2012 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Price, Review, Specs, what car reviews, The MAZDASPEED3 is Mazda’s high-performance compact hatch, which is based on the redesigned Mazda3 5-door. While the previous MAZDASPEED3 was stealth about its capability, the new MAZDASPEED3 is more obvious about its high-performance intentions, with a large air intake in the center of the hood, black grille, flared fenders, 18-inch wheels, body kit and larger roof-mounted rear wing and larger dual exhaust. Powered by the same turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine as the CX-7, the MAZDASPEED3 delivers the power to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 is a four-door hatchback available in a lone trim level known as the Touring.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, an adjustable front center armrest, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and steering wheel controls.
The Mazdaspeed 3 Technology package adds automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a blind-spot monitoring system, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio (available separately) and a navigation system with a compact display screen and steering wheel controls. An iPod interface and a six-CD changer are available as dealer-installed accessories.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 263 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission directs the power to the front wheels.
The 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 comes with traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A blind-spot warning system is included with the optional Mazdaspeed Tech package.
Though the 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 itself hasn’t been crash tested, the regular Mazda 3 hatchback upon which it’s based has been tested. In government testing, the Mazda 3 earned an overall rating of four (out of a possible five) stars, with five stars for overall frontal-crash protection but just three stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Mazda 3 its highest possible rating of “Good” in its frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Mazdaspeed variant differs from the regular Mazda 3 with its upgraded gauges and sport front seats that have standard black leather upholstery with cloth inserts. Though the red-dot pattern of the upholstery is reminiscent of a Nike athletic shirt from the 1990s, the interior otherwise meets the same high standard of design and quality seen in the regular Mazda 3. The Speed 3 also has the same optional navigation system, which is functional but somewhat limited by its small display screen. Some features aren’t shared, however, so there’s no sunroof or heated power seats for the Mazdaspeed 3.
The front seats are comfortable, but could offer a bit more adjustment for taller drivers. The backseat offers acceptable space, but it pales in comparison to that of the VW GTI. Some may lament that no sedan body style is available, but the standard hatch allows for a greater level of practicality. The cargo area provides 17 cubic feet of space with the rear seats raised and expands to 42.8 with them lowered.
Routing 280 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels is usually a recipe for torque steer. This phenomenon is minimal compared to cars of the distant past, but the 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 can still seem as if it has a mind of its own when you’re too aggressive with the throttle while carving a very acute corner. Some might view this as part of the fun, but others may be willing to trade in a little power for the less wild power delivery of a GTI or WRX.
In any case, there’s no doubt that the Speed 3 is one of the best-handling and most entertaining hot hatches on a winding road. Impressively precise like few other front-wheel-drive cars, the steering provides plenty of communication and faithfully transmits information from the tires. Considering the car’s performance potential, the suspension also provides a fairly compliant ride, though the Mazdaspeed 3 ultimately isn’t as comfortable as some other competitors. In testing, we’ve also found that its clutch take-up can be a little tricky compared to other cars.
2012 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Price :
Invoice price: $22,472
2012 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Specs :
Drivetrain : Front Wheel Drive
Curb Weight (lbs) : 3281
City (MPG) : 18
Hwy (MPG) : 25
Horsepower : 263@5500
Torque (lb-ft) : 280@3000
Wheelbase : 103.9
Length (in.) : 177.6
Width (in.) : 69.7
Height (in.) : 57.5
Navigation System (Optional)
Satellite radio (Optional)