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Mazda 3 MPS: Test Drive Review

Date: 26 November 2009   |   Author:

Category: Upper medium
P11D price: £33,790
Key rival: VW Passat CC

Mazda has taken to loading its cars with standard equipment in an attempt to appeal to both private customers and those that can then avoid the tax increases that go with too much dabbling in the options list.

And the range-topping Mazda 3 MPS, the fastest car the Japanese firm currently produces, is certainly no exception. No matter that this is the flagship of the 3 range: for a £21,230 hatchback, the kit list is bordering on insane. There really isn't the space for all the highlights here, but satnav, metallic paint, Bluetooth, part-leather interior, dual-zone climate control and six-CD changer all feature. On the outside, unlike its predecessor, the MPS now looks the part with a large bonnet scoop and hefty rear wing.

Then there's the engine. It's not now the most powerful hatchback available - Ford's £27,000 RS model beats it - but the potent 260PS 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine has the expected impact on driver and company car tax bills. Emissions of 224g/km aren't great, even if they are a 3% fall on the previous 3 MPS, while sub-30mpg isn't good, even for a hot hatchback.

Mazda 3 MPS
P11D price£21,230
Model price range£13,500-£21,230
Fuel consumption29.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 224g/km/32%
BIK 20/40% per month£113/£226
Service interval3000mls
Insurancegroup 17
Boot space (min/max)340/1360 litres
Engine size/power2261cc/260PS
Top speed/0-62mph155mph/6.1secs
On sale October 2009
VerdictExceptional spec and
performance and now looks
the part, but costs aren’t
good thanks to high CO2
and low economy


Exceptional spec and performance and now looks the part, but costs aren’t good thanks to high CO2 and low economy