Flash Drive

2021 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD

Model Tested: 2021 Mazda3 AWD Hatchback Premium Plus

The Mazda3 is a compact sedan/hatchback that’s big on fun, performance and value.

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, 31-mpg highway, 26-mpg combined

Base Price: $33,750

As Tested: $36,490


Excellent performance, impressive acceleration

227 horsepower on regular, 250 hp on

The Mazda3 hatchback body style increases versatility, although the roof shape does hamper cargo space.


Smooth turbo boost

Paddle shifters

Confident handling

Fun on twisty roads

AWD for bad weather and handling


Nice leather seats with Premium Plus Package

Heated (3 temps) front seats

Stretch-out driver/front passenger legroom

Driver power lumbar support

Front seat room and comfort is excellent, but at the expense of rear seat room.

Medium thick, nicely contoured, heated leather wheel

Ample tilt/telescopic range

Small auxiliary controls on steering wheel

Excellent headroom

Tall rear floor hump

Tight backseat unless front seats moved up a lot

Tall adults graze headliner in rear seat

Soft, wide rear armrest with cupholders

Adjustable front shoulder harness height

The 2021 Mazda3 turbocharged engine loves twisty mountain roads.


High lift-over (7-inches) for hatchback

Flat cargo deck

Cargo space on the small side

Split folding rear seats have noticeable slope

Small sunroof

Large front door bins, but tight access

Excellent head up display

Large console bin with sliding armrest/cover

Medium size glovebox, but no lock

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo is an excellent urban traffic warrior.

Small rear door bins

One seatback pouch

WOW Factors:

Impressive turbocharged performance

Fun to drive

All-weather AWD confidence

Sharp Soul Red Crystal Metallic worth $595 extra

Excellent safety features

The front end styling is quite attractive.


Car looks better front ¾ view than rear view

A true wagon body would be better

Front seats almost touch back seats

Auxiliary controls not clearly marked

Bottom Line:

The 2021 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD is an excellent compact that does almost everything large SUVs do except exude toughness and have larger interiors. The Mazda3 Hatchback AWD is almost too sensible for today’s image conscious consumer. The 2021 Mazda3 is a great compact hatchback for people who value fun and performance over an inflated image.