Fleet News

Mazda3 MPS



Anybody who has run some of the recent mega-hatches on their fleet, like the Vauxhall Astra VXR and Ford Focus ST, will know you need an intimate relationship with your local fast-fit tyre outlet.

These massively-horsepowered beasts just shred front tyres. So the news that Mazda has launched the most powerful of the lot should have your local Kwik-Fit fitter rubbing his hands with glee.

The 18-inch alloys, small rear spoiler and deeper bumpers warn of something special. Beneath the bonnet lurks the same four-cylinder 2.3-litre engine as used in the Mazda6, although it does without its four-wheel drive. The 3 offers 255bhp, giving the 3 MPS a top speed limited to 155mph and 0-62mph in six seconds – it’s the fastest accelerating car Mazda makes.

Alongside revised steering, stiffened springs, larger stabiliser bars and higher performance dampers, there is a valve that releases pressure in the turbo to reduce boost when the front tyres start to struggle with grip. There’s also a limited slip differential and dynamic stability control to try and tame the torque steer.

The MPS has lots of kit as standard, including satellite navigation and a BOSE sound system. The only option is paint finish. But before the requisite styling pack (which adds a bigger spoiler, lower suspension and RX-8 wing mirrors for £500) it’s going to cost at least £19,000.That makes it look pricey compared to the Focus ST, although it could be argued the extras make it good value.

Mazda expects to sell around 1,000 3 MPSs a year, with user-choosers a likely target. But what does the MPS brand mean to buyers, especially when it’s lined up against a GTI, VXR or ST?

Model: Mazda3 MPS
Max power (bhp/rpm): 255/5,000
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 280/3,000
Max speed (mph): 155 (limited)
0-62mph (secs): 6.1
Fuel consumption (mpg): 29.1
CO2 emissions (g/km): 231
On sale: February
Price (est): £19-20,000

Mazda3 MPS

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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