Purchasing a Mazda 3 MPS is the best thing you will ever do. I've had my MPS for six months now and I've done 13,000km in it. It has been the most fun 13,000km I've ever done. This thing never ceases to put a smile on my face.
Enough fluff, though, let's talk about the car. My particular example is an ’06 model. It has a full turbo-back exhaust, intake, Turbosmart dual-port BOV, high-pressure fuel pump internals and a ChipTorque tune, running on Bridgestone RE003 rubber.
I purchased this car as my first car (Mazda 323) was run up the back of and written off. I wanted something similar but more fun. Being a 20-year-old male, I thought 'Yes, I'll take one of those, but with a turbo please!' and so the hunt began. After looking for about three or four months, I came across the one. The paint wasn't perfect, a few scratches and dings, but underneath it was immaculate – good sign after good sign of being looked after. So I made the purchase – $9000 later I was driving my own 2.3-litre turbo hatchback.
There is nothing better than a hatch. I can fold the back seats down and fit almost a double-sized mattress. It is huge. I can comfortably carry five people around. 10/10 for practicality. The seats are just the right mixture of comfortable but stiff, low and sporty.
The chassis is crazy stiff. Even just going off a gutter on an angle is enough to lift a wheel. It's stiff but comfortable. Long trips are easy – cruise set at 110km/h and it just putts up any hill with ease in sixth gear.
Economy around town is about 11L/100km, which is a bit rough, but on the highway it drops to about 7.5L/100km.
It has a few bits of technology. Being a 2006 it has an AUX jack but no Bluetooth. It still has steering wheel media controls, but the addition of a good phone mount and an AUX Bluetooth unit was a big improvement. The Bose speaker system is awesome too.
Anyway, it's a performance car. You don't buy it for economy, comfort and features. It really starts to make sense when you get into the spirited stuff. All of a sudden, the stiff chassis and giant brakes make sense. Everything acts in harmony. It's balanced, fast and agile.
I have since driven a stock example, and with the basic modifications mine has, it has made the driving experience amazingly better. The sound, the smell – aah! This car is why I like cars.