Yeah the Mazdaspeed3 is a lot quicker and better performing overall vs. many \"sports cars\" costing $$$ more.
Torque steer isn\'t an issue unless you\'re an idiot and drive with just one hand on the wheel. Plus there\'s this thing called: Throttle modulation which works wonders!
Its lap time on the top gear track isn\'t all that great because EURO\'s don\'t like the car due to \"too much\" torque steer (ref: both hands on steering wheel / throttle modulation) they say.
Plus the roads in much of Europe suck; especially the UK and the MS3’s track ready suspension set up is too harsh for their liking so they give it poor ratings.
If you look at most of the other lap times the Mazdaspeed3 or 3MPS is quicker than many of the cars which posted quicker times on the top gear track.
You also got to consider the track; the obvious European bias / driver; the conditions and so on.