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Average User Score
4.6 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 5 reviews
2009 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 5 reviews
The 2009 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 might be unique in the hot hatch front-wheel-drive category in its ability to combine performance, practicality, and build quality.
Although based on the Ford C1 platform found under various Volvo models and the international versions of the Ford Focus, Mazda’s high-performance race division has made “a few adjustments.” Starting under the hood, they have dropped in a multiple award winning turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. The direct-injected four spins out 263 hp and an amazing 280 lb-ft of torque. Backed exclusively by a six-speed manual transmission, power flows through a limited-slip differential to the front wheels. A chrome-tipped “sport-tuned” exhaust pokes out the rear.
The MAZDASPEED3 is lowered and rides on 18-inch alloys. Mazda has further reinforced and stiffened the frame. Larger brakes and a MAZDASPEED sport-tuned suspension keep things under control. The 0-60 bolt comes in 5.4 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. Reviewers couldn’t get enough of the twisties, as the car represents one of the best front-wheel handlers out there. Yet with all this performance the EPA estimates fuel economy at 18/26 mpg on premium fuel.
The well-designed interior is comfortable for both front and rear passengers, and reviewers were impressed with Mazda’s fit and finish. In front, high-bolstered sport seats, aluminum pedals, and special trim provide a “high-performance atmosphere” that suits its road capabilities.
The hatchback/station wagon format also renders the MAZDASPEED3 eminently practical, with comfortable rear passenger and spacious cargo space given its compact size. The standard folding 60/40 split back seat enables increased trunk space that can accommodate 43.8 cubic feet of cargo when folded down.
The MAZDASPEED3 offers two trims: Sport and Grand Touring. The engine and mechanicals are the same on both trims. The base Sport comes well equipped with such features as cloth-covered bolstered sport seats, cruise control, power accessories, a six-speaker stereo with CD player, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and climate control. The Grand Touring trim provides an enhanced stereo system, leather sport seats with Alcantra seat inserts, xenon HID headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and a trip computer. A nav system is one of the few optional packages.
Safety equipment includes six airbags, Mazda’s “Triple-H” energy absorbing crash construction, a tire pressure monitoring system, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System (TCS), and a braking system that incorporates power-assisted ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
The MAZDASPEED3 bundles impressive performance and practicality in a distinctive hatch/station wagon format.