Mazda is finally giving us more boost in the excellent Mazda 3 with an upgraded turbo model, but of course, the downside is that car with come with only two-pedals. However, those of you shopping for a serious hot hatch within the same price range can also find the monster Focus RS if you filter them carefully.
I case you missed it, the Mazda 3 Turbo will have around 221 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque paired exclusively to all-wheel-drive models that are only available with an automatic transmission. This isn’t really the MazdaSpeed replacement that some folks were hoping for and Mazda even said a while back that they are now “too mature” to build a bonkers hot-hatchback, so this turbo version aligns with the other cars in the lineup like the Mazda6 and CX-5. It’s for folks that just want a bit more punch.
Pricing for the turbocharged Mazda 3 hasn’t been released and the rough conversion from Mexican Pesos to USD via the press release isn’t likely to be an accurate prediction of the actual MSRP. Based on the Mazda 6 and CX-5, Mazda charges about a $4,000 premium to step up to the turbo models for those cars, so it’s probably safe to say that the turbo 3 will likely exceed the $30,000 sticker price for a full-loaded Mazda3 Premium with AWD.
For those of you who aren’t super hung up in driving something “mature” or, with a warranty for that matter, there is an option for an all-wheel-drive hot-hatch with 350 HP, a six-speed manual, and even a “drift mode.” Of course, I’m talking about the Focus RS, which has been sadly discontinued for the US market, but examples with “reasonable” miles can be had for at or under the $30,000 mark.
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Naturally, any buyers are going to want to look closely at the vehicle history for these cars as some may have accident histories and a pre-purchase inspection is definitely recommended as hot-hatchbacks like this tend to be “pre-hooned” rather than “pre-owned.”
But if the new turbocharged Mazda 3 isn’t quite as exciting as you hoped, if you are willing to cast a wide net in your search you can get “God in hatchback form” in your driveway.