Mazda has really put some good products out over the last few decades. The most memorable from the ‘80s would have to be the Mazda RX-7 (the rotary wonder). Then moving into the late ‘80s and ‘90s they scored a hit with the Miata or MX-5. The theme with most of their cars, sports cars included, were and are affordable and fun. They have the extra-added bonus of being reliable, which brings me to a car that some might not have considered yet and other might just not know about—the 2010 MazdaSpeed3.

2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3

2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3

Yes, as you might have guessed, the MazdaSpeed3 is based on the fairly popular (and controversial in the styling department) Mazda3. The twist is that it isn’t based on the sedan but rather on the 5-door hatch configuration. Again, you might have gleamed from the title of the article that this car is about speed—and it is, but with some refinement added in. Power comes from a 2.3-liter, direct-injection (DISI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which cranks out 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. That power is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a limited slip differential. Since we are talking zoom-zoom here, the MazdaSpeed3 can hustle itself from 0-60 mph in under six seconds.

All that speed doesn't mean that there isn't some practicality built as well. The 2010 MazdaSpeed3 gets 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg out on the highway. It is also available with refinements such as navigation and satellite radio. Even more impressive, at least to me, is that this little rocket can be yours for a base MSRP of $23,340. If that sounds intriguing, then be sure to check out our partner site’s review for the Bottom Line over at TheCarConnection.com.