When I caught my first glance of the new Mazda3 and saw that ridiculous “smile” from the front grill, my reaction was to slap my forehead and wonder aloud what the heck Mazda was thinking. When the Mazdaspeed3 arrived at my door, someone remarked “Oh, it’s the smiling car.” After living with the MS3 for a week, there is a reason for that idiotic grin on the front of the car-it’s advertising the facial expression of the driver. It all makes sense now.
The MS3 first arrived in 2007 as the hotrod version of the popular Mazda3. With a new generation 3, comes a new MS3. With such an acclaimed, popular car, the changes here are strictly evolutionary. Power comes from the same 2.3L turbo intercooled four, still producing 263hp sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda did make some adjustments to improve driveability.