Saturday, January 28, 2012

The 2011 Mazda Speed3 delivers the goods!

There is only one word that comes to mind when I think of the majority of the Mazdas I have ever driven, FUN! Mazda builds affordable, fuel efficient, performance oriented vehicles that seem to be quite reliable and trustworthy, but most importantly they are a blast to drive. The engineers at Mazda have brought some legendary vehicles to our shores over the last few decades. The first one that comes to mind is the RX-7, then the RX-8, and then one of the most important roadsters of all time the Mazda Miata. Steeped in that tradition comes the 2011 Mazda Speed3 and it delivers one of the most entertaining drives that you'll find under $30,000. The Mazda Speed3 was redesigned in 2010 and while most people loved it a few people thought the new front fascia was just too much to handle. I personally love the style of this car even if it looks like it's smiling back at you from the front end. Perhaps the car is smiling, letting everyone know that the Mazda Speed3 is providing a good time at an affordable price. From the hood scoop to the european inspired 18" wheels these Speed3's are stunning. Today's 2011 Mazda Speed3 is a vicious looking little hatchback. From the sides this car looks like it could stun anything on the road. Our 2011 Mazda Speed3 is done up in a light gray metallic paint job and inside it has probably one of the coolest interiors you'll find for under $30,000. Today's version has black leather seating with red baseball stitching running down the seams. I personally love the red baseball stitching and it truly makes the interior look phenomenal. Inside this Mazda Speed3 has a list of luxury features that would keep any enthusiast happy for years. From the second you open the door you are greeted with a long list of cool features. The first thing I noticed was the aluminum pedals and aluminum kick plate. Then I remembered that they only come in manual version and all of a sudden my heart started race. This was going to be a fun drive, and now I'm pumped up for today's drive. Once inside the cockpit I start to get comfortable which was easy to do. Every button seems to be placed right where you would like it to be, and the seating was very supple and secure. My only complaint would've been the tiny Navigation screen they use. Most smart phones have bigger display screens than this Navigation unit, but I don't use Navigation very often anyway, so it's not that big of a deal. Under the hood the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3  has a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine. Packing 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it can get you to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds. The car has beautiful exhaust notes and I can't wait to get to the nearest expressway. Right off the bat I notice that this turbocharged engine may be almost to powerful for this chassis. When you truly step into the accelerator there is quite a bit of torque steer, but that's what I come to work for everyday anyway. The steering was quick, responsive, and smooth. The brakes were phenomenal, and the cornering was an absolute blast. Once on the freeway I couldn't find a vehicle that would want to tangle with this Speed3. These things are the real deal. It's hard to believe that you can get this much enjoyment out of a little hatchback like this, but it delivered in every category. I couldn't find one single thing I disliked about the Mazda Speed3, except it's miniature Navigation screen. For the money it's hard to believe anything could possibly compete with this car, but apparently it's contender's deliver the goods as well. The thing that most impressed me was the shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. You're practically screaming down the street before you even get to 3rd gear. All in all this car is awesome. From the styling, performance, handling, and price the Mazda Speed3 is no joke. If you are out shopping Lancer's, Civics, even Mustangs, the Mazda Speed3 should definitely get a test run, because I guarantee you'll be impressed.  If you haven't given Mazda a chance, now is the time, because they went all out for the 2011 Mazda Speed3!

2011 Mazda Speed3 Specs:

Engine & Performance
  • Base engine size: 2.3 L
  • Cam type: Double overhead cam (DOHC)
  • Cylinders: inline 4
  • Valves: 16
  • Valve timing: Variable
  • Direct injection
  • Torque: 280 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm
  • Horsepower: 263 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Turning circle: 36.1 ft.
  • Base engine type: gas
  • Drive type: front wheel drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Front limited slip differential
  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Fuel type: gas
  • Fuel type: premium unleaded (required)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 15.9 gal.
  • Range in miles (cty/hwy): 286.2/397.5 mi.
  • EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 18/25 mpg

2011 Mazda Speed3 Warranty:


  • Basic: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
  • Drivetrain: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Roadside: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.

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