Run to the Sun — MazdaSpeed3

NWAPA

Imagine driving a very cool new car for a distance between 9 to 25 miles, getting out and then into another very cool car for another 9 to 25 mile leg and then repeating the same routine through 23 cars in a two day period.

NWAPA

Welcome to the 2010 NWAPA (Northwest Automotive Press Association) Run to the Sun held recently in western Washington.? After 23 cars and more than 450 miles of smiles, here are our quick impressions of the MazdaSpeed3 Sport.

We can always count on Mazda for a fun-to-drive car, and the MazdaSpeed3 is one of the brand?s best.? Anyone can put a 263-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine in a 3,200-pound front-wheel drive vehicle, but the Mazda engineers inject a shot of Zoom-Zoom to create something that just feels right.? Yes, it?s fast with a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a track top speed of 155 mph but this little five-door hatchback is loaded with flare and precision, too.? The only downside is some torque steer under hard acceleration.? For under $24,000, ($26,000 with options including a compact navigation system), this car has a universal appeal with a well-organized comfortable interior, excellent performance and a top-level fun factor.

See the other 22 ?Run to the Sun? Cars here.

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