We Love the Mazda 3 For Its Elegant, Classic Lines. And Now There’s More to Love: Mazda 3 Turbo

Mazda 3 Turbo

Feeling like you gotta get away? 

Us too. We’ve had enough. And cabin fever is best addressed by feeling the wind in your hair and velocity that takes you away. That’s the beauty of turbo. 

So we were really excited to hear that the Mazda 3, which delighted us with its truly elegant finishes and details, is getting a Turbo upgrade for 2021. The biggest news here is that the Turbo edition takes the horsepower up to 227 from 186 in the standard model (which we thought was just fine) and if you’re willing to up the octane in your fuel to 93, it’ll deliver 250 horsepower. Wow. 

The other big news is the torque, which is what gives a car its zip, is outsized in the Mazda 3 Turbo. This is notable because the torque rating is usually in line with the horsepower rating; here it delivers 320 lb-ft of torque (again, using premium 93 octane fuel) paired with 250 HP. 

As a comparison, the Porsche 911 delivers 379 HP and 311 torque; the Hyundai Veloster N delivers 250 HP and 260 torque; the  2020 Toyota Supra delivers 335 HP and 365 torque. This gives us the feeling that the Mazda 3 Turbo will be especially zippy. 

Related: Mazda 3 Sedan Review: This is Why It’s a Darling of the Critics

Mazda 3 Turbo

The Mazda 3 Sedan in Soul Red. ?Scotty Reiss

An Elegant Package Gets Even Prettier

The Mazda 3 took the top design honor as the World Car Design of the Year for 2020 and that’s not a surprise. The sedan has elegant, classic lines and the hatchback (which is the model that I think most journalists and critics fell in love with) has a super sporty silhouette that reminds me of the Ferrari FF hatch. 

The Turbo gets some subtle design upgrades including a “Turbo” badge on the front and back, and in the premium edition, a rear spoiler. 

Related: 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Edition Review: Go Ahead, Put the Top Down and Get Your Hair Messy

Mazda 3 Turbo

The interior of the Mazda 3 is elegant and sporty. ?Scotty Reiss

Premium Features Make the Mazda 3 Turbo Feel Luxe 

Mazda packs the Turbo edition, at the entry level, with some great details. From i-Activsense driver assist and safety technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitors, lane departure assist, pre-crash mitigation and automatic high beam headlights, to things like paddle shifters, head up display, rain sensing wipers, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, WiFi, a premium Bose sound system, 8.8” infotainment display, leatherette seating, a sunroof and a smart key with push button start.  

The Premium Plus edition takes the feel up a notch with a rear spoiler, a 360-degree surround view monitor, traffic jam assist — adaptive cruise and lane keep assist for super slow crawling traffic — navigation and leather seats. 

Related: How Mazda is Making Cars More Human-Centric, Starting With the First Ever Mazda CX-30

Yes, There’s AWD, But No Stick Shift

Put this in the love/hate category. We love all wheel drive because when you need it, you need it. And those who don’t want to drive an SUV for those 8 days of the year that you need it appreciate that you don’t have to.

But, no manual transmission (yet…but we are hopeful). We are seeing fewer and fewer stick shift cars on the road these days, though Mazda is one of the last companies still producing manuals, so ?that the company decides to add this feature at some point in the future. 

Mazda 3 Turbo

Premium driver assist features like lane keep assist will be standard on the Mazda 3 Turbo.? Scotty Reiss

Fun To Drive Just Got More Fun

We love how fun the Mazda 3 is to drive even in the 186 HP model. And we love how reliable these Japanese-built cars are, giving you years of worry-free driving. We also love how well-priced all this elegance is. While pricing hasn’t been announced for the Turbo model yet, looking at how the current models are priced— starting at $23,700 for the base model and $27,500 for the Premium model— gives a hint; we expect that when pricing is announced later this month as the Turbo model goes on sale that it’ll just tip into the $30,000 range for the top of the line. 

Giving you lots of inspiration to get away and feel a bit more wind in your hair.

Listen to This!

Gear up for the turbo experience with a great playlist. This is what we loved listening to in the Mazda 3.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss