In 2019, the fourth-generation Mazda3 launched with an all-new look, updated cabin, and even optional all-wheel drive. With this look still fresh, we expect the 2021 Mazda3 to be a carryover model.
The new-for-2019 Mazda3 rolled in an updated look gleaned from the automaker’s popular crossovers. This new design included slitlike headlights and taillights, a long hood, short trunk, swooping body lines, and a forward-leaning grille. Since the fourth-generation model debuted, the Mazda3 has remained the same, and we expect it to roll on unchanged into 2021. Folks waiting on a refreshed Mazda3 could see one as early as the 2022 model year.
Inside, the fourth-generation Mazda3 continues to pull inspiration from its larger siblings with a low and thin dash for enhanced visibility, a dash-top infotainment screen, tasteful metallic trim, a three-spoke steering wheel, a clean center stack, and optional premium materials. We expect this design to continue unchanged in the 2021 Mazda3.
Under its hood, the current Mazda3 boasts a standard 186-horsepower 2.5-liter engine that pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission in most cases. There is an available six-speed manual transmission, but it’s very limited and difficult to find at dealerships. In most Mazda3 models, the power heads to the front wheels, but optional all-wheel drive is available. We expect these powertrain options to remain unchanged in the 2021 Mazda3.
Mazda is working on a new SKYACTIV-X engine that combines the smooth drivability of a gasoline engine with the torque and fuel efficiency of a diesel. It remains unclear if this engine will be a part of the Mazda3 lineup in the states. Stay tuned for updates.
Safety remains a focal point for Mazda, as the current Mazda 3 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. This rating is thanks to “Good” crash test scores, “Superior”-rated standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, “Good”-rated optional curve-adaptive LED headlights, and “Acceptable”-rated standard LED headlights. Other standard safety tech on the current Mazda 3 includes adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alerts. We expect all safety ratings and equipment to remain the same for 2021.
Pictured: 2020 Mazda Mazda3