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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Review: 2021 Mazda 3 2.5T AWD | Hagerty Media

Perhaps you have spent the past few years paying zero attention to the world of new cars. This is forgivable! Most new cars are heavy and complex and not that interesting. An overwhelming majority are also now something like a truck, which is fine, if you need or want a truck.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/review-2021-mazda-3-2-5t-awd/
17 REPLIES 17
compaqdeskpro
Intermediate Driver

I test drove the 2013-2018 model at an auto show a few years ago. I went in expecting road noise, a perky engine, and fun handling similar to a Fiesta. Instead I got a slushbox that smothered all RPM's unless you pushed the sport button, which I think was placed prominently for a reason, a boring composed quiet ride, a BMW knockoff interior full of black fake leather with tech gimmicks like a HUD, an after all that upscale seriousness, a hatchback? An odd unmarketable mismatch of features that I think make more sense when lifted slightly into a compact crossover.
JSievers
Detailer

It's "the violence inherent the system," but nice MP callout nonetheless!
JohninNC
Advanced Driver

These are cool looking to me. I like the thought of a wagon. A swoopy roomy Camry wagon could be cool. A swoopy Corolla wagon could be a good one, I guess they had that with the iM.
bassicdave
Pit Crew

Sam, you should know that the CX-30, not the CX-5, shares a platform with the Mazda 3.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Wikipedia says they are both Mazda 3 based, and so does this article back in 2011: 

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1070654_mazda-cx-5-platform-to-spawn-next-gen-mazda6-and-mazda3

Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I was the editor on this, and like you I thought Sam had made a mistake --- but there's a common architecture that underpins all of these cars. CX-3, CX-30, Mazda 3, CX-5.
gpsuya
Intermediate Driver

No stick shift. Sad indeed. This car begs for the added fun of rowing thru the gears.
Geok86
Advanced Driver

Have driven a 3 sedan with the 2.5, and the new turbo hatch...both very disappointing...they are very dark and cramped feeling inside, and while I expected the 2.5 sedan to feel quicker than the CX5 that we had at the time...it didn’t...it actually felt slower. As for the turbo hatch...while my GTI with its DSG box may claim less power...there’s no way that Mazda could beat it in a stoplight to stoplight race. Very disappointed in the newer Mazdas.
MikeYoung00
Pit Crew

I suspect the GTI might be a tad quicker at the childish stoplight drags, but only with the DSG. The 3 T would likely walk on the six speed manual GTI. (Car and Driver: 0-60 GTI Manual-6.0, Mazda 3 Turbo 5.6. The Mazda AWD and 320 lb-ft will get it off the line quicker. The slush box will keep it in front at least for a while.
BobbyShoe4
Intermediate Driver

Sam is truly one if the best. Such an enjoyable read. Great work sir
Djarum
Pit Crew

Could you tell any difference now that this has a torsion beam rear?

Many reviewers say that handling is compromised when pushed and they blame the torsion beam.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

This would be the same group of reviewers who were supplied the wrong Monroney stickers on the Mustang GT 5.0 launch and ended up writing all this lovely praise of THE LIMITED SLIP THE CARS DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAVE 🙂
Djarum
Pit Crew

Just asking, LOL! Currently have 2018 Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve and a 2020 CX5 Grand Touring Reserve.

For years, reviewers complained about how much road and wind noise Mazda had, especially the older 3's and 6's. A few years ago they redesigned and added more sound deadening, and the latest Mazda 3 review I just saw was complaining that its not stiff or light enough and isn't as fun as it used to be. Both are complaints are at odds with each other.
RonD
Intermediate Driver

I have a '21 CX-30 which is based on the 3, just lifted a bit. Great car in all facets.
RonD
Intermediate Driver

Forgot something....my CX-30 while lacking a manual, I can up-downshift thru the gearbox. Kinda fun! The 6 speed is matched well to the engine.
Nametzj
New Driver

Sam, you devil, do the owners of these test cars know where you take them? Pretty gnarly road that Happy Valley road. I bet you went thru the private fence, too, ya hey! My favorite carbook writer does it again.
hughesrj
Pit Crew

Great article and I share the author's view re: desirability of a small sedan versus a crossover. My daily driver is a 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 and I will definitely hang on to it until I go to a full electric.