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Dave's Gagrage: 2021 Mazda3

Eric Peters on

The Mazda3 just got speedier.

In addition to its standard 2.0-liter and optional 2.5-liter engine, you can now get it with a new engine. It's a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter engine -- partially resurrecting the idea, at least, of the old MazdaSpeed3, the high-performance version of the 3.

That one hasn't been available for a while.

Now it's almost back.

The new engine also comes paired with all-wheel drive. The old Speed3 was a front-wheel-drive terror that was terrible in the snow.

Now you can get where you're headed when the weather's not great -- and get there faster, too.

 

What It Is

The 3 is Mazda's entry-level compact sedan/hatchback sedan.

In addition to being an economy car, it can also be a high-performance car -- and something in between the two.

Prices start at $20,500 for the base sedan equipped with an economy-minded 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. This one can deliver almost 40 mpg on the highway, which is among the best you can get without getting a hybrid.

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