Not everyone enjoys driving, and not every car is fun to drive. And that’s fine – and one more reason to take the bus for those trips that are more like a chore. But some of us enjoy the act, and some auto companies cater to it. And I also don’t mean unattainable supercars; There are still major OEMs making affordable cars that are attracting enthusiasts. Like Mazda for example.
All she asks for is A few hours at the beginning of last year– half of it in afternoon traffic in Los Angeles – to the realization that the new Mazda 3 stood out from the group. It was the first car to use Mazda’s new Skyactiv architecture, and despite the internet grumbling about the rear suspension design, it was a car that felt flexible on the road, with linearity between control inputs and vehicle reaction which is very rare in this day and age.
Drive the CX-30 crossover Later that year it proved that there was no flash in the pan, a fact confirmed by Matthew Both the 3 and the CX-30 were finalists For the Best Car in the World for 2019 (where they came second on the Kia Telluride). But car enthusiasts could always find something to complain about, and the only thing they wanted from the Mazda 3 was more power. Thus, for the 2021 model year, you can now have one with a turbo. Its price starts at $ 29,900 and is called the Mazda 3 Turbo.
34% more power, less than 1 mpg
Obviously the main new thing here is the Mazda 3 Turbo engine. It is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-G design, first seen in the CX-5 crossover, although here it has an all-new engine tuning, and an air-to-water intercooler has been integrated into the intake manifold for enhanced response. It also uses a fairly high compression ratio of a 10.5: 1 turbocharged engine. Mazda says this is key to getting better fuel efficiency than the powerful naturally aspirated V6.
Power and torque have been greatly increased over the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Mazda 3. This car gets 186 hp (139 kW) and 186 lb-ft (252 Nm); Mazda 3 Turbo reaches 250 hp (186 kW) and 320 lb-ft (433 Nm). (If you don’t have access to 93 octane fuel and have to use 87 octane, the engine only produces 227 hp and 310 lbs.) The 3 Turbo engine is only available with all-wheel drive, and only with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Despite this 34 percent increase in power and a 72 percent increase in torque, plus a slightly heavier engine than the normal version, the fuel efficiency effect was minimal. Specifically, a 1 mpg increase in each of the three categories – 27 mpg combined, with 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway (8.7 l / 100 km combined, 10.2 l / 100 km In the city, 7.4 l / 100 km highway).
The suspension has been revised slightly, mostly to handle the extra weight of the Turbo powertrain. So there are stiffer dampers and stronger steering arms, and the front spring rate is increased by 15 percent. The rear differential is also new to handle the much higher torque of this engine. This has also prompted a new all-wheel drive control algorithm, which takes into account the vehicle’s speed and G forces to calculate the vertical load on each tire to determine how much torque must be sent to each wheel. For the 3 Turbo, Mazda wanted to make the rear wheels do a lot of work on dry pavement rather than lag behind front-wheel drive in high grip conditions like a naturally aspirated car.
Finally, Mazda experts made some changes to the Sports Mode. Previously, this mode changed the car’s throttle map and shift behavior of the transmission. Now, it gets a little smarter. For one thing, the transmission is aware of G-car’s load, and “unless there is an urgent need to shift up or down” it won’t shift in the center of the corner. The gearbox now also shifts speed down during braking while in sport, and for the first time, Mazda allowed this little button to tweak the G-Vector Control algorithm as well. This adds or subtracts very small amounts of torque to either or both of the front wheels to make the initial steering input more responsive, and in sport this is more apparent.
It’s not Mazdaspeed
During a question-and-answer session with Mazda, the company left some bad news: He died and buried the Mazdaspeed brand. As we discovered from its other recent cars, the company is striving for a more luxurious feel, especially with the interiors. So the Mazda 3 Turbo isn’t a hot hatch competitor like the Volkswagen Golf GTI Or the Hyundai Veloster N. Mazda may have just won the 12 Hours of Sebring completely, but there are no race-track nods here like deep-wing seats or Alcantara-coated steering wheels. It’s actually hard to distinguish the Mazda 3 Turbo from its less powerful siblings just by looking at them, because the visual cues are subtle. The tailpipe diameter is slightly larger, the side mirror circumference is glossy black, as are the air dam, spoiler and 18-inch wheels.
However, this does not mean that it is not a good idea to drive. He maintains the same balance and sense of fluidity on the road and is keen to turn into an angle and is predictable throughout this beam as ever. But you notice the rear axle helps propel you out of a slow angle, and the extra power provided by the turbocharger is a welcome addition. Automatic transmission laps things a little; Even in sports, the transitions are never as fast as you want them to be. But the manual transmission is not in the cards of this engine, we are afraid to say.
Feel upscale, mainstream price
You can have the Mazda 3 Turbo as a sedan or hatch. We tested a sedan, but I prefer the hatchback, which has a not-so-impressive rear vision but makes up for it with its cool looks. The sedan is slightly cheaper at $ 29,900, with a hatch at $ 30,900. There’s a little more difference with the Premium Plus package – $ 32,450 a car but $ 33,750 aperture. (The main difference is that the hatch gets a new front air dam when you get that option, whereas the sedan doesn’t.)
There are a few new features found in the vehicle’s 2021 Advanced Driver Assistance suite of vehicles. There is a Traffic Jam Assist mode for adaptive cruise control and lane keeping, which handles lockdowns better. There’s also a rear crossover brake in the hatch with its wide C-pillars, and then all ADAS from the regular Mazda 3.
For me, this all adds up to a compelling car. But as I explained at the beginning, I’m in love. Adding more power and a little bit of bias in the rear engine makes me love it even more.
Listing image by Jonathan Gatlin