The return of a turbocharged Mazda3 has been long overdue since the withdrawal of the MAZDASPEED3 in 2013. Many enthusiasts want the return of a supercharged version of the Mazda compact, in order to meet their need for raw performance to which this bomb had once accustomed them.
Surprise for 2021, Mazda is back in force with a turbine engine in its compact, in order to meet the demands made by consumers. You will notice, however, that the name MAZDASPEED is missing from the equation. And the reason is very simple; The new Mazda3 Turbo is aimed more at buyers of entry-level luxury cars, such as the Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz A-Class, rather than performance compacts.
I was able to find out if the objective was reached, during a two-day test of a Mazda3 Sport Turbo on the roads of Quebec.
First, no one will fall down from their chair looking at the Mazda3 turbo engine; it is identical in all respects to the naturally aspirated version, except for the presence of the turbo badge on the tailgate. Same wheels, same colors, same grille, same rocker panel, same spoiler. Everything, absolutely everything, is the same.
It was thought futile to emphasize with some visual artifices that it is the additional power. However, I feel that adding a discreet and elegant ground effects package or even a subtle spoiler on the rear trunk to the Mazda3 Turbo would have made it possible to distinguish it a little, without however spoiling the luxurious and refined appearance that it has known since 2019. Moreover, it is offered in the United States on the Premium Plus version. Unfortunately here it is too conservative.
The good news however is that the turbocharged powertrain is available for both Sport hatchback and sedan versions. You have to select the GT version – whose popularity has jumped since 2019 – to benefit from it as an option, although the 100th anniversary version offered only for 2021 offers it as standard.