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

We prefer the Mazda3 hatch, but the sedan is still a great deal beautiful.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The turbocharged Mazda3 returns for 2021, but it can be not the Mazdaspeed3 revival you were being hoping for. That’s Okay, nevertheless. With its refined on-street manners, premium cabin and advanced styling, there is a great deal to like about this punchy compact. Sad to say, it doesn’t occur low-cost.

Table of Contents


  • Punchy turbo engine
  • Excellent inside style
  • Sophisticated styling

Never Like

  • Far more expensive than competitors
  • Weak gas economic climate
  • Steep infotainment learning curve

You can get the Mazda3 Turbo as a hatchback, which is surely the way I might go, but for this overview, I have the sedan. Turbo models occur with a gloss black trim on the grille and front bumper, as properly as eighteen-inch wheels. My car or truck also has the High quality Additionally bundle, which adds a gloss black rear spoiler. Equipment Gray Metallic is sort of uninteresting as significantly as physique colours go, but paint this in Mazda’s Soul Purple and even this in any other case staid sedan would search warm.

The conventional Mazda3 is previously fairly fun to generate, with good steering and a well balanced chassis. The Turbo just kicks it all up a notch. Mazda’s two.5-liter turbocharged I4 would make a balanced 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet — if you run premium gas, anyway. Stick with 87-octane fuel and the electricity drops to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft. There is clearly a price tag financial savings that would entice motorists to skip premium and go for common unleaded, but it can be not as expensive as you think. In California, based mostly on present-day fuel charges, it can be only $three.77 per tank to get max electricity.

The Mazda3 Turbo is flawlessly pleasurable in its Usual generate mode, if a little bit unexciting. The throttle reaction is reasonably muted and the steering is fairly light-weight. Even so, transform-in is crisp and thoroughly clean and the taut suspension keeps physique roll in check out.

Change in excess of to Sport mode, nevertheless, and the whole detail livens up. Here, you get extra intense throttle reaction and distinctive transmission shift logic, permitting you to dangle onto gears for for a longer period intervals of time. Sport mode also instructs the transmission to downshift under braking so you’ve got acquired lots of electricity when coming out of a corner. And because the Turbo is only out there with all-wheel generate, you do not have to be concerned about all that electricity resulting in front-end torque steer. Slap a established of wintertime tires on this detail and I wager it’d be good in the snow, far too.

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

Emme Hall/Roadshow

However, this is not a athletics car or truck. Even with the added electricity, the Mazda3 Turbo is just not particularly fast, and the brakes are not up to the activity of a lengthy day of spirited driving. There is also a good sum of street sound within the cabin.

The turbo engine doesn’t definitely assistance with gas economic climate, both. The EPA suggests the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo sedan has a mixed ranking of 27 miles per gallon, which puts it behind the Hyundai Elantra N Line and Volkswagen Jetta GLI. Granted, neither of these competitors offer you all-wheel generate, so you acquire some, you shed some.

Where the Mazda3 Turbo definitely has a leg up on the levels of competition is with its inside top quality. The whole cabin is entire of upscale products and outstanding suit and end. The front seats are cozy, nevertheless they could use a little bit extra bolstering. There is a great deal of head- and legroom for both equally front and rear travellers — extra than plenty of for my 5-foot, nine-inch frame.

This cabin is really nicely appointed.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Cargo house is on the little side, sadly, with just thirteen.two cubic feet of capability in the trunk. If you’re likely to haul groceries and equipment on the common, take into account acquiring the far better-hunting Mazda3 Turbo hatchback, which has 20.1 cubic feet of house behind its flat-folding rear seats.

As for infotainment, I carry on to be flummoxed by Mazda’s non-touchscreen interface. Utilizing the dial and difficult buttons on the heart console, the technique is typically laggy and usually takes a sec to identify inputs. There is a fairly steep preliminary learning curve, far too. Luckily, the 8.8-inch screen can run Apple CarPlay or Android Automobile, if you prefer. A wireless charging pad is out there for $275, and you might want it, because there are only two USB-A ports and one particular twelve-volt outlet in the car or truck.

Even so, there is a great deal of good tech to converse about, with a number of innovative driving’ aids conventional across all trims. Total-speed adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping aid are conventional on all turbocharged Mazda3s. My tester gets a number of other niceties like rear cross-website traffic alert and a crisp 360-diploma camera.

This little person can get fairly dear.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Mazda3 Turbo also comes with the automaker’s Visitors Jam Aid, which is intended to assistance out with the steering at speeds below 40 mph. Even so, sitting in Bay Space website traffic on a sunny day, the technique will not remain engaged for a meaningful period of time, even nevertheless I’m only doing 15 mph. It really is a good technology in idea, but is hesitant to really kick on.

If I were being buying the Mazda3 Turbo sedan I might start off with the conventional trim, which fees $31,045 which includes $995 for vacation spot. The High quality Additionally adds this sort of matters as embedded navigation and the Visitors Jam Aid feature, but neither of these are really handy and jacks the starting price tag up in excess of $33,000. There are not any other significant options out there, so all-in, I might be hunting at $31,640 for a sedan completed in Soul Purple paint.

All-wheel generate is pleasant to have, but I have acquired to say, quite a few of Mazda’s considerably less-expensive, front-generate competitors are extra compelling. A absolutely loaded Elantra N Line will not crest $28,000, the VW Jetta GLI commences ideal about $28K, and both equally of these autos are extra entertaining to generate. Confident, the Mazda3 Turbo is pleasant, and pushes the business into a premium house. But if it can be smiles per mile you’re right after, it’s possible trade some of that attractive craftsmanship for a considerably less expensive, extra entertaining substitute.