By on June 6, 2020

2020 Mazda 3 hatchback grey - Image: Mazda

The redesigned Mazda 3 arrived for 2019 with upgrades in both looks and cabin refinement, elevating the sporty compact sedan and hatch to a level of class it never occupied before. Also new was optional all-wheel drive to temp those who like a little tail action in sandy corners (or just getting through the winter).

Unpredictably, the new 3 landed with a resounding thud.

Launched with too high an entry price in the U.S., the attractive model’s sales plunge was swift and jarring, forcing Mazda brass to re-think the whole effort. They’re still thinking, and it seems the latest move will bring moar power to the little KODOmobile.

Per dealership model codes seen by Jalopnik, it seems a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder — the same mill recently added to the Mazda 6 and CX-5 lines — will make an appearance further down the food chain come 2021. It’s something Mazda 3 fans have wanted for years, but the question of just how many of these fans actually exist remains unanswered.

The dealer codes show the turbo option mated only to all-wheel drive, meaning a relatively cheap front-drive Honda Civic Si/Volkswagen GTI rival is out of the question. It’ll still have the power with which to compete (in other applications, the 2.5L turbo makes 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque), only with more hardware in tow. At the same time, anyone looking to put that forced injection to work through a six-speed manual is out of luck. It’s an automatic-only proposition.

2020 Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback - Image: Mazda USA

That takes a bit of air out of the balloon, for sure. However, a mystery lies in the exact nature of a “HB PP” model listed on the dealership intranet for 2021; HB means hatchback, but what’s the true nature of PP? While it might simply be a reference to a typical Mazda equipment package (Preferred, Premium), it could herald something more exciting. “P” just might stand for performance.

In its first full year on sale, Mazda 3 sales fell more than 21 percent. Some tweaking was done to the model’s equipment and pricing for the 2020 model year in an attempt to boost the model’s value proposition. Sales fell nearly 46 percent, year over year, in January, despite every other model in the Mazda stable posting an increase. February brought a 32-percent decline.

Of course, we all know what March brought to residents of the United States, so there’s no point in exploring the Mazda 3’s sales performance from that point on. Compact mainstream cars have been one of the worst-hit segments during the ongoing pandemic, and the unlucky 3 followed suit.

As the industry gets back underway both here and overseas, only time will tell whether the 3 — turbo or no — can recover in an even more challenging marketplace.

[Images: Mazda]

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61 Comments on “Pulling Out All the Stops: Can a Turbo Revive the Mazda 3?...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    No.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I actually like the Mazda 3, especially the old Speed 3. Then again I’m the odd sort who likes small hatchbacks especially with a manual. That being said I know there are few out there like me and until tastes change all small cars and sedans will be losing market share to all the SUV/CUV out there.

  • avatar
    devonair

    Haha, ignoring the hater above, I’m actually hoping this injects some life into Mazda’s non-CUV sales

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      hope in one hand and take a dump in the other and see which one gets full first.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I’m not a hater (I currently drive a Mazda hatchback I bought new), but realistically, this will be a hyper-niche product. Not like the turbo engine made a huge impact in 6 sales.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I currently own a Mazda5.

        Not a hater, but also not likely to buy another Mazda.

        The Mazda3 is charming, and would be more charming with a Turbo — but I won’t buy one. It’s not the car I’m looking for.

        My next vehicle will be an EV with 6+ seats, most likely. Mazda doesn’t make those.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    No. I’m a former fanboy, but people who buy in this size class look at price not quality. There is not much to be said about Mazda & it’s dealer network that hasn’t already been said. Corollas, Civics, and heck even Jettas are just too nice and can sell for thousands less. Keep developing and refining the CX-30, CX-5, and other variants- to include hybrids. The masses have spoken.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      The CX-30 is considerably louder and less refined than the 3. But it’s an “SUV” so it’s selling fine. I expect the masses to not realize they’re getting a less refined vehicle. But we should know better.

      • 0 avatar
        spookiness

        Every review of the CX-30 I have ever read or viewed has noted how quiet it is. C&D reported the current Mazda3 sedan to be 70db at 70mph. I would expect a hatchback to be higher. They reported the CX-30 to be 65db at 70mph.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          FWIW, I spent a night with a CX-30. It’s not particularly loud (admittedly, my baseline is set by an old 2, so everything seems quiet in comparison), but it lets through some abrasive, cheap sounding noises. In general, it feels like it’s very surface-level polish with decontenting just lurking to poke out (even in comparison to the CX-3, and especially the CX-5).

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Mazda “keeps thinking” about power and especially torque for many years, avoiding same. Even one executive famously saying they are not needed. Mazda reminds me of the lyrics to a classic song:

    ” Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, Into the future ” (Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle)

  • avatar
    silverfin

    I don’t know why anyone would but a 3 when they can but the CX-30…same mechanicals and build quality….just a much more attractive vehicle with a bit more utility to deal with whatever these uncertain times dish out. I don’t want a turbo……for reliability reasons…more to go wrong and detracts from one of the last desirable cars with a NA engine and a 6 speed trans….Assuming they are as reliable as Toyota a CX-30 is very compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Utility to deal with “whatever these uncertain times dish out”? Huh? Is this Y2K all over again, gotta stock up on firewood?

      Anyway, if you’ve driven a 3 and a CX-30 there’s no way you’d call the CX “much more attractive.” It is VERY noisy and has a choppy ride compared to the 3.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “Utility to deal with “whatever these uncertain times dish out”? Huh? Is this Y2K all over again, gotta stock up on firewood?”

        The global pandemic and social unrest over police misconduct are much severe than Y2k ever was.

        The prepping which occurred before Y2k prevented a crisis. Both of our current crises could have been mitigated by competent leadership who care about the issues, too, but that’s not what The People voted for.

        As a result, the current situation is far worse than Y2K.

        Being able to haul some extra groceries in order to minimize shopping trips is worth something.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    No. Ill pay less for any other compact and enjoy an IRS. Thank you.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Nope; they are taking this car in the wrong direction in this economic environment. It’s just stretching the thin portion of the top trim and taking it higher, it’s not making the lower and middle of the trim line fatter.

    Just for context, the previous gen Mazda3 was fairly popular in Canada, but you can easily spot the ratio of the lower tier 2.0l vs the high trim 2.5L’s on the road. I have no scientific number so I’m going to pull a ratio of 10:1 out of my butt. Point being, not a lot of people bought the more powerful motor, so the vast majority of those cars are the 155bhp plebian versions that are really no zippier than a Corolla or a Civic in real world driving.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      The 2.0L in the previous 3 was already one of the fastest in its segment, of course most people were happy with it. The Corolla had/has nowhere near that responsive of a powertrain, then or now.

  • avatar
    AnalogMan

    “Can a turbo revive the Mazda 3?”

    Sure. But only if they offer it with a 6 speed manual. It astonishes me that an enthusiast-oriented company like Mazda doesn’t get it that for years, stick buyers have been performance-oriented. They’re no longer looking for the bargain-basement economy-special like an old AMC Rambler. They want a fun, performance-oriented car. So why offer the performance turbo with an automatic only? I personally would LOVE to buy an AWD/turbo/6 speed Mazda 3 hatch, but only with a 6 speed. An automatic has no interest for me, and would never tempt me out of my WRX.

    “Unpredictably, the new 3 landed with a resounding thud.”

    It was pretty predictable to me, and to many other people. If you try to charge a premium price without offering premium goods (like an IRS), people won’t buy it. Again, why buy this over a WRX that offers AWD with a 6 speed stick and 100 hp more?

    It’s a shame. The Mazda 3 is only packaging away from greater sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      A beam axle can be made to handle (See the Fiesta ST), however in the price range this is likely to go for people are unlikely to accept the ride compromises that come with that. I just don’t see who this is marketed to. VW Can get away with a significant chunk of autos in their hot hatches because they do offer a manual and their dual clutch is very good. I haven’t driven a Mazda with an auto that is on the same planet.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        +1 for a nuanced take on the rear suspension, Art. I think people forget the “twist” part of “twist beam.” I.e., it’s a semi-independent suspension; it’s not straight off an ox cart or baby carriage.

        If the overall calculus makes sense (price, market segment, execution, etc.), then I think it’s a perfectly viable option. People–you own one, yes?–seem to love the Fiesta ST. And in a different part of the market, I had the first-gen Cruze several times as a rental and liked the “drives bigger than it is but in a good way” tuning GM had given it. (Make mine a 1LT RS, which had the 16″ wheels and taller sidewall of the 1LT but Watt’s linkage, stiffer springs, and stiffer shocks of the 2LT and LTZ.)

        I’d have to drive the third- and fourth-gen 3’s back to back to really weigh in, but at the very least Mazda seems to have irked people with the paradoxical decision to move the vehicle upmarket but the suspension downmarket.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I do…for another month anyway. It is a lease and I am returning it next month. No reflection on the car…it is fantastic and probably my second favorite car I’ve owned (close second to the nearly new 320i touring I had back in the mid 90s)

          But I like to change it up. My F150 is my keeper and I usually lease a fun car. Went with a Challenger RT Manual. Never owned that sort of car and wanted to give it a whirl. Ford made me mad by not importing the new Fiesta ST (I leases this one so I could get the new one which didn’t happen.

          It is a great car though. I’ll have nothing but fond memories of it.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Damn, Challenger R/T manual, Art?

            Three thoughts…
            1) Damn.
            2) Damn damn!
            3) Reader review time!

            (What color? Congrats!)

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @FreedMike it is “White Knuckle”, black cloth inside. It was actually a leftover 2019. Did my normal drive everything under the sun at lease end but I just really liked this. Like I have always felt, it is more old school personal luxury coupe than Mustang Camaro and I really liked that. Comfy, but scoots when you get on it. Very different than my normal turbo 4 fare of late.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Agreed, very cool choice. While I love that Mopar has made the insane SRT/Hellcat/Demon versions available to buyers, I can’t help but think the R/T is the smarter option in terms of value and usable real-world performance.

            Re: the PLC comment, I imagine the best ’60s/’70s analog to the current V8 Challengers is not a pony car but rather the first-gen Monte Carlo SS.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s exactly it: decent suspension, symmetrical AWD, 6-speed manual, and another hundred HP. Any knowledgable enthusiast would take the WRX over the 2021 turbo Mazda3.

    • 0 avatar
      rygavs

      Except, that’s not the target customer. The turbo isn’t supposed to appeal to enthusiasts, it’s supposed to help Mazda move more premium. Even with a 6 speed, this isn’t a hot hatch. It’s a bargain A3/CLA/2 series.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Mazda, the problems facing the 3 are plentiful. You’ve placed a ridiculous- premium price on a value segmented vehicle. We’ve all read that Mazda wants to/is moving “upmarket”. Well, your dealers operate with the prestige of Mitsubishi here in the United States.

    I’ve owned two Mazda products in the past and I plan on buying a Miata, yes Miata, in the future. Here is some additional reality for you. Dropping the “Miata” nomenclature for “MX-5” was petty. The Miata has provided the ENTIRE Mazda Brand with street credibility among those of us “in the know”.

    My points are not coming from “hater-ness”. I, in fact care about the future of Mazda as a drivers alternative.

    *Stepping down off the soapbox and adjusting my imaginary tie.*

  • avatar

    Most definitely NO. Remember the Car & Driver test that said the handling has gone to heck? Look under the back end at the cheap suspension: a beam axle for FWD and a solid axle for AWD. The independent rear suspension is gone. Cheapened purely to save money. So while the build quality has improved, the handling has gone to heck.
    What’s the matter with Mazda? They are chasing profits and going upmarket… this is tiny company and they need the money. They aren’t addressing the go-fast crowd anymore. And let’s face it… while the last MS3 had a nice motor the front suspension geometry was terrible and the torque steer was unbelievably bad (remember the video comparing it against a Focus ST – the Mazda nearly went off the road at a right angle!). The right answer was an MS6 that came with AWD, you could drop the clutch on that and stay straight.
    There are a lot of we enthusiasts who loved the MS3 despite it’s faults, and who found a better platform with the MS6 (and have since moved up to the excellent Focus RS). But there is nothing for us now at Mazda, and there isn’t going to be.
    Queue the journos to start drooling over the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo… because they will despite the poor handling and despite the absolutely lousy infotainment system. Just because of what Mazda used to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      “Remember the Car & Driver test that said the handling has gone to heck?” Do you have a link to that test? Not flaming you, I’m honestly curious.

      Do you mean MotorTrend (www.motortrend.com/cars/mazda/mazda3/2020/2020-mazda3-pros-and-cons-review/)?

      Car and Driver seems to like it (www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a26029080/2019-mazda-3-drive/) though they justifiably criticize the visibility (www.caranddriver.com/news/a28857236/2019-mazda-3-hatchback-visibility-rear-window/).

  • avatar

    CX30 compelling? Look under the back end for the same beam axle the CX-3 uses. Then crawl under a CX-5 and see the suspension Mazda has denied the Mazda3. Then take a CX-30 or Mazda3 thru a turn and feel the body roll… and the hop-ski-jump over any bumps in the turn.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      I have driven it. Better than that, I got to see the undercarriage because my local dealer put it up on a contraption so people could look at it and walk under it. I had to get down on my hands and knees a few years ago to look at the CX-3’s AWD setup, because it intrigued me how they managed it.

      Both the FWD and AWD versions have a torsion twist rear axle, which is semi-independent. No “beam” in sight, and the arms are long fore-aft. The “beam” is firmly attached to the rear bulkhead, just like the CX-3.

      If you can’t tell the difference between a stick axle and this set-up, you should keep your lack of knowledge to yourself. I’ma mechanical engineer, what do you do for your daily job? Stack cornflakes?

      I also drove the AWD extensively. Roll on cornering it does not. What it lacked for me was any sense of eagerness, and since I have the latest turbo in my 6, and it’s a bit of a lion-hearted brute, I can say it would fling that 3 around like a toy. The thing needs to get a bit wild instead of being yr obdt servant.

      All you’ve managed to do is show your complete ignorance. Thanks so much for your contribution.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    All you specialists completely miss the point. Mazda3 used to sell 5 2L cars to 1 2.5L. They removed small engine and many people said bye.
    For me personally, I owned 3 of these historically but I wouldn’t buy another one. It used to be honest, inexpensive driver’s car. Now it is something else. It is not made in Japan anymore (mostly), it does not have much manual choice, it lost IRS, it costs $6K too much, it lost manual hand brake. Basically, it was affordable, reliable car, which had great d.namics, great controls, it was perfect for someone who would enjoy driving. Now, it lost half of it original qualities

    • 0 avatar
      MorrisGray

      No sedan with a manual transmission… ? NO Interest
      Over $25,000 US dollars… ? NO Interest

      I will buy the Civic SI instead.
      Or something else. I am still driving my 2006 Mazda sedan 5 speed because of how much I like it. It has been very dependable, cheap to keep and maintain, gets good MPG, and IS FUN to drive.
      …. I would rather have a naturally aspirated motor myself, but if I end up with a turbo motor, it will not be in a Mazda3 that cost more than $25k. Maybe a Mazda6 if it has a manual, but not an automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I am in the same league. This is why I keep my 2011, 2010 Mazda3 cars and 2017 Mazda6 – all MT. There are no cars like this anymore at all. Honest, no gimmick cars that are fun to drive and pleasure to be in. And cheap. I know, it was a big sale in 2017 but I’ve got my ‘6 for $18.5K

  • avatar
    joc6812

    Claustrophobic cabin, horrible visibility, awful dealer network, non competitive pricing and incentives…..can’t wait for more power.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      “Claustrophobic cabin, horrible visibility….” +1, joc6812. The Velosterization of the 3 hatchback’s profile was a horrible misstep. It’s less roomy and less comfortable that the sedan version, which actually is an impressive-in-a-bad-way feat for a manufacturer to pull off in a five-door design. I’m unsure of the sales numbers, but I see many more first-, second-, and third-gen 3 hatches than I do sedans; I’m guessing the 3’s sales base is not thrilled. A friend owns a first-gen hatch, and he is not impressed with the fourth-gen.

      And packaging aside, the author’s claim that the looks have been upgraded is dubious, at least with the five-doors. (I don’t feel strongly about the sedan either way.) But hey, becauseautoscribe. Jaguar could’ve replaced the Series I E-Type with the ’58 Edsel, and scribes’ (a) love of change for change’s sake and (b) need to maintain industry access would have dictated a certain level of praise.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    It won’t hurt, but it’s not the answer. The media can call this thing gorgeous all day long, but it simply isn’t. It’s awkward looking, has compromised visibility, and is poorly packaged. I suspect a few more buyers will tolerate its shortcomings and lofty MSRP to get the more potent powertrain, but most will not. They’d be wiser to offer the turbo in the CX30.

    • 0 avatar
      Opus

      “…upgrade in looks…” NO.
      The C-pillar and hatch area is a disaster. As already noted by several, the visibility is compromised and it looks like it has a horribly fat a$$. This is NOT an improvement in looks. The only saving grace for the 3 compared to its rivals is “Soul Red” paint.

  • avatar

    How 2.5L engine can generates only 225 hp? 2.0L Ecoboost in my car delivers 245 hp. Same with Audi. No MT option on Japanese car? When did that happen?

    • 0 avatar
      starskeptic

      Simple, the 2.0L Ecoboost has a turbo…

      • 0 avatar

        That 2.5L engine also is turbo.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          You are making an assumption that is all they CAN get out of it. They can probably get more but choose not to for fuel economy. They also get 320 ftlbs torgue out of it as well.

          My wife and I test drove a 2020 escape with the 2.0T ecoboost, and it was nice. The biggest difference I saw between that and the CX5 wsa the slightly larger displacement seemed to help with engine NVH at cruising speeds.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      “No MT option on Japanese car? When did that happen?” On AWD vehicles, while you were asleep lo these last five years.

      As for the power, well VW sends out its 2.0 Budack ballsup turbo in the Audi Q3, A3, A4 and Tiguan with 184 hp, BMW gives you 189 in the lower end turbo, and Mercedes 188. I have the 2.5l Mazda turbo engine, and it’s fusslessly powerful. But then since gas is cheap here, I feed it premium at $2.50 a gallon, so it has a bit more than 227 bhp. It lopes along very cheerfully indeed, but has that continuous character of goading you to boot it which I love in a car.

      My benchmark on a certain road is to see how quickly a car is going by a certain marker from rest. The 6 weighs the same as my old Legacy GT at about 3550 lbs, and it’s going about 5km/h faster by that marker. It may be more as the Subie speedo always seemed a bit flattering. The Subaru 2.5 turbo had 243 bhp and got way worse mileage, 40% less except on the highway where they are equal. The low and midrange is where the Mazda hammers the Subaru. I live at the top of a curvy half-mile-long road which ascends 400 feet in that distance. The Mazda does it with a whiff of throttle in Drive, the Subie had to be put manually in third to act properly and not bog.

      What I do miss is the visibility with these modern gunslit windows, although at my age, I do occasionally love to pull off tire-screaming takeoffs in the Mazda. It’s fine so long as the wheels are pointed straight ahead, but give them just a few degrees off the straight and narrow, and it acts like I presume SAABs used to, juvenile. Keeps one awake, anyway. Makes me think I’m 16 again. So bring on an AWD turbo 3. I’d like to try one out and possibly trade. The quality of the car is very good indeed as well, but it is Japan built. However, Mazda has an inline 6 on the way for the replacement Mazda6, so maybe I’ll treat myself with that instead.

      They sure do have the fit and finish down well, better than I ever expected, which is a big plus. and on light throttle, the darn thing is pretty good in snow, but not on ice compared to the Subaru, so overall quite a bit worse. Snow tires on each. The crowd that says FWD is as good as AWD are talking out of their hats and have been for several decades. I never did understand why people like to argue the hind leg off a donkey for no reason other than to posit nonsense.

      The Mazda6 turbo also listed for $9K less in 2019 money compared to the 2008 price of the Subaru LGT in Canada, and is obviously higher quality. Current Subarus I wouldn’t waste my money on, having driven them all, including the tin can STI. The Germans are overpriced beyond reason, the Accord 10 speed with no way to hold a gear, and Rube Goldberg shifter and worse interior. Or you can get a cramped GTI or A3, no thanks. That left the Mazda as a decent car for not much loot. Ah well, you can’t have everything, and AWD is what I miss most. But compared to the milquetoast AWD NA Mazda3, the 6 turbo is far more characterful. Which is why I chose it. Crossovers you can keep – the CX-5 turbo, meh. Wobbly and no shoulder room.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Too expensive to sell in volume. It will expand the reach of the 3. A little bit.

  • avatar
    ABC-2000

    I had 2 Mazda 3’s, both hatchbacks with the big engine, 2006 and 2011, I really liked both but in 2014 I refused to pay Camry/Accord money for such little car with tiny back seat.
    Mazda have a few problems, everybody can make 2.0T engine that become the norm replacing many V6’s, Mazda, not only get less HP but with bigger 2.5.
    Mazda was never able or smart enough to make Mazda’s as enthusiast car, I mean, look at Honda Civic fans, endless amount of upgrade parts, SI and R models and so on, also, Hodata that will upgrade almost any engine for very little money, Honda will even sell you the Civic R engine for racing.
    Even Toyota is making a Camry and Avalon TRD.
    It does not look like a turbo engine will do anything positive, the brand just got lost and Mazda dealers in the US are not great at all.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I never understood why Mazda took this vehicle so far up market. They need something to go up against the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla in terms of price and utility. You need to be able to get something well equipped for under $20k without a discount. It’s just too expensive for what it does.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Let’s face it, the 3 competes in a price sensitive segment, and when payment is important, that nicer interior is not going win the sale if it’s $50/month more. It’s just not. Mazda may want to compete against entry luxury cars, but the brand perception just isn’t there at all. On top of that, the hatchback has a severely compromised design, with limited visibility and a sharply sloping hatch, so any sane person who needed the utility would just buy the CX-30. The hatch might as well be a Hyundai Veloster, so if it’s only useful as a sports coupe, make it all turbo and sell it as such. Then figure out how to make the sedan price competitive with everything else in the compact class.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    AWD turbo with 310lb-ft of torque and auto transmissions sounds like a nice all-weather budget grand-touring car. Unfortunately, most who say they want that kind of car will lease a small Benz/BMW/Audi or buy a CUV. I feel sorry for Mazda, they are the ‘this is why we can’t have nice things’ car company. I’d have bought a Mazda years ago, but their tendency to rust and less than Toyota-level reliability have always been the deal breakers. And yet, their cars always turn my head.

  • avatar
    NutellaBC

    Pssst The Corolla hatch stick is the true Mazda 3 replacement. Better handling, brakes, IRS, better tech and quality.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    “the attractive model’s”

    LOL

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This seems to be how the auto industry operates in tough economic times with less sales just add more features and raise the price. This is Nissan’s strategy, Ford’s strategy, GM’s strategy along with cutting costs. Raise prices, decrease sales, and cost cut your product and this will make your company more profitable. In the case of GM and Ford they might get bailout by the Government if they fail but will the Japanese Government bailout Nissan and Mazda? Another question is do the corporations really want to succeed or maybe they hope that if they do a bad enough job another corporation will buy them out? An overpriced turbocharged hatchback or in the case of Nissan Jatco CVTs are not going to move the needle on their profitability.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’d be interested in a 2.5 turbo Mazda 3 just for the power to weight ratio.

    TFL on YouTube drag raced a Mazda 6 (2.5T) vs Camry TRD vs Tacoma TRD vs Chevy Trailboss (5.3 10 speed.)

    The cars beat the trucks and the 6 beat the Camry – though it was at over 5,000 ft in altitude so the turbo had a bit of an advantage.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I don’t know if adding the 2.5T would “save” the model – the cheap compact-sedan wars are over, and Toyota, Honda and H/K won – but it would allow Mazda to move it upmarket, which is apparently the goal for the whole brand.

    Consider this: a loaded 3 with AWD, the 2.5T, would probably land at a low-30s price point. Compare that to, say, a Mercedes A220, which has a similar configuration, and a ton less power, but sells for 40K decently equipped, and almost 50 loaded. Same case can be made against that new BMW Gran whatever-they-call-it, or an Audi A3 Quattro – both of those are $40-50,000 propositions, depending on how you option them out.

    You’d have a VERY well priced, handsome, well-finished little performance sedan that would sell for a LOT less than other entry-lux cars, and would also be considerably cheaper to own (maintenance on Ze Germans is all stupid expensive). There really isn’t anything like it on the market.

    So, yeah, Mazda…build it.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Pathetic automatic scum. Mazda can die.

  • avatar
    mpolans

    I had a Mazdaspeed3 and loved it, though I was scared of the zoom-zoom-boom issue. That said, I was seriously shopping a used Mazda3 against the WRX wagon I eventually bought. I loved the 1st and 2nd gen Mazda 3s for combining a cavernous cargo area with pretty good handling, decent performance in class, a pretty good manual transmission, and pretty good looks. They were fun to drive and held a lot of junk. The 3rd gen kept most of that, except it cut down on cargo area. I was really hoping that the 3rd gen would come out with a turbo AWD version with a 6-speed, but no luck. Then I was hoping the same for the new 4th gen. Instead, it came and it looked bland. Totally unexciting. And the cargo area looked smaller. Hooray for an AWD option…until you find out it’s not available with a manual transmission. Frankly, the 4th gen Mazda3 appears illustrative of how Mazda has lost its way…it’s drifted pretty far from the “zoom-zoom” days, when it could be counted on for being the most fun to drive without breaking the bank.

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  • slavuta: Biden said all we need to know youtube.com/watch?v=MA8a2g6tTp 0​
  • slavuta: Biden said this himself youtube.com/watch?v=MA8a2g6tTp 0​
  • Luke42: The Tesla Cybertruck is likely to win in the marketplace. It costs less, and has greater range. It also is...
  • Luke42: @Illan, “i wonder what the EV evangelist think of this.” Being pretty deep into the green car...

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