The original Mazda 3 MPS was like the plain kid at school, the one that nobody ever notices despite being quite funny and clever. The 3 MPS had plenty of virtues (such as 256bhp from a 2.3-litre turbo) and yet it was easily overlooked, mainly because most people don’t associate Mazda with performance.
With the latest version of the 3 MPS, Mazda have swapped the understated looks of the old model for something a little more daring. It’s easier to identify this range topper thanks to a more aggresive bodykit and underneath the bonnet is the same 256bhp 2.3-litre engine . But is it any good? Let’s take it for a spin with Vicki Butler-Henderson (but perhaps we ought to tell her she’s wrong, it’s not a 2.5-litre engine, it’s only 2,261cc).