Zoom Zoom! The new Mazda3 Turbo packs performance, but it delivers it more in a more practical and polished way. Compared to the non-turbo Mazda 3, the turbocharged version makes it much more convincing as a competitor to other turbo-charged sedans.
Obviously, the most essential aspect of this new vehicle is the engine. The turbocharged 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G four-cylinder produces 250 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque when using premium 93 octane fuel. On regular 87 octane, it still produces a respectable 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is paired to the i-Activ all-wheel-drive system.
I can definitely attest to the fact that this car definitely has some zip!
Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system is also tuned more aggressively, giving the car more direct steering and a more responsive feel without sacrificing comfort. Just think of it as a feeling of unity between driver and vehicle.
What is G-Vectoring Control (GVC)?
GVC is the first technology within Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics and is part of the Skyactiv series of technologies. Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics was conceived to integrate control of the engine, transmission, chassis and body to enhance the car’s Jinba-Ittai feel; a sense of connectedness between car and driver that differentiates Mazda vehicles from others.
Inside the Mazda3 you’ll find a leather-filled cabin, with the shift knob, heated steering wheel, and heated seats all wrapped into one nice comfy bundle. There’s also a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, and five years of SiriusXM Traffic Plus and Travel Link services.
For me, I didn’t love the display and the rotary control knob. I would have preferred a touch screen and the knob made it most distracting when driving and provided too many steps to find a radio station. Plus the display on the main screen was lacking information and detail and I just didn’t find it appealing. Plus, using the navigation with a dial was frustrating — you’re painfully aware of how many letters and numbers are in an address and how long it takes you to input. So to sum it up, this model does not have a touchscreen. There is a screen but you only have a dial to navigate with. Not ideal.
I will say the trunk space on this vehicle is fantastic! There is a ton of room to get any strollers, kids items, groceries you name it. The way it was positioned always for ample storage space without removing a tone of room from inside the cabin.
Outside are the larger tailpipes, 18-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels, gloss black heated door mirrors, a rearview camera, LED daytime running lights and rain-sensing wipers.
The Mazda3 Turbo ups the ante with additional safety and driver assistance features beyond the Cruise Control, Driver Attention Alert, and High Beam Control. Also included is Traffic Jam Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with the lane-keeping assist to make the driver’s life a bit easier in dense traffic.
The Premium Package also includes driver’s side auto-dimming exterior mirror, exterior mirrors with reverse tilt-down function, front wiper de-icer, and frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink wireless control system.
I liked that anytime I started to veer a little too close to the side-line or happen to graze it, I’d get a slight vibration and a slight tug of the steering wheel to move me back into position. It definitely scared me the first time it happened, but I soon was at ease with the extra safety feature provided.
Coming in at just under $37,000 for this Mazda3 GT Turbo equipped with the 2.5-L turbo and $1,000 less for the sedan means this is not a cheap ride by any means.
Personally, I thought the regular Mazda 3 was just fine. But if more power is what they’re dishing up, I obviously won’t say no.
To break down the comparables the non-turbocharged Mazda3 is on par with its competitors such as the Subaru Impreza, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra. With the recent introduction of the turbocharged engine, added performance, all-wheel drive, and high-class interior, the 3 Turbo can be compared to a little higher of a class such as the Acura ILX, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and Audi A3.
If you’re the kind of person who is looking for a zippy sedan for those weekends drives up to the Okanagan, running errands or taking the kids to the park but don’t want something too flashy — this might be just the car for you.