Flash Drive

2021 Mazda3 Turbo AWD

Model Tested: 2021 Mazda3 Turbo Premium AWD Sedan

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo now has added horsepower to complement its slick styling.

Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4, 227-250 horsepower, 310 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 23-mpg city, 32-mpg highway, 27-mpg combined

Base Price: $32,450 

As Tested: $33,890


Hustling down a twisty country road is great fun in a 2021 Mazda3 Turbo.

Turbocharger is welcome performance upgrade

Sport mode makes noticeable performance improvement

Premium fuel boosts horsepower to 250

Good fuel economy—we averaged 30.2-mpg in mixed driving

Athletic, fun handling

Good compact size for city commuter wars

Smooth transmission

Efficient all-wheel-drive

Mazda3 interiors are quite stylish and luxurious compared to many competitors.

Lots of excellent safety features


Stretch-out driver legroom

Super stretch-out front passenger legroom

Heated front seats (3 temps)

Driver power lumbar support

Supportive seats with soft headrests

Heated leather steering wheel

Tilt/telescopic column

Lots of auxiliary controls, but some

The leather-trimmed steering wheel has lots of auxiliary controls, but the small type on the chrome buttons is hard to read.

difficult to read

Great head up display

Snug backseat unless fronts are moved up considerably

Soft center armrest

Very tall floor hump


Excellent infotainment screen

Large central dial for controlling screen

Large front door bins with bottle notches

Medium size console bin with sliding armrest

This closeup of the front grille and lower fascia illustrates the sharp, aggressive styling of the Mazda3 Turbo.

Decent size glovebox, but no lock

One seatback storage pouch

Small rear door bins with bottle notches

Split, folding rear seats

Significant slope to folded seats

Folded seats higher than trunk floor

Large pass-through

Flat cargo floor

Wide rear opening, but 9-inch lift-over

Rain sensing wipers

WOW Factors:

The hatchback design of the Mazda3 is handy, but the hatch slope restricts large items.

Excellent, athletic performance

Sharp styling

Great head up display

Very good front row room and comfort


Quality interior materials


Chrome auxiliary controls difficult to read

Tight rear seat

Rear hatch slope hampers big cargo items

Bottom Line:

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo is a great driver’s car.

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo is a compact sedan with personality and fun. The addition of the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine makes a noticeable and very worthwhile upgrade from the standard 2.0-liter engine. All-wheel-drive improves handling and all-weather confidence. Sharp styling, excellent safety features, and a quality interior add up to a fun-to-drive, well-rounded compact sport sedan that’s attractively priced.