If you’ve been looking for a compact sedan or hatchback that’s sporty, sophisticated and fun to drive, you’ll want to give the 2021 Mazda3 a good look. The Mazda3 has always been among the top models in its class, and for 2021, it’s even better. Buyers at the Mazda dealer near Tempe report they appreciate the Mazda3’s wealth of state-of-the-art technology and advanced safety features, including many they expected to find in a vehicle with a much higher price tag. The luxurious cabin rivals those found in some luxury vehicles. And the Mazda3’s eye-catching exterior styling will get looks on the road and in parking lots.
Changes for 2021 include two new engines, including an optional turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. The base Mazda3 gets a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit. According to the Mazda dealer serving Tempe, there are also a few features changes this year.
The 2021 Mazda3 now has an incredible selection of trim levels, offering buyers plenty of choices. The lineup starts with the base 2.0 trim and progresses to the 2.5S, which is offered in four different packages: 2.5S, 2.5S Select, 2.5S Preferred and 2.5S Premium. At the top of the range are the 2.5 Turbo, 2.5 Turbo Premium and 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus.
The base Mazda3 2.0 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox that’s standard on all models. The 2.5S models are equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine developing 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5 Turbo trims come with a 2.5-liter turbo-four that’s good for 250 hp and 320 lb-ft with premium fuel and 227 hp and 310 lb-ft with regular. The turbocharged engine has an available six-speed manual transmission.
The automotive media gives the 2021 Mazda3 a resounding thumbs up. Kelley Blue Book wrote: “Although the 2021 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback are priced on the lower end of the spectrum, they exude a premium feel, and there’s obvious attention to detail inside the 5-seat cabin. We also like the exterior style of the Mazda3, which manages to look dynamic without being heavy-handed. ... This is a driver’s car, with superb ride and handling and a quiet cabin.”
The Mazda3 2.0 is offered as a sedan only. It comes with LED headlights and taillights, 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, keyless entry and ignition, and 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Technology features include a 7-inch driver information display, an 8.8-inch infotainment display, a stereo system with eight speakers, HD radio Bluetooth and two USB ports. Standard driver-assistance features include lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and a blind-spot monitor.
The Mazda3 2.5S is offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2.5 Select gets available all-wheel drive, while the 2.5S Preferred comes with a power sunroof. A Bose stereo system with 12 speakers and satellite radio are standard in the 2.5S Premium.
The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo comes with paddle shifters, faux-leather upholstery, a head-up display and heated front seats. Move up to the 2.5 Turbo Premium, and you’ll get navigation, a Bose stereo system and SiriusXM satellite radio. The 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus gets leather upholstery and a 360-degree overhead monitor.