The rapid development of the brand Mazda, which is under the tutelage of Ford, in recent years has made competitors pretty nervous. Despite attempts by other brands to make the developing company a serious competitor, Mazda is slowly but surely conquering the next segment.
The release of the Mazda 3 MPS seriously hit the vanity of Subaru and Mitsubishi, long-standing leaders in this segment. The long-expected appearance of the model has prompted the manufacturers of charged cars, including Volkswagen Golf GTI, Opel Astra, Ford Focus and Renault Megane RS. They are the main competitors of the Japanese company.
Aggressive design, rigid suspension, powerful turbo engine: all this makes it possible to become one of the most sports cars in its class for the Mazda 3 MPS. 2014 foreshadows the Japanese company to be no less successful than the previous ones.
Despite its sporty character, the car combines pleasure with practicality, which is important for everyday trips. Such cars are called "hot hatchbacks". The developers of the car made it so that the buyer could "get burned" only by approaching him, and they succeeded.
If you compare the Japanese hatchback with its direct competitors, then you need only take the type of body and front-wheel drive. According to the power of the engine, which got from the sedan Mazda 6 MPS (also put on the model CX-7), the new Mazda 3 MPS stands next to such cars as Impreza WRX STI and Lancer Evolution with turbocharged engines, but it clearly will not be able to compete with the full drive . It turns out that the Japanese hatchback has no competitors in its category, it is unique and unique.
The car premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006. On the domestic market, it appeared in December, after 9 months. The cost of new items, depending on the configuration, was 32-33 thousand dollars, which put the car in a row with the previously mentioned Golf, Opel and other models. Petrol 260-strong engine MZR 2.3 DISI brought to a new level sports hatchback Mazda 3 MPS. Reviews of the first owners caused even more interest of potential buyers to this model.
Despite many changes and additions, the car has much in common with the appearance of the Mazda 3 Sport configuration. Only a few will be able to notice changes in the shape of the hood, wings, radiator grille, fog lamps, which gives the hatchback additional aggressiveness. The car is fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels with low-profile tires. The rear part of the roof ends with a spoiler, and on the fifth door there is an inscription MPS. The diameter of the exhaust pipe increased to 102 mm. Many drivers still do not know that the limit of 150 "horses" for "treshki" is overcome, and can not understand where it took so much speed and audacity on the roads.
Finally, the Japanese automaker put sound insulation in order. Designers say that the noise level inside the car is almost the lowest in the class. Practically you can not hear the rustle of tires and the "whistle" of the oncoming wind, and the double pipes of the exhaust system allowed to reduce the sound of the car by an order of magnitude. We can say that this is unsporting, but no. The sound of the Mazda 3 MPS exhaust system has become low and pleasant to the ear, compared to the sound of a single-pipe system.
The designers of the car tried to give it sportiness not only from the outside, but also inside. In the interior of the Mazda 3 MPS are mounted bucket leather and fabric seats with red inscriptions MPS. The seats differ excellent lateral support, which is important in such a fast car. The driver has the opportunity to adjust the seat height or adjust the lumbar zone, which is not the passenger's seat. The angle of the backrest of the driver's seat is made by means of a plastic wheel, and by the passenger - by means of a lever. The driver can more accurately adjust the seatback due to this difference.
An integral part of the interior of civilian cars with a sporty bias is aluminum pedal pads. In general, the saloon Mazda 3 MPS does not differ from the "civil" modification, except for the instrument panel, marked up to 280 km / h. As in the standard "treshke", the extreme position of the arrow of the speedometer on the mark of 280 km / h is in the same place as the minute hand of the clock at ten minutes of the second.
The standard options for the MPS model are the same as for the Sport version with the 2.0-liter power unit, namely: climate control, heated seats, xenon light, rain sensor, headlight washer. In bad weather, the washer is not always turned on, but only after a few clicks on the stalk, and according to the law of meanness, usually at the most inopportune moment. It works round the clock, because the dipped beam of the car turns on automatically and always works.
The washer works in 2 stages: the first injection of the injector is made during the depressing of the stalk and, after the wipers no longer slide on the glass, a second injection is made to the headlights, which causes small drops of water to appear on the windshield, which must be removed One stroke of the janitors. In poor weather, a 3.5-liter windshield washer is enough for just one evening of similar manipulations. A separate button on the washer could have remedied the situation, but it was not envisaged.
On the road
You forget about all the oddities and shortcomings by sitting behind the wheel of the Mazda 3 MPS. Technical characteristics of the car will satisfy many fans of sports driving, not to mention the ordinary driver. 260 liters. from. Turn the car into a real beast. As soon as the arrow of the tachometer overcomes the mark of 2,5-3 thousand revolutions, the turbine starts working, and the hatchback breaks with a huge acceleration, leaving the other cars behind. Sensations behind the wheel are inexpressible, and the sound of the engine is pleasant and fascinating. The overall picture slightly spoils the front drive. The steering wheel should be held with both hands so that the car does not sweep from the right lane.
The front wheels are stalled on the road at low speed, and even the anti-tug system can not hold them. The car clearly does not have enough all-wheel drive. The engine Mazda 3 MPS is capable to disperse the car to a parameter in 100 km / h for 6.1 seconds if in time to be switched to the second transfer. The turbine boosts the torque, which reaches a maximum of 380 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The car is equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Coupling Mazda 3 MPS - rigid, tuned for sports driving. Switching gears is quick and clear.
A pleasant addition for an inexperienced driver will be a stabilization system, it is also DTS. Drive the car into a skid only at high speed, on a steep turn or on an ice cover. When the trajectory of the machine ceases to be the same as that for the driver, the DTS is turned on and does not allow the car to leave the desired trajectory. The stabilization system can be deactivated, but after that it is worth only counting on yourself. A serious mistake - and the car in the ditch.
The independent MPS suspension proved to be excellent: the car turns perfectly, there are no noticeable heels and excellent absorption of small road irregularities. The previous model on a similar road would "shake the whole soul" out of the driver. In the updated version, everything is soft and smooth. As for the open sewer manholes and speed bumps, they will not be able to overcome with overclocking. Brakes Mazda 3 MPS immediately react to the pedal and demonstrate a strong slowdown of the car, even at high speed. His contribution to the excellent handling of the car was made and reduced by 1 cm clearance. The increased rigidity of the body, which was achieved thanks to the use of new strong and elastic grades of steel, also spoke.
The car was surprisingly quite economical. The all-wheel drive Mazda 6 with the same engine spent fuel an order of magnitude more. With a quiet urban driving "treshka" fit into 11 liters, and when out-of-town consumes about 8 liters per "hundred".
Great popularity in the domestic market uses the 2.0-liter Mazda 3 Sport. The basic version costs $ 24,800. Approximately 2,500 dollars will have to be paid for the leather salon, cruise control, toning of glasses and audio system Bose. The result is about 27 300 dollars.
Add to all the 18-inch wheels, sports exhaust system, sports seats and an additional 110 "horses". For all this good will take more than what Mazda requests - the MPS model costs only $ 5,400 more than the "trash" in a similar configuration - $ 32,700. Modification with the standard "music" will be even cheaper - $ 31,500.
It should be noted that this is a relatively small surcharge for such a car.