2024 Mazda3 Hatchback 2.5 Turbo AWD Premium Plus Review & Test Drive

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Mazda has gained newfound recognition in the mainstream but still retains its liveliness in being one of the sportier brands offering a variety of vehicle segments. In the compact segment, the Mazda3 hatchback continues to be a favorite among automotive enthusiasts, especially when such a vehicle is equipped with its more powerful turbocharged engine choice.

This week, I was able to embark on another journey with the Mazda3 hatchback, noting just a couple of small updates and a stylish Carbon Turbo package trim option.

With just two engine options, most will be happy with either choice, whereas the more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is more suited for lighthearted enthusiasts. Just as before, from adding the turbocharged engine to the lineup for the 2021 model year, the Mazda3 has fundamentally been transformed into more of a performance-oriented vehicle touting as much as 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque when you use 93 octane premium fuel (227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft using regular fuel).

See Also: 2022 Mazda3 Hatchback 2.5 Turbo AWD Premium Plus Review & Test Drive

In its clever hatchback form, the Mazda3, paired with its turbocharged engine, is a respected compact vehicle out on the road. There’s a surprising feeling of stability from the Mazda3 hatchback, which never feels lacking in handling its ample torque, which is surefooted through the all-wheel-drive system. Even though the Mazda3 hatchback is front-wheel-drive biased, it feels agile enough with plenty of rear torque to power through turns without plowing with an abundance of understeer. There’s also somewhat of a connected feeling through the steering rack, which is nicely weighted for the small hatchback. Most of how the Mazda3 hatchback turbo drives is on the sporty side but not so much to turn off those who are not considered automotive enthusiasts.

The Mazda3 hatchback in the top 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trim looks the part to match its performance with dark trim, black 18-inch alloy wheels, low-to-the-ground front air dam, black rear roof spoiler, and black gloss front grille.

Fuel mileage suffers somewhat from the turbocharged engine when compared to the base naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. However, the EPA estimates for the Mazda3 hatchback turbo of 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined are easily obtainable in the real world.

The interior space remains to have a premium overall feeling, almost luxury-like, which is a common characteristic for modern Mazda vehicles. The Mazda3 hatchback’s cabin is on the smallish side, but the driver and front passenger have plenty of seat adjustability to accommodate most, even me being 6 foot 3 inches tall. Things are compromised in the rear seats, where legroom is very short, and headroom is something to be mindful of if you’re anywhere near 6 feet tall. The rear cargo hatch is a benefit and makes up for some of the small rear seating areas with the convenience of a tall opening with just over 20 cubic feet of space and the rear seatbacks in place.

New for the 2024 model year is an updated infotainment screen that is now a touchscreen but only for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which can be paired wirelessly. However, the touch function of the larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen is only available when the vehicle is stationary. You’re left to utilize the central controller knob and physical buttons all behind the gear shifter to operate other infotainment functions otherwise. Mazda is smart to retain a full array of physical buttons and temperature turn knobs for the automatic dual climate controls.

The Mazda3 receives essential active safety features as standard, with only a few additions, such as a 360-degree camera system, adaptive front lighting, traffic sign recognition, and cruising and traffic support reserved for the very top Turbo Premium Plus trim. Otherwise, you get a bevy of features that include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, radar cruise control, and the single-view rearview camera.

In terms of value, the Mazda3 hatchback remains a good value with a starting price of $25,690 for the base 2.5 S Select Sport trim before any options or fees. Where things tend to increase fast is for the trim levels that include the turbocharged engine, which starts at $23,950 for the Carbon Turbo trim and goes up to $36,650 for my test vehicle’s Turbo Premium Plus trim, which will cost $38,410 when you factor in the paint charge ($595) and delivery fee of $1,165.


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