Reader Review of the Week: 2008 Mazdaspeed3

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We were surprised to see a review of a 2008 Mazdaspeed3 because we didn’t think the 2007s had left dealer lots, but after a quick inspection of national inventory we found only five 2007s in the entire country. This powerful little hatchback is a staff favorite, and its interesting to read what real-world people think of living with it every day. Check out what one Ohio Mazdaspeed3 owner had to say about his 2008 and don’t forget to submit your own review

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“Well, it’s hard to imagine, but I chose the Mazdaspeed3 over the VW GTI. Yes, it was a close call. Call it silly, but one of the tipping points for me is that the Speed3 is a good-looking but subtly styled car. The GTI blasts you with its Speed Boy front-end styling. No thanks. The Speed3 is, as you must know, fast. Almost too fast, if there is such a thing. The shifter is a tad notchy, so you will need practice, but once you master it you’ll appreciate the well-bolstered seats because you will be pushed back into them on take off. Zoom zoom!

“It really is amazing how Mazda minimized the torque steer. It’s so minimal in first and second I wish they hadn’t tamed it so much (aftermarket calling). Let’s not be OCD about this. This is a fun little car that you can still drive daily. So, high-end leather, radio and sound dampening, you don’t get. Then again, you may still be able to afford to drive the Speed3 and keep your house. The interior of the Speed is nice, not great but good for the price range. A bit too much plastic on the dash, but I can live with it; it’s that much fun. Sure, watch out for tire spin, it’s true. But really, unless you are sticking the throttle through the floor at every stop light, you will be fine.

“What Mazda needs to do is offer more factory options (GTI anyone?). You are right if you think 18-inch rims on a car this size is overkill. I seriously doubt you will lose any performance on 17-inch, higher-profile tires. You might want to look into this if you live in snow belts or an area with many potholes. Yes, the exhaust drones, but it’s not overwhelming. My advice is to spring for the Grand Touring version. The leather seats, climate control and better audio are worth it and will help resale value, if you care. Plan ahead though … the Speed3 is a limited-build car, so you may have to wait a few months to get your hands on this pocket rocket of a hot hatch. Did I mention it was fun?”

Photo of David Thomas
Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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