The Mazda Speed 3 sedan is an upper level car in a compact little bundle. The Speed 3 is available as a four-door sedan or four-door hatchback, and features comfort and luxury options that aren't often provided to such a small car. Drivers won't be disappointed with the drive, while passengers will appreciate the premium features.
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In 2011, the Mazda Speed 3 sedan got new styling on the interior and exterior, a larger, more impressive engine, better transmissions, and even more luxury and technology features than the already lengthy list it offered before. But the Speed 3 keeps its same basic body style, just with a few needed and welcome upgrades. When Mazda introduced the Speed 3 in 2004, it was built on a Volvo platform, making for a successful entry into the compact car market. Due to the success of the model, Mazda didn't so much redesign the Speed 3 as they did improve it.
Much of the Mazda Speed 3 sedan's appeal is its interior, which is premium for a vehicle of this size and price. Mazda has changed the cockpit around, creating an approach that is used with controls and other items in two spots to make thingseasier to read.
Controls that are most frequently accessed, like the radio and climate controls and buttons, are placed high on the center stack, where they can be most easily accessed. Monitors for the vehicle information center, climate controls, radio presets, and even the onboard navigation system are found in a Multi-Information Display that is placed just under the windshield in easy line of sight, making for a safer and more intuitive driving experience.
The Mazda Speed 3 sedan offers two engine choices. The base engine is a 148 horsepower 2.0-liter 4 cylinder that gives the car adequate power for most driving needs. This engine provides the better fuel economy at 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway. But the sportier driving experience comes from the new 2.5 liter 4 cylinder powerhouse that delivers a more than adequate 167 horsepower and comes with the option of a 5 speed automatic with the capability of manual shifting. The Speed 3 wasn't as quick on the take-off as its competitors in test conditions, but in real world driving it more than meets the needs of the picky driver. On winding roads, the Mazda Speed 3 really works with the road with a strong steering system, a bcontrolled suspension and well-gripping tires.
Drivers will likely most enjoy the 6 speed manual transmission. The shifting material is not as strong or even accurate as what Mazda has done before, most notably the MX-5, but it can be easily controlled with quick throws alongside the natural feel in the clutch. Those who choose the automatic get a manual shift mode, but no steering wheel paddles for shifting.