The 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 is the go-fast version of Mazda’s popular Mazda 3 sedan / hatchback. Unfortunately Mazda is only producing the Mazdaspeed 3 in hatchback form – I think they’d sell a lot more if the sedan was available.
The regular Mazda 3 with the 2.3 liter four banger is a blast to drive – slap on a turbocharger and the fun becomes nearly endless. 280 lb-ft of torque is a lot no matter what kind of car you’re talking about – but it actually borders on too much for this little FWD car.
Torque steer is a problem, and compromises what would otherwise be an incredible car. If Mazda had chosen to go with an AWD powertrain instead of the FWD, then the handling would be vastly improved, and the torque steer would be no more. But Mazda decided to keep the cost down, and go with FWD. Only time will tell whether that was a good call.
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 Specs
- 263 HP 2.3 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine
- 280 lb-ft of torque @ 3000 RPM
- 6 speed manual transmission
- Base price : $22,800 including destination charge
- EPA Says: 20 MPG city, 28 MPG highway
2007 Mazdaspeed 3 Reviews
Freep reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘The 3’s powerful, free-revving four-cylinder engine simply puts out more power than the front wheels can manage. The result was that when I nailed the accelerator, I found myself more intent on keeping it aimed straight than looking for curves to carve. The engine’s 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque overwhelm the front wheels’ ability to stay planted on the road and steer the car smoothly in spite of the Mazdaspeed 3’s standard limited-slip differential and electronic stability control. I also found it took a lot of effort to steer at low speeds.’
About.com reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘It’s not hard to get lots of power into a front-wheel drive platform, but it is difficult to manage it. Mazdaspeed has done a great job of controlling torque-steer, which is the tendency of front-wheel drive vehicles to pull to the side under hard acceleration. The 3 isn’t totally immune to the effect, but it is very minor — a real compliment to the chassis and suspension enhancements in the Mazdaspeed package. Braking is also excellent. After repeated laps on the track, I didn’t feel any fade or diminishment in braking, just great brake feel. And did I mention fun?’
Car and Driver reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘Steering assist is by an electrohydraulic rack. Anything “electro” usually puts a pox on steering feel. As in all Mazda 3s, however, the electric motor simply makes the hydraulic pressure instead of providing steering assist. The Mazdaspeed 3 steers smoothly, reminiscent of a BMW. The wheel’s desire to stay at center is distinct. The effort builds just so, heightening as you turn it and sweep through the corner. Jitters and pulses make their way to your hands, the feel of the front tires at work. The Mazdaspeed 3 will eventually understeer, like all cars with 63.5 percent of their weight on the nose, but at sane velocities the Mazda hides its imbalance with grace.’
Automobile Mag reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘The coolest thing about the Mazdaspeed 3, after its lust for felonious velocities, is that it goes about its business without drawing every doughnut-eater’s eye. The requisite Mazda-speed ID badge is in a typeface that emphasizes artistry over legibility. Aero add-ons are prominently sized but camouflaged body color, so they’re mainly visible only to those keyed into the sport-compact world. The four-inch exhaust outlet tucks under the tail skirt. Most of the working parts–a steel tunnel reinforcement, front strut-tower gussets, a belly pan, and a few small air dams–live underneath to do their jobs without raising the visual profile. The interior focuses on the driver’s needs without forgetting that this is an affordable four-door wagon, not some frivolous two-seater. The ideally shaped driver’s seat is substantially bolstered, and the three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in leather with red stitching.’
Gayot.com reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘It has a pleasing sound at low revs, which gives way to throaty and sporty tone at higher engine output. One worry was how it was going to handle all that direct-injected, turbocharged power distribution and avoid torque steer (280 pound-feet). Guess what? It did that too, thanks to a sophisticated engine torque management system. With great tire traction and a low curb weight, this sprinter will reach 60 mph in less than six seconds! Plus, it will propel itself all the way to 155 mph effortlessly until the electronic governor gets in the way.’
The Car Connection reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘The Mazdaspeed3’s steering is excellent, but still not quite as communicative or precise as that of the Civic Si’s and its initial turn-in to corners isn’t quite as crisp. And while the six-speed transmission’s shifter action is better than good, it’s nowhere near the almost-perfect shifter in that Honda. On the Mazda Raceway track at California’s Laguna Seca the Mazdaspeed3’s initial understeer was apparent diving into the tighter corners, but the engine was so brilliant and traction system so elegant that it pulls through a corner after the apex effortlessly. Under braking the nose squats down rather than dives; once again only the Honda Civic Si is as good when it comes to front drivers. And the Mazdaspeed3’s ABS-controlled brakes are simply superb – 12.6-inch diameter ventilated discs in front and 11.0-inch solid discs in the back.’
Inside Line reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and writes – ‘Pin it down on a ribbon of road filled with sweeping bends and you’ll find the 3 carrying almost as much speed as an Evo or STI — provided that ribbon is racetrack smooth. Mazda insists it doesn’t compete with those cars, but we can’t help but make the comparison. It’s quick enough to require the same heightened awareness needed to drive those cars quickly and, on the right road, will get you there almost as effortlessly. In fact, with a little more grip, it would be hard for any Evo to escape a well-driven Mazdaspeed 3.’
Autobytel reviews the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 and has this to say – ‘Embarking upon Mazdaspeed 3 ownership with a clean driving record is a requirement for no other reason than you’ll get to enjoy the car for the maximum amount of time it takes to lose your license or amass enough insurance points to make driving it prohibitively expensive. This car is an absolute blast shredding canyons, scorching vacant interstate, slicing through traffic, and screaming away from stoplights. Every road trip, every commute, and every errand becomes a perfect excuse to plant your right foot and hang on for the ride of your life. If having a great time behind the wheel is a big priority in your life and you need the extra space a five-door hatchback delivers, you absolutely need to take the Mazdaspeed 3 for a test drive.’