There are some updates I'd like to see on the 2012 Mazdaspeed3, if the manufacturer has any interest: I'd like to see the cruise controls minimized - at this point cruise is actuated on the lower left and lower right of the steering column with huge buttons that look like they came from a parts bin; I'd like to see a heavier clutch action and a shorter throw to the gearshift lever. But that's about it!
What I enjoy about the Mazdaspeed3 - aside from its exquisite road manners - is the inclusion of great manual seats with very good lumbar and lateral support, necessary in such a sporting machine. I like the bi-level central storage with its 12-volt and auxiliary plugs that add to the 12V at the base of the central stack. I like the fact that all the Speed3's controls are intuitive and easy to use (with the exception of that cruise control), the fantastic space in the rear of 17-cubic feet of cargo space that increases to 42.8 cubes when the 60/40 rear fold is utilized. This might not be best-in-class space but it's all usable - and isn't that what matters?
I like the perimeter entry - and the perimeter alarm - and appreciate the pushbutton start/stop button. I think it's great there are cup holders in all four doors and a pull-down armrest in the rear seat for added beverages. There are hooks at the rear to secure any cargo and - good for me - a driver's height adjustment. The steering wheel controls work exceptionally well - even the phone syncs kindly - and I like the little pod atop the central stack with info and navigation. The navigation system never gets lost and is extremely simple to use.
After a week gallivanting around Southern California in the 2012 Mazdaspeed3, I just wish I had an extra $27 large to plunk down on one of my own. Mazda makes cars that drivers - real drivers - can covet and enjoy. The Speed3 is certainly the epitome of Mazda's Zoom-Zoom culture.