Mazda 3 MPS hot hatch upgraded

* Visual upgrades to Mazda's MPS hot hatch * Same 2.3-litre, 256bhp petrol engine * Rest of 3 range revised...

Mazda 3 MPS hot hatch upgraded

Mazda has tweaked its range-topping Mazda 3 MPS hot hatch.

The car gets new 18-inch alloy wheels finished in gunmetal grey, while the inner roof spoiler, door mirrors and rear bumper trim are now black.

The MPS keeps the same 2.3-litre, 256bhp petrol engine that's powerful enough for a 6.1-second 0-62mph sprint and a limited top speed of 155mph.

Four colours - Aluminium Silver, Black Mica, Crystal White Pearlescent and Velocity Red - are available as a no-cost option. The 3 MPS's price is unchaged at 23,995.

Mazda has also refined the other models in the range, resulting in name changes and improved economy and emissions figures.

Two new special-edition models join the permanent range, Tamura and Venture, offering extra equipment. In addition, the 1.6-litre petrol models have been tuned to improve fuel economy by 1.4% (44.8mpg) and cut CO2 emissions by 2% (144g/km).

New Tamura models get 17-inch alloy wheels, a sports styling kit, front fog lights, electric windows, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, front, side and curtain airbags, and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm.

Venture cars, in addition to that, get gunmetal alloys wheels, a rear spoiler, privacy glass, sat-nav, Bluetooth, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and heated front sports seats.

By Rory White