2008 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
There are 24 user reviews for the Grand Touring 5-Door trim shown below
- Performance, build quality, handling, price
- FWD Wheel Hop, Not Modification Friendly, Weak Bose Stereo
Purchased As New
Overall my like for this car is very, very high. I have owned all types of performance cars from V8's to superchargers and turbos to HO V6's and this little turbo four is a shear blast.
My main drives to downsize were pricing...it's the best value out there for someone who wants some nice comforts and power. Everything from the HID lights, auto wipers and excellent suede/leather seating.
It seats four perfectly, but considering I have two car seats in the back of mine I don't get too many passengers. It is nice though to have a hatch with folding rear seats for days when you need to haul a lot of stuff.
Power wise, she's every bit as fast as my previous V8. Faster in the mid range, 40-100mph. Up against the new STi, she held her own, only dropping back just a bit upon each gear shift as the STi powers to redline where the Speed 3 flattens out after 5800 rpm. Still, at 15k less to be only a couple of cars behind isn't too shabby.
The handling is near perfect. Tail can be coaxed out but re-aligns very easily. Rides a bit stiff but that's just me coming from a performance sedan. Don't be surprised if you find yourself taking turns at crazy speeds and approaching triple digits when merging on the freeway.
Fit and finish has been excellent. Few minor squeaks and creaks are easily fixed. Just google or join a forum and the answers are easy to apply.
Downsides....wheel hop. The motor mounts are weak and with all that torque going through a tightly geared 6spd, you will spin all the way through 1st, 2nd and into 3rd if you stand on it hard. $45 in a new mount fixes that. FWD....my last car a GXP Grand Prix was FWD but handled the power well....or lost it really due to it's auto tranny; but here the MS3 really has a lot of power and torque to tranfer and if you don't hang on, you will change lanes. Especially if it's wet or cool out.
Bose....well, 'nuff said. The mids and highs are okay, but the stock sub under the seat is really weak. A simple aftermarket hidden enclosure 8" fixes that. I run a 10" and love it. Perfect now. Plenty of power to the speakers and clear....no distortion at all. Bose does that well.
Those looking to modify it for more power...stick to just an intake. Many, many folks adding other options such as downpipes and boost controllers find themselves blowing the seals on the turbo. Bottom line is she's just about maxed out from the factory. Good news is that even bone stock mine ran 13.8's with no problem. The launch is the tough spot due to the above mentioned points, but once you're in the mid-range around town, there aren't too many cars going around you anyway. Not unless they are modified or have plenty of road.
In the end, for less than $24k OTD, my MS3 GT is darn near perfect, gets good MPG's and kept me from spending $15-$20k more like I was originally planning. For me, there was just no need. I got all the creature features....well perhaps I mis one or two of the ones from days gone by, but power wise, handling wise, and quality wise, I'm happy as can be.
Go drive one while they last. Or keep an eye out for the 2010 model that looks great, rumored to have even more HP and will surely put a smile on your face....read morehide
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- Awesome performance, great fuel economy, great reliability, high value.
- Ride can be a bit rough and noisy on bad pavement.
As a daily driver vehicle, the Mazdaspeed 3 can't be beat at this price range. The only other car I would have considered is a BMW 3-series, but decided the additional cost wasn't worth it at this time.
30 mpg on the freeway, 25 mpg average and 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. 5-door hatchback utility, best interior anywhere for under $25k and top notch reliability.
As Car and Driver said, "You simply can't go faster or handle better, in greater style and comfort for less money."...read morehide
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- Fast, functional, fun
- Shifting into 3rd is vague at times, infuriates most male drivers when I leave them in the dust
Love love love this car. Bought in March 2008. My husband, who drives a 2006 350Z, prefers my car because it's faster than his. Roomy enough for 6'7" driver. Pretty decent mileage - I drive 84 miles everyday in L.A. traffic (translation: mostly stop and go) and I get almost 24 mpg. Almost bought an Audi A3, really glad I didn't....read morehide
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- Fast. Great ride. Practicality.
- FWD. Fuel economy. Dealers.
This car's strength is really its mix of practicality and sport. It's fast as all get out; you can dust many far more expensive sports cars with ease. The handling is top notch and the brakes are enormous and powerful. The hatch form factor let's you pack in the cargo, and so far it seems invisible to cops (knock on wood.) My main gripe was the dealer experience - even when there's a dozen of these sitting on lots around the city at the end of the 08 model year, they were still all sticking by their "These cars are rare; MSRP take it or leave it" line. Obviously I eventually took it, and I think it's a good value, but I was still irked by the experience. Biggest thing to get used to is how it dumps power over 5800RPM. Really it's not hard to work with once you're used to it, but coming from an NA Honda, it was very shocking to have the car completely drop out 1000RPM ahead of the redline. You just have to shift earlier. The stock gearing is well suited for this though. I wish it were AWD like the Speed6. The FWD brings with it torque steer and wheel hop. The ECU compensation for torque steer is nice for daily driving, but I wish I could turn it off sometimes. Others here claim to be getting good mileage, but I seem to be averaging about 22mpg. I mostly drive it hard/for fun so YMMV. Almost every day I enjoy noticing how easily this car leaves others in the rear-view. Would do it all over again....read morehide
3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- Great pickup, zero turbo lag, great sound system
- Small turbo doesn't flow to redline, restrictive intake system
Great balance between performance and fuel economy. I traded up form and '04 subaru STI. This mazda doesn't have the power of the STI but it gret much better gas mileage and handles better. Great stoping power from the 13" rotors and a good geared 6 speed transmission make this car a blast to drive....read morehide
4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
After reading all reviews over the internet for 2 months, checking my budget, and searching the color i wanted, I tested the car at the dealer and i was impressed, so much power for this car, and bought my MS3.
For me, this is the best car i have ever had so far. I had a sentra spec v but the speed 3 beats the spec v all over: Style, Room and POWER. i love this car, when you need power, you have even in 6th gear. I'm waiting for the 1st oil change to install the MazdaSpeed CAI and Exhaust to make this car flights
I've been with it for almost 2 weeks, i have no complains. This car has everything you need for the price, you only have to drive and pump gas.
If you are thinking of buying this car, just do it, don't waste time there are only 4500 to 5000 to be sold in USA and i already has ONE.
Enjoy it....read morehide
6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- A BLAST to drive. Very practical as well.
- Stereo could use a little oomph. A few creaks over bumps and hard corners
A excellent value. I recently installed Mazdaspeed's cold air intake. Great sounds from the engine and a little performance gain. I love this car.
3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- 23mpg and I drive fast. TORQUE out the ying yang handles very very tight. comfy perfomance seats
- rough ride, shifters a little mushy, sound system torque steer when you gun it but manageable
I personally got a steal on this car. I bought it used with 150miles on it 4000 below list at a jaguar dealership. go figure. anyways. this car is incredibly fast. Torque steer only becomes and issue when you gun it really hard to start once your rolling it pretty much goes away. has a limited slip differential in the front! and software that helps regulate it. Pulls strong through every gear. red lines around 6700 I think but I rarely ever go above 3000 because it hits the 280ft lbs of torque at that speed and continues to pull all the way through the gears. This car is a joy to drive. audio system even with the bose is still lacking....read morehide
5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- Power, Speed, Looks, and Options
- Gas Milage
Sporty, versatile and very, very FAST. This might be my favorite car in 20 years of driving sports cars. It's a bit of a "sleeper", thus I don't get the feeling that cops are watching me or looking for me. The power is there when you are ready to use it, a good radar detector is highly recommended.
Gas mileage is decent, averaging around 26 MPG, most of my driving is highway commuting to and from work. Interior looks very good, but could have used other color options. The trunk is surprisingly roomy and with the split back seat that folds down, very versatile if you need to haul larger objects.
Overall the MazdaSpeed3 is a great car for the price, and lot of fun to drive....read morehide
5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
- Excellent performance, stylish, excellent braking and great value
- The ride is great for performance, not necessarily comfort.
The first day I bought this car I felt a little sick. The second day I realized I'd made a great decision.
My MSP3 is by far the best car I've ever driven. It is a compromise between a lot of good qualities, it's fast, agressive looking, but also has enough room to be practical. If you floor the accelerator you'll use a lot of gas, but if you're on the highway taking it easy you can get 30mpg. The ride is so much more stable than any other car I've driven that it gives me chills, I have no lack of confidence when cornering at higher speeds. The value of this car is great as it stomps cars that cost thousands more. The interior is nice to look at, and features like rain sensing wipers and climate control make it a great car that isn't too over the top. You can drive it practically and economically, but if you want to rock n' roll it'll be there for you.
The criticisms that I have are that it does ride stiff, I personally like being able to feel the road, but if you like a soft ride like a cadillac has then this probably isn't the car for you. The car doesn't come with a boost gage which would be nice, and of course there is torque steer, but that is adequately controlled and respectable for a car with 280 ft/lbs of torque.
Overall the pros of this car out weight the cons. It is fun to drive it like a race car, but I can also take my grandmother to church in it without scaring her. I would say though, that this is not a luxury sedan, it's not an economical honda, and its not a supercar, so don't try to compare it to those. It's a compact sport car with a racing edge that it doesn't apologize for.
Bottom line, if you're looking for a car in this class, this is the one to get....read morehide
6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful to you?
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