2021 Mazda3 Turbo first drive review: Mazdaspeed for grownups

The Mazdaspeed3 was a blisteringly fun car that took the regular ol ‘hatchback and gave it a big teen kick in the powertrain. But the indiscreet march of time affects all of us, and in the case of Mazda, the automaker has grown a lot over the years. It is no surprise, that despite some impressive on-paper figures, the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo acts like a retired hot hatch, which wants to sit on the deck all day and grill.

Maturity 2021 is the name of the game with the Mazda3 Turbo, not hooliganism. Yes, its 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 puts out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-ft of torque with premium gas (227 hp and 310 lb-ft, respectively, at 87-octane), but still with a larger all-twist, Mazda 3 It never feels like it is coming out of a corner. Instead, the tuning makes the engine feel most at home at low revs, distributing its torque in a way that is, say, a car that tries to friction-weld on my seat. No matter where the tachometer needle is, though, the engine itself feels pretty good, with hints of turbo whistle and bass-heavy warble.

The six-speed automatic transmission has long gearing towards, uh, non-spritly conditions. When the going turns twisty, it takes a bit of time to work through each gear, and with the torque arriving quickly, the whole shebung feels like it jumps out a bit at high revs, which is really rapid. -Fire does not encourage bridge. Steering-wheel paddle. Switching to Sport mode puts gears through corners and downshifts more aggressively under braking, as opposed to throttle response. Looking for a manual transmission? Sorry, Pal.

I find the most satisfying moments to come from the ramp on the highway and shooting gaps in traffic, where that melancholy is most appreciated, rather than throwing my tester into a tight corner and the powertrain for more hull. Try to squeeze every inch. This is probably for the best, given the turbo’s estimated fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon city and 31 mpg highway, which is only fine for a compact hatchback.

Although the Papi One does not seem to be the preferred place for the two-lane Mazda3 Turbo, it is clear that the chassis tuning of the car is ready to deal with these roads. Slightly stiffer front dampers mean lateral load shifting is not realized, and the new front knuckle makes for tight and responsive steering. Sufficiently thick Bridgestone Turanja all-season tires ensure regular day-to-day driving, making smoothness a priority – perhaps a pleasant departure from every other automaker’s desire to wear the thinnest rubber A rigid .h car can convert from compartment to constriction. soon. The Mazda3 Turbo’s standard all-wheel drive also promotes balanced response upon exit; If I accidentally find it a little too early, I can’t find any MazdaSP3 crab-nonsense here. Less dramatic? Sure. But you know who likes the lack of predictability and mistrust? Adult.

No matter how it drives, the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo looks absolutely bitch as my tester’s five-door. Equipped with an optional premium package, the black air accents, rear wing and rear diffuser on the lower air dam look better than the $ 495 machine gray metallic paint. The optional 18-inch black BBS wheels also look fab. Like every other Mazda 3, it typically has a body devoid of sharp angles enclosing one eye, opting instead for a more rounded appearance that doesn’t bring a bunch of Gundam references, which alone is evidence of this Is that Mazda 3 is getting bigger.

But no part of Mazda 3 shows maturity like the interior. Brands that place themselves as premiums can learn a thing or two. The design is simple, and there are lines that are not hellish and backwards. My tester’s two-tone motif covers half the dashboard in Crimson leather that is soft and cushioning to fit with the German. Turbo’s 12-speaker Bose audio system breaks the leather with some attractive aluminum shroud. Even switchgear on the wheel and center console seems expensive. Not bad for a car falling under the average new-car transaction price.

Even technology has all grown. Apple carplay, Android Auto And a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot packed in an 8.8-inch screen running the latest version of Mazda Connect, with a minimalist interface that’s easy on the eyes. This is getting some use, as the dial on the center console is the only way to interact with the display, but owners need to be sufficiently easy to master it. I had given a tough competition to Mazda for its low-quality backup cameras, but it was even removed; This Mazda3 Turbo shows what’s behind me in high definition, and even has an all-around view And Parking sensors thrown into the mix. This is all very impressive, given that you do not need to pile on option packages. The head-up display is no longer even mounted on an unsightly piece of flip-up plastic.

Once again, Mazda is showing that it can perform better than some established luxury automakers, whether it be the simple elegance of the infotainment system, or the red leather dash throughout the cabin.

Andrew Croke / Roadshow

I have not yet paid attention to the subject of security. There are a whole bunch of standard kits, even, like automatic emergency braking (it also works when reversed), blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, lane- Jam Assist with a new hand on departure warning and traffic that connects the ACC with steering input at under 40 mph.

No one should sell the farm to take the 2021 Mazda 3 Turbo. The sedan starts at $ 30,845 including $ 945 for the destination, while the base price of the hatch is $ 31,845. Throw in a Premium Plus package and both vehicles run at $ 33,395 and $ 34,695 respectively. It may not be a strong joke for the workers, but it may be the right buy for the workers with a torque and a delivery that is not yet ready to give up. All Fun things in life.

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