Hatchbacks are a dying breed, especially ones that are the least bit fast. I’ve wanted to drive a Mazda3 Turbo since the day it was announced, and I will finally get my wish this week. Tell me: What would you like to know about it?
Of course, the 3 Turbo isn’t new; it was announced two summers ago and hit dealers right before the end of 2020. But we’ve shockingly never given our Jalopnik stamp of approval or disapproval on it, and it’s one of like five new-ish cars I’m very interested in at the moment. It’s a hatchback, after all, with all-wheel drive, up to 250 horsepower (octane depending, mind) and Mazda’s peerless design language. This car was made for me.
The prevailing line on the 3 Turbo is that it’s not a Mazdaspeed 3, but frankly that just piques my curiosity more. That car looked like an anime fish, and scoff at me if you like, but I won’t shed a tear if Mazda’s traded a bit of backroad aggression for improved fit and finish. The 3 Turbo is a not-quite luxury compact, and nothing else out there is really playing in that space.
Of course, there are aspects of this car I know will bum me out, and they’ll likely bum you out, too. However much I enjoy it, I’d probably enjoy it more with a third pedal, or at least a proper dual-clutch. Toss in a six-speed, and perhaps prospective GTI buyers might cross-shop it.
I have a vision in my head of being slightly let down by the Mazda3 Turbo’s athleticism — or lack thereof — and yet paradoxically won back by its stunning interior and Mazda’s care for the details. We’ll see if that bears out. In the meantime, if you have any at all questions about this car — from the experience behind the wheel to what the infotainment system knob is like to use, to the visibility past that comical C pillar — drop it below, and I’ll get you an answer one way or another.