2011 Mazda 3 S "Zoom-Zoom"

2011 Mazda 3 2.5

I never seriously thought that I would buy a non-European car for myself, but when my Passat came due for assorted repairs that exceeded its value I started looking around. Key requirements were (1) three pedals, including a clutch and the associated gearbox, and (2) interior space for a dog or the occasional "stuff" consistent with a station wagon or something close. To my surprise, that led me not to another VW but to a Mazda 3, which not only was an adequate daily-driver but was awfully fun to drive, too, possibly the best-handling car of any car that I had owned.

2011 Mazda 3 2.5 at Laguna Seca

Wanting to see how it would really perform, I took it to Laguna Seca in July 2018 for a Golden Gate Lotus Club track day. Alas, the stock brakes weren't up the challenge but I still had fun. I may try again with race brake pads.

(I did end up trying again, with an upgraded version in the form of Mr. Toad, a 2013 Mazdaspeed 3.)

Disassembled Mazda 3
Disassembled Mazda 3

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