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Decided to get up a little early today and take the speed for a trip down to Big Sur. For those who don't know this is one of the best roads for really getting a feel for what our cars are all about. Only catch is that you can often get stuck behind a slow moving RV or a rubbernecking mustang convertible(with top down regardless of temp) that is an obvious rental car. This morning I got a pretty clear shot for most of the drive. Coming back I was able to hit the turns at speed and I must admit I am impressed. I am coming out of a 2003 Mach1 Mustang that had full suspension as well as intake and exhaust. In the turns the Mazda would own the Mustang no questions asked. I used to have an 06 Civic Si which also was a blast in turns but as everyone knows you have to rev the crap out of them to get them up to speed. The speed is combination of the light feel and handling of the Si and most of the torque of the Mustang. I was worried that I would miss the straight line performance of the Mustang but after today I don't think that will be a problem. Not only does the Mazda allow me to tear up twisty road but it also doubles as a "responsible" daily driver that I can haul around my family of four and put the dog in the back. I have only had my car for three weeks but I am really digging it so far.
 

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Glad to hear you're enjoying the MS3. I agree that it's a very good compromise for people who want speed, handling, and practicality. I haven't gotten to drive the 2010 MS3, but I enjoyed the wheel time behind the 1st gen.
 

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Decided to get up a little early today and take the speed for a trip down to Big Sur. For those who don't know this is one of the best roads for really getting a feel for what our cars are all about. Only catch is that you can often get stuck behind a slow moving RV or a rubbernecking mustang convertible(with top down regardless of temp) that is an obvious rental car. This morning I got a pretty clear shot for most of the drive. Coming back I was able to hit the turns at speed and I must admit I am impressed. I am coming out of a 2003 Mach1 Mustang that had full suspension as well as intake and exhaust. In the turns the Mazda would own the Mustang no questions asked. I used to have an 06 Civic Si which also was a blast in turns but as everyone knows you have to rev the crap out of them to get them up to speed. The speed is combination of the light feel and handling of the Si and most of the torque of the Mustang. I was worried that I would miss the straight line performance of the Mustang but after today I don't think that will be a problem. Not only does the Mazda allow me to tear up twisty road but it also doubles as a "responsible" daily driver that I can haul around my family of four and put the dog in the back. I have only had my car for three weeks but I am really digging it so far.
I too am glad you enjoy your car, but unlike Derrick my 3i Touring is the only Mazda 3 I've ever driven. I could imagine having roughly 100 more hp being pretty bad ass, and having the hatch being pretty "responsible". I've recently found some back-country-roads with a lot of twistys too. They are fun even in the rain!!! Can't wait until the fall when the leaves are off the trees and I can really whip around the turns since I'll be able to see around them!!!!
 

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I used to love taking that drive back when I lived in Salinas...nice stretch of road that's really rewarding given the right car under the right circumstances. Sound like you were smart enough to choose the right car and lucky enough to get the proper road/traffic conditions. :yes:

The Mazda3 (even moreso the Speed3) is a really fun and engaging car to drive...very responsive, able to accelerate on command without making the driver feel like they're not in control and not overly difficult to handle. It makes driving rewarding regardless of the experience level of the driver. I've always felt that good straight line performance, while impressive, was less important than excellent handling and responsiveness anyway.

Glad to hear you're enjoying the car and not missing what you used to have.
 
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