2021 Mazda3

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  • Overview

    A silver 2021 Mazda3 sedan is angled left.

    If you ask someone what immediately comes to mind when they think of Mazda, you’re likely to hear something like, “Mazdas are fun to drive.” Thanks to models like the Miata, Mazda has built its reputation for building reliable and capable vehicles that offer great performance and responsive handling. There’s no doubt that they’re really fun to drive. But the brand also toes the line between mainstream and luxury thanks to models like the 2021 Mazda3 that offers an array of safety, connectivity, convenience, and interior features and luxuries at an affordable price.

    The battle between its inclusion in the mainstream or luxury class began in the 1970s, decades before its official debut as the Mazda3 in 2004. In the 1970s, Mazda dipped its toes in the American car industry with the introduction of the Mazda GLC or the “Great Little Car.” The GLC paved the way for Mazda’s success in America and led to models like the Mazda 323, which was introduced in 1985. By the 1990s and 2000s, Mazda added the Protege and the MazdaSpeed Protege before officially introducing the Mazda3 in 2004.

    Proving its versatility as a sedan, the Mazda3 was praised for its quick handling and luxury features like leather trim and high-intensity xenon headlights that didn’t push the starting price sky-high. Mazda even gave drivers with a need for speed exactly what they were looking for with the debut of the MazdaSpeed 3 in 2007. The turbocharged hatchback was outfitted with a 2.3-liter MZR direct-injection engine and six-speed manual transmission that delivered 263 horsepower and sealed Mazda’s place in the world of performance cars.

    Fast forward nearly two decades, and the Mazda3 has a reputation as one of the most refined and sophisticated cars on the road today. Offering a new driving experience courtesy of SKYACTIV Technology, the Mazda3 proves that luxury and affordability are not mutually exclusive. Drivers can have it all and will certainly get it with the all-new 2021 Mazda3.

    155 - 250

    Horsepower (hp)

    150 - 320

    Torque (lb-ft)

    28 / 36

    Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)

    Starting at

    $20,650

  • Performance

    A gray 2021 Mazda3 hatchback is shown from the front driving down a windy mountain road.

    Mazda continues to raise the bar of performance on the Mazda3 by adding two new powertrains to the lineup for 2021. Mazda gives drivers a choice between three four-cylinder engines on the Mazda3 sedan. These engine options include a 2.0-liter, a 2.5-liter, and a 2.5-liter turbocharged.

    The 2.0-Liter for Base Power

    The 2.0 Sedan is the only Mazda3 in the fleet with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Paired with a six-speed sport automatic transmission, the 2.0 Sedan produces 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. This power makes the base model fun to drive, whether cruising the highway or running errands in town. What’s even better is that the 2.0 Sedan averages 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway, which means drivers can log quite a few miles before having to refill the tank.

    The 2.5-Liter for Advanced Power

    The Mazda3’s second powertrain option is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gives drivers even more power on sedan trims like the 2.5 S, Select, Preferred, and Premium. The 2.5-liter engine is paired with the same six-speed sport automatic transmission and produces 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. This increase in power makes the higher-tier Mazda3 models a popular choice among drivers looking for better performance and quick acceleration. And, surprisingly, this increase in power doesn’t make a drastic dent in fuel economy, with the sedans averaging 25-26 MPG in the city and 33-35 MPG on the highway.

    The 2.5-Liter Turbo for Even More Advanced Power

    What truly sets the 2021 Mazda3 apart is the introduction of the all-new 2.5-liter dynamic pressure turbocharged engine that’s available on the 2.5 Turbo and 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trims. As with most engines, the quality of fuel directly impacts the engine’s performance, and that’s certainly the case with the 2.5-liter turbo. Filling the Mazda3’s tank with 87 octane regular unleaded fuel pushes the engine to deliver 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. However, upgrading to 93 octane premium unleaded fuel boosts this power to an all-time high of 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Of course, this boost in power requires a small sacrifice, with the fuel economy dipping to around 23 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.

  • Safety

    A grey 2021 Mazda3 sedan is shown from the side parked outside of a hotel.

    Innovative Safety Tools

    With power comes great responsibility and, with an engine like the 2.5-liter turbo that offers even more power, there’s no question that drivers can benefit from innovative safety tools that lead to responsible driving. The Mazda3 sedan is equipped with the i-Activsense suite of safety features with top-tier models, like the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, equipped with the Premium Plus Package that includes enhanced tools like Traffic Jam Assist, Smart Brake Support for Rear Crossing, and a 360-degree View Monitor. So, what’s in the suite that earned the Mazda3 the Top Safety Pick+, which is the highest safety award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety?

    Every Mazda3 in the lineup is equipped with advanced airbags throughout the vehicle, as well as three-point safety belts and whiplash-reducing front seat headrests. The seatbelts are specifically designed to enhance driver and passenger safety and are equipped with pre-tensioners and load limiters, the latter of which limits the potential for seatbelt-inflicted injuries. Other standard safety features include a rearview camera, an Anti-lock Brake System, Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control, and Smart Brake Support.

    The Mazda3 is also equipped with a Lane Departure Warning System and Lane-Keep Assist, both of which ensure your sedan stays in its designated lane. If the vehicle drifts from its lane without the use of a turn signal, the system will issue an alert for the driver to adjust the Mazda3’s position. Mazda also makes cruising down the highway stress-free with tools like Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, which allows drivers to set their desired speed and let the Mazda3 take over the acceleration and braking with the flow of traffic.

    Advanced Safety Tools

    The 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus adds several advanced safety tools like Blind Spot Monitoring and a 360-degree View Monitor that gives drivers a complete view around the Mazda3. The suite also adds Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Smart Brake Support for Rear Crossing, Traffic Sign Recognition, Smart Brake Support for the Rear, Traffic Jam Assist, and Adaptive Front-Lighting. Traffic Jam Assist is especially helpful for navigating busy streets by allowing drivers to engage Mazda’s Radar Cruise Control with low-speed steering at speeds up to 40 MPH. This allows for easy movement through crowded streets during morning commutes or in late-afternoon rush hour traffic.

  • Connectivity

    A close up shows hands on a steering wheel and the infotainment screen on a 2021 Mazda3 sedan.

    Always Connected on the Go

    Mazda knows firsthand that life doesn’t stop when you get behind the wheel, which is why the Mazda3 is equipped with plenty of connectivity and technology features. This technology starts with an 8.8-inch infotainment display that comes standard on every trim along with Mazda Connected Services and access to the MyMazda app. Designed to create a more personal experience between owners and their Mazda, the app gives you the ability to start the engine and lock or unlock the doors remotely with the touch of the button. You can also use the app to find your vehicle in a parking lot and access a health report that gives you vital information like fuel level, tire pressure, and more.

    The Mazda3’s connectivity features and technology advance throughout its trims. The base model 2.0 Sedan only offers the basics with the infotainment display and an eight-speaker audio system with Mazda Harmonic Acoustics. If you want to take advantage of syncing your smartphone with the sedan, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are available on all other trims except the 2.0 Sedan. Of course, the ultimate connectivity is found on the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus, which is equipped with a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system with AudioPilot and Centerpoint 2 technology. This system delivers a crisp and clear sound that makes the SiriusXM satellite radio all the more enjoyable when you’re cruising down the road.

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