Mazda Details Turbocharged Mazda 3; New Base Model Sinks in Price

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mazda details turbocharged mazda 3 new base model sinks in price

The big news at Mazda right now are the two new additions to the compact 3 line for 2021. Bookending the model’s range, the fresh faces include a new entry-level trim that adopts the 2.0-liter four-cylinder ditched for 2019, plus a turbocharged all-wheel drive model positioned at the top of the heap.

It’s a tale of two very different prices.

First, the fun stuff. The Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo borrows the turbocharged 2.5-liter recently added to the Mazda 6 sedan and CX-5 crossover. Making 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel, the model’s output drops to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft if you fill up on regular.

Available as both a sedan or hatchback, the 2.5 Turbo is only offered with i-Activ AWD and an automatic transmission. Sorry, purists. It’s also on the pricey side, topping the previous top-rung Premium Package AWD sedan by $1,650 (that model rises $350 for ’21). A pre-destination entry price of $29,900 gets you the Turbo sedan, with the hatch stickering for $30,900.

Spring for the 2.5 Turbo with Premium Plus package, and you’re talking $32,450 before destination for the sedan and $33,750 for the hatch. The Premium Plus package adds a slew of niceties like adaptive LED headlamps, full-color head-up driving display, leather seats, moonroof, and 18-inch aluminum alloys, though Turbo hatches with this package also carry a standard front air dam and rear roof spoiler.

Those looking to kit out an entry-level Turbo hatch can choose from appearance upgrades that include the aforementioned spoiler and dam, plus side sills and a rear diffuser. Eighteen-inch blacked-out BBS wheels can be had, too, for just under $919 a wheel. In the absence of the Premium Plus package, the aero add-ons total $1,900.

At the complete opposite end of the trim range, U.S. buyers who like the 3’s shape but couldn’t care less about power can get into a front-drive 2.0 sedan. The returning 2.0-liter (155 hp, 150 lb-ft) can be had only in sedan form, with the motor available only with a six-speed auto. Canadian customers never lost this option. For this trim, Mazda cuts a grand off the price of its previous base 3, asking $20,500 before destination. The former entry-level trim, the 2.5 S, still starts at $21,500, with the hatchback asking a grand more.

As stated previously on these pages, if the widening of this model’s net doesn’t help Mazda capture more buyers, nothing will. The brand’s pretty much out of options when it comes to the already diverse 3.

[Images: Mazda]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Aug 04, 2020

    All those internet complainers about the weaksauce 3 needing more motor had better run out and buy the 2.5T. As predicted, it will run close to the mid-30s, where the competition is tough.

    • See 1 previous
    • Chocolatedeath Chocolatedeath on Aug 05, 2020

      @tankinbeans Finally someone that gets it.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Aug 04, 2020

    TTAC thank you for not engaging in the exaggeration of Car and Driver who breathlessly reported $40K for a loaded model but they were including a body kit for over $1000 and almost $4000 in a special wheel and tire package. Few adults will want the body kit and any idiot can do better than $4K for a wheel and tire package in the aftermarket. Honestly given the price of the GLI and the upper trim/performance Veloster I feel this is competitive.

  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.
  • Sloomis Looks like 108,000 miles to me, not 80,000. Not much better though...