The 2024 Mazda3 sedan. (Mazda)

The 2024 Mazda3 sedan. (Mazda)

2024 Mazda3 adds a Carbon Turbo trim and more safety features

The charismatic compact is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.

Mazda’s Mazda3 compact car draws attention by having a charismatic fun-to-drive personality. It’s available in sedan and hatchback versions, and offers a choice of two engines. Two models among its seven trim levels have standard all-wheel drive on both sedan and hatchback.

For 2024, the Mazda3 has a new Carbon Turbo trim, additional standard safety features, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity along with wireless phone charging. The larger infotainment display is exclusive to Turbo models; the others have a standard 8.8-inch screen.

I spent my 2024 Mazda3 test week in a Carbon Turbo sedan. It’s the penultimate trim, transcended only by the top-level Turbo Premium Plus. Both turbo models have standard all-wheel drive and are also available as hatchbacks. The Carbon Turbo sedan is priced at $32,915 including a $1,165 destination charge. A hatchback version would be $1,200 more than the sedan.

To help clarify (I hope) the sedan/hatchback issue: Not all trims are available in both sedan and hatchback configurations. There’s one sedan-only model, and one hatchback-only model.

When served premium 93 octane fuel, the Mazda3 turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. On a diet of regular 87 octane, it relaxes to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet.

The powerful engine is responsible for no small amount of the Mazda3 Carbon Turbo personality. Its partner is a six-speed automatic transmission. The pair’s performance is satisfying and refined, eager but subtle while going about its business. Combined with AWD and Mazda’s signature sportlike handling, this car delivered the goods.

EPA ratings for my tester are 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined.

Zircon Sand Metallic is the exclusive exterior paint color for Mazda3 Carbon Turbo models. Mazda describes it as “tan with some yellow aspects” and “when combined with the reflection of blue sky, can appear to have a hint of green to the human eye.” There wasn’t much blue sky during my test week in a Pacific Northwest winter, so the hints I saw were mostly brownish. Given a choice of even one other color, as a buyer I would probably choose that other color, sight unseen. However, the car’s black wheels and black exterior accents did complement the Zircon Sand Metallic well.

As with all Mazdas, the Mazda3 sedan interior comes across as something seen in much more expensive cars: artful design, exacting fit-and-finish, and high-grade materials. Front seats are comfortable and supportive. Seating for back-seat passengers doesn’t include much legroom, so ideally they’re best suited to children.

There aren’t many compact sedans on the market now, and driving one reminded me of how a trunk has it all over “rear cargo areas” when it comes to stowage security.

2024 MAZDA MAZDA3 2.5 CARBON TURBO SEDAN

Base price, including destination charge: $32,915

Price as driven: $32,915

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews

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