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Review of the 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo: Elegant Design & Luxurious Interior

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

Mazda has been quite transparent about positioning itself as a more upscale option compared to mainstream competitors such as Honda and Toyota. While Mazda’s market share may be small in each segment, this strategy has proven successful. Rather than catering to the masses, Mazda has carved out a niche as an affordable luxury brand without the prestige of a luxury nameplate.

In each category it competes in, Mazda distinguishes itself with its premium aesthetics and ambiance. This is most evident in the Mazda 3. From its inception, the Mazda 3 has surpassed the typical expectations for a compact and budget-friendly sedan/hatchback. The current generation Mazda 3 made a bold statement with its sophisticated design and upscale interior.

Now, Mazda is pushing boundaries with the turbocharged variant that offers more power than its counterparts like the Civic and Corolla. The optional 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 227 horsepower (250 hp with premium fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque, surpassing anything else in its class excluding high-performance models like the Civic Type R, GR Corolla, or Subaru WRX.

Equipped with this impressive power, the Mazda 3 Turbo stands out with its accessible performance and refined demeanor. The six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive ensure a sporty driving experience. Despite the transmission lacking a few gears, it delivers a satisfying performance. The Mazda 3 packs a punch from a standstill, overshadowing other compact models with weaker engines.

The Mazda 3 Turbo achieves fuel efficiency ratings of 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined for the hatchback, with slightly better figures for the sedan at 23/32/27 mpg.

The driving experience mimics that of a luxury vehicle more than an affordable compact, with well-weighted steering and a slightly firmer suspension. Though the ride quality is firmer than some rivals, it pays off during spirited cornering, as body roll is minimal.

Despite being a front-wheel drive model, the Mazda 3’s sporty exterior design gives it a dynamic look. Its luxurious appearance surpasses other compacts in the market, even rivaling entry-level compact luxury models like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

Inside, the Mazda 3 boasts a minimalist interior with high-quality materials, exuding a near-luxury vibe. The upscale appointments elevate its overall appeal, making it easy to mistake for a luxury-brand vehicle.

Though the interior garners praise, there are areas that could use improvement. The 8.8-inch infotainment system, while visually appealing, could benefit from a touchscreen rather than a rotary controller. The lack of touch functionality can be frustrating. Additionally, the Mazda3’s interior space falls short compared to the Civic hatchback, particularly in rear passenger room and cargo capacity.

Pricing for the 2022 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo starts at $31,915 for the sedan and $32,915 for the hatchback.

In conclusion, the Mazda 3 Turbo stands out as a stylish, premium compact sedan and hatchback that outshines competitors like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. With its turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, the Mazda 3 Turbo even competes with some compact German models, such as the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

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