We’ve had some time now to get familiar with the brand new Mazda3, but there are some notable changes coming for 2021. Unlike the car that launched nearly two years ago now, you will have different powertrain options depending on how far your budget can stretch. The naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine will remain in the lineup, which has taken on the same “2.5 S” designation in its various trims as its close cousin, the CX-30 crossover. However, two “new” options are coming into the fold for one of Mazda’s most recognizable current cars.
The first among those options is the headliner: a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. Some Mazda enthusiasts out there may have the urge to call it a Mazdaspeed3, but we won’t get the satisfaction of such naming from the automaker itself. It’s simply the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, and it’s the same engine we already know from other models like the larger Mazda6, CX-5 and CX-9. It puts out 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on normal fuel. If you fill the car with premium instead, that power and torque rating goes up to 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, respectively.
Unlike the old Mazdaspeed3, which was notably prone to torque steer by shoving all that grunt to the front wheels, this new Mazda3 2.5 Turbo is only available with all-wheel drive. Like other models in the range, it’s also just an option at the top end of the Mazda3 stack, with prices starting at $30,845 (including destination). The hatchback is $1,000 more.
If your budget can swing to $33,395, you can also get the turbocharged version with the “Premium Plus” Package. That includes the Aero Kit that is shown in these photos, with a front air dam, roof spoiler, rear diffuser and side skirts. That’s a $1,075 option should you order it with the car, or you can buy the Aero Kit pieces for $1,900 on their own. 18-inch BBS gloss black forged wheels are also available for any Mazda3 trim, sporting a price of $918.95.
There’s a less expensive option as well
If your budget can’t stretch to the Turbo, Mazda also brought back its smaller 2.0-liter engine to the lineup as well. This time, it’s strictly a front-wheel drive option, and it’s only available on the sedan. It still makes 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque, and comes mated to the same six-speed automatic. That effort helps the 2021 Mazda3 compete on price against some of its more value-minded rivals like the Toyota Corolla, and pricing for the Mazda3 2.0 starts at $21,445.
Here is a complete pricing breakdown for the 2021 models:
Mazda is encouraging potential buyers to reach out to their dealers, but did not mention a specific on-sale date for the 2021 model year. We’ll post more updates when they’re available.