2008 MazdaSpeed3

Consumer Reviews

2008 Mazda MazdaSpeed3

$4,593 - $12,193  MSRP Range
2008 Mazda MazdaSpeed3

Review Score

4.7 out of 5 stars

4.7

20 Reviews
95% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.2 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.4 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.8 out of 5 stars Performance
4.3 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 20 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Bye Bye GTI, make room for the Zoom Zoom!

by Walker72 from Ohio on Wed Sep 19 2007

Well, hard to imagine, but I chose the Speed3 over the Mk5 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. Its so minimal in first and second, I wish they did not tame it so much (aftermarket calling...). Lets not be OCD about this. This is a fun, little car that you can still drive daily. You can get almost four Speed3s for the cost of a nicely equipped Audi RS4. 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 range. A bit too much plastic on the dash, but I can live with it. Its that much fun. Sure, watch out for tire spin, its 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" rims on a car this size is overkill. I seriously doubt you will lose any performance on 17" with higher profile tires. You might want to look into this if you live in snow belts or with many potholes. Yes the exhaust drones, but its 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. The WRX just got tamed this year, the EVO X is frankly overpriced and thirsty, the GTI? Nice, but is dressed like a teenager. 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?

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Its Good!

by mike from tampa, Fl on Fri May 28 2010

I had researched MS3s for quite some time and finally decided that it was indeed the right car for me. I use this vehicle on a daily basis with a 120 mile round trip commute. gas mileage ranges from 20 - 24 mpg. MS3 is an amazing mix of performance, style, and comfort. shifting and clutching is rather smooth for a performance vehicle that has the "get up and go" that this car has. Bottom line is, if you are in the market for a vehicle like this, you owe it to yourself to take one of these for a test drive. you will not be disappointed...it'll probably end up in your driveway : ) spring for the grand touring, the leather , bose, and navi just add to this awesome vehicle. Zoom Zoom

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Wild Child

by Warp Speed from Tampa, FL on Sun Nov 22 2009

A fun and practical car. The low-end torque is awesome & feels like a high-powered V8 engine. Braking and handling are just as awesome. It looks very sporty (bright red, 18" sport wheels, large spoiler, ground effects, large exhaust). The ride's a bit rough, but tolerable. It has as much cargo space as a small SUV plus 4 doors and the hatch. Best car I've ever owned.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Nice!

by Ken from Phoenix on Thu Apr 28 2011

Excellent performance, great gas mileage at least 30mpg when driving conservatively. The only thing I don't like is the noisy transmission. Handles like it is on a rail.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

A hoot to drive!

by Dave the Mazda fan from Nashville, TN on Sat Feb 16 2008

I LOVE this car! Nothing else for 25k$ offers such a brilliant combination of power, handling, practicality, and economy. The hatchback is great for hauling stuff around. I'm a college student and I can fit all of my belongings in the car with no problem to move myself to and from school. I was pleasantly surprised when on my first trip, the car got a respectable 30MPG despite the rated 26MPG. The interior is very nice and well equipped. My only complaints are that the shifter is rubbery. The first few months that I had the car, it took some getting used to. Additionally, the steering wants to stay on center too much. This makes small changes in steering angle difficult to make. These are small annoyances for the fantastic driving experience of this car. Good job Mazda!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Beats my Corvette

by Drew from Atlanta, GA on Mon Mar 30 2009

I thought I was strange trading a C6 Corvette Z51 for this car but the day I bought this car (May '08) another guy did exactly the same thing. It's had great reviews by all the experts and I agree. It hasn't got the power of the 'vette but it's FAR more reliable, and frankly more fun, not to mention alot more practical. I've had alot of sports cars and this is one of the better ones. If they'd just make it AWD it would be unbeatable. As it is, the best $23k I've spent. What's best is I lend it to my mother sometimes and she can drive it gently and it gets 30mpg. Of course I generally get 17 or so, living in the twisty mountains. It will eat tires and insurance is up there so if you've had any tickets or you're under 30 I'd get a quote first. Overall, it's a real winner.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Zoom Zoom woosh

by Matt from Atlanta Ga on Sat Feb 08 2014

This car is a blast. I have had it for only 6 months now with 110k and its just so fun. Performance, best bang for you buck. Once that turbo kicks in you know you got the right car. Handles great even for a front wheel drive car, and torque steer shows up in 1st and 2nd (even though they are limited) but if you hold the car steady its fine. Prepare to surprise some people since most assuming its a standard 3 before they see the badge on the back. So far its been reliable with high mileage. 2 previous owners im assuming warranty work was taken care of since the smoking turbo and timing chain are known issues. Other than that if its taken care of and if modified intelligently it will easily reach 200k. Has a pretty big online community and you can easily join a local mazda group to hang out and have them help you out when you need it. Not even a month after owning the car I met up for an install day to learn how to change the oil properly on the car and regularly hang out. If you can find one of these lovely cars unmolested you are in for a treat.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best value in a long time

by Car nut from Connecticut on Wed May 07 2008

I bought this car after having owned a Corvette for two-plus years, so I know what power and handling are. The Corvette ceased being really practical due to a few changes in my life, but this thing is a hoot! It has great power with very little turbo lag; the handling is much like a rear-wheel drive car (up to about seven- or eight-tenths) and the gas mileage is very reasonable (21 average) I really feel like I got a great deal on the whole package every time I drive it. Would definitely recommend to anyone. Once Cobb comes out with their Accessport, it will be a whole new ballgame!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Lots of zoom zoom

by Will from on Fri Nov 12 2010

If you're into fast cars this little power house will get your blood pumping. I was surprised to feel how fast this car is. Alot of fun to drive. Lots of aftermarket parts out there. Gas mileage could be better. Your going to need high octane premium fuel. Pricing was a bit high. I bought it brand new. Nice black leather interior with red stitching complement it well. Over all I'm very satisfied. No complaints.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

love my speed

by Jen speed from on Sat Apr 25 2015

Love my car. Drives perfectly. I've had for one year and it has 40k miles on it. Only had to replace battery because it was the original no other complaints. People usually assume it's slow. Love that it's a quick car that usually flies under the radar. Interior is much better than other cars in its class. Would buy again.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 2008 Mazda MazdaSpeed3

Editor's note: This review was written in September 2006 about the 2007 Mazdaspeed3. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what details are different this year, check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

There's a new trend in the automotive world. It's called "cheap speed," and automakers are achieving it by loading up relatively affordable compact cars with enhanced engines and suspensions along with go-fast technology at prices below even entry-level muscle cars.

These sport compacts weigh a fraction of what today's muscle cars do; they're front-wheel drive, cost a lot less and are equally fun to drive. The Honda Civic Si, Volkswagen GTI and Dodge Caliber SRT4... Read More