2021 Mazda3 Turbo review: More power, but it’ll cost ya

We prefer the Mazda3 hatch, but the sedan is still a lot desirable.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The turbocharged Mazda3 returns for 2021, but it is not the Mazdaspeed3 revival you ended up hoping for. Which is Okay, however. With its refined on-highway manners, top quality cabin and innovative styling, you can find a lot to like about this punchy compact. Regretably, it isn’t going to occur low-cost.


  • Punchy turbo engine
  • Great inside structure
  • Advanced styling

Do not Like

  • Far more high priced than rivals
  • Weak gas financial system
  • Steep infotainment understanding curve

You can get the Mazda3 Turbo as a hatchback, which is unquestionably the way I’d go, but for this review, I have the sedan. Turbo versions occur with a gloss black trim on the grille and entrance bumper, as perfectly as 18-inch wheels. My automobile also has the High quality Plus bundle, which adds a gloss black rear spoiler. Device Gray Metallic is type of uninteresting as much as entire body colors go, but paint this in Mazda’s Soul Pink and even this otherwise staid sedan would seem incredibly hot.

The normal Mazda3 is now pretty exciting to push, with great steering and a balanced chassis. The Turbo just kicks it all up a notch. Mazda’s 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 will make a healthy 250 horsepower and 320 pound-ft — if you operate top quality gas, in any case. Stick with 87-octane fuel and the electrical power drops to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft. There’s naturally a price tag price savings that would entice drivers to skip top quality and go for regular unleaded, but it is not as high priced as you assume. In California, based on present fuel price ranges, it is only $3.77 for each tank to get max electrical power.

The Mazda3 Turbo is correctly pleasant in its Standard push mode, if a little bit unexciting. The throttle reaction is somewhat muted and the steering is pretty gentle. Even so, change-in is crisp and cleanse and the taut suspension retains entire body roll in verify.

Switch around to Sport mode, however, and the complete matter livens up. Below, you get additional aggressive throttle reaction and unique transmission shift logic, making it possible for you to cling on to gears for extended durations of time. Sport mode also instructs the transmission to downshift under braking so you have got loads of electrical power when coming out of a corner. And considering that the Turbo is only available with all-wheel push, you don’t have to fret about all that electrical power ensuing in entrance-stop torque steer. Slap a set of winter tires on this matter and I guess it’d be great in the snow, as well.

The turbo engine will make 250 hp and 320 lb-ft if you operate it on top quality gas.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Even now, this is not a sports automobile. Even with the excess electrical power, the Mazda3 Turbo just isn’t exactly rapid, and the brakes aren’t up to the job of a very long working day of spirited driving. There’s also a reasonable sum of highway sound inside of the cabin.

The turbo engine isn’t going to truly aid with gas financial system, either. The EPA claims the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo sedan has a merged ranking of 27 miles for each gallon, which places it driving the Hyundai Elantra N Line and Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Granted, neither of those rivals present all-wheel push, so you acquire some, you shed some.

Where by the Mazda3 Turbo truly has a leg up on the competitiveness is with its inside high-quality. The complete cabin is full of upscale supplies and great in good shape and end. The entrance seats are cozy, however they could use a little bit additional bolstering. There’s a lot of head- and legroom for equally entrance and rear passengers — additional than adequate for my 5-foot, nine-inch body.

This cabin is really properly appointed.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Cargo house is on the smaller facet, regrettably, with just 13.2 cubic ft of potential in the trunk. If you are heading to haul groceries and gear on the regular, look at getting the improved-looking Mazda3 Turbo hatchback, which has twenty.one cubic ft of house driving its flat-folding rear seats.

As for infotainment, I continue to be flummoxed by Mazda’s non-touchscreen interface. Applying the dial and difficult buttons on the center console, the procedure is normally laggy and will take a sec to understand inputs. There’s a pretty steep preliminary understanding curve, as well. Thankfully, the 8.8-inch display can operate Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, if you prefer. A wireless charging pad is available for $275, and you may want it, considering that there are only two USB-A ports and a single twelve-volt outlet in the automobile.

On the other hand, you can find a lot of great tech to chat about, with a variety of superior driving’ aids normal across all trims. Whole-velocity adaptive cruise handle, blind-place checking, lane-departure warning and lane-retaining guide are normal on all turbocharged Mazda3s. My tester gets a handful of other niceties like rear cross-website traffic alert and a crisp 360-degree digicam.

This little person can get pretty dear.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Mazda3 Turbo also arrives with the automaker’s Targeted traffic Jam Support, which is meant to aid out with the steering at speeds down below forty mph. On the other hand, sitting in Bay Space website traffic on a sunny working day, the procedure would not keep engaged for a meaningful interval of time, even however I am only undertaking 15 mph. It truly is a great engineering in idea, but is hesitant to truly kick on.

If I ended up obtaining the Mazda3 Turbo sedan I’d commence with the normal trim, which charges $31,045 like $995 for destination. The High quality Plus adds these factors as embedded navigation and the Targeted traffic Jam Support function, but neither of those are really useful and jacks the starting off price tag up around $33,000. There aren’t any other huge alternatives available, so all-in, I’d be looking at $31,640 for a sedan completed in Soul Pink paint.

All-wheel push is awesome to have, but I have got to say, several of Mazda’s considerably less-high priced, entrance-push rivals are additional compelling. A thoroughly loaded Elantra N Line would not crest $28,000, the VW Jetta GLI begins correct about $28K, and equally of those vehicles are additional entertaining to push. Absolutely sure, the Mazda3 Turbo is awesome, and pushes the corporation into a top quality house. But if it is smiles for each mile you are immediately after, probably trade some of that wonderful craftsmanship for a considerably less high priced, additional entertaining substitute.

Rosa G. Rose

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