The Mazdaspeed3 appears in Need for Speed: Carbon as a tier 1 car with a price tag of $30,000. Despite being unlocked by default, players cannot choose the Mazdaspeed3 as their starter car.
In comparison with the Mazda RX-8, the Mazdaspeed3 has a better acceleration and less precise steering. Both cars have the same top speed, which is lower compared to tier 1 vehicles from other design classes.
Neville will drive a Mazdaspeed3 if the player chooses the Mazda RX-8 as their starting car.
The Mazdaspeed3 must be driven by the player in a bronze tier Pursuit Evasion event of the Challenge Series. It is customised with performance upgrades as well as with visual customisation modifications such as a Black Hearts paint job and a body kit.
The Mazdaspeed3 also appears in the handheld release Need for Speed Carbon: Own the City and retains similar stats to its console counterpart. It can be selected as a starter car with a price tag of $18,000. Its acceleration, handling and top speed are rated 1.
The Mazdaspeed3 appears in Need for Speed: ProStreet as a tier 2 car with a price tag of $24,000. It will be unlocked, once the player has dominated the Super Promotion Showdown: Chicago raceday.
The turbocharged 2.3L inline-four engine of the Mazdaspeed3 produces more torque than other Japanese tier 2 cars such as the Mazda RX-7. It allows the car to accelerate faster and achieve a higher top speed than its rivals. However, due to having a front-wheel drive configuration, the Mazdaspeed3 may be prone to understeer in corners.
The Mazdaspeed3 is best utilised in Grip and Speed Challenge. With upgrades, the car can be made competitive against tier 3 cars and have its handling improved.
The Mazdaspeed3 was made available in Need for Speed: World during the first closed beta test session on March 5th, 2010 as a Tier 1 car. Since August 22nd, 2012, it has been featured as an E class vehicle.
Compared to other starter cars, the Mazdaspeed3 is able to reach the highest top speed, which is 131 mph (211 km/h). Like the Toyota Corolla GT-S, the Mazdaspeed3 has a somewhat weaker acceleration than most Class D vehicles. It also has a weak nitrous boost. Long and wide corners can be passed at high speeds. More difficult variations require the player to brake, since the steering is somewhat influenced by understeer.
The Mazdaspeed3's potential is best used in any race track with many straight roads to outperform other Class E cars with its high top speed. The player can upgrade the Mazdaspeed3 with performance parts to sustain its high top speed and improve its acceleration and handling.