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2021 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 Turbo

Mazda’s guiding philosophy is jinba ittai, which essentially translates to the feeling of a horse and rider as one. It is a driving-focused car company, and jinba ittai informs everything about a Mazda, from driving dynamics to driving position.

The Mazda Mazda3 is infused with it, but after a near decade-long absence of a turbocharged engine option in the company’s compact hatchback and sedan, the driving enthusiasts who adore Mazda demanded more. They’re getting it in the form of the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo.

Equipped with the engineering equivalent of a double shot of espresso, the new 2021 Mazda3 Turbo gets a big infusion of power and performance. But this isn’t like the old boy-racer Mazdaspeed 3. As Mazda seeks to elevate its brand to a premium position within the automotive ecosystem, it now takes a more mature approach to feeding your need for speed.

Mazda offers the turbocharged Mazda3 in 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback form, and in standard or Premium Plus trim. Prices range from $29,900 (plus a $945 destination charge) for a standard sedan to $33,750 for a hatchback with the Premium Plus package. Options and accessories can push the price north of $36,000.

Tuned and calibrated specifically for use in the Mazda3, the 2.5 Turbo has the company’s turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. It is rated to make 250 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque when burning 93-octane gas, or 227 hp and 310 lb.-ft. with 87-octane regular fuel.

Either way, the Mazda3 Turbo supplies plenty of thrust, delivering inspiring acceleration regardless of the situation. Maximum torque is accessible at 2,000 rpm or 2,500 rpm (depending on the type of fuel), and peak horsepower arrives at just 5,000 rpm.

A 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport and Manual modes powers the Mazda3 Turbo through a standard all-wheel-drive system. Again, Mazda calibrates the drivetrain for this application, seeking to eliminate unnecessary mid-corner gear changes and modifying the AWD to handle three times the amount of power transfer to help squirt the car out of corners.

The end result is quite a thrill ride, and one you never tire of as is evidenced by our observed fuel economy number.

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