2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed3


$6,195 - $11,197

2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 was new.


Interior: 8.6

The 2008 Mazdaspeed3 interior matches its performance appeal with bolstered bucket seating, red accents and an overall sleek cabin look with quality fit and finish. Most reviewers find the interior successful at fusing both form and function.

Car and Driver calls the interior of the Mazdaspeed3 "very European." The Detroit Free Press notes that the interior has a "contemporary and comfortable" feel that is both "minimal and tasteful." CNET concludes that the "materials, fit and interior look is all very good." In agreement, the Orlando Sentinel says that the interior is "nicely appointed and very comfortable, with supportive front bucket seats and well-placed instruments and controls."


Auto reviewers are generally pleased with the Mazdaspeed3's seating, saying the seats are comfortable, supportive and spacious. The sporty compact can hold up to five people. Kelley Blue Book says that the "seats provide a snug fit with large side bolsters to hold the driver and passenger firmly in place during spirited drives." Motor Trend says that the Mazdaspeed3's "supportive" sport seat "hugs you like a prom date." The Boston Globe calls the Mazdaspeed3's seats "superbly sculpted" and adds that they are "sharply and rigidly bolstered on the outsides of the thighs and torso."

Auto writers find the Mazdaspeed3's front bucket seats ideal -- well-shaped for hugging on tight turns and supportive enough for long drives. Automobile Magazine reports the "ideally shaped driver's seat is substantially bolstered." The Kansas City Star adds that the deeply sculpted bucket seats provide "excellent support for long distances behind the wheel." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that up front "the seats have a look of expensive aftermarket sport seats, with good lateral support for spirited driving." About.com adds, "Multi-adjustable seats and steering wheel make it easy to find the perfect driving position."

While most reviewers say the 2008 Mazdaspeed3 has room for five, a handful of reviews note that the backseat can only comfortably accommodate two. Though the Boston Globe says the rear seating is "surprisingly spacious," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel states that the backseat has "reasonable accommodations and comfort for only two, with enough knee and head room for average-sized adults," adding that the "center position is virtually impossible and does not even have a headrest." Automobile Magazine concludes that the back seats "are amply bolstered to hold two riders in place when the driver feels frisky."

Interior Features

Interior features on the Mazdaspeed3 Sport edition include black cloth seats, six-way manual adjustable driver's seat, fold-down rear seatbacks for added cargo capacity, power windows, cruise control and CFC-free air conditioning with automatic climate control. The Grand Touring trim level adds black cloth seats with leather bolsters, a Bose premium audio system and six-disc CD changer and a driving information system.

Most auto reviewers like the gauges on the Mazdaspeed3, finding them easy to read, attractive and functional. The Mazdaspeed3's interior, according to the Detroit Free Press, "has a unique and appealing look, with clean, legible numbers," and gauges, when lit, that create "a very pleasant ambience at night." The Kansas City Star reports that the Mazdaspeed3's gauges are "mounted in three pods almost like those of a motorcycle. The red numerals were pleasing in the dark." Cars.com adds that the controls "hold up well in bright sunlight" and adds that they "are easy to reach and intuitive in every respect."


The Mazdaspeed3 Sport trim comes with a stereo that CNET calls "a complete mess." With too many knobs, CNET says, "This is probably the worst stereo interface we've seen," adding that the "implementation also was generally poor, with a weak antenna that let the station cut out with minimal external interference." The reviewer calls the audio quality "passable, with its best performance in the midranges. Highs weren't as clear as we would like, and the bass wasn't particularly rich."

Reviewers say the stereo in the Grand Touring trim is better. It comes standard with a Bose premium audio system with a 222-watt digital amplifier, seven speakers and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. Cars.com finds the sound system "above average, but not as good as other applications." Kelley Blue Book says that "the Bose audio system delivers enough bass to overcome invading exterior noise from the big tires and booming exhaust." The Detroit News says that the Grand Touring trim is "like some kind of mini nightclub," with its upgraded sound system, steering wheel audio controls, iPod jack and Sirius satellite radio compatibility. Both trims offer Sirius satellite radio as an individual option.


The 2008 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring can be fitted with an optional navigation system. Most reviewers find this feature intuitive to use. The Detroit Free Press calls the navigation screen "large and legible," saying that it "rotates up out of the dashboard" and has "well-placed and unobtrusive controls located on the center console just in front of the shifter." The Boston Globe says that the navigation pops up and is "standing above an instrument control stack with nicely manageable knobs and buttons for audio, climate control and travel information," adding that it "flows gracefully down and into the small pit from which the short, leather-wrapped, silver-tipped shifter protrudes." Yet, Cars.com adds that the "interface is located to the right of the shifter," which is "inconvenient" with the manual transmission, but also "seems a bit dangerous." They add, "One distracted move while trying to find your destination could land you in neutral or the wrong gear."


Auto writers like the flexibility of the 2008 MazdaSpeed3 hatchback, noting its cargo space and split-and-fold seating that adds an edge of practicality to this speedy little compact. The Detroit News says that the MazdaSpeed3 "has a fairly spacious rear cargo area and a 60/40 split folding rear seat that lets you expand the cargo space." With the rear seats up, the 2008 Mazdaspeed3 can hold 16.5 cubic feet of cargo, which Cars.com calls "plenty of room to stow luggage on a weekend trip."

Cargo room increases to 43.4 cubic feet when the seats of the Mazdaspeed3 are folded down. Automobile Magazine notes that the folding seats "accommodate booty from Ikea, and even the glove box is nearly large enough to sequester a small child." Cars.com praises that these dimensions, and the ability to expand the cargo area, are exclusive to the Mazdaspeed3, saying, "No other sport compact on the market has this kind of usability, and that may sway drivers looking for responsible fun." Road and Track sums up the most common take on the cargo room by parodying a Mastercard commercial: "Six sets of snowboards, boots and bindings, $2,400. Four sets of snow jackets and pants, $1,000. Two snowboard helmets, $200. Assorted luggage, clothes, sleeping bags and snacks, $193.57. Having the ability to fit all of that plus another passenger into a fun, sporty, affordable compact for a weekend up in the mountains -- priceless."

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