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Thread: Richard Hammond reviews the 2010 Mazda 3 MPS

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    armthehomeless's Avatar
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    Default Richard Hammond reviews the 2010 Mazda 3 MPS

    Review: Mazda3 MPS Hatchback
    by Richard Hammond



    There's no mistaking it. The Mazda3 MPS, with its bonnet scoop, tarmac-skimming skirts and twin rear spoilers, is definitely a hot hatch.

    Somebody, somewhere at Mazda must have been worried that we wouldn't guess the intent of the 256bhp, 2.3-litre, turbocharged hatchback. So they felt it necessary to advertise its potency and sporting credentials by bolting to it every single hot-hatch add-on and visual styling cue ever devised.

    I would love to see what the same Mazda executive's communication skills would cause them to do if tasked with providing the signing service for the hard of hearing on TV - dislocate their neck, I shouldn't wonder, thrashing about in the little box in the corner and over-emphasising every point to a dangerous degree.

    Nevertheless, over-telegraphed performance potential aside, it looks kinda cool, in a childish sort of way.

    But the visual "styling" is probably the biggest news for the second generation of hot Mazda3. Underneath, the engine remains the same and most of the work elsewhere has been limited to lightening and stiffening the car structurally to try to make sure that the engine's 256bhp of turbocharged grunt doesn't twist it up like an old toffee wrapper.

    Mild tweakery in the suspension department can be added to the list of jobs done in pursuit of keeping things tamed and under control. The only problem is that it never really feels like they have worked. Getting un-subtle with the right welly unleashes loads of power and gets the car scampering up to 60mph in just 6.1 seconds. But it also unleashes a riot of torque steer, which has the wheel squirming around in your paws, like a reluctant snake on its way to a Vietnamese banquet.

    Uneven road surfaces - and they all are - ask one question too many of the none-too-sophisticated suspension. Fast cornering on a damp road can have you asking one question too many of your maker, if you get it wrong.

    The interior is nothing to write home about and the dash is far from a sumptuous feast for your 21,500.

    So pretty bad, then. Except that I loved it! There's none of the seriousness you find with some of the more expensive and, let's be honest, more capable alternatives like the Focus RS.
    Yes, such cars feel luxurious by comparison, they seem somehow more "grown up" and are, in probably every single way, technically better. But I don't want a more grown up car in a hot hatch - I want a more childish one.

    The noise, drive, suspension and brakes are as abrasive and vulgar as the looks. Perfect then, in a car specifically designed to appeal to a youth market. It's supposed to be as subtle as an attack dog with your leg in its mouth. It's supposed to furrow the brows of lawyers and old gits in bookshops.

    Of course they'll hate it, why would any self-respecting young hooligan hanker after anything that didn't upset such people? But still, there are those flaws...

    The steering could be more taut, it feels unsettled and fidgety on rough roads.
    The torque steer means an endless battle with the steering wheel, the front end desperately needs some sort of clever system for taming the understeer, like Ford's revo knuckle thing.
    The engine noise is more of a raspy whine than a fruity chuckle and the seats are covered in nasty material.

    On the positive side, you can plug your iPod in, the stereo has 10 speakers, your phone connects with Bluetooth, it goes like the clappers and your mates will love the bonnet scoop.
    It's not a Golf GTi - so you don't have to own a rugby shirt to buy one - it's cheaper than a Focus RS and a lot more vulgar than just about anything else I can think of on the market right now.

    If you want a hot hatch then go and get it.

    Dinner's up.

    The facts
    Mazda3 MPS Hatchback
    Price: 21,500
    Engine: 2.3-litre four-cylinder, 256bhp
    0-62mph: 6.1sec
    Fuel consumption:
    29.4mpg

    The rivals

    Vauxhall Astra VXR
    A new Astra is on its way but this 237bhp rocket is the flagship for the moment.
    21,365

    Ford Focus RS
    Pure testosterone, extremely powerful and very desirable. Expensive though.
    26,395

    Volkswagen Golf GTI
    Great solid performer but, with 208bhp, it's outrun by the Mazda.
    23,015

    [Source: The Mirror UK]
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    Nirvandan's Avatar
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    Ford RS FTW!

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    Mr Nasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nirvandan View Post
    Ford RS FTW!
    fure sure.. bring to oz pls

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    they didnt seem to bag the gen 2 as much as the gen 1 when they reviewed it

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJunglist View Post
    they didnt seem to bag the gen 2 as much as the gen 1 when they reviewed it
    But he did say not much had changed
    .

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    Not sure about his choice of the word 'vulgar'....and "a riot of torque steer, which has the wheel squirming around in your paws, like a reluctant snake on its way to a Vietnamese banquet". Come on hammond i'm sure it's not that bad!

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    you know what they're like...

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    Quote Originally Posted by armthehomeless View Post
    you know what they're like...
    I do .....

    Torque steer rocks!!!
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    tonks39 is offline Full Member
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    can't stand those top gear guys.. is it even possible for them to review a car without attempting to be a comedian? (and a very poor comedian at that)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonks39 View Post
    can't stand those top gear guys.. is it even possible for them to review a car without attempting to be a comedian? (and a very poor comedian at that)...
    I don't go much on their reviewing skills on the TV show, however there is the odd exception where they do a great review. And some of their 'challenges' are very well done. But have you noticed the majority of cars that Jeremy, Richard or James reviews and puts around their test track is shown powersliding around every corner (with them driving, not the Stig on a hot lap). I admit it looks cool but hardly shows the handling potential of the vehicle. But if all that smoke gets more people watching their show who am I to criticise?

    Then again I try to leave my brain switched off when watching Top Gear and enjoy the show for what it is. I do find Richard and James quite amusing, but Clarkson is ...not that likable.

    Fifth Gear is a better show for objective comparisons and informative reviews, or was. The show's been cancelled

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    bd581's Avatar
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    Typical, "let's see how many metaphores we can fit in to make us sound smarter than we really are"

    as for yet another comment about torque steer, it's not all the cars fault, it's the midget behind the wheel
    Mazda is in a no win situation, I had am argument with a guy the other day who has never even sat in a mps saying how bad they torque steer and this car is better because it has this diff, traction control blah blah blah.
    No, it's because it has more torque than anything else!
    If Mazda was to reduce the torque it would lose it's mid range acceleration and cop flak for that.
    I'd much rather have mid range acceleration as I use it much more than quick off the mark acceleration

  12. #12
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    For those of you opposed to torque steer, 1 tea spoon of cement and harden the **** up!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonks39 View Post
    is it even possible for them to review a car without attempting to be a comedian? (and a very poor comedian at that)...
    ...+1
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsJOE View Post
    For those of you opposed to torque steer, 1 tea spoon of cement and harden the **** up!
    You forget hampster is but a little man.. and obviously doesn't get to the gym enough
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    YOU LOSE's Avatar
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    Cool I'd like to kidnapp richard hammond !!!!!!!!!

    As the tittle says and strap the little garden nome in the passenger seat of Madaz and show him real men luv torque steer and find it an essential ingredient of the FERRAL MPS . Hammond your a girl MTFU
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    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS POST ARE NOT NESSESARILLY THOSE OF THE MANAGEMENT NO GARDEN NOMES WERE INJURED IN THIS POST
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    ^^^^^

    Garden nome!!!!


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    hahaha

  18. #18
    magoo's Avatar
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    I must agree with the looks (front end anyways) comment. Good car but one Ugly MF.

  19. #19
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    fking whinging pom.

    "The engine noise is more of a raspy whine than a fruity chuckle..."

    He's the bloke that writes the rubbish descriptions on wine bottles, always wondered who did that.

  20. #20
    mymps3's Avatar
    mymps3 is offline Mazda 3 MPS (Gen1) owner
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    Im off to Top Gear live next month (In Sydney). What do you want me to do with the Top Gear guys??? Kidnap them all?????? Orders being taken!

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