By on June 26, 2020

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback grey - Image: Mazda

A report earlier this year may have been what many longtime Mazda fans yearned to hear: that the company stands prepared to dump extra horses on its compact 3 sedan and hatch. Floundering since its launch, the little 3 could use a boost — in a number of ways.

Model codes ripped from a dealer’s computer system seemed to indicate a greater level of performance was on the way, and on Thursday Mazda confirmed just that.

As journos salivated at the thought of last night’s F-150 reveal, Mazda began tagging Twitter users who once expressed enthusiasm for a turbocharged Mazda 3 (following that round of earlier reporting).

There’s not much to see in this teaser, but there’s plenty to hear: a turbo motor getting ready to cut loose. Mazda reveals a debut date of July 8th, which should make for a busy month coming up.

Other models in the brand’s lineup benefit from a turbocharged 2.5-liter that makes either 227 horsepower or 250 hp, depending on the octane of gas it slurps. Regardless of output, the engine delivers 310 lb-ft of torque.

In the 3, dealer codes tell us the new mill will set up shop in all-wheel drive variants of the sedan and hatchbacks, and mate only to an automatic transmission. The document also lists an “HB PP” model, the identity of which remains open to speculation.

There won’t be much time for guessing, as the reveal is less than two weeks away. Undoubtedly, Mazda fans who called upon the brand to inject extra muscle into their favorite compact have had their prayers answered, though the standard AWD and autobox might temper a few would-be buyers’ enthusiasm. That extra kit means higher prices; indeed, Mazda’s efforts to push the 3 into a semi-upscale bracket did see buyers vacate the brand, much to the enjoyment of rivals Honda and Toyota.

Sales should be something to watch.

[Image: Mazda]

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22 Comments on “Brand Boost: Mazda 3 Gearing Up to Suck Air...”

  • avatar

    Still waiting for Skyactiv-X

    I sat in this car a second time a few days ago. It is really good in the front seats.

    But man the back is tight and claustrophobic.

    Even I would probably take the CX30. Especially since the manual 3 is still only available on one particular trim.

    Why get a small cramped car if you can’t at least have fun driving it…. and if it’s gonna be automatic then I might as well buy something bigger and more comfortable.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a little secret for you. I believe, cx30 rear seats are worse than ‘3. Because the seatback in the cx30 is slightly more vertical and does not recline

  • avatar

    booooooo. what a waste of time. (comes from a man with 3 mazdas)

  • avatar

    I just configured one of these things with a stick shift, which is the only way I would consider it.
    US$28,445!!! W T actual F ?!?!
    Are they smoking crack? For a front wheel drive hatchback with a cramped rear seat? I think I see the problem. They priced this thing way out of its segment, you can do a lot better with that much money to spend.

    • 0 avatar

      They are now in a “different” segment. In their minds of course. Save for the interior quality, the car is not good enough to be where they want it to be. They have effectively created a product which has no buyers for it. Biggest mistake is to get rid of cheap models because they were core of Mazda3 sales.

      • 0 avatar

        Price has nothing to do with sales, in my opinion. I can get a brand new Mazda3 6 speed manual 2.0l sedan in Canada for C$22K. Or $2K less than that even for the Quebec North Shore special with rubber mats, no A/C and tin wheels. They still don’t sell at these cheap prices. Meanwhile the CX-30 drives off the lot no problem even during CV-19.

        People simply don’t care for the styling of the hatch, and the sedan is anonymous. So my tame salesperson who’s as old as me advises me.

        I’ve said it before here on TTAC, I haven’t got the slightest idea why Mazda charges so much in the USA. An AWD sedan mid grade here goes for C$28K retail including shipping, which is US$21K. Add a grand for the hatch. But experience in Canada says even if they cut the price in the US, the vehicle would remain a lot queen.

        • 0 avatar

          “Price has nothing to do with sales,”

          I think, we can stop here. According to this postulate, price is not the reason why BMW sells 1 3-seriece for 10 Civics. I think, if price wasn’t the issue there would be more BMWs sold.

          People used to buy Mazda3 for $16K. And now, this is $22K. I think, this is obvious.

      • 0 avatar

        “They have effectively created a product which has no buyers for it.”

        What do you mean? It is not that different from Mercury or Buick or Oldsmobile, which were big sellers for Ford and GM.

        • 0 avatar

          Come on, you know, these are different buyers who buys Mazda and Buick. Back then Buick was standard senior citizen fare. I remember one lady worked with me, was about to retire. She was about to buy another Buick. I told her – get the Camry. Later she was so thankful. She simply did not know that anything can be better than GM/Ford. But these new seniors drive Kia Soul, Avalon, CRV. Probably not Mazda.

          There we go. in 2018 avg age for mazda buyer was 36 (youngest) and Buick – 45 (second oldest)

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      If Mazda dealers were actually negotiating on that $28,445 price — meaning you could get one with a manual for $25K — that would be one thing. But they’re not.

      And don’t anybody believe for a second that a manual will be available with the boosted 3. Automatic all the way — just like in the 6. Haven’t you heard? No one buys manuals. No one.

      • 0 avatar

        Well… I have $1,500 loyalty cash + $1,000 rebate. I think, $24K is not out of the question. My question, why would I need it for 24 if I purchased my Mazda6 MT for $18.5?

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          You wouldn’t — unless it was really time to retire the 6, which can no longer be configured with a manual.

          It’s really quite sad. New cars keep coming with more and more crap that I don’t want. And less and less of what I do want.

          Given that, I see no reason to buy at all. If I absolutely need a new car, then there’s no sense in buying more than the cheapest thing that I can get by with. The more-expensive cars disappoint me as much as the cheap ones do.

      • 0 avatar

        No one buys hatchbacks anymore either.

        One of Mazda’s problems is your average commuter doesn’t care about their main claim to fame: handling. Once you get past that your meet with an overpriced, non-competitive offering. Example: before my parents got their Ford Escape they test drove a Mazda CX whatever (can’t remember this was a few years back) and claimed it to be the better driving vehicle, “drove just like a car, not a truck” my mother noted. Then they tried to equipment it to meet their needs but sticker shock immediately set it, so no sale.

        • 0 avatar


          “Once you get past that your meet with an overpriced, non-competitive offering.”

          This is probably the truth today. But 10 years back it wasn’t. Back then, you get near-base iTouring that has 4disk breaks, alloys, split rear seat, blue tooth, CD radio, and nice soft-touch interior

          vs Civic

          a collection of different color hard plastic, uncomfortable seats, NO blue tooth, split seat, or disk brakes in rear. And if you wanted these things, you would go into EX, where you get sunroof to boot and pay over $20K, while Mazda would go for $16.

          Later, Mazda made packaging similar to Honda. But also, this is when they start to decline sales of ‘3. My area in general is Mazda friendly, we have a lot of them. In my development we have at least 7 2010-13 cars. And I know 3 2014-18. I don’t see any 2019.

  • avatar

    Time to try the Amati brand again.

  • avatar

    that sure is an unfortunate-looking car

  • avatar

    I love the looks of it. Ditto pretty much all Mazdas. They have the best designs since Ian Callum retired. But, like Callum’s designs, they do pay for the sleekness, as well as the tautness of chassis, in units of interior space per exterior dimensions.

    If you are the sort of person who wears decent clothes, and perhaps sometimes even groom or shower, like most Japanese, they are pretty darned nice. But I’m not sure if the whole design-forward thing works equally well over here, in ketchup-stained-t-shirt-and-flipflops Slobistan.

  • avatar

    I have an ’18 Mazda6 Signature with (I think) that same, or similar, turbo 4. The 6 is a very nice car, but the turbo isn’t all that. In fact, it seems sluggish next to my ’17 Passat with VR6, which seems a rocket by comparison.

    Of course, things may be different for the smaller 3.

  • avatar

    I’m a former Mazda owner. The Miata is a top shelf vehicle on its class. The CX5 is to herald too. The current Mazda 3? We expect better, Mazda.

    The current Mazda 3…

    (Self editing)

    Mazda, quit trying to move upmarket while 3/4’s of your current portfolio and dealerships operate at Mitsubishi levels.

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