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  • WestOz100

    Not bad…not bad…

    However, without AWD I will remain unconverted, as will many (I’m guessing over 75%) of Japanese performance car enthusiasts. Even RWD would be a far more popular option.

    Sorry Mazda, but FWD just won’t cut the mustard, even with traction control… I’m afraid this combo will end up on the long list of unsuccessfuls :(

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    I couldn’t agree more mate,
    this car has more power than a WRX! Yet without AWD, whats the point? You can’t put that power down! What a shame, maybe the Mazda Speed version will have AWD…. maybe.

  • http://www.ozmazda.com KIJIMA

    Have you driven it?

    Nothing is more irritating than somone saying “NOT FWD, I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT IF IT WERE AWD” No you wouldnt have bought it, becaus chances are you are a dreamer. The DC2R Integra IS an awesome beast, it killed the all paw WRX, it has a limited slip diff in the front, and it works out to be a damn good steer. (MOTOR mag rated it aboce the WRX on more than one occasion) The difference between the Integra Type-R and the New MPS 3 is not so much the kW’s 147 compared to 190, its more so about the tourque, 380 throbbing newton metres…. this is where you need all the aid you can get. Torque is limited in the first two gears, it also features an torque sensing LSD, as well as switchable DSC and TCS, yes there is a hint of torque steer, but on the whole all that power is very usable. The fact of the matter is the MPS 3 is quicker from 80-120 than a 911 carrera…no mean feet in itself.

    I can tell you from personal experience driving…nah, flogging the MPS 3 its accelration in 3rd gear is frightening, I can tell you that the garage door was open, abd the brown limosene was about to slip out on more than one occasion.

    Beware all you knuckle dragging HSV drivers, and as for the stero typical WRX I-like-to-wear-my-hat-backwards brigade… LOOK OUT! theres a new kid in town.

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    I am actually test driving it this weekend! Believe it or not its actually hard to get your hands on the MPS.
    However one of the people involved on this site has driven it and I have taken a lot of what I said from his test drive.

    And for the Integra Type-R I know first hand that they are an incredibaly excellent car, Honda has always set the bar with FWD sports cars, they make excellent cars.

    And I have nothing against the Mazda, its a fast car, in a straight line, I never said otherwise, but the fact remains, 0-100 a WRX will beat the Mazda 3 MPS, around a race track a WRX will beat the Mazda 3 MPS. On the road a WRX will beat the Mazda 3 MPS. I can say the same about most HSV cars against the MPS as well (even though I am not a big fan of HSV cars) What other sort of proof do you need?

    Furthemore given that the Mazda 3 MPS costs nearly the same as a WRX, why would you bother! And for that “iliketowearmyhatbackwards” brigade, I can’t say I have ever worn my hat backwards or ever intend to, its a bad stereotype mate.

  • Luke

    Alborz, I think that you would find that the MPS3 would beat a wrx around the track. Also why would you bother buying a WRX. Scince the 1997 update the WRX has not really changed that much inside. They look old and out dated. The WRX doesn’t have half the features that the MPS does for the same money.
    I would say that the MPS has better value for money than the wrx, golf gti, XR5 and i have driven all of these cars for longish periods of time.

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    Well actually in 1999 the WRX got bigger brakes, more power, more torque. in 2001 it got EBD, again more power.. in 2003, it got even more power and more torque, in 2006 it got eeven more power (with a bigger engine) and again.. more torque

    You say it goes faster around a track than a WRX? ! I can’t believe you’de actually think that mate, the WRX is a race car, built to take corners with perfect handling! The guys in Top Gear put a WRX STi against a Mazda 6 MPS and the WRX was 3 seconds faster than the Mazda 6 MPS, and they are both all wheel drive! The Mazda 3 MPS has absolutely no chance on a track against the 6MPS or the WRX (STi or not).

  • Luke

    Well today i figured i would take the wrx my06 for a test drive. Now this is hard for me to say from someone that is a car fanatic and has alway wanted a WRX from the day they were produced. All i can say is i was extreemly disapointed in the car. Yes the car handles fantastically at speed but that is all it really has going for it. To reaffirm what i felt i had friend which races formula ford to come for the drive and he also was expecting alot more.
    Now to compare the MPS6 with the STI is a bit of a funny comparision. Of course the sti would be faster. When the sti is 206kw compared to 190kw for the 6. there is 13 more Nm torque for the sti and it’s weight is almost 200kg’s lighter than the 6.

  • Chris

    After owning many performance cars over the last 25 years i recently went shopping for a nice stealth type pocket rocket car for around town.

    I tested everything from WRX’s, Honda’s, BMW 1&3, VW and a coule of others.

    I ended up buying a car that was streets ahead in grin value, money value and put all the other in the similar price range to shame.

    What did i buy? Mazda MPS 3.

    As a finished complete package, the others dont even come close in value.

  • Ahmed Bahgat

    Hello All

    I just bought a red one today and will be deliverd hopfully in the first week of october, I tested one today and it is brutal, put a good driver in this car and we will have a totally different story regarding wrxs and v8s,


  • http://www.dirtblokes.com.au Dirtbloke

    Hi there, knuckle driving 300kw HSV driver here…

    Going back a couple of years – after test driving a few WRX’s I ended up going for a HSV… I really could’t see what all the fuss was about with the WRX’s once i finally drove a couple, and it took the grunt of a 300kw v8 to impress me.

    Then again, about a year ago i had another urge to satisfy my turbo 4 curiosity so I test drove the 05 STi… thinking that maybe this was enough to blow my doors off… but again I still left very unimpressed and still refused to give up the v8.

    Anyway, sadly today I have given up the HSV and purchased the new Mazda MPS 3. To me it had everythig the WRX and STi’s lacked. It actually had a torque surge that really impressed me.. this thing REALLY accelerates! I read somewhere that the 6.1 0-100km/h was actually under-exaggerated… and after a good drive in one today I could actually beleive that!

    It has everything the subaru’s don’t have – style, comfort, looks and PERFORMANCE.

    The only way a rex is quick is when you dump the clutch with 5000rpms…. the MPS is just plain quick. No clutch abuse required.

    To be honest though there is one downside… this car is not license friendly!

  • cabbagepatchkid

    Unless you’ve driven one of these you have NOOOO idea what a kickarse car they are. The MPS3 makes the WRX old news. I dropped a bundle of cash on one the day I test drove it !!!

    Yes not license friendly !!!!

  • PAP

    After owning 2 wrx’s and 02 sti I bought MAZDA 3MPS, the botton line for me is that this is not only faster but better car all round except for track use.

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    Well, as a current WRX owner (MY03), I drove the Mazda 3 MPS some weeks back and yeah, okay, it was fast, it accelerated like all hell, but… and this is a big but, it felt like crap around corners, I was actually scared!

    Perhaps I am comparing apples to oranges and simply expected the AWD in the subbie do the work but either way, I am not too fussed, it costs the same as a brand new WRX and although the interior is sooo much better, if you are after a performance car that is about handling AND speed, get your self a WRX.

    Not only is the wrx faster to 100 but, it has far more potential for modifications than the MPS as well.

  • http://www.dirtblokes.com.au Dirtbloke

    I understand the scarey feelings around corners. Naturally, coming from a WRX you probably lack many essential driving skills.

    I drove the WRX, STi and MPS as many others did before purchasing. You my friend are the only one that is biased and defensive as you’re the only one that has already made the decision to buy the wrx and is stuck with it.

    There were no performance modifications available for the rex when it first came out either… were you slagging it out back then ? telling people they should still be driving souped up Datsun 200’s as they had more mods available ??

    The subura is ugly inside, outside, has no class and doesn’t have any smarts and is yet to introduce direct injection…

    And NO if you are after a real performance/track car you would purchase an STi. The WRX is meant to be a daily driver like the MPS. It’s just a shame it’s looks so povo.

    Keep saving your dollars and one day you will be able to afford the MPS 😉 Then you will no doubt be accusing WRX drivers as being defencive.

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    Mate, the MPS is a nice car, I never said otherwise, I just dont think for the money its worth it! If Mazda had made it an AWD, it would have been perfect.

    Even the Mazda 3 SP23 has a better interior than the wrx, most cars do, Subaru is very cheap when it comes to interiors for the rex.

    The problem I have with the MPS is simply the FWD drive train, I am not a fan of not being able to let the car do the work when going around corners. I dont mind rear wheel drive as you can have some fun, but front wheel, no thanks.

  • Rohan


    I have spent the last two days testing the MPS6 and MPS 3 at Sandown Raceway with Dick Johnson.

    The MPS6 with AWD is a good car. The MPS3 is damn awesome. If it needed the AWD, Mazda are smart enough to bolt it on. It doesn’t and the whole set up of the car is integrated to work without it.You cannot lose this car around a corner…..the low down torque is awesome….90degree corner…..100k per hour and it handles on rails in 3rd gear.

    I had 10 laps around Sandown and it is pure class – as DJ said to me, when I asked…..”this thing shits on a REX “. I went along to buy a 6 and will be selling my S4 – pocketing the change and enjoying an MPS3 very soon.

  • Mark

    I think the biggest problem alborz is that you were probably driving the 3MPS into corners like an AWD, which just doesn’t work and would explain why you felt a little uneasy. AWD, FWD and RWD all require different driving styles when cornering to get the most out of them. When you drive the 3MPS like a FWD should be driven, it corners quicker than you would expect and is very stable. I have owned high performance RWDs (E36 BMW 325i coupe and old maz RXs), AWD (modified 323 turbo AWD) and FWD (my current ride, a 3MPS) plus have driven a group N Mitsubishi Gallant VR4 rally car and other performance AWDs/RWDs etc and I can put my hand on my heart and say that when driven correctly, the 3MPS just as competent around bends (much quicker than 323 AWD) but would absolutely slaughter the others on open sweepers and on the straights. BTW, if you think a WRX handles well, drive a 6 cyl BMW 3 series coupe or Mazda MX-5, then you will see what true handling balance is like. The BMW was better balanced around a corner at the limit, but the 3 would be almost as quick around tight corners, much quicker on open corners and give you a much bigger grin all around. Everytime I hop out of the 3MPS after any drive I have a huge grin on my face, which at the end of the day isn’t that what it is all about?! :-)

  • http://www.alborzfallah.com alborz

    You know, your probably right mark, I haven’t had the greated deal of FWD experience. But anyway, If I had the choice.. I’d buy the Golf R32 over the WRX or the MPS anyday!

  • Mark

    The R32 is a very, very nice piece of kit, but I can’t come at the $$$. That DSG gearbox is a revelation though!

  • Jos

    Hello Aussi’s,

    I am very jealous. You can drive a 3 MPS and the thing isn’t yet available over here (Netherlands).
    I have read all you’re comments and must confirm that here in Europe it is the same with the Soebs, all the wrong people drive them, my ladyfriend doesn’t allow to buy one and after having looked at one a few weeks ago I must confirm that along with the power and the fwd there isn’t anything to get enthousiastic about (cheap materials, ugly design since the last facelift).
    No I think after having read the positive points about the 3 mps, I will buy one this weekend, without being able to see one in real life or to drive one, the car will be available in the Netherlands in January 2007.
    Rohan convinced me as some other gus, thanks for you’re comments on the car.
    By the way, after haven driven French GTI’s for 20 years I now have a 3 Active sport (2.3 SP with a 2 litre engine, until now the strogest in Europe).

  • cohi

    for those who wants to put their mouth to the test, please go to the track and battle it out. get the fact correct that way and please bring some guns to battle it out on the field as well

  • Squozen

    My 3MPS arrives today. Can’t wait, it’s a stunning machine on the road and on the track.

  • Geo

    I am 40 years old and yes i have owned about 46 cars the past 21 years i guess its more than a hobby my wife thinks there should be treatment ha..ha.. however after Lancer 7 and 8 a couple of 911 and 968 S 2000 and Integras Renault Cup V6 etc i had to really make the effort to buy a car and keep that thing for quite some time i was looking for driving thrills and some space to drive the in laws around sooo my dear car friends the MPS 3 is 100% of all that i had a chance to take it to a race track and trust me cars that cost three time as much had no chance against the mps3 so drive one and you will be caught up how that thing goes and please whats the deal with that ugly WRX ps…0 to 100KM 5.7sec recorded at the track in Dijon Switzerland

  • PAP

    Can’t wait for up-grading, I know is early days but better exhaust/ECU tuning will take this baby to another level again.
    The more I drive it the more Ilike it !!

  • PAP

    Is there a forum for this car yet?
    Nice wheather is around the corner, perhaps We can organise a cruise somewere???? or join a club day with /wrx/hsv/ford or any club

    Anyone intersted?


  • Perry

    PAP, im glad you enjoy the car. you can join the mazda oz club, and there are plenty of MPS owners there, have fun!

  • PAP

    Cheers Perry

  • Steve

    It looks to me like there is in fact very little difference between the WRX and the 3MPS around a track. In the recent Motor Magazine BFYB test, the Mazda was in fact 0.1sec quicker round Oran Park – that’s too close to call but shows that the two cars are pretty evenly matched.

    I’m planning to buy a 3 MPS soon. I considered the WRX for a while,but can’t get round the looks. The original was a little beauty, but since then Subaru have beaten the thing to death with a large ugly stick. Coming from the UK (but now in Oz), I was brought up on FWD, and I know that they can be bloody quick. As a lad, I can remember seeing Jaguars and big Fords being beaten by the Mini Cooper S – on racetrack and rally stage. AWD is obviously better these days, but the weight penalty means that you need another 50kW or so just to compensate. That’s fine if you’re a capacity junkie, but I prefer revvy, lightweight, technically advanced engines in lightweight chassis. My current drive? A Mazda MX5. Handles very well up to a point, then the rear lets go with very little warning. That sort of behaviour can be accomodated on a track but it’s not so great on the road.

  • Spinner

    I just bought a 3 MPS. It was a test between the WRX, SSV and the MPS. I have to say that the power of the 3 shocked the pants off me. I was a person not so sure about the traction of a FWD with 190kw’s but this thing does it with no drama’s. Drive one and i can guarantee you will be impressed and it will change your view of cars. As far as speed, it kills the XR6 ute i traded in to get one. The WRX has nothing on it as far as in gear acceleration (i don’t really care much for dumping my clutch at 6000 just to beat someone at the lights), the SSV in my opinion had poor power delivery and nothing happened until 3500rpm. Maybe the one i drove at the dealership was a lemon as it definitely didn’t match up to the expectations that MOTOR magazine set.

    The build quality is better than both those cars aswell. For $40k you get a bloody quick car that also feels and looks good on the inside (unlike the REX). Not to mention you won’t be cop bait in one of these. In the end it’s all personal preference and also what you want to do with the car be it maybe track days. For me, i just want a car that can sit in peak hour traffic for an hour every morning but then have the guts for me to flog someone else from the traffic lights when i get bored. I just think more people are turned off because it’s a FWD but have actually never driven one to find out that’s it’s actually a fun car to drive.

    BTW I gave it a squirt in front of a VX Clubsport today and after that he backed right off. It’s not often you see a small car give a big V8 such a scare that he doesn’t want to play in case his ‘Muscle Machine’ gets blown to pieces with everyone watching.

  • Trent

    I was driving the V6 VW Bora, 150KW 4Motion and thought it was a very hot car…. until i drove the MPS.. the only thing i didn’t like is that it is, as unfair as it seems, a ‘rice burner’. However, i think that this issue is quickly disappearing with newer models such as this.
    Cornering was not as good as i would have hoped, however, price wise you can’t beat it.
    Not sure what sort of discounts people are getting off them, but i went to my local dealer in Sydney (Euro Cars in Artarmon) and was given $1800 off. I engaged a broker type website, http://www.betterdeal.com.au and ended up with $3700, the only downside was that the dealer was in Wollongong, however they delivered the car to me, so all good.
    I love this car, fuel is sweet as….
    I think they are on to a very good thing here!!

  • spinner

    Ok have had the car for about 3 weeks now and met quite a few cars on the road wanting to smash it into the ground. Even though the car looks very sedate it somehow attracts other fast cars, perhaps the drivers think it’s a normal SP23 and go for an easy win?
    Anyhoo the argument that a REX is quicker accelerating is over. Just took a REX with exhaust mod (not sure what else) from the lights. I botched my start (thanks to traction control cutting power, shoulda turned off that damn control next to the wheel) but so did he… had him in 1st, 2nd gear started pulling away, 3rd gear bye bye and he was back to my boot before he gave up. So in gear acceleration in the 3MPS is faster than a REX no 2 ways about it. It’s only the launch that will get you providing the driver wants to hear his gearbox crunch when he dumps it at 6000. Against an STI with rolling start? Well apart from me short shifting at 4500 in 1st gear by 90km/h my passenger door was back to his rear doors…this was with the short shift, 3/4 tank fuel, A/C going and wife as ballast on passenger side. Needless to say i’m surprised i wasn’t smashed more. This is stock MPS3 vs stock STI. In the end how many stock Skylines/REX’s do you see going around? I don’t think stock skylines even exist LOL.

  • jason

    how u goin guys, mazda 3 mps is a nice car and rexy s good as well, i drive a nissan pulsar ST, it’s 245kws and beats rexys and mazda , i bought the car for 15 500 and spend 8 000 on mods, so thats $23 000 a lot cheaper then mazda and a lot quicker. 4.8-100km/h heheh , welll its around 245kws all up turbochargd four cylinder. bye bye maza hehe

  • Jerry67

    Good to hear that people like you would like to spend $23000 on a car that is worth 15k when it is writtn off.
    We are talking about unmoded here. Can you imagine the 3 MPS with 8k of mods? BTW you can Mod the Mazda # MPS to AWD. Cost 8k.

  • DRo Mazda Tech

    I kid you not! Some of you may not like the look or the spec of the vehicle, “FWD just wont cut the mustard”. Its early days for the car and being someone who has driven the vehicle, I believe its a little beauty for the money and performance. And much more fun than the AWD 6. As the old saying goes don’t judge a book by its cover….

  • Frank

    Whoever is leaving comments without driving the MPS 3 is a damn fool.

    Ive had mine for 7 months now and it still goes like a dream. It is absolutely impossible to fault this car. By the way, for all those losers who think that FWD cant handle, I have tried time and time again purposely trying to throw the car in every direction possible to make the car lose control, but even in the wet, the MPS is composed…..


  • Mafian

    I agree with many of the comments above. I know many people that say “I would buy a 3 MPS in a heartbeat if it was AWD” and don’t even actually take one for a proper test drive. Personally I think these people are missing out on one of the most fun little cars out there atm. When driven like a FWD should be driven, it is quicker than it has any right to be. I have had mine for about 7 months now and have driven it in all kinds of conditions on all kinds of roads and can put my hand on my heart and say it doesn’t need AWD. I could count on one hand the amount of times I have thought to myself that AWD may have been handy. AWD is not the be all and end all, it just allows all the bad drivers to be able to drive faster! Once you work out how to tame the beast (drive it properly) it is blindingly fast on your favorite mountain/coastal road. One of the members of the ozmazda club made 4 13.9sec 400m passes at WSID with a std 3 MPS with half a tank and all his gear in the hatch. Thing is that was the first time he has EVER driven at the drags…….

  • Big Al

    Well guys and girls, we will finally see just how these little jiggers go at Bathurst in the 12hour at Easter.
    With no mods we ran the car on the dyno and got 175kw at the wheels before we even started on the exhaust and computer as allowed in the Production Car Association of Australia rules.
    The car will be driven by Steve Briffa David Ryan and myself Allan Shephard and will be competing in the Hot Hatch class against such cars as the BMW130i and Vauxhall (Holden) Astra VXR and it should be a great contest.
    The Thrifty Motorsport team has over the last 5 years competed in DC2 Integra Type R , Toyota Celica ZZR and VS Commodore and has been very successful, so if you truly beleive in this Mazda 3 MPS get behind us at Bathurst and wish us luck.
    If you happen to be at Bathurst that weekend drop in and say hello , we will be running the Celica as well with an all girl driving lineup


  • RobW

    Great to see Big Al, will be keeping an eye peeled for your results!!

    Would be nice to hear what mods you have made, tyres you run etc.

    Good luck!!!!

  • GP

    Likewise, can’t wait to see the results at Bathurst. Have had my 3 MPS Sports for the past 7 months, after trading in my MY05 WRX. Apart from being much more nicely appointed, the big thing for me is that it is genuinely quick, without having to wring it’s neck to make it go fast.

  • Yes i own 1

    I agree that the MAZDA is quick and it looks alot better in side and out than a WRX. My friend had the joy of going for a drive in 190kw and said it would give his 03 SS and my WRX a good run for it’s money.I have done 5.2sec 0-100 times without all the 4-6000 rev drops that i have read about here. I agree the WRX feels flat once your in 3rd and above but when you only have 300 odd NM’s (Verses 380)to play with thats what you are gunna get.But i still held a 01 255kw clubsport to 180k,s then he was leaving me behind so im happy with that from a 2 litre with a small turbo standard car. But at the end of the day 2.3 V’s 2.0 (maths say’s if the WRX was 2.3 it would have 195 KW) just does not make it EVEN and it will never be EVEN.

  • http://www.google.com Mazda

    This car is excellent

  • TomC

    Had mine for two weeks now and I love it, I make every excuse known to man to drive it and my wife is jealous. Had a serious downpour in my area today and the car performed admirably in the wet (if just a little twitchy) and felt very stable and safe (normal caution observed). This car is a SERIOUS drive and I have to admit it’s hard to not to drive it hard. I’ve left quite a few head shaking V8 and boy racer drivers in my wake. Looking forward to hearing the results from Big Al.

  • Mark M

    Anyone compared the 3 MPS against a Liberty GT Spec B? Just wondering what the thoughts are, as I want to upgrade from a 2001 WRX. Liberty seems to suit the wife and executive look, and I found the 6 MPS a bit underdone in comparison. Was trying to move on from the hot hatch, but if the differential is too great, might have to try it.

  • Sam N

    Blah blah blah, AWD/RWD still would have been better than FWD. Yes I have driven one, and I am by no means saying it is a bad car. However, just because alot of people claim it holds its ground the corners and in the wet, doesn’t make it true. Maybe if you stay under the speed limit it does, but unless you’re going to gun this thing, then don’t bother buying one. Viva la VW R32.

  • peter

    I think you guys are forgetting something.
    re: comments around the wrx feeling cheap. If you are wondering what the reason for existence of FWD cars – let me tell you, its because its “cheaper” to manufacture. It exists purely as a result of cost cutting. How many FWD formula one cars do you see? How many FWD world rally champions do you see? I don’t see any. Mazda should have spent the extra bucks and set up the MPS 3 like the MPS 6. But then the car is 10k more, mmm , who would you sell it to then at over $50k? I have driven one and many a wrx/evo and the mazda MPS 3 is sketchy under power. Do you guys know what the cheapest feeling in the world is – torque steer.
    the MPS 6 however – that is a car!
    As for style, the MPS 3 looks like a girly hatchback to me, do you see that blob looking good in race trim… as for a rexy dumped on some buddy clubs, now that’s tough.

  • Sean

    Mark M is thinking of buying the Liberty GT B Spec. I was thinking the same thing until I drove the Liberty – it was so damn slow! a 2.5 Turbo AWD should go so much faster than this. They have an awesome interior and go ok off the mark but the mazda 3 mps left a huge smile on my face (despite the annoying torque steer). I bought the mazda, saved $15k, and leave most stock cars for dead. What a weapon in the hills too! Oh, and my forearms are nicely toned now due to holding on to the steering wheel for dear life lol. What a fun car.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    To all the people who doubt what a good FWD chassis can do look no further than the Targa Tasmania that just finnished yesterday. The 3MPS came 10th outright and was the FIRST production/showroom car of the field. The 9 cars above were race prepped and/or rally cars.

    Now the real clincher, the best stage position it reached over the event was 5th during one stage on day 4. Thing is, it was the wettest stage, I will say again, the WETTEST stage. This was against a plethora of AWD EVOs/STIs and HiPo RWD cars.

    Sure it is not perfect, that much power and torque through the front wheels will do that. However if you drive to suit the ‘characteristics’ of the car, it is unbelievebly fast and can also be used as feedback on how much power to feed in. It is surprising when driven correctly how hard it can punch out of corners. Personally I think Mazda have done a stirling job reducing torque steer to such a relatively small level considering the grunt of the thing. I have driven 1.8L N/A Corollas that torque steer more than the 3MPS. It is no-where near as bad as the old Turbo Mazda MX-6 from the late 80s. Now THAT was torque steer!

  • peter

    you obviously didn’t see how the 3 mps went in the bathurst 12 hour.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    That was through no real fault with the design of the car Peter. They only had a few weeks to set the car up with no proper testing, it was still quite green. To the point of the car been driven to the race and then driven back home at the end! Plus during the race the CAMS mandated self sealing fuel tank leaked foam into the fuel system which is not a good thing to have happen and is not a quick and easy fix. That could have happened to anyone. Even then it was still one of the quickest cars down Conrod. I think the Thrifty boys did a great job in such a small amount of time. Give them some more development time it should be up the front of their class. Don’t forget the BMW 130i (class winner) has had 12 months of development in prod car racing.

    The STIs were not much better being beaten by a car that started from pit lane! Not to mention the fact that it was the world racing debut of the 335i as well as not being tested before the race, unlike the years of development/testing spent on the STIs. I will not even mention the fact that the BMW didn’t have to change brake pads for the whole 12 hours yet the STIs needed between 3 and 5 pad changes!! Do you see any AWD F1 cars, DTM cars or many other circuit racing cars?? So much for AWD being the be all and end all, they can understeer just as much as a FWD car, especially earlier WRXs.

    Note TVFPIC!!! 😉

  • ……………….

    if i was goin 2 buy a chiks car then id probly condider this or the astra vxr.. but id rather a big v8 spacious commodore/hsv.. go the aussie beast… i dont think ull b hooning around in one of these wuld look pretty gay

    • mitch

      You can’t spell.
      This only furthers the stereotype of you being an uneducated bogan.
      Must be hard.

  • Scott

    ………………. said

    We can’t all afford to run a bit v8, mate. And personally, i hate big cars and have no reason to own one. It’s only myself and my girlfriend, and i can’t see any need for having such a large car (for myself, that is). As for a chicks car, well, thats an opinion. Mine is that i think the majority of v8 drivers are bogan knuckle draggers. Each to their own.

  • jason

    hey guys, i left a comment couple of weeks ago about my nissan pulsar ST. someone complained about somethin i said so i ll make it clear. stock car is 92kws , and costs 22 000 brand new , however it still comes with sports suspension, but i bought it when it was 4 years old, its a 2001 model, i bought it in 2005, with all the mods done to it, its 245 kws and it cost me no more then $8000. so 15000 + 8= 23000 all up. the car is really quick and it does beat Rexies and i also beat a skyline r 33 GTR once but thats beacuse the driver was probably shit, mazda 3 mps is a good car and 190kws of power is a lot for a stock car. it does beat rexys on a straight line but in rain it has no chance against any AWD thats turbocharged and over 150kws like nissan GTiR. AWD adds extra 40 kws to your car when u race with someone who has the same power but is front wheel drive. my car is really fast and I dont plan to sell it yet, but if i do i ll sure buy mazda 3 mps and do some mods to it. one final point , we cant compare mazda 3 mps with an STI or mazda 6 with an STI, STI is a car made for track, all the money u pay for STI is the money thats put in the engine and suspension. same goes for evo ix. when i tested MPS i thought it did really well and handled well, but as a car enthusiast with a broad knowledge of any performance car i am more then certain that this car is worth its money. if it was four wheel drive it would slow with down in dry weather because of the extra weight.

  • GP

    ………………. said, you’re a champ mate. Nevermind, where I live, everyone has a HSV or a Rex (both of which I’ve had in recent years), in fact I’m sure they’re more common than wheelie bins. I’ve got the only MPS 3 in town. And the really cool thing….I’m 200cm tall, fit easily into the MPS but have a real squeeze in the HSV and Rex….oh well, so much for spacious!

  • Scott

    I’m trying to decide whether to get one or not. Not so much THIS car in particular, but parting with the $$. There’s one in my area, used, with only 6700ks, immaculate… for $33500. I have a 2003 323 at the moment… what to do, what to do!
    C’mon mps owners…. convince me! =)



  • Paul

    how come no one mentioned about comparing the following

    1. unwanted attraction (imagine urself at at set of traffic lights)
    2. theft risk (REX higher or 3MPS? you tell me!)
    3. fuel cost (AWD vs FWD)
    4. use of space (hatch vs sedan)
    5. actual use of vehicle (daily vs race track)

    when you start taking consideration these factors (and more) you’ll probably have a better view of which vehicle is truely what ur after coz at the end of the day, both these cars are amazing value for money i reckon.

  • Stevo

    Hey guys – what’s all this car talk stuff ? Can we get back to the more important subject of tropical fish ? So, has anyone ever had danios (say zebra’s) and Black Ranchu’s in the same tank – oooh it’s messy !!!

  • Led_Blind

    Hey all,

    I have the 3MPS now for 1.5weeks and its acceleration in 3rd realy does scare. Been raining heaps in sydney so have not had a chance to realy drive but so far its a dream :)

    Cant wait till my track day!

  • CBR1000

    My brother owns a Mazda 3 MPS and yes it has a nice interior and yes the straight line performance is pretty brutal for the size of the car and engine. The reason I would never own one is because it is too plain – it looks like a girly shopping trolley – if I am going to spent that much money on a small car you would at least want it to look hot. Personal preference I guess but that is probably why many people overlook it for a rex which wether or not you think it looks good, at least it looks aggressive.

  • Psymon

    There is a reason why there are so many WRX’s on the road, the reason is because for the money NOTHING comes close in terms of handling and straight line performance combined!

    I have owned a Clio sport 182 that I know would out handle a MPS easily, and I still went out and bought a WRX for the fact the handling is soooo damn good!

    Besides from that the WRX is so amazing in ALL types of weather including the pouring rain !! I can LAUNCH the same in the wet as I can in the dry and that is a great feeling.

    Good luck doing that in a FWD hatch.

  • RobW

    Phfft the Mazda 3 MPS is a fantastic handling car, yes your right its not an AWD and wet conditions when launching aint its strong point,how many times do you have to do hard launches anyway, but once your going it handles far better than most would think, it has a fantastic chasis, awsome brakes good supsension setup.

    Drive it like a FWD is meant to be driven and not like an AWD or RWD than you I assure you, it will impress.

    This arguement about AWD vs FWD is getting old, driver skill is way more important as proven by the Mazda guys at Targa this year, who bty had their best stage place in the wet (5th).

  • Led_blind

    I dont want to it look hot, i already am :) so i DO NOT NEED a car to improve my appearance, prove my manliness etc. External appearance, ‘looking’ hot, what does it matter? We are talking performance road cars not luxury cars. Wait, you ‘want’ to ‘look’ hot…. riiiigght I understand.

    Next, i keep hearing about launch and straight line speed, it sounds like your daily drive is round a race track. Is it? A simple yes-no will suffice.

    At the end of the day it is personal preference, I personally love technically challenging things. The 3MPS is this. Combine its more understated looks with the clientele of other hot hatches and it leaves us sensible people with nice cheap insurance and a nice fast ride :)

  • Tony

    I have a mazda mps. It is quick.
    WRX are outdated. So what for more power.
    Even insurance companies wont touch them anymore.
    And very bad for re sale.
    You can buy and 01/02 for $20k.
    Thats if it isnt a half cut or a rebirth.

    Go the MPS, you little beast.

  • Fred

    LOL at WRX’s having bad resale – mate they have one of the best (if not the best) resale values of any car on the whole Aussie market. And insurance is easy to get and not THAT expensive – mine is $1300 a year which is nothing for a car of this nature. Not here to bag out the Mazda, just to clear up some BS about the Subie.

    The Mazda is nice in fact, I just would never get one due to the hatchback styling – cmon mazda why no MPS Sedan??

  • Dan

    I own a 05 Impreza and it goes like the wind!!

    However when i drove the MPS, it was something that i had never experienced before from a turbo 4… I was worried as well about the FWD as i come from a AWD car, but the handling was really responsive and have to admit that it did drive better than my WRX!!

    I would recommend that before you bag this car out, take it for a drive and then you will realise how good this car really is…

    I guess that every car does have it’s bad points but that’s formed by your own opinions… For me, i really like the trip computer in the WRX and unforntually the MPS does not provide this…

    Other than that, I could not fault this car…

  • Joe

    Dan you’ve got to be the only wrx owner I have ever come across that can agree that the MPS3 isn’t a bad car… Thank you for your honesty!

  • 3MPS

    I have a MPS3 for one year now, done 45,000km. I still get a big smile on my face every time I driven it.

  • GP

    I have to agree with Fred, I got a great trade on my MY05 rex when I bought the 3MPS which I’ve had for a year (any really love). Hope the same applies when I get the next great thing in 12 months time!

  • Glako

    Just like to throw my 5cents in 😉

    Firstly i’m not going to argue whether the WRX is better than the MPS3 or vice versa. Both are great cars when compared to Holdens and Fords 😉

    Personally im an MY05 EVO 8 WRX owner. Had to get a car with a sunroof hehe. Preferred this shape to any other WRX at the end of the day.

    I test drove both cars before making my purchase and yes the MPS3 seemed quicker however preferred the total package and feel of the WRX. In my optionion I think the WRX is a better package overall. I just love driving it in the rain and extra hard into corners.

    It was a hard choice to make but not one i regret.

    Both cars rock!!! At the end of the day its your choice.

    Safe driving….

  • M3MPS

    Interesting exchange. Has anyone looked at this from the other angle, which is that the 3 MPS looking like a (admittedly slightly edgy) ‘sensible’ car is actually a GOOD thing? I’ve removed the MPS badge for precisely this reason. It goes like buggery, steers well enough for me, thank you, and doesn’t attract police attention. Oh, and you should see the look on those Porsche drivers’ faces when they find themselves unable to overtake a shopping car. Priceless.
    I love mine to bits.

  • mmmmmps

    This goes to Fred and other subie drivers that wont buy a MPS3 for its so called girlie hatch stying…Aren’t the new 08-09 wrx’s (STi) comming out as a hatch only..? Would you still consider buying it..?

  • cressyman

    My toyota mx73 would blow the doors of all of youse except maybe that guy’s pulsar.
    but the mazda is better than the subz too

  • cressyman

    actually some bloke up the street has bought the mps and now i think it looks gay

  • Dan

    Everyone keeps on saying how good the WRX impreza handling is and i can’t stand driving FWD cars!!!

    Check this website out and see for yourself!!

    It’s the new 2008 WRX Impreza being tested for it’s handling. The competition is the MPS 3…

    Even though the short video is in another language, it’s easy understand exactly what their saying…

    Subaru should be very embarressed…


  • Sime

    My Mum has an SP23 and it looks almost identical to the MPS! The MPS has a nice engine but the exterior is well…… yaaaawn. And I dont want to hear the old “but not everyone wants to be noticed crap”…. Thats what people who drive Camrys say!

  • VW Golf driver

    I have owned two Golf GTI’s and having test driven the new Golf GTI Edition 30 on a race track I have just chosen (and bought, 3 days ago!) the Mazda 3 MPS. It is significantly cheaper and a little faster than the Edition 30. The 3MPS is also firmer with more feel in the corners. Didn’t even consider the WRX because I don’t like the boy racer image of the thing and it’s horrible looks + we wanted a hatch for more practicality. During our test drive my fiancée was pushing it behind a Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG on a windy road and the guy couldn’t get away from us. He was definately trying (wouldn’t you in such a car if a hot blonde in a Mazda was on your tail!?), because on one corner he actually lost his back end – he fishtailed a bit and only just recovered! I tell you this car can go round corners (even with a blonde chick driving it!). BTW here’s an interesting web site for comparing fast cars on test tracks (just select which cars you want to compare in top right box)… http://www.fastestlaps.com/index.php?page_id=compare&car1=45c81efb18f1d&car2=459e53f9d5a83

  • ian

    you can keep your rice burners.I have a 1987 corvette convertible;which is putting out around 400kw.all the hat backwards boys have had a go but to no avail.all they see is my tailpipes dissapearing into the distance

  • Sean

    Congratulations on your corvette Ian. I would love to talk about my VL turbo that would give you a very good run but I believe this blog is about the 3 MPS which would also give you a very good run through the hills at least. Now let me find a corvette blog and start raving about how great my MPS is – not.

  • Dan

    I finally took my WRX in to mazda to get it valued for a trade in for a MPS3. The Salesman said that i could take the car for a test drive while we value your car. I took the MPS for a trip around the streets and was very impressed again with the power and stability of the vehicle.
    However, when i arrived back at Mazda, i was confronted by a lady which i now know was the sales manager and she ripped shreds off me for taking without having the salesman with me!!!

    The saying goes “once bitten, twice shy”…

    I like the car but i’m not buying a car from a bitch face woman that is 5ft tall and has tickets on her shoulders..

    Don’t buy at Central Coast Mazda!!!

  • Kurt

    I took the MPS out for a test drive yesterday…the thing is lightning quick and it handles extremely well considering the torque and fwd…I have now ordered one. zoom-zoom!

  • sasha call me smasher

    jason again here, looks like we got so many MPS lovers, screw my pulsar i am gonna sell it lol and get somethin good, might get a wolswagen jetta FSI turbo they look oright and are quick lol

  • Some Guy

    Well guys I had my first go with the Mazda 3 mps… he came flying up on me as I was driving on the highway so I pulled in behind him, back to 3rd gear at 110 kph and gave her a squirt (her being my old 93 GTiR Pulsar). I would say that he was doing 130-140 when he went past, we struck traffic and waited… the car changed into the slow lane and we both took off (me behind). There was a slight whisp of black smoke (a tad rich) from the larger than stock exhaust on the Mazda that continued for the duration of him flogging it. By 140 kph I had matched speed, by 160 kph I was catching so fast I could have given him a push, I backed off, then put the foot down again… he was still up it for all it was worth (not much). For a car with that much power it was a sad sight… Is my car modded I hear you ask, I have a pod filter and a sports muffler, on a recent dyno tune my car made 112.5 kw at all 4 wheels. she was said to make 170 kw stock at the fly… sure the Mazda was fast but come on… a stock 2L turbo from 93 can beat her… too much hype in my opinion

  • Maximus

    Proud owner of a Mazda 3 MPS here. It got Gut’s baby!! This is a wild animal, as a stock standard car, I have not had more pleasure in planting my foot and letting this rocket rip through the pavment in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and onwored to 6th. Is it faster than a WRX EVO or HSV… maybe… it be close. But who’s gona have more fun proving it! GO MAZDA! they are on to a winner here!
    Torque steer of course! that is the nature of the beast.
    Do I hear rumors of a 215kw verson coming out soon? I’ll be first in line.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Ian and Sean ……….get a room…….87 Vet…..geez thats a rare breed!!!!!!!!! Left hand hook is it?

    400kws?????? Whats your mods?????

    I would have a Mazda 3MPS over a 87 Vet!!!!!!

  • Capt Howdy

    Why don’t you all stop dreaming. By an $19000 motorcycle that puts out 147kw, does the standing 1/4 in around 9.6 sec and 0-100 in 2.8sec. Top speed (limited) of 186mph. I know, I know, you’ll probably all go on about safety, but what are you mice or men?? I forgot to mention that fitting a turbo can take it up to around 400HP and still be ridden on the road. You guys aren’t even in the running!!

  • Shire Boy

    Not happy. I went to buy a 3 MPS over the weekend only to find out that Mazda have stopped making them. The only way you can buy one of these little beauties is to buy second hand or ex demo (usually thrashed). I would like to know what their thinking was behind this decision considering they are still making the 6 MPS lemon!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Duck

    Did you know that mazdas cost alot to repair, fix and find parts for the vechile!

  • Frank

    I have had my Mazda3 MPS for two years now… and I would not swap it for anything else in the world. Yes – when you first drive it it is a very different beast, but after owning it for a few months you become able to tame this monster and learn completely how to drive it.

    GTiR Pulsar beating an MPS3? I highly doubt it dude! Come over to my hood and give me a go – if you win you get the car.

  • Sam

    Work harder and buy an audi S3.

  • Dean

    Hi Guys,

    Based in Newport South Wales UK, Placed order for an MPS 3 Aero (Red) should arrive 1st March, I have driven most cars and was looking for a practical car with power and rare on the road (UK) for about £25k, Tried and tested all hot hatches, Including S3, but neded 5 doors, S3 is very good, but not practical, BMW 130i, quick but over priced @ £30k, R32, Good Quality, strong contender, but, too many on the road, Focus ST3, Nice, but seemed to have Turbo lag, again too many on the road and last but not least, the new WRX, love the power, seems very practical, but, very boring in side, So on the day MPS 3 Aero wins.

    After reading all road reports, It appears that the MPS 3 is an understated hot hatch, If I was complaign prior to owning, I would have to say that Extras available is very poor, In the UK, you can have a Mazda 3 Sport with Sat Nav, but, MPS, No Sat Nav available. ?????



  • No Name

    Hi Dean from a fellow Pohmm. Yep a fairly exclusive car here, but I would have bought the Focus or Leon personally.
    Hope you enjoy it with the 08 plate.

  • http://evo Frugal One


    Mazda still show it on there website, still for sale…!



  • http://evo Frugal One

    Rather one of those bizzare looking Renault Megane 225/R26 jobs…



  • nathan

    how much did you guys pay fr your mps,im looking to buy 1 i got offered 43k drive away on a new 08 model after looking around this seemed pretty decent

  • mike

    I agree with most of the people on here about 3 MPS . its got a lot of potential and if it was all wheel drive it would add another 100 kilos to the car and therefore reduce performance, I mean just look at mazda 6mps awd. same power , 190kws same torque 190kws . but 6 is all wheel drive and does 0-100 in 6.6 seconds, which is pretty quick for a car of that size but 3 mps does it in 6.1 and some sources say it did 5.8 in perfect conditions. so thats half a second quicker then 6MPs, its the fastest mazda produced to date including Rx8, but ofcourse a bit slower then the old turbocharged Rx7. and its the fastest front wheel drive hatchback in the world. i own one and i love it, but i d still trade it in for the new RX-8 because you just cant beat it around corners,

  • Adam

    Another satisfied 3MPS owner here, I just love this little Mazda. imo, it has the perfect blend of power and sensibility, where if you want to drive it nicely it’ll do it all day, but the minute you give it a boot – she’s off!

    It may sound shallow too, but I’ve never had so many compliments on how nice my car looks (I have the True Red). I’ve had people stop and ask me all about it on several occasions, and when people find out it’s a 190kw turbo monster, they love it even more!

    But that’s not the reason to buy this car. The reason is the DRIVE. To punt this rocket along your favourite road, or give it a quick squirt out of a round-a-bout and feel it bite into the road and do exactly what you ask of it never gets old….ever.

  • Sven

    I own a 6MPS. Thats quite funny how they did get 6.6sec 0-100. I tested with G-tech PRO about 4000rpm easy launch 3 peoples onboard and i did 0-100 6.1sec. With only myself onboard i did 5.8sec with about 5000rpm launch and then i didnt have good traction and my clutch was quite dead at this time(60ft 2.0X, possible to do 1.7X ish times). I am sure that 3MPS cant compete 0-100 with 6MPS on street tires. I think that with good traction the stock 6MPS can do 0-100 5.5-5.6sec.

  • Sean

    i own a 02 sti, and my ex owns a 3mps… b4 i bought my sti i was actually considering 6mps or 3mps. 6mps was too expensive and i didn’t like hatch.. i thought it was a bit girlie. but i got used to it and i think it actually looks better than the sedan. i can’t really compare these 2 as they are for different purposes. 3mps is cirtainly more stylish and comfortable. better fuel consumption. oh, one thing i really love about my sti, is the gearbox, it’s so smooth and precise. the heavy clutch could be a pain in the traffic, but you’ll get used to it and it makes u feel like you are driving a real performace car. 3mps is good everyday car with extra performance… which is fun.
    it really depends what u r after.

  • Sean

    i’ve driven my friends’ 04 standard wrx and a 02 heavily modified wrx hatch. and to be honest, i don’t really like them. they don’t feel as solid as the 3mps, i guess it’s because they were older models compared to the 3mps. the build quality of 3mps is very impressive.
    wrx has a blokey, aggressive image, and, who doesn’t like the sound of a boxer engine??? the 3mps has a trendy image. but i would strongly recommend black if ur going to buy a 3mps. it looks a bit meaner..
    a car says a lot about the owner, so image is also very important.

  • mike

    sven mazda claims that 6mps does 0-100 in 6.6, and this is a number they got from a number of tests not just one, and they claim 3mps does it in 6.1, either way less wait and same power means mazda 3 is faster and not tryin to put your car down but my mazda 3 sp 23 stock kept up with 6MPS up to 115km/h when i slowed then, 6 times offf traffic lights he was never infront of me, i happend to be half a car length infront in second gear, but once i raced a 3 MPS and it completely destroyed me, especially in second and third gear. not to say your 6mps is slow , its a great car but a bit overweight for the power its got

  • Svolo

    After testing coutless cars and reading all of the above, I purchased an MPS 3. In a word, Awesome.

    Now, if I was ever to look back, it would only be to check out the losers in my rear view mirror. End of discussion !

  • Wayne

    The answer to this debate is stuff all cars and buy a GOLF GTI Mk 5 better handling response and build quality.
    Not as much power as the mazda but a much better package in terms of balance and engineering.


    Yeah and a much higher price tag. But i guess you get to wave at the other 50 GTI drivers you pass on the way to the supermarket, so that’s something.

  • Geoff

    With all the ridicule the first two guy’s got after their comments,I have to agree with them.
    Most of the arguements I have read so far are mostly from people who believe that the car/make that they are driving is probably the best.
    Therefore tend to exagerate a bit in defense of their choices.
    Thats human nature ,and I have been guilty of the same myself.
    In my case I have been looking hard to replace a Japanese turbo 2 ltr that I have owned for 9 yrs, albeit with very few problems. Its been fantastic,but time for a change.
    However good the Mazda3 MPS may be ,its shortcomings come down to the fact that it is FWD & a turbo. Yes…I know this will stir the pot again.
    Sure FWD turbo’s win ralleys etc…they are light and fast.. but in the real world I dont want to be competing with a vehicle that wants to pull to the right every time I flog it… it’s just something else to concentrate on when you already have enough happening.
    FWD vehicles have come a long way as far as reliability,safety,appearance & economy, but after a test drive in the MPS with a salesman who allowed me to push the vehicle to answer my questions. I found that old demon still lurks….torque steer….bolt a turbo to a FWD and ,so far, there’s no escaping the TS results.
    I loved the car in general ,but even with the gadgets TS was very evident,at speed,on every bend in the Adelaide hills.
    My last car was RWD, and for a turbo driven hard was a great vehicle to drive.
    I really dont know where to turn now as I have tried the Focus XR5 with same results,so I guess that I will persue either RWD or AWD in a turbo configeration.

  • James

    I am considering buying a 2007 Mazda 3 MPS – 2nd hand of course. Around 42,000 kilometers – for $25,000. Do people out there think this would be a good idea? Any problems/greivances with their MPS 3 that I should know of? Any comments would be appreciated.

  • Adam

    James, I have the same model and have had no probs at all mechanically, etc. I would warn anyone thinking of this car to consider running costs though. services aren’t too bad so far (mine’s almost due for it’s 50 000k), but tyres are expensive. we got newies just before last xmas (Pirelli p-zeros – factory size), and they were $350 each. the original Bridgestones are almost $400 a pop (and not as good as Pirelli according to the tyre dude) and it can even go up from there. I still love it though, and don’t regret the purchase at all. mine was $32500 with 16000k’s on the clock in early ’08, so 25 grand doesn’t sound too bad. cheers.

    also, Geoff……torque steer has never really been much of an issue for me, only when it’s really tramped does it get like that. and really, how often are you going to drive it that hard? hardly ever is my guess. this car is still fast without ripping the piss out of it.

  • Andrew

    I went with a mate when he test drove a WRX and 3 MPS. We drove the MPS first and I was really surprised by the in gear acceleration. Then drove the WRX, *yawn* after the MPS. No where near the acceleration of the MPS, the WRX felt very flat.

    Stupid mate bought the WRX, don’t know why. 2 months later he was really regretting it, said he should have bought the MPS (as I suggested). Since then he’s been trying to sell the WRX.

    They are a great little car, surprisingly fast, and I’ve owned some fast cars in my time. Just to clarify, never owned a rex or mps so no brand loyalty clouding my view.

  • Steve

    For my 2 cents, the ART of driving is where the pleasure is derived and most similar aged and priced cars perform comparably with little nuances that one driver will prefer over another. To really test yourself grab a 60’s stock VW beetle and find a really windy road and see if you can really drive, I present this from a fond memory I have of following a beetle up Broke Road in a GSR Lancer (non turbo) I threw everything at this damn beetle but he still beat me in corners and with skinny cheese cutters and inward wheel camber. Got to my mate’s place and said beetle turns in across the road. Asked my mate what the hell he had under the bonnet..stock 1500cc beetle..oh and the driver was a rally driver of some note..stil impressed by this over 10 years later! Ok quick rundown on some of the memorable cars I’ve thrashed:
    – 68 Beetle with 8inch rubber – most fun in the dry – think driving a roller skate!
    – Early big turbo WRX – blistering to limit but no feel at all when near the limit – why so many end up in trees!
    – Gen 4 VW R32 – nicest sorted car for under 60K i’ve driven – not the most powerful but always put a smile on my face. Awesome on the track but so good that it’s the car doing all the work not driver skill – lovely to drift though
    – BMW 330 – beautifully balanced
    – Gen 5 VW GTi DSG – traded R32 so wife could drive auto, still miss R32’s racecar feel but effectively the GTi outperforms it – faster and can be thrown around corners just as well although have had the back end out way further than I thought possible in a FWD car – much better value than the R32 it’s still a fave
    – 350Z – rear wheel drive fun!!!!
    Look really guys unless you are going to buy a second set of rims and put racing tires on your car at track days then any of the new breed of hot hatches is going to outperform your talents so test drive them all and buy the one that makes you FEEL best when you drive it.
    Oh and with the GFC and bankrupt bankers everywhere you can pick up a nice late model 911 AWD turbo for around 140 grand, now that’s bang for your buck and certainly worth my consideration – just have to convince the wife (yes she is the boss!)

  • Rob

    Well. based on the production car racing i was watching on the weekend at Eastern Creek, an MPS and STi are about evenly matched around a dry track.

  • http://supatruss.com.au Robbo

    Bought an 07 MPS with 3,000km on the clock for $33,000. Awsome car with crazy power. Torque steer isn’t really a problem if you can hang onto it, and who cares if it takes off like it does. Own an 07 wrx aswell with turbo back exhaust and only takes the MPS off the line, then its the MPS all the way. Handling is awsome and matches the REX in most corners. Great car all round. If ya find a good deal BUY ONE!

  • Autoboy

    From an MPS Gen 2 ownner:

    1. Yes – hard (but not impossible) to lauch cleanly and get the ponies to the tarmac from standing start. 380nm through the front hoops!
    2. Rolling accelerating very, very quick.
    3. 80-120 scary!
    4. Please Mazda do not ‘refine’ this car. Its hard,fast, audible,and that just the
    way we like it.

  • Robbo

    Still a great car. Done 38,000 K’s and it goes even harder now. Eats my 07 Rex for breakfast.
    These are a serious performance car if you know how to drive them. Never been beatin in it!

  • mitch

    I picked mine up about a month ago and have since done a front mount intercooler, turbo back exhaust 3″ from the dump pipe back and an ECUTEK tune.
    Maybe the AWD fan boys struggle with a car that doesn’t do all the work for you?
    I’ll happily take anyone for a run in it & show you exactly what it can do.

  • Kknnll

    I drove an 02′ WRX STI prior to my 08 Mazda 3 MPS and I have to say I’m actually enjoying the torque steer – never thought I say I love the feeling of the car’s power ripping the steering wheel out my hands J