Being honest, I fall in love with a couple cars a year. These cars occupy my mind far beyond their fifteen minutes of fame in my videos. These cars change the way I think, the way I look at other cars, and my life in general. The 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 is one of those cars.
The 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 has a 2.3L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine and a six speed manual transmission. The engine is a mix of Ford and Mazda parts while featuring an Audi turbo. The Speed3 packs a hefty punch, which can easily be turned up like any other factory boosted car. The transmission is solid as well. The Speed3 was only offered with a six speed manual, so it’s a true enthusiasts car. The power delivery is not linear, with the top end delivering all the fun. This is the second generation of the Mazdaspeed 3, with the first generation lasting from 2006-2009 and the second lasting until 2013. The motors between the two are the same, but the second gen reduces the torque steer significantly, making it slightly less terrifying to drive.
The interior is pretty lack-luster. It is nearly identical to the regular Mazda 3, only offering some badges and special gauges for the extra price tag. Squint your eyes and the top trim Mazdaspeed 3 is identical to the base model Mazda 3.
I fell in love with this car in a very romantic way. The car is owned by a close friend of mine, who lent me the car for a week while he was away on business. This allowed me to get very comfortable with the car. One night, I went downtown to see a showing of “The Producers” at a local theater. When the show was over, I left to go back to the Speed 3. It was raining, but not cold outside. The lights of the theater bounced off the newly formed puddles in the street. I was filled with the joy of laughing at a live show, and then I turned the corner. There it was: A turbocharged seemingly perfect piece of machinery. I got in, let it warm up, and took off. As the rain streaked off the windshield, I pushed the car more and more: each time being met with more and more fun. First, second, third, I wished the night would never end. I was alone, grinning ear-to-ear in a seven-year-old Mazda. Pure bliss.
If you’re interested in learning more about the second gen Speed 3, I have my review as well as a complete informational video!