2012 Mazda MazdaSPEED3 Overview
Mazda’s 2012 MazdaSpeed3 is the high-performance sibling to the compact Mazda3. This five-passenger hatchback offers a sporty ride, upscale interior features, and good storage space for an attractive price.
Competitors for the MazdaSpeed3 include the Volkswagen GTI and Subaru Impreza WRX.
The MazdaSpeed3 packs a powerful 263-horsepower, 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 280 pounds/feet of torque, capable of a top engine speed of 155 mph. The MazdaSpeed3 is front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual transmission. The four-wheel independent suspension, power steering and brakes are sports-tuned for a racetrack-tested driving experience.
The MazdaSpeed3 gets a fuel economy rating of 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The cabin seats five with a six-way manual driver’s seat, four-way manual front passenger seat, and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat. Rear cargo space provides 17 cubic feet of storage, which can be expanded to almost 43 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats folded down. The leather- and cloth-trimmed red and black sport seats, red and black door and instrument panel trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, and leather wrapped shift knob convey the MazdaSpeed look and feel. Aluminum-alloy pedals and driver’s footrest complete the sporty interior design. Dual-zone automatic climate control, power doors and windows, and cruise control with a tilt and telescoping wheel come standard. The remote keyless entry system can be upgraded to a push-button start. The audio system includes AM/FM radio, in-dash CD/MP3-compatible player with Bose ten-speaker surround sound, auxiliary-audio input jack, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Bluetooth hands free calling is included, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio and navigation system with color display are available.
The MazdaSpeed3 design incorporates functional elements such as the hood scoop for the turbo intercooler and rear spoiler into the aerodynamic appearance that evokes a speed-inspired emotional response. The sport-tuned dual exhaust is accented with chrome tips. The standard halogen headlights can be upgraded to self-leveling xenon high-intensity-discharge with auto on/off, and halogen fog lamps are available. The clear-lens taillights have an LED upgrade option. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are available, and a wiper/washer is standard for the hatchback rear window. Eighteen-inch aluminum-alloy wheels feature high-performance tires. A chrome fuel-filler door and set of four wheel locks are available exterior accessories.
Standard safety features include front and side-impact airbags, and side-impact curtain airbags. All seats are equipped with three-point seatbelts, and the two front seats have active headrests. The side-impact door beams, collapsible steering column, and foldaway brake pedal assembly protect the driver and occupants in the event of a collision. Antilock brakes include electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, and dynamic stability and traction control provide added on-road handling performance. A blind spot monitoring system and antitheft alarm system are optional on the MazdaSpeed3.
The MazdaSpeed3 is only available with a manual transmission, and does not have a moonroof option. Overall, Mazda’s 2012 MazdaSpeed3 offers a versatile and affordable fun-to-drive hatchback that’s sure to please any driving enthusiast.