2021 Mazda3 Gains Turbo, 2.0-Liter Base Engine

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - July 9, 2020

Last month, reports indicated that the 2021 Mazda3 would benefit from a turbocharged engine. With a turbocharged engine in the cards, it certainly sounded like Mazda was bringing back the MazdaSpeed3. Well, Mazda’s officially unveiled the turbocharged motor for the Mazda3 and it certainly isn’t a modern MazdaSpeed3. What it is, is a much more powerful engine for the compact Mazda3 and a way to further help the vehicle go upstream.

The 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, which is available in both hatchback and sedan body styles, will come with the same turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s found in many other of the automaker’s vehicles. Other vehicles with the same engine include the CX-5, CX-9, and Mazda6. The engine is rated at 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque on 93 octane. Fill up the tank with 87 octane, and those figures drop to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

Mazda will only offer the turbocharged engine with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. The automaker claims the engine has been specifically calibrated for the Mazda3, though, it doesn’t expand on that thought. If anything, we think it was done to make the Mazda3 provide a more premium feel. Don’t think of this as a performance upgrade.

With that being said, the addition of the 2.5-liter turbo inline-four does bring dramatic increases in power. Previously, the only engine offered with the Mazda3 was a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that was rated at 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged engine brings 64 more hp and 134 more lb-ft of torque. The result should be a much quicker vehicle.

Mazda Mazda3

Beyond the amped up engine, the 2.5 Turbo models don’t add much over other trim levels. Both sedan and hatchback models will come with 18-inch black wheels, larger exhaust outlets, turbo badges, and gloss black exterior trim. The 2.5 Turbo trim comes with a lot of the same features as the regular Premium trim, but a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror and a heated steering wheel are standard. Other standard features include an 8.8-inch display, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, Wi-Fi hot spot, a head-up display, dual-zone climate control, and Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of safety features. An optional Premium Plus package will be available for the 2.5 Turbo, which will bring leather upholstery, a 360-degree camera, navigation, a black spoiler, and a body kit.

The addition of the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine makes the Mazda3 one of the more powerful, non-sporty compact vehicles on the market. The optional engine makes the Mazda3 more powerful than the regular Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Kia Forte, Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Volkswagen Jetta, and Toyota Corolla.

At the same time Mazda announced the turbo 2.5-liter engine, the automaker announced another new motor: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. This engine expands the lower part of the Mazda3 segment and acts as the new base engine for the 2021 model year. The new 2.0-liter motor makes 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, 31 hp less and 31 lb-ft of torque less than last year’s standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard with the engine.

The Mazda3 2.0 will become the entry-level sedan for the 2021 model. Standard equipment on the trim includes 16-inch wheels, LED lighting, an 8.8-inch display, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, push-button start, cloth upholstery, and Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of safety features. The new Mazda3 2.0 will become the most affordable way to get into a new Mazda3 for consumers, though it sounds like the new engine will only be available with the sedan body.

Pricing for the 2021 model year hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re sure we’ll hear about it soon, as both the sedan and hatchback are expected to arrive in dealerships this August. We don’t expect the turbocharged engine to come cheap. The new engine will become a part of the range-topping Mazda3, so pricing will exceed the current Mazda3 Premium Package with all-wheel drive ($28,845 for the sedan and $29,845 for the hatchback). The turbocharged engine should raise the price of both body styles by at least a few thousand dollars.

Learn more about the 2021 Mazda Mazda3 »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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