Mazda 3 MPS
The Second generation Mazda 3MPS has been refurbished in an attempt to make it look more engaging than its predecessor. Its predecessor, the first generation Mazda 3MPS launched in the year 2007 had the dubious distinction of being a forceful front-drive car on paper but without impressive looks and a mediocre performance in practicality. With the unveiling of the new 2nd generation car, Mazda has made all efforts to cure previous short-comings and transform its premier hatchback into a more engaging and sprightly machine. And at a competitive price of 21,000 pounds, the new Mazda definitely has a few secrets rolled up its sleeve.
In a seemingly wise decision, Mazda has not tinkered with the car’s existing powertrain thereby maintaining a turbo-charged 2.3 liter engine dishing out a healthy 256 bhp of power and a slightly enhanced engine torque of 380 Nm. The engine also boasts of lower carbon dioxide emissions that are down by 5g/km from the 2007 model thereby satisfying the latest Euro5 emission norms. The enhanced torque and reduced emission levels have leapfrogged the car to the top position in the category of compatriots like Seat Leon Cupra, Vauxhall Astra VXR and Renault Sport Megane. The car reaches zero to 100 km/hr in 6.1 seconds thereby making it the fastest car in its category.
Mazda has improved sound silencers in the version that makes it amazing for motorway cruising but not so good for maintaining status quo while driving on cobbled city roads. Torque limiters have been integrated to prevent maximum coil reaching the wheels in the first two gears and it does a fair job of maneuvering the unavoidable wheel-hauling. But while the torque steering has been made manageable, there's a general twitchiness to its steering that makes it tricky to thread together through a series of corners. Though the rack is quick, the wheel seems to center automatically making the driver fight against it to hold his line while negotiating a bend.
Unlike the first generation Mazda 3MPS, the new version manages to be as engaging on the road as it seems on paper. But in a market bustling with a variety of differing hatchbacks, the Mazda would continue to remain a niche choice due to its slightly exorbitant price tag.
The Interiors of Mazda 3 MPS has been decked with black leather trimming in addition to the continuation of the red theme that is visible through highlights in the dashboard, gear-changing knobs, steering wheels and doors trimmings. A Satnav 10 speaker system with leather stereo kit is also available with parking sensors. The stereo system has a tiny screen that is controlled by buttons tagged on the steering wheel while the half-leather buckets could have used a little more creative imagination.
The Exterior of the car has been revamped by the addition of flaming arches, boot-lid spoilers, and plump new front ends with an aping mouth. The bonnet has been designed with a gaping hole that poses a substantial danger to low-flying birds. The car’s torsional rigidity is impressive in addition to a bolstered chassis that has been empowered with stronger anti-roll bars and inflexible springs and shocks. The premium MPS Extreme version also receives new 19 inch BBS black alloy wheels and the car has been painted red with black stripes and a black roof.