2010 MazdaSpeed3

2010 MazdaSpeed3

Episode 2911
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

A few years back, Mazda nominated their capable Mazda3 Hatchback for the factory tuner game. They badged this sporty compact the MazdaSpeed3. The result was a killer combo of practical presence and unyielding performance. It was a true street racer at an affordable price. Well, now it’s take two for the MazdaSpeed3, as we wonder… what more can this little hot hatchback deliver?

The impression is immediate. Mazda’s 5-door 2010 MazdaSpeed3’s cartoonish presence makes the outgoing model look almost tame by comparison. And it’s the grill, with its leering mouthful of black plastic gills surrounded by swept-back cat-eye lighting that gets your attention and keeps it.

The most purposeful new front feature is a functional hood scoop that blasts the Speed3’s intercooler with fresh air. Rear styling is also more aggressive for 2010, with narrow, protruding taillights, more angular rear hatch, larger spoiler, and oversized dual exhaust tips. The RX-8 R3-inspired 18-inch alloy wheels are now shod with wider high-performance Dunlop tires.

But powering this front-drive, grocery-getting outlaw is the same direct injected, 263-horsepower 2.3-liter turbo four as before. Likewise, torque remains at an ample 280 pound-feet, all channeled through the Speed3’s only transmission, a very appropriate six-speed manual.

Gearing in second through fifth gears is taller for 2010, while a limited slip diff remains standard. Hard launches in the Speed3 still proved tricky, however. Too much throttle and the front wheels shudder; too little and it all bogs down. But making pavement connection has improved over our 2007 test, with the new tires, revised driveshafts and updated torque management electronics reducing torque steer in a big way.

In fact, our 0 to 60 time of 5.2 seconds is over a second quicker, with a similar improvement for the quarter mile at 13.9-seconds and 102 miles per hour. Short stops were never a problem with the Speed3: 60 to 0 in a fine average of 123 feet with a solid, vibration-free pedal. Plus, for 2010 Brake Assist has been added.

Through our long slalom, the MazdaSpeed3 again exhibited a more manageable amount of torque steer with less tendency to push at each apex. You still need to squeeze rather than stab the throttle for best control; but manage the gas well, and this little hatch rewards you with pure exhilaration.

We did notice that during the high speed lane change, the electro-hydraulic steering seemed to lose boost, going from light to very heavy in an instant. The previous generation Speed3 had a stiff ride, especially on rough roads. The new Speed’s strengthened body structure and suspension tweaks; stiffer springs, higher damper rates, and revised front stabilizer bar still leave most of the shock absorption to the comfy, high-bolstered seats.

They’re mostly black cloth, but the headrests and bolsters are trimmed in black leather and there are red highlights everywhere around the cabin.

The dash has a new-found flow, drawing the eye down the center stack to the brightwork around the shifter. The switchgear layout has been revised, and the digital display has moved to a shroud under the windshield.

Door sills, floor mats, and aluminum pedals are all unique to the MazdaSpeed3. A new LED turbo boost gauge between the tach and speedo is standard, as is Bluetooth and six airbags.

With our car’s Tech package, there’s also a 10-speaker Bose sound system, full-color navigation, and push-button start.

The back bench offers a reasonable amount of room for two adults, but not for three. But it’s impressively versatile. With the 60/40 seats up, there’s 17 cubic feet reserved for cargo. Folded flat, that figure swells to a useful 42.8 cubic feet.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 2010 MazdaSpeed3 are 18 city/25 highway. On our mileage loop, we bettered both, managing 26.1 miles per gallon of premium. With an Energy Impact Score of 16.3 annual barrels of oil, and a Carbon Footprint of 8.7 tons of CO2, the MazdaSpeed3 falls right in line with the Subaru WRX.

As ever, the 2010 Mazda MazdaSpeed3 is priced to move, with a base of just $23,945. The Tech package adds $1,895 more. Mazda’s frisky MazdaSpeed3 continues as one of our all time favorites.  For 2010, in some ways - more refined, in others - more ferocious, but always entertaining. And, we might add, for a factory tuned hot hatchback, extremely affordable and even practical. Buy one and you’ll be grinning like a Cheshire cat, too!

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.3-Liter Turbo Four
  • Horsepower: 263
  • Torque: 280 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 5.2 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9 Seconds @ 102 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 123 Feet
  • EPA: 18 MPG City/ 25 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 26.1 MPG
  • Energy Impact: 16.3 Barrels Oil/Yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 8.7 Tons/Yr
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 3/4 Front

2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge

Big Changes for Volvo’s Smallest SUV

Episode 4337
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Volvo’s march towards full electrification is well underway, and it doesn’t look like anything will stop it. Now, there are currently four fully-electric SUVs you can reserve on their website. However, only two have made it onto our streets here in the U.S. including their first EV, the XC40 Recharge. Which, as it turns out, continues to get better and better.

The 2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge started out as just the plain old XC40 back in 2019. It then acquired the Recharge signifier in 2021 when it became the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle here in the U.S., not to be confused with the XC40 Recharge PHEV… Plug-In Hybrid… which unfortunately is not sold here.
Got all that? Good, let’s talk about what has changed recently to make the XC40 Recharge EV better than ever.

It may look mostly the same as when we last saw it back in 2021, but it did get some styling tweaks last year, and underneath that skin, and all the vegan and recycled materials, are some big changes for 20-24.
Foremost is a bigger battery. It comes in a new two-wheel-drive version of the XC40. Up to now, all XC40 Recharges have been all-wheel drive. With just a single 185 kilowatt motor rated at 248 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque and a larger 82 kilowatt-hour battery pack, range jumps from the previous max of 223 miles to 293.

2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Dead Front
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 3/4 Front
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Headlight
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Volvo Badge
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Profile
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Rear Profile
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Stamped Name
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 3/4 Rear
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Dead Rear
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Taillight
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Badge
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Dead Front2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 3/4 Front2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Headlight2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Volvo Badge2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Profile2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Rear Profile2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Stamped Name2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 3/4 Rear2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Dead Rear2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Taillight2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Badge

Now, we put it to the test on a cold and rainy spring day, and fell well short of that max number. But our pace of 251-miles, at the end of our driving loop, was still a significant improvement.

Twin-motor all-wheel-drive XC40s keep the same 78 kilowatt-hour battery as before, but also take advantage of that new rear motor, as well as get an upgraded front motor too. New software treats that front motor as more of a traction assist to be used only when needed.

Power built more gradually, more like a traditional ICE powertrain. We’ve been seeing that approach from other EV makers recently as well, and we’re onboard with that.

So, range is up for it too, now rated at 254 miles. Full one-pedal driving is also included. XC40s with the extended range battery have a charging upgrade too, now taking up to 200-kilowatt DC fast charging for an 80% charge in 28 minutes.

As for charging off the starting line at our test track, it certainly didn’t have the rush of acceleration that the twin-motor displays. Power built more gradually, more like a traditional ICE powertrain. We’ve been seeing that approach from other EV makers recently as well, and we’re onboard with that.

2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Dashboard
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Steering Wheel
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Central Display
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Volume Knob
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Digital Cluster
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Central Display Alt
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Shifter
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Front Seat
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 7
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Rear Seat
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Rear Climate
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Trunk
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Harmon Kardon Speaker
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Door Interior
2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Dashboard2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Steering Wheel2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Central Display2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Volume Knob2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Digital Cluster2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Central Display Alt2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Shifter2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Front Seat2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge 72024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Rear Seat2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Rear Climate2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Trunk2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Harmon Kardon Speaker2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge Door Interior

Once full power did arrive, we hit 60 in a still quite quick 6.4 seconds; and power delivery stayed strong throughout the quarter-mile instead of tapering off like many EVs do. The full quarter-mile catapult ended in 15.2 seconds at 92 miles-per-hour.

Volvo has also tweaked the suspension to provide a smoother ride on the street, but with the same low center of gravity as before, combined with rear-wheel drive, the XC40 Recharge felt more than capable through our handling course.

Nothing really changes inside. All occupants are met with a pretty plush yet very practical design. That means great materials, good comfort front and rear, and Volvo’s Google-based infotainment system.

XC40 Recharges are available in 3 trim levels: Core, Plus, and Ultimate, with all three now available in either rear or all-wheel drive. With the Twin Motor now essentially a $1,750 option, prices range from the base Single Motor Core’s $53,745 to top Twin Motor Ultimate at $61,845.

With a comprehensive powertrain and drivetrain makeover, the 2024 Volvo XC40 Recharge accomplishes more than just offering more range and more options for buyers, it has become a more compelling EV choice than ever.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: single rear (185-kW)
  • Battery Size: 82-kWh
  • Horsepower: 248
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft.
  • EPA Range: 293 Miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.2 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 116 feet (avg)
  • MW Range: 252 Miles
  • Efficiency: 32 kWh/100 miles