A baby amateur in a acreage of giants, Mazda has created a different adaptation strategy.
It leverages its under-the-radar ability with engaging, fun-to-drive cars with “above class” clarification and style.
In their aerial trims, its cartage admission European-level elan.
The 2021 Mazda3, illustrates the point. And a new-for-2021 agent reinforces it.
The Mazda3 ($21,500) is Mazda’s entry-level compact. It’s accessible in auto and auto anatomy styles, and in front- and all-wheel drive configurations.
Refinement meets engagement
It’s one of the best agreeable entrants in the segment, and one of abandoned two to action AWD.
It’s a attractive car in either anatomy style, with simple ambit and aqueous contours. The current, fourth-generation archetypal won World Car Design of the Year ceremoniousness aback it debuted in 2019.
The Mazda3’s berth additionally hews to Mazda’s less-is-more aesthetic, with aerial ambit and additional ornamentation. Best surfaces are covered in well-padded, soft-touch abstracts that are adorable to the eye and touch.
Buttons, knobs and trim are of a analogously aerial quality.
There are abundant nooks and crannies to board the phones, sunglasses, hand-sanitizers and added accouterments of avant-garde life.
As it has migrated upscale, the berth has developed quieter. At artery speeds, wind and alley babble are basal and the 3 feels active and substantial.
Cramped aback seats
Its adjustable abeyance absorbs best bumps and potholes, admitting burst pavement can aftermath a blow that alcove the cabin.
The ample affectation awning army aerial in the birr is not a touchscreen. Instead, Mazda uses a knob-based infotainment arrangement controller. It has a audible acquirements ambit and its airheaded accept developed a bit circuitous over time; audio controls should be front-and-center, for instance, and not active beneath a awning or two.
Many of its functions can be controlled with council wheel-mounted switches.
The advanced seats are adequate and supportive, admitting alpine drivers may acquisition the cockpit too cozy.
In the hatchback, especially, the abundant rear colonnade compromises afterimage lines.
The rear seats are awkward and the block is small. The trunk’s attenuated aperture and aerial axle bassinet access.
For that acumen alone, I’d aces the hatchback.
Standard accessory on all 3s includes LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and keyless access and ignition.
Driver-assist functions accommodate automated aerial beams; aboveboard blow mitigation; adaptive cruise control; lane befitting abetment and a comatose disciplinarian monitor.
Turbo strong, smooth
This year, the 3 adds a brace of new four-cylinder engines, advocacy its powertrain calendar to three. A 155-horsepower four holds bottomward the entry-level slot, while a turbocharged 250-hp admiral top-level 2.5T trims ($29,900).
They bracket the 186-hp four that admiral the aggregate of the lineup.
The 3 aftermost agitated a turbo from 2007-13 with the MazdaSpeed 3. Driving that mad-quick, torque-rich little barbarian meant ambidextrous with abundant torque beacon that acquired it to bound to one ancillary beneath adamantine acceleration.
The new turbo isn’t meant to about-face the 3 into a clue star. Instead, Mazda took the flush route. It tweaked the abeyance to atone for the turbo’s added weight but larboard administration and council feel abundantly untouched. Anatomy angular is accurately controlled and council is authentic and responsive.
Its ride is a bit stiffer than that of the non-turbo models’ but never breakable or harsh.
Acceleration is impressive; 0-60 comes up in 5.2 seconds, about 2 abnormal quicker than the artlessly aspirated models. The engine’s able and buttery ability commitment anchorage the acumen gap amid the 3 and the Europeans that affect it.
The agent is akin with a six-speed automatic. It’s not ultra-quick nor consistently ultra-smooth, but it keeps the agent in the compact allotment of its powerband.
Turbo achievement is octane-dependent. On 93-octane gas, the 2.5T is rated at 250 application and 320 lb-ft of torque; 87-octane gas cuts achievement to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft.
Entry-level buyers in chase of a beginning and characteristic admission with a Euro ability care to accommodate the Mazda3 in their search.