The Mazdaspeed3 is a compact sport hatchback manufactured by the Japanese Mazda Motor Corporation and modified under the Mazdaspeed operation run by the company. Mazdaspeed is the company’s in-house streetcar and racecar tuning arm. The Mazdaspeed3 was launched as the Mazda3 MPS at the Geneva Motor Show on February 2006. The same car was sold as the Mazdaspeed Axela in Japan and the Mazdaspeed3 in North America. The car was discontinued in 2010. It competed against other sports-oriented hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf and Dodge Caliber.

More on the Mazda MAZDASPEED3
Mazdaspeed3 Origins

For years, Mazdaspeed was recognized as the race-oriented division of Mazda due to its fleet of high-performance cars in limited edition versions. In 2007, American automobile consumers and enthusiasts were able to get a taste of the Mazdaspeed3. Only 5000 units of this super-sport compact car were produced for sale in the U.S. Drivers and automobile aficionados looking for an undeniably quick and highly responsive top-performance car at an economic price would be satisfied with this well-engineered vehicle that combined daily practicality and sporty performance without any glitches.

About the Mazdaspeed3

The Mazdaspeed has exemplary traction and stability control, a lively motor, a torque management system, and limited slip differential. All these elements contribute to a really pleasing and invigorating driving experience.

Mazdaspeed3 Features

At the heart of the 2012 Mazdaspeed3 is a 263 hp engine that helps the front-wheel-drive hatchback go from zero to 60 mph within 6.3 seconds. While the Mazdaspeed3 can’t be labeled as the best-ever sports car, since there are several more competent cars in its category, it is still unique in its own right. On a winding road, the Mazdaspeed3 exhibits its mettle with precise steering, buttoned-down suspension, and sticky tires.

Like any good hatchback, the Mazdaspeed3 still has ample practicality and value. The passenger space is quite generous, as is the 42.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. The Mazdaspeed3 is a rare sports car that would be able to help you haul a big load. Additionally, the well-trimmed cabin boasts of a solid finish and several features (either optional or standard) that are unlikely to be found in any other hatchback.

Nevertheless, the Mazdaspeed3 has some trade-offs. The most notable among them is the transmission of power to the front wheel that leads to significant torque steering. The engine runs smoothly, making the Mazdaspeed3 is quiet during a drive.

The four-door hatchback, however, is available with only one trim, known as the Touring. The standard equipment in the vehicle includes a limited-slip differential, 18-inch wheels, keyless entry, full-power accessories, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, automatic dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, trip computer, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, and a 10-speaker sound system. It also has an auxiliary audio input jack and steering wheel controls.

The Mazdaspeed3 Technology package includes adaptive and automatic bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, a blind-spot monitoring system, a separately available satellite radio, keyless entry/ignition, a navigation system with a compact display screen, and steering wheel controls. A six-CD changer and an iPod interface are available as optional dealer-installed accessories.

The 2012 Mazdaspeed3 is powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that can generate 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque with a standard six-speed manual transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency pegged the fuel economy rate of the car at 18/25 mpg city/highway.

As mentioned above, the 2012 Mazdaspeed3 is available with stability and traction control for safety purposes. The car also has anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags, front-side airbags, and active front-head restraints. Though the vehicle hasn’t yet been crash-tested, the regular Mazda3 hatchback, on which the 2012 Mazdaspeed3 was based, received an overall rating of four stars out of five. Five stars were awarded to the vehicle for overall front-crash protection, and three stars were awarded for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2012 Mazdaspeed3 a good rating for the side-impact, frontal-offset, and roof-strength tests.

Mazdaspeed3 Evolution

The 2008 Mazdaspeed3 was available in two trim levels: Sport and Grand Touring. The Sport came with 18-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential, Bridgestone Potenza tires, sport seats, a roof spoiler, tilt-and-telescopic steering, automatic climate control, a CD stereo system, and full-power accessories. The Grand Touring version had all these in addition to LED taillights, HID headlights, leather seat bolsters, rain-sensing wipers, an anti-theft system, and a trip computer. The short options list included satellite radio and auto-dimming rearview mirrors.

The 2008 Mazdaspeed3 was powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder direct injection engine that delivered 280 lb-ft of torque and 263 hp. All the power was sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission system, the only transmission system available. An electronic torque limiter and a limited-slip differential were used to enhance traction and minimize torque steer.

Select a Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Year

2013 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

Heavy hitter: The 2013 Mazda3 lives on for one more year before being refreshed.

2012 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

For 2012, the Mazdaspeed3 adds a few light touches to enhance its performance hatchback. The multi-information display gets new colors, text and graphics for the LCD screen.

2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

The 2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 offers a strong, supercharged driving experience that will satisfy those who love the feeling of a powerful car.

2010 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

For 2010, the Mazdaspeed3 gets a revised cooling system designed to improve power delivery, along with taller second through sixth gears. A recalibrated torque management system allows for improved steering control and torque application, and also helps to mitigate torque steer (although it remains an issue). The use of higher strength steel up front on crucial safety areas and suspension components ups rigidity by some two percent.

2009 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

2008 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

2007 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Compact, Hatchback

Introduced this year, the 2007 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 marks the performance-tuned hatchback version of the MAZDA3.