2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 User Reviews
Sport 5-Door shown
- No trim specified for this review
- Great Performance, brakes, Bose sound, quality feel
- Shifter takes getting used to, keeping it clean!
Purchased As New
I’m a 50 yr old guy so I’m sure I’m not the demographic Mazda aimed the Velocity Red Speed 3 I just bought at. In fact I had purchased a new ’11 Mazda 3 Sport loaded in February that was a perfectly fine car, but it was kinda drab in Graphite Grey. I had traded my faithful ole ’03 Protégé Wagon in on that, and my wife also has a 2010 Mazda 3, so we’re pretty happy with the brand. I also have a 400hp ‘09 Pontiac G8 GT with performance mods so I didn’t need the mid-life crisis fix.Ok, enough of the bio-what about the car??
The Speed 3 is a statement-car in looks, attitude, and performance. I hate cars with fake scoops and such, these are real. The positives as mentioned are great performance; it is a real torque-monster that you can lope along in residential traffic at 35 in 6th gear if you have to or do any passing you need without a downshift. It has fantastic mid-range pulling power in all gears-no real turbo lag. It’s very good on fuel for me so far-with 1k on it I’m getting 28+ highway which is most of my driving (was getting @30 in the regular 3), excellent feeling brakes and cornering, supportive seats, excellent A/C (in Texas!), and the options like the roving headlights and true touchless keyless entry and start are awesome. (Mine has the Tech pkg option). The Bose stereo is very good, though it was better in the 3S for some reason, Bluetooth works great for phone and audio (though no on screen info with an iPhone you can pause, change tracks, etc from the wheel), and the Sirius radio trial is proving to be a good sales tool for them as I think I’ll keep it.. Build quality, materials, etc seem top notch for this price range, and it feels like a $35k car at a $25k price.
The negatives are #1 the notchy shifter and touchy clutch-It comes in NOW and it takes a real finesse to row through the gears smoothly, especially if you have your foot in it (which you are likely to do a lot-the engine puts a grin on your face when the turbo kicks in everytime!) I find myself skip shifting 1/3/5/6 a lot in town-the engine has plenty of torque to do this on normal acceleration. The 2nd biggest negative is what many complain about- the torque steer on hard acceleration. It’s “almost” too much for the front wheels to handle, and it doesn’t make banging through gears exciting for all the right reasons. An AWD or RWD version of this car would be epic. The navigation screen is too small, too hard to program, and not very "graphic", but you have to get it to get the Bose, vari-lights, etc... The final negative might seem petty, unless you’re like me and spend $60+ a month on weekly hand car washes; the water channels under the mirrors and door sills hold water that no amount of towel drying or door slamming gets rid of. You pull away with a showroom quality shine and by the first mile water spots have sprayed out of the cracks and dried on the doors. So you get home and have to take a damp micro cloth and rewipe half the car...in Texas…in 100+ every day for weeks now. Even compressed air doesn’t get it all, and the high pressure lines the car wash uses will eventually rip the weather seals. This goes for all Mazda 3’s, not just the Speed.
With all that said I LOVE the car-it requires you to PAY ATTENTION, but you will enjoy the experience as the car rewards your efforts. I smile every time I look at it, romp on it, and even wipe the water spots off it…
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