The 2009 MazdaSpeed3 is Mazda’s only performance vehicle this year, since the speed 6 has been put into early retirement -due to it being a bit rubbish. Fortunately that could never be the case with the speed 3 which is built on top of the excellent A3 platform. In fact, the 2009 MazdaSpeed 3 is so good that it’s featuring alongside the Golf GTI (a car which is roughly $5,000 more costly) in best buy lists.
So what magic has the MazdaSpeed 3 got that other cars in its class are failing so dismally to capture? The bad news for other manufacturers is that there’s no magic feature or configuration to make a GTI or Speed 3 killer. It’s all about engineering excellence and business savvy, two things which Mazda has in spades.
The ‘09 Mazda Speed 3 uses the same 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine from the regular Mazda3, but in the Speed3 this motor puts out 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It’s only available with a six-speed manual transmission, but why would you want to stifle a neat little engine like this with an automatic?
Most importantly, the 2009 MazdaSpeed3 drives like a dream. Handling is almost prescient and features just enough feedback to make the ride feel utterly transparent to the driver. Of course, it’ll win no luxury interior awards, but 2009 is looking like another bumper year for this sporty little hatch-back.