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2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3
All-in-one package has get-up-and-go
By Mark Stevenson
Mazdaspeed. A name synonymous with racing. Honda may have Si. Toyota may have TRD. But, when it comes to putting your name on the finish line, the Mazdaspeed logo sees more results than any other.
So, when I went to GP3R in the summer of 2009, I jumped at the chance to drive the new-for-2010 Mazdaspeed3.
A couple of months before our trip I had the delight of driving the previous generation Mazdaspeed3. And, like the earlier model, the new version retains the 2.3L turbo-charged inline-four, pushing 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels only.
Power is delivered to the front corners via a six-speed manual gearbox with wider ratios than the previous generation. If you are looking for an automatic version you'll find yourself out of luck. The Mazdaspeed3 comes in manual only, which is actually kind of refreshing in this day and age of automatics and CVTs.
That isn't to say that Mazda skimps on the equipment. The Mazdaspeed3 is fully loaded and everything comes standard. The only choice you get to make is on the colour. Crystal White Pearl paint is the only option, and that will bring the price up by $200. So, buying a stripped down version of the Mazdaspeed3 is not in the cards. But, the $32,995 price tag does give you a lot. (Editor's note: Freight and PDI add $1,395).
Specially-designed 18-in. wheels come standard on the car, along with Bi-Xenon headlights. The interior also gets special treatment with black leather and red stitching throughout. A dual-zone climate control and in-dash navigation system also get included standard. Creature comforts are definitely not lacking.
All the features aside, the reason someone buys a car like this is to go fast and to look good doing it. The Mazdaspeed3 does this and more, providing a very pleasurable driving experience in town and on the highway. Overall, it is practical as well, with easily accessible cargo room and rear doors for seating, making the rear seats easier to access than rear buckets in a coupe.
If you are in the market for a hatch with some flash and get-up-and-go in one package, the Mazdaspeed3 ticks all the boxes.
Canadian Base Price (FWD): $32,995
Price as Tested (AWD): $32,995
Freight and dealer prep fees: $1,395
Transmission: 6 MT
City: 11.5 L/100km or 24.6 MPG
Highway : 8.0 L/100 km or 35.3 MPG
Mark Stevenson's story previously appeared on AutoNorth.ca. Updated and posted on CarTest! April 20, 2010.
2010 MAZDASPEED3 Technical Specifications
Type 2.3L MZR with DISI turbo
Valve gear DOHC 16-valve
Displacement 2260 cc
Bore and stroke 87.5 x 94.0 mm
Compression ratio 9.5: 1
Horsepower SAE net 263 @ 5,500
Torque, SAE net lb. ft. 280 @ 3,000
Fuel system Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Recommended Fuel Unleaded premium
Type Transverse front engine / front-wheel drive
Clutch type Single Dry Plate with Diaphragm Spring
Transmission 6-speed manual
Transmission 6 MT
Gear ratios: 1st 3.214
Final Drive 1~4th: 4.187
Frame: Unit body (Monocoque) with side door impact protection beams and Triple “H” construction
Front suspension: Sport tuned independent, strut type, coil springs, stabilizer
Rear suspension: Sport tuned independent, multi-link type, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Shock absorbers: Telescopic-type, double acting
Steering: Rack and pinion with Electro Hydraulic Power Assist Steering
Steering ratio: 16.2:1
Steering wheel turns: 2.7 (lock to lock)
Minimum turning circle: 11.0m (curb to curb)
Brakes: Power-assisted front ventilated discs brakes (320 mm)
Power-assisted rear solid discs brakes (280 mm)
ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD)
Wheels: 18" x7.5 JAL bright finish alloy wheels MAZDASPEED
Curb weight : 1,461 kg (min); 1,509 kg (max)
Fuel Tank : 60 L
Washer Fluid Tank: 4.0L
Coolant Capacity: 7.5L
External Dimensions (mm)
Overall Length: 4,510
Track (fr/rr): 1,535/1,525
Overall Width: 1,770
Overall Height: 1,460
Ground clearance: 155 mm (unladen)
Internal Dimensions (mm)
Headroom (front/rear): 987/964
Legroom (front/rear): 1,068/919
Shoulder room (front/rear): 1,395/1,371
Passenger volume: 2,678L
Trunk room capacity: 481L
Trunk room capacity (rear seats folded): 1,213L
Total interior volume: 3,159L