Does the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 Have Too Much Power?

Well apparently not everyone is happy with the power of the Mazda Mazdaspeed 3. According to Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press, the car has too much power that it inhibits the overall driveability of the car.

“Mazda left the 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 performance compact on the burner too long.”

The Mazdaspeed 3 is a turbocharged 263 horsepower version of the popular Mazda 3. Its main competition is the VW GTI and Honda Civic Si.

The regular versions of the Mazda 3 (sedan and five-door) have been a great success for the automaker since they were introduced. The Mazda consistently remains at the top of its class. Well according to Phelan, the Mazdaspeed version misses the mark. Compared to the GTI and Civic Si, the car falls short in the handling department.

On paper the Mazda looks like it will eat the Honda and VW in a comparison test, but that is not the case. The 263 horsepower and 280 lb. ft. of torque severely undermine the steering and handling of the car. With that much power at the front wheels, the car suffers from a significant amount of torque steer. Phelan stated that it was hard to keep the car planted on the road even though it had a standard limited slip differential and stability control.

The reason that the GTI and Civic Si perform so well is because they have the right balance of power and handling. The Mazdaspeed is too overpowered.

According to Phelan if the car had 220 horsepower, it would perform much better.

I have yet to drive one, but his findings seem legitimate. Mazda should have put the all-wheel-drive system from the Mazdaspeed 6 in this hatch and then the torque steer problems would have been solved. I still think it is a great car and I am glad to see that some automakers are willing to take a risk.

Full Story: Detroit Free Press