?
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:53 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Pinky Demon View Post
The Speed3 was an awesome little hatch...until Mazda murdered it with that fugly exterior design. The last generation was near perfect except for a little quirk here and there. I <3 the last gen, was going to buy one, but this gen...ummm...no.
Did you keep your C6?
Yes, of course I kept the C6!!!.... I will probably never let go of my C6, my favorite car, ever, hands down. I picked up the MS3 because I needed something that I could carry my 2-year old daughter in, and also carry construction supplies and other junk (have a roof rack on it now)... and still have some fun at the same time. For me, nothing can replace the C6... but the MS3 is a nice little grocery-getter that makes zipping around town fun. I look at it purely as a utility beater car that is more fun to drive than an SUV or mini-van.

The "ugly" exterior.... I have to admit, when I saw it for the very first time, I wasn't thrilled about it. I was going to search for a left over `09. But then I discovered the improvements that the `10 has over the `09 after talking to some Mazda people, I then definitely wanted the `10. The `10 has a very comfortable, livable behavior about it, it feels like a car more expensive than it is. It's still plenty "raw" though, you always know you're driving something "hot". Part of me perhaps wouldn't have minded a more "raw" and sedate set-up, but I drive this car every day now, in all conditions, rain, snow, heavy traffic, etc, and I appreciate the refinements it has over the `09. The car is truly enjoyable in all conditions and doesn't feel like a slapped together kiddie hot rod... the `10 is surely a more "dialed in" package.

And I've come to really LOVE the exterior actually, it has real character to it... the previous models are just too "bla", I guess they make good sleepers because they're so bland, once you get used to the look of the `10, it's hard to look at an `09. But I suppose this will always be a personal preference thing, no right or wrong.

For whatever it's worth, if you go on the Mazda forums, there are tons of guys that at first claimed they hated the looks of the `10, now they all love it. I think it was just a little hard to swallow at first after coming off the ultra bland `09, but when you live with it a bit, you start to really appreciate it.

Some people call the front end "The Cheshire Cat Smile", but when you see one in your rear view mirror, it looks more like some type of demonic serpent about to kill you. The smile is far from a happy one, it's quite evil. It really does remind me of a deadly snake or something.

I whole-heartedly recommend this car. It sure ain't no C6, but it costs less than half of a C6... and it can carry way more than a C6. Performance is very respectable when you consider the engine is almost exactly equal to just THREE cylinders of the LS3! 2.3 liter verses 6.2. It can still run 0-60 in about 6 seconds and top out at about 155 mph. Yes, it needs the turbo to do that, but the turbo works just fine. Turbo lag can be a little annoying when you're used to the INSTANT mega-torque of the C6, but you get used to it and it's just fine... especially for half the price of a C6. Once the turbo winds up, the car goes... and this happens at slightly under 3k rpm typically, so you need not wind it up to redline to make it go fast like with most other small-engine cars.

I'm very happy with it. I think the only other car that I might have liked in this class would have been the WRX... AWD is indeed a very nice thing. But it costs more, more mechanical stuff wearing out in the car, more weight, etc... so unless you really NEED AWD, I'd say it's not good to have. If I lived in a mountainous area with lots of snow, mud, etc, I'd surely have it. But a true-posi FWD and snow tires is more than enough for Long Island.

Plus, when I sat in the WRX, I was just very uninspired... the WRX just "feels" more like a little bus, it seems more like an old-lady car that was turned into a hot-rod. The MS3 by comparison, especially with the new styling, is just really exciting all the way around. It "feels" more like a sports car when you sit in it, just seems more purpose-built and not like an after-thought. That's my perception of it anyway. But I'm sure the WRX is pretty cool in any case, I would not have ruled it out, would have been next on the list.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:51 PM
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I bought the wife a Mazda P5 in 2002. It's the car we drive when we're not in the 'Vett. This is a 2002, just turned 128K miles. I've brought home (among other things) a 42 gallon hot water heater, well pressure tank, and new mattresses . I put synthetic oil in at after the first 1200 miles. Changed the timing belt, water pump and accessory belts at 100K miles, and one set of brakes. It's never been back to the dealer. Been a great car!
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