Black wheels, wing mirrors, and a black spoiler are the only visual cues that you’re looking at a Mazda 3 Turbo. [credit:
Jonathan Gitlin ]
Not everyone enjoys driving, and not every car is enjoyable to drive. And that’s fine—and more reason to take the bus for those journeys that are more like a chore. But some of us do take pleasure from the act, and some car companies cater to that. And I don’t mean unobtainable supercars, either; there are still mainstream OEMs building affordable cars that appeal to enthusiasts. Like Mazda, for example.
All it took was a couple of hours at the beginning of last year—half of it in Los Angeles’ afternoon traffic—to realize that the new Mazda 3 stood out from the pack. It was the first car to use Mazda’s new Skyactiv vehicle architecture, and despite Internet grumblings about the rear suspension design, it was a car that felt supple on the road, with a linearity between control input and car reaction that is all too rare in this day and age.
Driving the CX-30 crossover later that year proved it was no flash in the pan, a fact further confirmed when both the 3 and CX-30 were finalists for the 2019 World Car of the Year award (where they came in as runners-up to the Kia Telluride). But car enthusiasts can always find something to complain about, and one thing they’ve wanted from the Mazda 3 is more power. And so, for model year 2021, you can now get one with a turbo. It starts at $29,900, and it’s called the Mazda 3 Turbo.