RE: Mazda 3 MPS: Spotted

Tuesday 28th November 2017

Mazda 3 MPS: Spotted

The hot hatch that floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee



When the discussion turns to hot hatches, the first brands to be reeled off tend to be the likes of Renault, VW and Ford. Mazda though, is one that rarely gets a mention. This despite the fact that both generations of the 3 MPS shared their C1 architecture and components - including sub-frames front and rear, suspension, steering, braking and some of the electrics - with the Focus ST.


Upon its introduction in 2006, the 260hp from the turbocharged 2.3-litre four cylinder engine pushed more power to the front wheels than any of its competition could muster, but due to its fairly mundane looks it barely ever got a second glance. It truly was a sleeper. The model was duly updated in 2009, keeping the turbocharged four-cylinder engine - now no longer the most powerful in its class - though chassis tweaks boosted torsional rigidity by 41 per cent, weight dropped down to 1,385kg from 1,410kg after a little nip and tuck, and it gained a larger bonnet air intake and rear spoiler to help it stand out among its more ostentatious rivals. Inside, Mazda did its best not to leave anything out for owners, with only one option available - metallic paint.


The MPS can easily be tuned to 330hp with a light remap, upgraded exhaust, and new hoses and fuel pump, but if the goal is to surpass 400hp owners may need to look at uprating the turbo and intercooler. This second generation MPS has done 38,000 miles, but a major inspection isn't due until the car surpasses 54,000 miles. As per the buying guide the front bolster will need replacing which is said to be a simple fix.

Of course if the smiling whale doesn't take your fancy there are a few other discreet hot hatches that might tick the same boxes. Volkswagen's MK6 Golf GTI is the go-to in its class, whilst the Volvo C30 T5 may provide some Swedish flair among the less sophisticated inhabitants of the sector.


SPECIFICATION - MAZDA 3 MPS

Engine: 2,261cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 260@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 280@3,000rpm
MPG: 29.4 (NEDC combined) 
CO2: 224g/km
First registered: 2010
Recorded mileage: 38,000 miles
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £9,995

See the original advert here



Author
Discussion

TheTyreAbuser

Original Poster:

152 posts

28 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
Always wondered why these never took off over here, they have a massive following in the US.
The "mazdaspeed" cars seem to have a properly cultish following over there.

That said, I never really considered these at any point mostly down to the looks.

TristPerrin

83 posts

108 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
TheTyreAbuser said:
Always wondered why these never took off over here, they have a massive following in the US.
The "mazdaspeed" cars seem to have a properly cultish following over there.

That said, I never really considered these at any point mostly down to the looks.
I think it's badge snobbery, most non-car people i know associate Mazda with Kia and Hyundai etc.

Shouldn't complain, these seem like a bargain for the price/performance.

GTEYE

1,161 posts

140 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
TristPerrin said:
TheTyreAbuser said:
Always wondered why these never took off over here, they have a massive following in the US.
The "mazdaspeed" cars seem to have a properly cultish following over there.

That said, I never really considered these at any point mostly down to the looks.
I think it's badge snobbery, most non-car people i know associate Mazda with Kia and Hyundai etc.

Shouldn't complain, these seem like a bargain for the price/performance.
I don't think its just badge snobbery, its probably as much down to the unremitting drabness of the exterior and interior.

There's just nothing about it that says "want one" which is a real shame when its actually a decent car.

s m

16,415 posts

133 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
Haven't seen danneth for ages

He was a big fan of these

kambites

54,266 posts

151 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
I don't think its just badge snobbery, its probably as much down to the unremitting drabness of the exterior and interior.
Is ti really any drabber than a Golf GTi?
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cib24

599 posts

83 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
kambites said:
Is ti really any drabber than a Golf GTi?
My thoughts exactly. What does a Golf GTI have in terms of visual exterior and interior excitement that the Mazda doesn't have? It and it's Seat and Skoda cousins have to be the most boring looking hatches out there. Same with Audi actually.

WCZ

5,299 posts

124 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
shocked at how well these have held their value, was expecting them to be £4k or so
good sleeper, esp remapped

Decky_Q

1,030 posts

107 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
I like the subtle exterior style but did you look at the dashboard in the advert? I wouldn't want to be looking at that day after day.

tigger1

8,174 posts

151 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
10k for a 7 year old example? They're obviously sought-after "enough"...or not selling.

Looks about as exciting as a Nissan Almera though.

CedricN

333 posts

75 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
Do anyone know if the cam chain had any significant update during the years? Seems to be a fairly common issue. As a bmw owner I am scared to death with cam chain troubles smile so a bit hesitant even though the cars a really good bang for the buck..

GTEYE

1,161 posts

140 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
cib24 said:
kambites said:
Is ti really any drabber than a Golf GTi?
My thoughts exactly. What does a Golf GTI have in terms of visual exterior and interior excitement that the Mazda doesn't have? It and it's Seat and Skoda cousins have to be the most boring looking hatches out there. Same with Audi actually.
Well based on the current one (and in fairness the Mk6 wasn't so different), it has masses more showroom appeal than the Mazda - the Golf looks like a quality item, the Mazda looks like a white goods appliance.

The Golf looks like a "Golf" and has lots of subtle details, the Mazda, sorry I can't see anything and looks really dated.

cib24

599 posts

83 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
I wasn't remarking that the Golf wasn't a quality item. We all know it is, just that it in fact looks like a white goods appliance like the Mazda. It's not exciting in any respect for a hatch but it is a sensible choice and quick-ish for what it is.

s m

16,415 posts

133 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
tigger1 said:
10k for a 7 year old example? They're obviously sought-after "enough"...or not selling.

Looks about as exciting as a Nissan Almera though.
Did get a torque apportioning diff though ( same as on the R53 MCS Mini )

GTEYE

1,161 posts

140 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
cib24 said:
I wasn't remarking that the Golf wasn't a quality item. We all know it is, just that it in fact looks like a white goods appliance like the Mazda. It's not exciting in any respect for a hatch but it is a sensible choice and quick-ish for what it is.
I get that and the Golf might not be exciting...but at least VW tried to make a bit of an effort.....just look at the Mazda interior.....could you really say that was a pleasant place to be?

maxdb

1,139 posts

87 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
I find the MK2 interior to be quite plasticy so I settled with a MK1. The stock turbos are rubbish as they have weak turbo sills I replaced my turbo after 40k.

gmaz

3,054 posts

140 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
CedricN said:
Do anyone know if the cam chain had any significant update during the years? Seems to be a fairly common issue. As a bmw owner I am scared to death with cam chain troubles smile so a bit hesitant even though the cars a really good bang for the buck..
There's very common VVT issues that require a new chain and vvt actuator, but this is mainly for cars over 60K miles and reg prior to this one.

A remap and no other work can get these to 290bhp.

KMB

240 posts

153 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
I'd be put off by the usual terrible CO2 and hence very high car tax band that Mazda struggle to escape, did someone say RX-8 redface

£500 a year is too much of a sting on a car of this value IMO.

Pegscratch

198 posts

38 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
KMB said:
I'd be put off by the usual terrible CO2 and hence very high car tax band that Mazda struggle to escape, did someone say RX-8 redface

£500 a year is too much of a sting on a car of this value IMO.
Only on the Mk1.

KMB

240 posts

153 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
Good info thanks - How much does it cost on the later ones?

culpz

3,889 posts

42 months

Tuesday 28th November 2017
quotequote all
There's one that parks around the corner from my flat. Looks fairly smart but also discreet, from the outside. It's in a nice silver colour.

I never really gave these much thought. They're definitely different, but that doesn't always translate to being a good car. I reckon the competition was too strong in this segment. The engine in these is supposed to be pretty decent and quick but i've got to agree that the interior looks really drab.

I've have pretty much any of it's competitors over one of these. The rivals are all way too good to pick one of these over them, IMO.