pits the 2007 Mazada Speed 3 and the Volkswagon GTI 4 door against the MINI.

The results were quite interesting.

>Last year’s winner, the Volkswagen GTI, returns in four-door form to take on the Mazdaspeed version of the Mazda3 and a new-generation Mini Cooper S. Which of these sub-$30,000 performance cars is our favorite?

In the end, the editors choose the Mazada Speed 3, but they did have this to say about the MINI.

>The new Cooper S gains some needed refinement inside without watering down the fun-to-drive factor, but it can’t match the Mazdaspeed3’s combination of performance and comfort.

[ Small and Fast Take II ]