Mazda3 MPS
Mazda Mazda3

This is a car that is made for the open road but unfortunately, doesn’t seem quite so comfortable in urban environments. It is manoeuvrable enough and easy to park, with its good all-round visibility but you get the impression that it longs for the freedom to show off its outstanding dynamics and agility.

Taking advantage of said, dynamics and agility is certainly a fun-filled pastime but it does mean that the fuel consumption figures of 20.9mpg, 37.7mpg and 29.1mpg, for the urban, extra-urban and combined, respectively, will be unattainable. The Mazda3 MPS emits 231g/km CO2, which puts it in VED Band G and the insurance is Group 17E.

This is the second Mazda to bear the MPS badge - the other is the Mazda6 MPS. Both have the same engine, however, the ‘6’ is a much heavier car and has all-wheel-drive, while the ‘3’ has front-wheel-drive only. In order to manage the power and torque, Mazda has added Engine Torque Control that monitors the gear selection within the non-optional, 6-speed manual ‘box and steering angle and reacts accordingly.

Along with this, is a limited slip differential, providing the best power distribution to the front wheels, when cornering hard. In addition to the usual ABS, EBD and EBA, there are Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control systems (DCS and TCS), to help keep the 18-inch alloys on the road. Should they be needed, both the driver and front passenger have front and side airbags and there are front and rear curtain airbags, too.

I have mentioned the Sports Styling Kit that enhances the subdued but sporty looks, leaving onlookers in no doubt about the car’s capabilities. Even without it, the Mazda3 MPS looks quietly, speedy. Standard MPS Sports Styling includes aerodynamic front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a unique front bonnet and grille, a rear spoiler and large, chromed, tailpipe.

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