The 2023 Mazda3 2.5 Premium Plus all-wheel drive turbocharged hatchback is sure to brighten even the gloomiest of winter days.
Not everyone wants to drive a behomoth SUV or truck. Mazda3 delivers the magic of a compact sedan with responsive driving dynamics, sophisticated design, and budget-friendly pricing.
There are plenty of models to make your choice more difficult, starting with the base 2.5S and its $22,500 price tag. Also available are the 2.5 S Select, 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 S Carbon Edition, 2.5 S Premium, 2.5 Turbo, and my top-of-the-line tester, the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus.
The turbocharged model will put a smile on the face of driving enthusiasts looking for a modern hatchback and refined performance. The model is powered a Skyactiv-G 2.5 Turbo engine delivering 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium fuel paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard i-Activ AWD.
Control paddles are provided for those seeking the feel of manual shifts.
With a low center of gravity, Mazda3 takes corners, turn and bends at speed without noticeable body lean and precision. G-vectoring control plus might have something to do with that. The downside is occupants experience the jolts od expansion joints, bumps and potholes in the road.
Mazda3 2.5 Premium Plus seats four adults with enough room to be comfortable, at least for short jaunts. Add a fifth adult, and it’s a squeeze. The hatchback eliminates the need for a trunk, and adds a stylish, raked design to the back of the vehicle. The EPA rates the model at 31 miles per gallon fuel economy down the highway.
Hatchback models are equipped with a rear roof spoiler and front air dam. Mine came with a “Snowflake White Pearl Red” coat of enamel, black aerodynamic accents, and a stylish front end that catches the eye.
All Mazda3 models come standard with many i-Activsense safety features that include Mazda radar cruise control with stop and go function, smart brake support, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, driver attention alert, and high beam control. Mazda Connected Services is complementary for three years, which provides the ability to monitor the Mazda3 remotely through the MyMazda app and includes in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for three-months or 2GB trial.
Mazda3 also includes several other safety features including anti-lock brakes with brake assist, dynamic stavility control and traction control.
In addition, the turbo hatch includes rear direction base safety, which includes smart brake support-reverse and rear cross-traffic braking. This is technology more commonly found in more expensive models.
The turbo hatch is slathered with many bells and whistles listed as standard. The list is higlighted by: heated leather front seats and steering wheel, and an 8.8-inch center display with the latest Mazda Connect infotainment system. Other standard features include push button start, remote keyless illuminated entry, rearview camera, two front USB inputs, Bluetooth, Bose 12-speaker premium sound system, electronic parking brake, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Other upgrades considered standard with the Premium Plus package are traffic jam assist, 360°
view monitor with front and rear parking sensors, Homelink added to the frameless auto-dim rearview mirror, and a navigation system with an active Ddiving display to include traffic sign recognition.
Base Price: $36,365
Price As Driven: $36,895
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.