I haven't had the car long, but it's very impressive so far. I used to own a 2004 Mazda 3 Sport (same shape as this car), and the MPS is a lot more refined, with less road noise at speed, and a better ride.
Acceleration is seriously awesome, and handling is very taut, especially at high speed. It would be nice if the steering had a bit more feel, but that's the only criticism on handling side. The ride is very good; quiet and smooth, unlike say a Civic Type-R.
I like the understated look of the car; it doesn't really look quick, and is a definite example of a wolf in sheep's clothing. I think my old 3 Sport looked better, as it had nicer alloys and an aero rear bumper... just an opinion thing though! Being the last of this shape, it comes with piano black interior trim, iPod adapter, polished alloys, illuminated vanity mirrors.
Very comfortable; safe, awesome Bose sound system and feels built to last. I also love the dashboard lighting. My old 3 Sport had done 88000 miles and never had any suspension/engine/steering problems at all; a testament to Mazda engineering. I hope this one will be as good.
Amazing to have 260bhp on a smallish car like this; it never feels like it is going to lose control; no turbo lag and there isn't any torque steer. When turning the engine on when it's cold, it rev's at 2000rpm for a minute or so until it calms down - it seems a bit high?
I've never been a fan of Bridgestone tyres, which it has at the moment (original factory fit); they produce a bit too much road noise at low speed, and wet weather grip isn't great. Next time round I'll probably go back to Kumho Ecsta SPT - voted as the best by AutoExpress. They were excellent on my old car.
Highly recommended car, plainer than the Civic Type-R, but better built and more refined, more stylish and better economy than the R32 (probably more reliable too), and it's something a little different, which doesn't shout 'chav' or 'bodykits and spoilers', but will outpace most cars!