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Mazda 3 MPS Cockermouth

The Mazda 3 MPS in Cockermouth lost its title as the world’s most powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch to Ford’s Focus RS. So, the Japanese manufacturer has launched a new model in an attempt to redress the balance.

Lloyd Motors Limited
01900 823666
Cockermouth

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J Edgar & Son
01900 604393
Dunmail Park Shopping Centre
Workington

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C G Ford
01900 811000
County Garage Blackwood Road
Workington

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North West Motors Ltd
(019) 006-8789
24 Ling Beck Park Seaton
Workington

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N And M Walkingshaw Limited
01900 608000
Workington

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Lloyd Motors Ltd
01900 820100
Low Road
Cockermouth

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Soleway Car Sales
01900 813325
Mealpot Road
Maryport

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Central Motor Co
01946 832646
High Street
Workington

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Longmile Car Sales Ltd
(019) 006-7081
Longmile Service Station
Workington

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Solway Car Sales Ltd
01900 813325
18 Scawfell Avenue
Workington

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Mazda 3 MPS

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Here’s a performance car that’s really coming out fighting!

The Mazda 3 MPS lost its title as the world’s most powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch to Ford’s Focus RS.
So, the Japanese manufacturer has launched a new model in an attempt to redress the balance.

The 256bhp 2.3-litre turbo engine remains, as power was never the problem; control was. Mazda has concentrated on improving other areas, particularly the unruly chassis. For sharper reactions, the body has been stiffened by 41 per cent, while a torque-sensing limited-slip differential is now fitted as standard. The suspension has been firmed up, too.

Other changes include an updated front end, Subaru Impreza-style bonnet scoop, chunky bodykit and unmissable rear spoiler. These hot hatch add-ons take cues from the likes of the Ford Focus RS and Vauxhall’s Astra VXR. But have all the chassis updates managed to quell the 3 MPS’s torque steer habit?

Unfortunately not. On steep cambers and wet surfaces, the wheel writhes in your hands, and this can drain your confidence in corners. Nevertheless, the steering is well weighted and, thanks to that clever diff, the fresh nose tucks in eagerly. And the 3 MPS is still incredibly fast in a straight line, and all that turbocharged torque makes it surprisingly versatile.

There’s so much urge on tap, the car is limited in first and second gear; only when you reach third does the car begin to fly. It has a tendency to feel breathless above 5,000rpm, though.

The interior is more functional than stylish, and you get plenty of kit for the £21,500 price. Yet the biggest problem for the 3 MPS is that the improvements may not be enough, as the hot hatch market has moved on.


Rival: SEAT Leon Cupra R

Packing 261bhp, SEAT’s most powerful production car arrives later this year. It’s set to be one of the quickest, most composed hot hatches on the market.

Author: Jack Rix

Mazda 3 MPS