Cars and Trucks

View Photos of the 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo

Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

The 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo gets the 250-hp 2.5-liter inline-four we’ve seen in other Mazda products. And if that engine can ably motivate a three-row crossover, which it does, imagine what it can do in a much smaller vehicle.

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The 2.5 Turbo sedan ran from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the first Mazdaspeed 3 we tested back in 2006.

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With an as-tested price of $33,790, the 2.5 Turbo is way below the average price for a new car.

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Mazda rates the 2.5-liter four-cylinder at 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, as long as you use premium gas. Run on regular, and those numbers drop to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet.

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Mazda says that even though output is lower using regular fuel, there’s not much difference below 4,000 rpm.

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With standard all-wheel drive, the 2.5 Turbo is way better at managing torque steer than the old Mazdaspeed 3 was.

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The 2.5-liter has a lot of displacement and a high 10.5:1 compression ratio to help it feel responsive even when it’s off boost.

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Close a door, and the high-pitched sound it makes—not a thud—is one of the rare tells that this isn’t an expensive car.

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Like the non-turbo 3, the 2.5 Turbo sports a beautiful interior that shames many a more-expensive car.

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We like the console scroll wheel but wish the infotainment system didn’t require multiple steps to change a radio station.

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The 3’s skidpad number, 0.85 g, is both modest and consistent with the car’s personality. More smooth cruiser than back-roads bomber.

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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2021 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD sedan

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