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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The History:

Wow fellow TCLers, this thread has been long time coming. Ever since I can remember, Ive been a car enthusiast with a need for speed. I've been driving for 10 years now and my cars have never been performance oriented until now ( I did drive a Jeep Cherokee 4.0 in high school though). I'm the biggest car geek I know, other than people on this forum, and have always salivated for something fast and special with soul. My Cherokee had soul but wasnt a ninja.

Since college, I've been driving what slowly has become a beater 2001 Nissan Sentra. Today, it has an exhaust leak that causes it to stall while idling, cracked windshield, dented bumper, broken ac, and other little niggles that would of caused other sane people to throw it out a long time ago.



Competitors:

I did look at a GTI a few months before and came away underwhelmed by the driving experience. The interior was very nice and the car looks handsome. I love clean design and appreciate the wealth of details for the price. At the end I wanted the best mix of driving experience, toys, quality and price and felt the Mazdaspeed3 came out on top every time.

I also looked at used 335is, TSX's, TL's and just couldnt see how they would place more smiles per dollar than the Speed3.

I had actually never driven the second gen Speed3 but loved the first after a few test drives. Am I stupid to buy so blindly?

The Buy:

I planned to buy a new car in April or May after the winter grime but plans changed. The other day, after noticing a dealer in NH has had the same white loaded Mazdaspeed3 on the lot for 3 months, I decided to shoot them a “low” offer of $3k under MSRP. He wrote back and promptly accepted. It blew my mind and wondered how low I can get it elsewhere in New England with dealers that have the same stock issue (Vermont has zero new Speed3s). The lowest offer was a black one for $23,315 plus taxes. Thats about $3800 under MSRP. I wanted a red one and the best deal was in Rhode Island. I live in Burlington Vermont so I grabbed a bus to Boston on Wednesday morning and a train in the afternoon. Dealer picked me up at the station and I finished the deal. Drove home 5 hours that night. I have a total of 400 miles under the belt and feel its a good time for a short review.



The Review:

First thing I notice when I see the car in the garage: “Handsome looking with very Japanese lines” Second thing: “Very loud on cold startup”. The car grumbles and groans much like an idling STI. I go for a quick test drive and immediately know I've made the correct decision. The car handles like its on rails. Step on the gas and it goes like stink. It has the some turbo lag but it comes at you with a punch. Very similar to an old SAAB 900 Tubo a gf had in college. Man that car had soul. Anyways, the clutch is very touchy and one must drive it for a while to learn its ways but the whole shifting experience is very rewarding. The drive home was unevenful since I took it easy the whole way. Since then I've gotten to play with it more and have gotten more intimate with its characteristics.

I've noticed that car is not a relaxing car to drive. This car is loud inside on the highway and has a weird way of not letting you relax. The whole experience is somewhat twitchy but in a good way. Similar to driving an S2000, its has too many quick reflexes to just chill. Thankfully, I live in Vermont and am blessed with awesome driving roads year round. I knew it wouldnt be a Lexus so I'm happy I get to enjoy its athletic demeanor everyday.

Another thing, is that I'm blown away by the amount of tech in the car. I have the tech package and at the end I get keyless start, nav, bose sound, Blue tooth streaming, AFS headlights, and a blind spot monitoring system.

Verdict:

The car is awesome for someone looking for the rawest form of speed while maintaining price and dependability. A real drivers car to the bone. Like many of us, I was looking for the perfect car. I found it and it has soul.









Cliff Notes:
New Speed3 after years of dreaming of performance
Car is awesome
Car has soul
Long term updates to follow


As time goes on, I will update this thread with long term posts. Stay tuned dudes
 

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Congrats, what a fun car. I am dying to drive one of these. I know this thread is about to turn into a massive wankfest of "yah da GTI has less PAH but iz better for dis and dis and dis reas0n", but hopefully we can focus mostly on the awesome that is a new red MS3.

I hate to be that guy but I'm dying to know what you paid. I love the tech package, I think it has all the perfect toys for a not-outrageous price. How is the torque steer, pretty typical or have they managed to mute it at all? The third and fourth gear pulls must be intoxicating. Definitely keep us updated on the long term and highway comfort, that always seems to be people's biggest bitch about these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hate to be that guy but I'm dying to know what you paid. I love the tech package, I think it has all the perfect toys for a not-outrageous price.

I paid 24,115 without tax. $23,900 plus 215 documentation fee. Taxes vary by state so you calculate your own total price. MSRP = $26,930. Truecar.com places my car below dealer costs so I'm happy even though it was not the lowest price I could find. They got me with my red color choice.

How is the torque steer, pretty typical or have they managed to mute it at all?
oh jeebus, its fine. The wheel twitches in the lower gear but it doesnt buck like a bronco like its made out to be. Even if it did, it adds character to the car. Its something that cars have less of everyday.
 

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I paid 24,115 without tax. $23,900 plus 215 documentation fee. Taxes vary by state so you calculate your own total price. MSRP = $26,930. Truecar.com places my car below dealer costs so I'm happy even though it was not the lowest price I could find. They got me with my red color choice.



oh jeebus, its fine. The wheel twitches in the lower gear but it doesnt buck like a bronco like its made out to be. Even if it did, it adds character to the car. Its something that cars have less of everyday.
I'm more curious if it really has a big drop off in power at the top and if the gearing makes it not even matter?

I've always been a sucker for this car and the Mazdaspeed 6 too.

The 3 just looks good. It's very handsome and not too gaudy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm more curious if it really has a big drop off in power at the top and if the gearing makes it not even matter?

I've always been a sucker for this car and the Mazdaspeed 6 too.

The 3 just looks good. It's very handsome and not too gaudy.
I cannot answer that for you yet. Fully. I've tried to not get too crazy until I pass 600 miles. Taking it somewhat easy until then but stay tuned.
 

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I encourage you to be cautious when going wide open throttle, deciding to go WOT at 2500 RPM in 6th gear will equal boom eventually. Other than that, enjoy. Love my car, its been awesome for the 20k I've owned it. Lightly modded it's very quick, and I'm about to go fully bolted on with a Cobb stage 2 tune so it will be even more fun very soon. Congrats, you will love it (it seems you already do, anyways).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I encourage you to be cautious when going wide open throttle, deciding to go WOT at 2500 RPM in 6th gear will equal boom eventually.
oh wow, thanks for the heads up. Why is this though? Too much force on the engine? I dont think ive done that yet though so its good. If i ever tried to go WOT i make sure that the before acceleration speed has above 3k rpms.
 

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I encourage you to be cautious when going wide open throttle, deciding to go WOT at 2500 RPM in 6th gear will equal boom eventually. Other than that, enjoy. Love my car, its been awesome for the 20k I've owned it. Lightly modded it's very quick, and I'm about to go fully bolted on with a Cobb stage 2 tune so it will be even more fun very soon. Congrats, you will love it (it seems you already do, anyways).
Who do you mean by the first part of that statement???

Congrats on your Speed3.
 

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My brother has one, and I actually love driving it as it's a lot of fun. The car feels very quick. He is actually selling his red '11 with 11k miles on it because he is leaving the country to study abroad. I think he is asking $20k. It has the tech package.
 

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I've noticed that car is not a relaxing car to drive. This car is loud inside on the highway and has a weird way of not letting you relax.
I test drove a MS3 a few months ago and immediately noticed this. I told the salesguy I was about 20 years too old for this car (I am 42). :laugh:
 

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oh wow, thanks for the heads up. Why is this though? Too much force on the engine? I dont think ive done that yet though so its good. If i ever tried to go WOT i make sure that the before acceleration speed has above 3k rpms.
Who do you mean by the first part of that statement???

Congrats on your Speed3.
Most of the MS3s you hear about blowing up online seem to be the result of two things, depending where you look and who you listen to. Bad tunes overworking the stock HPFP is one, the other is loading boost under 3,000 rpm or so in sixth. The 2.3 DISIs have powder-forged rods, stronger than traditional cast rods but not as strong as traditionally forged pieces. Loading boost over time destroys the rods and creates a scenario called "Zoom Zoom Boom." From Mazdaspeed forums welcome to your MS3 sticky:

Don't pass someone in 6th Gear!!
Just because the car is "turbo" doesn't mean it's appropriate to boost or "load" the engine up in 6th gear. Especially when it puts you at or under 3,000 rpms. If you're gonna pass, or go WOT, do so past 3,000 RPMS or kiss your motor good bye... one day..
But I'm just playing devils advocate. Knowing that, you can go fully enjoy your car! There's not really a reason to worry if you drive it responsibly.
 

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The "don't pass somebody in 6th gear" thing is ridiculous. If you're on the highway, you're turning 3k+ RPM at cruising speed. Loads at that speed are fine, even with a good punch of the throttle.

The sticky should read "use proper gears." You shouldn't floor it going up a hill in 6th gear at 30mph, for instance. That's bad for *any* engine.
 

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Most of the MS3s you hear about blowing up online seem to be the result of two things, depending where you look and who you listen to. Bad tunes overworking the stock HPFP is one, the other is loading boost under 3,000 rpm or so in sixth. The 2.3 DISIs have powder-forged rods, stronger than traditional cast rods but not as strong as traditionally forged pieces. Loading boost over time destroys the rods and creates a scenario called "Zoom Zoom Boom."
Interesting, a smiliar issue is surfacing with Evo X's. The 4b11 has beefier rods than the 4g63 but when over 400wtq, "lugging" the car in top (5th) gear is not recommended. They are finding that loading the motor like that is causing bent rods.

I was wondering why one motor that is, technically, beefier is more succeptible to it than others but it might be more of a universal issue.

To the OP, congrats on the car. The MS3 is a sweet machine and love it in red. :beer:
 

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This S2000 I just bought had a few bent rods. I thought the previous owner might of mis-shifted, but the rest of the car is in tip-top shape.

The Honda mechanic said to me that he never sees this with guys who drive them properly, it's always a driver who leaves the cruise control on in sixth and lets the car lug up hills.

Found out the previous owner had an address in the mountains, but probably worked down in the valley. They probably left on the cruise after work on the way home and eventually caused the valves to bend enough out of spec to cause a problem.
 
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