2010 Mazda3

Speed3 Tech Package

Rating: 5
Damage: $23,945*
Power: 263hp, 280 lb.-ft.
0-60: 6.4 seconds
Gas Cash: 18 city, 25 hwy

This vest-pocket hot hatch has more torque than a Ferrari 360, and you’d be straight ignorant to dismiss all that power just because it only spins the front wheels. It’s not that you have to get into Speed Racer mindset to manhandle it around your favorite twisties—just don’t think you can keep one hand at noon and expect to exploit all 280 pounds of twist. The MS3′s drivetrain is carried over from the last iteration, but gone are the squared fender flares—they’ve been substituted by a headlamp-to-headlamp grin—which doesn’t really hint at the Speed3′s newly tweaked (and harder) suspension. If you want the Mazdaspeed3 to put the fear of God in you, it will. Just ask it. Without being more than the sum of its parts, it gets the job done, nothing more. Which is what makes it the ultimate hot hatch. – JACK CHINELLI