MPS adds extra aggro
Sporty Mazda3 is back and better, writes KEVIN HEPWORTH
THE Mazda company doesn’t need to be told something twice. Hence the more overtly aggressive look of the new Mazda3 MPS. No longer does the fastest car in the Mazda range spend its days looking like anything but the street rocket it is.
Mazda Australia’s national marketing manager Alastair Doak concedes: ‘‘Yes, there was a lesson learned from that (the understated look of the previous model). Feedback was that people wanted it to look more aggressive, not less . . . so now it does.’’
That is not to say that Mazda did too badly out of the superseded model. Arriving late in the model life of the mainstream car in the middle of 2006, Mazda still managed to move about 1500 of the hot MPS models.
With look-at-me front styling, a bonnet slot that screams turbo and pricing as hot as the car itself, this time around the leading Japanese importer has much bigger plans.
‘‘What is really important this time is that the MPS has arrived at the pointy end of the model life when the whole range is still fresh and exciting,’’ Doak says. ‘‘That, along with pricing that is below the launch price of the previous model despite a heap of extra equipment, is very exciting for us.’’
The entry-level MPS is listed at $39,690, with the higher-specced Luxury at $43,290. Both models offer the same 2.3-litre directinjection four-cylinder turbo effectively carried over from the outgoing model.
There’s been tweaking here and there to produce the 190kW and 380Nm outputs, but a touch more efficiently — a combined cycle fuel figure of 9.9 litres/100km against a neat 10 litres/100km in the old model. The 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.1 seconds remains, as does the top speed of 250km/h.
A six-speed manual, dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD, six airbags, satnav, trip computer, Bluetooth connection, dual-zone climate control, eightway power seat adjustment, keyless entry and start, six-disc in-dash MP3 stereo, 18-inch alloys, 225/40 Dunlop rubber, fog lamps and a sports body kit are all standard.
For $3600 more, the Luxury brings adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a subwoofer, rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming rearview mirror.