Since we observed a prototype looping the Racetrack in August 2005, it has been an contender for our cover.

It was mostly black and had a large hood scoop that sucked in air, which it then blatted out all the rear through an oversized stinger. The vehicle had a poor appearance.

Under its tent, low-carb curb weights, agile handling, and reasonable tag prices are the norm.Under its tent, low-carb curb weights, agile handling, and reasonable tag prices are the norm.

We decided that there was a lot of punch but not sufficient polish. (The general public seems to concur, as Mazda is currently offering incentives on the vehicle.)

The price of the Mazdaspeed 3 as of this writing is $22,800. Relatively, a standard 2006 Impreza Impreza WRX wagon costs roughly $2300 less.

Even with the $1715 GT option installed properly (suede bench trims, laser headlights, Leds usually worn, six-CD changer, rain-sensing wipers)

The Mazdaspeed 3 is ready for battle, sitting on its 18-inch tires and donning additional wind-cheating material.

Mazda has really pulled its interior design and finish together, as evidenced by the "Mazdaspeed" embroidery that faces the white-trimmed dials on the dash.

To reduce wallowing in corners and during quick transitions without degrading the generally supple ride of the base 3 Mazda engineers tightened the suspension strings.

Hence, the front and the back anti-roll bars are each 0.2 inches thicker. Monotube shock with faster compression and rebound tuning and higher springs rates

With the addition of a new tandem-bore booster, the brakes on the Mazdaspeed 3 are amplified in order to maximize booster volume and, therefore, braking force while maintaining a compact design.

A pair of Volvo S40-derived calipers climbed up front, where it counts, grasp 12.6-inch vented discs. Standard features include traction control, stability control, and ABS.

Regarding the snap oversteer, Mazda anticipated it would win an Oscar. Therefore, it incorporated a subtlety into the engine-control software that ties the engine's