The Mazda3 MPS is the high-performance hot hatchback version of the excellent Mazda3 hatchback, although it is based on the previous model. The standard car was already pretty sporty for a hatchback, so adding a 256bhp turbocharged 2.3-litre engine has really made it fly. It now sports a wild-looking body kit and has upgraded suspension – all part of Mazda targeting the rival Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST hot hatchbacks. Thanks to a relatively low list price and loads of standard equipment, the MPS is actually excellent value money and a real challenge to the segment. However, it must be said that it's not as fun to drive as the Focus, and it suffers from high running costs that sadly do offset the attractive purchase price somewhat. The MPS comes in three main specifications – entry-level Tamura, mid-range Venture and top-of-the-range Sport Nav.