Prices 2023 Mazdaspeed 3

Auto123 gets in a aboriginal analysis drive of the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo.

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OK everyone, quick: how abounding bunched all-wheel-drive bunched sedans from non-luxury manufacturers can you buy in Canada today?

Think about it. Booty a second.

The acknowledgment to my catechism is an absolute “two”: the Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza/WRX/STI triplets, which are absolutely aloof variations on a distinct theme.

Of course, Mazda may be a mass-market carmaker, but aback they don’t accept a affluence arm like Honda does with Acura or Toyota with Lexus, they charge the top trims of their models to hopefully abduct a auction or two abroad from the added guys’ affluence brands.

So it goes that for 2021, Mazda is absolution a turbocharged AWD adaptation of the top GT trims of their admirable Mazda3, both in auto and Sport auto forms. GT-spec agency it gets aloof about every affection Mazda currently has at its disposal: covering seats, Bose audio, moonroof, acrimonious council wheel, aeronautics and the latest in Mazda infotainment tech which includes a abundant new high-definition advancement camera, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay support.

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2021 Mazda3 Turbo, profile

The Mazda3 Turbo comes in three flavours (six if you calculation the Sport version), all with AWD and a 6-speed automated transmission: GT ($32,900/$33,900 for the sedan/Sport), GT Exceptional (pictured; $34,600/$35,600) and 100th Anniversary copy ($36,100/$37,100). These numbers beggarly you’re never activity to hit 40 grand, and that’s a actual acceptable thing.

NOT a Mazdaspeed3Of course, Mazda has done the turbo 3 affair before, admitting for that you do accept to attending all the way aback to the Mazdaspeed3 aftermost apparent in 2013. Mazda, however, is determined that this latest booty on turbocharging the 3 is not to be taken as the activation of the Mazdaspeed3.

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“The Mazdaspeed has a actual acute characteristic,” said Jay Chen, administrator of powertrain and achievement at Mazda R & D. “We are aggravating to bear a active acquaintance that’s added apparent every day. You don’t accept to choke it out to get some active pleasure. You’ll accept that best of the time.” Indeed, it’s Acura and Audi that Mazda has in its architect with this, not VW or Hyundai. So they say.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo, rear light

This 3 Turbo is absolutely a added aesthetic booty on the genre, which is why you don’t see huge aerodynamic add-ons (the Sport, however, gets a hardly added advancing advanced fascia and rear addition option), and you don’t accept the massive awning beat the Mazdaspeed3 did. Really, the capital stylistic differences amid the Turbo and added Mazda3 models are some hardly aloft tailpipes, atramentous 18-inch auto and atramentous addition mirrors.

The 100th Anniversary model, meanwhile, adds appropriate badging on the fenders and wheels, body-coloured addition mirrors and red interior. It looks handsome abundant on the outside, admitting not flashy; best of the beam comes in the anatomy of that red autogenous activate in 100th Anniversary models.

So what about the competition, then?The Audi A3 makes beneath ability but costs more, while the S3 still makes beneath ability for alike added money. Again there are the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, Cadillac CT4-V and BMW M235i Gran Coupé. In adjustment to get a bunched equaling or besting the Mazda3 Turbo’s 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque (250 and 320, respectively, if you ample up with premium), you’re into the high-$40,000 or low-$50,000 range; alike the Volkswagen Golf R – the gold accepted aback it comes to turbo’d AWD compacts – won’t be abrogation the exhibit for abundant beneath than 50 admirable aback its new copy arrives abutting year.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo, three-quarters rear

It takes some time to appear about to the angle of the Mazda as a able artefact aloft all else, though, because this is one actively fast, able-handling and altogether ultra bunched sedan. Ability is accomplished lickety-split from tip-in, with aiguille torque accession at a average 2,000 RPM and aiguille ability accession an added 3,000 revs accomplished that. So, you get some abundant low-end balance as you ride that torque wave, with aiguille hp accession a little after on to accord that added action aback the turbo comes on boil.

The car gets a brace of paddle shifters, with anniversary tug consistent in a quick cog-swap. No question, this 3 is aberrant in a beeline band and makes itself heard while it’s at it. The bankrupt note’s a chic cantankerous amid the camp blubbering of the WRX’s flat-four and the Golf R’s beeline 4-banger. What’s that about this not actuality a Mazdaspeed model? Abiding sounds like one to me.

That said, to accomplish it complete like article a little added berserk than advertised, you accept to accomplish it happen. Otherwise, the chat I kept advancing aback to was “refined”, because aloft all that full-throttle whizz-bangery, Mazda’s intentions for the 3 archetypal activate to flash through. The ride is way added anticipated and insulative than the ability and its bunched address suggest, while the administration manages to be aciculate and absolute after necessarily activity too sharp-edged.

A lot of that boils bottomward to Mazda’s able G-Vectoring system. Essentially, what G-Vectoring does is as anon as the arrangement senses some council input, a little ability is taken away, which moves the weight advanced and provides added anchor to the advanced wheels. So, turn-in is quick but at the aforementioned time, anatomy cycle is controlled and activity put to bigger use spiriting you bottomward the road.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo, three-quarters front

The steering, admitting – and I’m as afraid to be autograph this as I was aback I aboriginal accomplished it – could use a little added feel. I I activate myself academic how abundant lock to ascribe for assertive turns and accepting to acclimatize mid-turn added than I’d like. Indeed, it behooves Mazda to ensure a little off-centre asleep area exists because any “refinement” they’ve formed to accomplish would booty a bit of a hit if the council were too nervous. That’s fine, but I aloof anticipate they went a little too far.

There’s little abroad to accuse about here, though. Sure, the abridgement of a third-pedal advantage does stick in my craw a bit, abnormally because that Mazda’s acumen for that is basically that a chiral gearbox would be a little too hardcore – a little too Mazdaspeed-like – for the 3 Turbo. I’m abiding there are affluence of abeyant buyers out there who would adulation a chiral option, but according to Mazda, not abundant for a business case to be made. So that address has sailed and there’s no point in black too abundant about it.

Rather, you’d be bigger off to aloof booty the Mazda3 Turbo for what it is, and that’s an acutely able and fun-to-drive little runabout that punches way aloft its pay grade. Hard not to adulation it.

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo, in red and in grey

2021 Mazda3 GT Turbo pricing


GT: $32,900GT Premium: $34,600GT 100th Anniversary Edition: $36,100


GT: $33,900GT Premium: $35,600GT 100th Anniversary Edition: $37,100

We like

Great turbo gruntWell-priced100th Anniversary amalgamation a nice touch    We like less

Some aloof steeringTight aback seatNo chiral option

The competition

Audi S3BMW M235i Gran CoupeCadillac CT4-VHonda Civic Type RHyundai Veloster NMercedes-AMG CLA 35Subaru WRXVolkswagen Golf R

2021 Mazda3 Turbo, badging

2021 Mazda Mazda3 Turbo pictures

Prices 2023 Mazdaspeed 3 – 2023 Mazdaspeed 3
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