By on August 4, 2020


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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14 Comments on “Mazda Details Turbocharged Mazda 3; New Base Model Sinks in Price...”

  • avatar

    Cheapos. Couldn’t they price Mexican-made sedan just under 20K????

  • avatar

    It’s an interesting proposition. About the same price as the turbo Mazda6 (which has no AWD) but available for about $5K less than the CX-5 Turbo. On paper it should be *faster* than the likes of the GLI or Elantra N-Line, however I’m not sure the stop watch will bear it out. I expect acceleration will be about equal to the GLI – which is acceptable.

    Really, the GLI (starts at $28K with the automatic) is probably the closest competition. Although the VW is marketed more as a “performance” offering while Mazda wants this 3 to be seen as a “premium” alternative to the A3, A-Class, and 2-Series GC.

  • avatar

    I won’t get snarky but at least the price creep goes ZOOM ZOOM.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    As Ajla mentioned above, this is priced sooooo close to the current 6 GT, that it very much points to the 6 either retiring for a generation or two (or forever), or moving to the actual upmarket they wanted it to be at for the 2018.5 mid-market-move-up. Mazda has been coy with the joint venture Toyota/Mazda sedan or RWD inline-6 supposedly coming. But Mazda has been so slow to market with products that light keyboards on fire (diesel 6-wagon, RX-8 successor, RWD inline-6) that I won’t wait for them, even though I massively prefer their product offerings over their likely competition (Honda, Toyota, Hundai, KIA)

    I say this as a 2019 Mazda 6 GT-Reserve owner. To save about $3K I would not move down to the hatchback 3 and cannot imagine it having suddenly gained enough room to be a proposition at that price point, AWD be damned, and if the next 6 moves up to the $45-55K price point then it damn well better be something special and not just tarting up the current 6 with more soft-touch materials but value-priced underpinnings. They will have to hit it out of the ballpark to separate the two models enough to get sales.

    The BMW Ti (the stubby hatchback) didn’t sell well. The Benzo A-class hasn’t sold well. Why does Mazda suddenly think they will be capturing the late-20’s crowd who suddenly have enough money to not be forced into entry-level cars but they still want to suffer with space issues? This does not appear to be a prudent move for the cash-strapped lads from Hiroshima (and I reallllllly want to be wrong on this! Love their brand, but the pricing seems off-kilter)

    • 0 avatar

      Rick, Your Mazda6 has a back seat large enough to accommodate 6 foot passengers. The Mazda3 does not. It’s a tight squeeze back there.

      The 3 has the updated interior, hatch practicality and big engine. And it looks money. To me it looks like what an Alfa hatch should look like. Just love it!

      If you don’t need to carry passengers, 3 all the way. Or if you have shorter passengers, you’re good.

      • 0 avatar

        The problem with ‘3 is that rear seat-back it too vertical. Leg room can be organized by moving front seat forward. But nothing you can do about the seatback

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve got a 2019 Mazda6 turbo, in a lower GS-L trim than GT, which we can get here in Canada. It listed at C$34K and comes with 17 inch tires but the interior looks identical, just lacks ventilated seats and HUD. Never get the extra back at trade-in time, and the 17 inch tires are way cheaper to replace and don’t patter as much. The new Sedan Mazda3 turbo is priced here at C$33K, after which you can add all these packages and get to C$39K. The strange looking hatch is a grand more.

      Since the Jetta GLI with its plastic fantastic dash also goes for C$33K, I presume the lower prices for all Mazda3 models in Canada is to meet market price competition, because you can deduct 25% from the prices I quoted to get to US$. Then add in $750 more for our ludicrous shipping fee at near C$2K.

      One of my problems with the 3 that had just come out a few days before when I got my 6 was the issue of ground clearance on my country driveway. I measured and it’s well over two inches less at the very front. Add in a front air dam and hmm. Still, a little less torque steer, as in a lot less, would be nice with AWD.

      • 0 avatar

        “I’ve got a 2019 Mazda6 turbo, in a lower GS-L”
        “and comes with 17 inch tires ”

        Interesting trim. I wonder if that’s a big reason you’ve been so complimentary of your car’s acceleration. The only 6 turbo I’ve driven was the Signature trim and I thought it “only decent” in that respect. However, yours would be lighter and comparatively geared down with the smaller diameter wheels.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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