Though Mazda hasn’t officially revealed updates for the 2021 Mazda 3, a leaked video via Mazda México appears to confirm what we reported about a month ago: The fan-favorite Japanese hatch is not a Mazdaspeed3 reborn, but it will get a 2.5-liter making 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
As we reported last month, you should be able to bump that power figure to 250 hp if you reach for the 93 octane button at the pump (the 227-hp figure is based on 87 octane fuel). Sadly, you won’t be needing your left foot to toss around this turbo hatch; the video suggests Mazda’s offering the turbocharged 2021 Mazda 3 exclusively with a six-speed SkyActiv automatic gearbox.
Say what you will about the simple tastes of authentic hot hatch enthusiasts; Mazda chose, in this short reveal, to focus on the 3 hatch’s upmarket ambitions. It rides on 18-inch aluminum wheels, blasts your tunes through a 12-speaker Bose stereo, and features blind spot monitors on either side mirror—which you’ll no doubt need, thanks to those giant C-pillars. Its all-wheel-drive system makes it even more appealing as a daily driver for those who live in higher latitudes.
However much gearheads would drool over it, a manual-equipped turbo model isn’t cost-effective business proposition for Mazda. If you want to row a six-speed ’box in a 3, you’ll need to be content with the front-wheel-drive Premium trim and its 186-hp, naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter (which starts at $28,445, destination included).
We don’t have any official information on the U.S.-market turbocharged Mazda 3, but expect the extra power and all-wheel drive to carry a slight premium of the cost of the naturally aspirated model. Prices could easily fall at or slightly above the $30K mark, judging from the $29,845 starting price of the current range-topping all-wheel-drive Premium model (destination included). There’s no word as yet on a U.S.-spec turbo sedan model.