The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo is not a hot hatch, but as it turns out, it can accelerate like one.
While the hot hatch market is booming, Mazda opted to take a different direction with the Mazda3 Turbo. Rather than chasing on-track performance and handling at the expense of comfort, like traditional hot hatches, it instead fitted a powerful engine, all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The engine in question is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 hp and 320 lb-ft (434 Nm) of torque when running on premium fuel. This, combined with the all-wheel drive and automatic transmission, means the car can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in less than 6 seconds.
In fact, with the car in Sport mode, the transmission in auto mode, and the traction control disabled, an owner was able to hit 60 mph in 5.75 seconds. That time matches the more hardcore, and more powerful, Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S. Trophy, while eclipsing hot hatches like the Hyundai i30 N and VW Golf GTI. Not bad for a car that’s not really designed to compete with any of them.
In the United States, the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo starts at $29,900, meaning it is $1,305 more expensive than a VW Golf GTI. On the plus side, it does come with a number of features such as heated leatherette front seats, a power moonroof, heated leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control system, an 8.8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto / Apple CarPlay, head-up display, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system.