Making it quicker than a Golf GTI, and just as quick as a Civic Type R.
Back in the 90s, Mazda was building some insane sports cars, including the legendary rotary-powered RX-7. But in recent years the brand has drastically scaled down its sports car range, and these days the MX-5 is its only real sporty offering. Or is it? Mazda recently announced that its popular Mazda3 would be getting turbo power, and now that it's finally here, motoring journalists and new owners are being pleasantly surprised by its new lust for life. Sure it will cost you more than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, but it can confidently compete with the German hot hatch on most levels, including build quality and interior design. A recently conducted independent acceleration test also shows that the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo is much quicker out of the starting blocks.
The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo isn't necessarily focused on on-track performance, but with all-wheel-drive, turbo-power, and a six-speed automatic transmission, it is set up for quick launches. Under the hood of the fast three is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. This is the same powerplant used in the Mazda6, CX-5, and CX-9. Recent tests show that the car can easily dip into the five-second range with a perfect launch. The car reached a best zero to sixty time of 5.75 seconds when placed in sport mode with the transmission set to auto which makes the Mazda as fast as the hardcore Honda Civic Type R and absolutely obliterates hot hatches such as the Hyundai i30 N.
The best part of it all is that the Mazda3 is not even trying to compete with the cars, and is aimed at a much more mature market. The Mazda3 2.5 Turbo starts with an MSRP of $29,900 for the sedan and $30,900 for the hatchback. Premium Plus cars cost $32,450 and $33,750, respectively. This makes the Mazda significantly more expensive than the Golf GTI which starts at $28,595 for the base model, but the Autobahn trim with the DSG transmission will set you back $37,295. With a bit of tuning, the new Mazda3 2.5 Turbo can be turned into a serious sleeper, and we love that.