2021 Mazda3 Turbo Sport Hatchback: More Zoom with a Boom!

Auto review by Veeno Dewan

The compact five door Mazda3 is one the standout compact sedan and hatchback models in that sector. Renowned for its sporty pretensions in the form of: outstanding handling, high levels of comfort, fit and finish; for 2021 the Mazda3 is now unveiled with the addition of a more powerful turbo engine with 250 horsepower and AWD under its hood and chassis. It is not the first time the Mazda3 has had a turbo transplant; a few years ago, the performance-oriented, tad unruly Mazdaspeed 3—was firmly trouncing other hot hatches, but the 2021 Mazda Turbo model is more sophisticated;, bossed new credentials; a bigger engine, larger tailpipes, 18-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels, gloss black heated door mirrors, chrome lower bumper, inlet décor and a “Turbo” badge on the trunk and engine cover.

 The engine is from the company’s larger displacement turbocharged 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G four-cylinder line tuned to produce a phenomenal 250 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque with premium 93 octane fuel. On regular 87 octane, drivers can still get and impressive 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

The engine is mated to the Mazda i-Activ all-wheel-drive system with a six- speed transmission. To compensate for the extra weight of the engine, suspension spring rates have gone up by 15 per cent and the dampers are slightly stiffer. A stiffer front knuckle for more direct steering response is also added. For 2021, the Mazda3 Turbo arrives in, both sedan and Sport hatchback models in numerous trim lines. The GT is priced from $29,500 for the hatchback. Our Polymetal grey tester arrived with around $6,300 worth of options including the turbo engine and I – Active AWD system bringing the price up to S37, 550, including $1,750 freight and PDE.

The Mazda3 Interior featured a sporty leather trimmed cabin, with comfortable heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. There’s also a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, and an Active Driving system.  A premium Bose 12-speaker audio system; handles the tunes; while a 8.8-inch centre display with Bluetooth and as standard Apple Carplay and Android Auto is also present.  The cabin is composed of elegant sporty lines with a premium fit and feel. You get padded stitched details and high quality materials  

Our Turbo hatchback with the six speed auto transmission, Sport mode, G-Vectoring Control Plus, 18″ alloy wheels, Adaptive Front-lighting System with automatic levelling headlights, leather-trimmed upholstery, power adjustable driver’s seat (10-way, includes lumbar support), Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Smart Brake Support, Lane-keep Assist System, Lane Departure Warning System, navigation system, power-operated glass moonroof,  and automatic dual-zone climate.  Optional equipment included: the Activ AWD – $2,000, Premium Package – $1,700 Includes: 18″ alloy wheels (light grey high lustre finish), windshield-projected colour Active Driving Display (ADD), Smart Brake Support Rear (SBS-R), Smart Brake Support Rear Crossing (SBS-RC), Front and rear parking sensors, , piano black front grille, 360° View Monitor, Traffic Jam Assist (Total price for our tester came to $37,550.

On the road, this new itineration of the turbo makes 250 hp and a hefty 320 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm (on premium fuel) with peak torque arriving at a 2,000 rpm and peak power arriving at the 5,000 rpm mark, Acceleration is very quick and without the torque steer associated with the old Maazdaspeed3 now gone. The six-speed auto shifts quickly and without drama.  He turbo unit meanwhile exhibited minimal lag and spooled up nice and quick for broad power delivery. Torque is simply outstanding at 320 lb-ft,   the engine note is good—a deep satisfying whoosh.

Steering feel is communicative with fast reflexes and high levels of feedback and precision, but that’s always been a Mazda strongpoint. Body roll is controlled thanks to the beefed up suspension. The bulked up steering arm also helps in the handling department. Of note is the improved Mazda’s G-Vectoring system (GVC) that can lift the power from the wheels momentarily when it senses steering input for better weight distribution, giving better grip to the front wheels for more precise dive in turning. There’s also more grip as you would expect with AWD and a lot of road feedback. Fuel economy is rated at L/100km – Highway 7.5 and City 10.1. To sum up, happy to say the Mazda3 Turbo is in with a host of premium performance luminaries as the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and BMW 2 Series, but cost thousands of dollars less. This performance hatchback is a standout highly recommended. More Zoom with a Boom!

2021 Mazda3 Sport Turbo hatchback, price as tested with options d freight and PDE: $37,550.

More info at www.mazda.ca