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Best Exhaust Upgrades For The Mazdaspeed 3 (MPS)

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The sheer excitement that an upgraded exhaust induces makes it one of the most popular mods among Mazdaspeed 3 enthusiasts.

It’s not all about the addictive rumble and tone that an aftermarket exhaust brings to the table. An upgraded exhaust can also unlock additional power and torque, making every drive all that more exciting.

In this guide we’ll go over all the key considerations such as the improvements in horsepower, the tone and volume of the exhaust note, as well as the quality and fitment of the products.

Let’s get right into it!

Things To Consider

What exhaust upgrades you go for will come down to your goals and also your budget. It’s good to have a think about what you want from an aftermarket exhaust.

Is it increased sound? More power? Or maybe both…?

There are different sections of the exhaust that you can upgrade to achieve your goals. Knowing what sections to upgrade will save you money and help you get the most out of this mod.

Let’s first talk sound.

If you are wanting increased sound, the section you want to upgrade is the muffler/backbox. This section is also referred to as the “cat-back”.

This section is responsible for controlling and muffling the sound of the exhaust. Upgrading to a more free flowing cat-back section will give your Mazdaspeed 3 a lovely sporty growl. 

These sections either come as resonated or non resonated, with non resonated versions being louder.

If increased power is your primary goal, then upgrading the downpipe and standard catalytic converter should be your priority. 

This will also increase the sound as well, although not as much as an aftermarket cat-back.

Upgrading the downpipe and catalytic converter section will drastically reduce back-pressure, helping your turbo spool up earlier and unlocking power and torque across the rev range.

You have the option of a catted downpipe or a decat. Catted downpipes come with “sport cats” which are free flowing catalytic converters designed to increase exhaust gas flow while remaining road legal. Decats are cheaper and the least restrictive but aren’t road legal. 

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s start looking at all the best products and options!

Corksport Long Catted Downpipe

This is a fantastic upgrade for those looking for a solid performance gains while keeping the car road legal.

Installation of this downpipe can drastically boost power, torque and help the turbo spool up earlier in the rev range. 

This upgrade doesn’t just replace the standard, restrictive downpipe. It also replaces the catalytic converter with a high flow sports cat.

With the standard catalytic converter being a point of restriction in the exhaust, the high flow cat allows for even more performance gains while still complying with emissions testing regulations.

Corksport Short Downpipe

This downpipe upgrade is very similar to the previous one above, however only replaces the downpipe section and not the catalytic converter as well.

This pairs up with the standard catalytic converter or it can also be used with other aftermarket sport cats or decat pipes.

This is an extremely valuable upgrade, with increases of up to 20hp after installation!

For maximum power gains, we would recommend going for the long catted downpipe over this, however it’s still a great option on a budget. You can always purchase this and then purchase a high flow sports cat or decat pipe later down the line.

Corksport Muffler Delete

If you’re after a simple way to extract more sound from the tailpipes, then this could be what you’re after.

This system from Corksport replaces the standard muffler/backbox with a straight through pipe.

This results in a lovely, deep and sporty tone. The non restrictive design of the exhaust can also help in providing some power gains too.

If you already have an upgraded downpipe and sports cat/decat, then this may be too loud for some owners. If you have replaced those sections already, consider opting for a resonated system which we’ll cover next.

Corksport Resonated Cat-back

If you want a nice sporty growl from the exhaust without it being too loud or obnoxious, then this upgrade from Corksport is what you need.

Unlike a lot of aftermarket cat-back systems, this exhaust comes with a resonator which ensure it isn’t too overbearing on the ears. You still get to enjoy a deeper tone without getting the negative effects of an exhaust that is too loud such as droning.

Aside from the sound gains, it also promises performance gains as well by offering less restriction over the standard cat-back section.

Borla Axel Back Exhaust

Another amazing option for those looking for the ultimate sound upgrade!

This system from Borla is bound to leave you grinning when you plant the foot down and hear the exhaust sing.

This system is louder than the previous resonated Corskport system, however does feature a small backbox so shouldn’t be as loud as the Corksport muffler delete.

The polished 4.5 inch exhaust tips also give the rear of your Mazdaspeed 3  proper mean and aggressive look.

The Verdict

We hope this list gave you some insights into what exhaust systems are best for your Mazdaspeed 3. 

A lot of it will come down to what you are trying to achieve from your exhaust mods. Is it power, sound or maybe both?

On the power side of things, replacing the standard restrictive downpipe will yield the most performance gains. After that you will want to replace the standard catalytic converter. This Corksport Long Catted Downpipe mentioned at the start is a fantastic option as it replaces both these sections.

For sound, the last 3 products mentioned in this guide are all great options and it will come down to your budget and how loud you want it to be.

For something a little more subtle, opt for the resonated Corksport cat-back. 

If you are wanting an exhaust that sound extra meaty, then go for the Borla system or the Corksport muffler delete.

Happy modding!