Mazda3 MPS Is an Affordable Alternative to the Hyundai i30 N

Everybody knows about the Honda Civic Type R, but the Hyundai i30 N is already stepping away from the limelight because its specs aren't as fantastic. So before we look at why the Mazda3 MPS is a great alternative to the Korean hot hatch, we first have to explain why the latter is good.
Mazda3 MPS Is an Affordable Alternative to the Hyundai i30 N 2 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Mazda3 MPS Is an Affordable Alternative to the Hyundai i30 N
You see, pricing starts at £24,995, while the £27,995 i30 N Performance Pack gets you a power boost to 275 HP, 19-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires, electric seats, bigger brakes, active exhaust and an electronically controlled limited slip differential (E-LSD). By comparison, the Civic Type R is £30,995 and doesn't have as much kit.

But what do you do if you want a left-field hot hatch but can't afford to finance even the base i30 N? Well, you'll have to look for a second-hand hero. Hyundai hasn't made any other great hot hatchbacks, but Mazda did have something even fans of the genre forgot about.

The Mazda3 MPS is not the greatest car of all time, but it is really quick. In its video, Car Throttle times it at 6.7 seconds to 62 mph (100 km/h) while the new i30 N managed 6.1 seconds. With a tune and a superior set of tires, the older model could be just as quick.

Understeer is savage in the Mazda3 MPS. The reviewer compares it to the child a parent is ashamed of and that lives in the attic. It's also got a few interior rattles and an exhaust that isn't fruity enough.

We think £11,000 for a used Mazda3 MPS from around 2011 is too much money. Usually, Car Throttle gives us real bargains like the Clio RS 182. But we get what's going on here. The MPS is truly rare and just as unconventional as the i30 N. If those aren't your top priorities, you could probably find the old Focus ST with the 2.5-liter turbo for around £6,000 or the new one from 2012 with the EcoBoost for £12,000.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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