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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a Cosmic Blue Mica MazdaSpeed 3. So far it is a very different experience for me. I traded in a 2002 Subaru WRX and I am still getting used to all of the differences.

The biggest difference is of course going from AWD to 2 wheel drive. I am still spinning the wheels when in 1st gear and I don’t even mean to do it. Cornering is also different due to the torque steer. I know they have electronics to help reduce that but you can definitely notice it and feel it. I think it will take me more time and warmer weather to test it out and put more faith in the system. For now I will drive a bit on the cautious side until I am more familiar with it.

The MazdaSpeed 3 definitely has more top end power on the highway over the WRX and the power is delivered in a much smoother manner with no noticeable turbo lag. I like that. The steering is also more fine and has a much different feel.

Here are some of the positives and negatives that I have come up with in my limited time of driving my new MazdaSpeed 3:

Positives:
- Better styling and overall look
- More useful interior space (I like hatchbacks)
- Nicer interior & more space
- More sophisticated controls (HVAC/Radio/etc.)
- Better ride at high speed- no shaking and aero is better designed on the car
- Much better top end for highway passing
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Negatives:
- Steering Wheel – I have noticed a few issues with it
o The layout is a tri-hub and I notice myself having to grip the wheel to keep my hand on it instead of being able to rest it on one of the hubs as I did on the WRX. I liked being able to do that on long trips. I find now that my wrist is constantly locked down just to hold the wheel in place. Sort of frustrating and makes my hand cramp up a little.
o Also I like the tilt and telescope feature but the wheel does not telescope out far enough. I find that when I get in a comfortable position with my legs on the clutch and break/gas that I am then reaching a bit for the wheel. It is not a relaxed feel
- As a addition to that the center console arm rest does not seem to be long enough. I remember using that on the WRX to rest my elbow on while my right hand grabbed the wheel. You can’t do that in the Speed 3 cause the arm rest and the wheel end up being too far apart. (And I am 6 feet tall so I am not a short person)
- Noises- Not that it is a negative but I have heard some strange whinny and high pitched noises coming from the engine. I assume it is the turbo and has a lot to do with cold weather but the WRX never made these noises so it makes me wonder – but I have a warranty so that makes me feel better.


Don’t get me wrong I say those are negatives but take it with a grain of salt. They are just the things that I have found in the short time that I have driven the car. (It just seems like some of the design associated with the driving experience is good for short/fast driving but not great for long/speed limit driving) I need to keep adjusting things like my seat, wheel, position, etc. to see if another position makes things different. Hopefully that will be the case. I still have to get used to driving the car.
 

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Congrats on the purchase. You'll learn to love it. I've had AWD before myself, and it's tough to go FWD after that, especially with this much power.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah it really is a totally different drivign experience. I he to get used to it. I made the plunge so I better learn to love it one way or the other.
 

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You will. Trust me, you will. I miss AWD, but trading this far up in the go department is the only way to fly. And with aftermarket parts already pushing these cars above 300hp, for relatively little cash, it can only get better.
 
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