Mazda has been known for its sporty appeal across most of its lineup and such a theme holds true for the latest Mazda3 Sedan with a delightfully playful powertrain found in the top-level all-wheel-drive 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trim.
Before we emerge on an electric car journey, there are a lot of new characteristics to enjoy in many current gas-powered vehicles such as the Mazda3. While the Mazda3 Sedan hasn’t been at the top of the sales chart for its segment, it holds its own for being one of the sportier options in a unique field of compact sedans and brings the proper premium accommodations and a powerful turbocharged engine with class-leading performance.
Just like my previous review of the Mazda3 Hatchback 2.5 Turbo, the new Mazda3 Sedan Turbo has a lot to bring smiles to your face. For one, it has class-leading torque with as much as 320 lb-ft when you use premium fuel or 310 lb-ft using regular. The 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is also good for 250 horsepower or 227 ponies if you save a little at the pump for regular unleaded. Sending power through a tried and true 6-speed automatic transmission out to the front wheels gives you a direct and safe feel where you’re never looking for additional power. At times you feel like you must give the Mazda3 a bit more gas, but it eventually follows through with somewhat of a turbo lag delayed thrust of power that puts you back in your seat.
The steering feel is good and there’s a taste of feedback sent through the electric rack. The Mazda3 goes exactly where you point it without any loose feeling of the steering or 18-inch tires gripping the road. There’s a nice balanced feel what’s in part thanks to the all-wheel-drive system of the Mazda3 Sedan Turbo Premium Plus, which otherwise comes in front-wheel-drive for the non-turbo trim levels with an option for AWD in the Premium trim. Zero to 60 mph takes place in 5.6 seconds, which is pretty good as it leaves the competition in the dust.
The SKYACTIV-G technology in the Mazda3’s turbocharged engine can help muster out consistent fuel consumption numbers for its substantial power figures getting the EPA-estimated 25 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined.
The interior of the Mazda3 Sedan is just like what you find in my previous review of the Mazda3 Hatchback Turbo Premium Plus where there are plentiful soft-touch surfaces and a premium level of quality. The front heated seats are accommodating but tend to be in a somewhat narrow area.
There’s a nice minimalistic approach to the interior design and setup with an 8.8-inch infotainment screen that’s no longer a touchscreen but operated solely by a central control knob that’s somewhat like the iDrive control setup from BMW, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion. The gauge cluster is composed of a central LCD screen and analog gauges on the sides that nicely integrate to match the screen’s gauge graphics.
The top Turbo Premium Plus trim comes with a full array of active safety features, including radar cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention alert, a 360-degree view monitor camera system, and high beam control for the adaptive LED headlights.
The Mazda3 Sedan remains competitive for its pricing scale starting at just $21,150 for the base 2.0-liter 155-horsepower sedan. However, I feel you get a little more for its premium theme, excellent fit and finish, and remarkable performance for a mainstream compact sedan even at the as-tested price for the top 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trim at $35,060.