2021 Mazda 3 Reportedly Adding Turbo, but No Mazdaspeed Variant

  • Mazda is reportedly adding a turbocharged engine option to the Mazda 3 lineup for 2021.
  • Rather than a performance-oriented Mazdaspeed hot hatch, this version will simply be a more powerful take on the 3’s top trim level.
  • The 3 will also add an entry-level 2.0-liter inline-four that should lower the car’s base price.

Mazda hinted to C/D last year that a turbocharged Mazdaspeed version of the 3 hatchback was possible, but it appears that we’re getting the next best thing. According to a dealer document sent to Jalopnik, the 2021 Mazda 3 hatchback will offer a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine—sadly only with an automatic transmission. A report from Hagerty adds that this new model will be called Premium Plus, suggesting that it will simply be the 3’s top trim level, similar to the Mazda 6 and CX-5 which offer a snazzy Signature trim level with the same turbo engine.

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We can’t really complain about a Mazda 3 hatchback with 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is what this 2.5T engine makes in those other Mazdas. But we admit to feeling a little disappointed when we heard that this new turbo 3 would be offered only with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. No more of that crazy torque steer that made Mazdaspeed 3s of old so raucous and fun.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 2021 Mazda 3 is also rumored to add a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four to slot in below the current base engine, a 2.5-liter four. This less powerful motor should lower the 3’s base price somewhat from its current $22,445 starting point. We expect the non-turbo 2.5L hatchback’s Premium trim level to remain the only version that offers a six-speed manual transmission. A 100th Anniversary special-edition is also slated to arrive for 2021.

We reached out to Mazda to see what it had to say about these 2021 updates, and a spokesperson responded that the company “hasn’t announced or confirmed any of the details speculated.” We should hear more official word about the 2021 Mazda 3 later this year.

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