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

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We want the Mazda3 hatch, but the sedan is however a lot attractive.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The turbocharged Mazda3 returns for 2021, but it truly is not the Mazdaspeed3 revival you were hoping for. That’s Alright, while. With its refined on-highway manners, high quality cabin and sophisticated styling, there is a lot to like about this punchy compact. Regrettably, it will not arrive affordable.


  • Punchy turbo engine
  • Superb inside structure
  • Refined styling

Don’t Like

  • Far more high priced than competitors
  • Bad gas financial state
  • Steep infotainment finding out curve

You can get the Mazda3 Turbo as a hatchback, which is definitely the way I would go, but for this critique, I have the sedan. Turbo designs arrive with a gloss black trim on the grille and front bumper, as nicely as 18-inch wheels. My vehicle also has the Top quality Furthermore package deal, which adds a gloss black rear spoiler. Machine Gray Metallic is type of dull as much as system shades go, but paint this in Mazda’s Soul Pink and even this usually staid sedan would look hot.

The conventional Mazda3 is already really exciting to generate, with good steering and a well balanced chassis. The Turbo just kicks it all up a notch. Mazda’s 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 would make a nutritious 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet — if you run high quality gas, anyway. Adhere with 87-octane fuel and the ability drops to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft. There’s certainly a price cost savings that would entice drivers to skip high quality and go for standard unleaded, but it truly is not as high priced as you think. In California, primarily based on current fuel costs, it truly is only $three.seventy seven for every tank to get max ability.

The Mazda3 Turbo is beautifully nice in its Ordinary generate method, if a bit unexciting. The throttle reaction is reasonably muted and the steering is really gentle. Even so, change-in is crisp and thoroughly clean and the taut suspension keeps system roll in look at.

Change over to Activity method, however, and the whole detail livens up. Right here, you get a lot more aggressive throttle reaction and distinct transmission shift logic, allowing you to dangle on to gears for for a longer period durations of time. Activity method also instructs the transmission to downshift less than braking so you’ve bought a lot of ability when coming out of a corner. And given that the Turbo is only accessible with all-wheel generate, you never have to worry about all that ability resulting in front-conclude torque steer. Slap a set of winter tires on this detail and I guess it’d be good in the snow, much too.

The turbo engine would make 250 hp and 320 lb-ft if you run it on high quality gas.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Nonetheless, this is not a sports vehicle. Even with the further ability, the Mazda3 Turbo is not accurately fast, and the brakes usually are not up to the endeavor of a long working day of spirited driving. There’s also a reasonable amount of highway sounds inside of the cabin.

The turbo engine will not actually help with gas financial state, both. The EPA states the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo sedan has a put together score of 27 miles for every gallon, which puts it guiding the Hyundai Elantra N Line and Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Granted, neither of those people competitors offer all-wheel generate, so you acquire some, you drop some.

Exactly where the Mazda3 Turbo actually has a leg up on the levels of competition is with its inside good quality. The whole cabin is total of upscale supplies and excellent healthy and end. The front seats are comfy, while they could use a bit a lot more bolstering. There’s a lot of head- and legroom for each front and rear passengers — a lot more than plenty of for my 5-foot, 9-inch frame.

This cabin is quite properly appointed.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Cargo room is on the modest aspect, sadly, with just thirteen.2 cubic feet of ability in the trunk. If you happen to be heading to haul groceries and gear on the standard, look at receiving the superior-wanting Mazda3 Turbo hatchback, which has 20.one cubic feet of room guiding its flat-folding rear seats.

As for infotainment, I proceed to be flummoxed by Mazda’s non-touchscreen interface. Employing the dial and tough buttons on the centre console, the procedure is typically laggy and requires a sec to recognize inputs. There’s a really steep preliminary finding out curve, much too. Thankfully, the 8.8-inch display can run Apple CarPlay or Android Automobile, if you want. A wi-fi charging pad is accessible for $275, and you may want it, given that there are only two USB-A ports and a single twelve-volt outlet in the vehicle.

Even so, there is a lot of good tech to chat about, with a variety of state-of-the-art driving’ aids conventional across all trims. Whole-pace adaptive cruise manage, blind-place monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help are conventional on all turbocharged Mazda3s. My tester gets a couple of other niceties like rear cross-traffic alert and a crisp 360-diploma camera.

This little person can get really expensive.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Mazda3 Turbo also arrives with the automaker’s Targeted traffic Jam Support, which is intended to help out with the steering at speeds down below 40 mph. Even so, sitting down in Bay Area traffic on a sunny working day, the procedure is not going to keep engaged for a significant period of time of time, even while I’m only undertaking 15 mph. It can be a good know-how in principle, but is hesitant to truly kick on.

If I were purchasing the Mazda3 Turbo sedan I would start off with the conventional trim, which expenses $31,045 which include $995 for place. The Top quality Furthermore adds this kind of points as embedded navigation and the Targeted traffic Jam Support attribute, but neither of those people are quite helpful and jacks the commencing cost up over $33,000. There usually are not any other big possibilities accessible, so all-in, I would be wanting at $31,640 for a sedan completed in Soul Pink paint.

All-wheel generate is good to have, but I’ve bought to say, numerous of Mazda’s a lot less-high priced, front-generate competitors are a lot more persuasive. A absolutely loaded Elantra N Line is not going to crest $28,000, the VW Jetta GLI starts right all-around $28K, and each of those people vehicles are a lot more entertaining to generate. Positive, the Mazda3 Turbo is good, and pushes the organization into a high quality room. But if it truly is smiles for every mile you happen to be immediately after, possibly trade some of that wonderful craftsmanship for a a lot less high priced, a lot more entertaining different.