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Review of the 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo: A Blend of Sophisticated Style and Luxurious Interior

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

Mazda has clearly set itself apart as a premium option compared to its more mainstream competitors such as Honda and Toyota. Despite its relatively small market share in each segment, Mazda has managed to carve out its niche as an entry-level luxury brand without the luxury badge appeal.

Across all segments, Mazda distinguishes itself with a premium aesthetic and ambiance. This is evident in the Mazda 3, which redefines expectations for a compact and affordable sedan/hatchback. The latest generation of the Mazda 3 immediately captivates with its elegant design and upscale interior.

The turbocharged version of the Mazda 3 pushes the boundaries of compact models with its performance surpassing that of the Civic and Corolla. Equipped with an optional 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it delivers 227 horsepower (250 hp on premium fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque, setting new benchmarks in its class excluding high-performance models like the Civic Type R, GR Corolla, or Subaru WRX.

The Mazda 3 turbo impresses with its accessible power and refined driving dynamics. Power is efficiently transmitted through a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, offering a spirited driving experience. While the transmission lacks a few gears, it effectively harnesses the torque to deliver robust acceleration, overshadowing competitors with lackluster engines.

The Mazda 3 Turbo achieves fuel efficiency ratings of 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined for the hatchback variant, while the sedan offers slightly better efficiency at 23/32/27 mpg.

The driving experience mirrors that of a luxury vehicle rather than an affordable compact car, with precise steering and a slightly firmer suspension that keeps body roll in check when tackling corners. Despite being predominantly front-wheel drive, the Mazda 3’s sporty styling creates an impression of agility unmatched by other compact vehicles. Its exterior exudes luxury, rivaling entry-level compact luxury models like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

Inside, the Mazda 3 boasts a sleek and minimalistic interior adorned with high-quality materials that emulate a near-luxury atmosphere. The overall refinement suggests a premium touch, enabling the vehicle to seamlessly blend in with luxury brands without detection.

While the interior garners mostly positive feedback, there are areas that could be enhanced. The 8.8-inch infotainment system, although visually appealing, requires navigation via a rotary controller instead of a touchscreen, resulting in cumbersome operation. A touchscreen interface would provide a more user-friendly experience compared to the current touchpad or dial controls.

Another drawback is the limited interior space, a common trait in Mazda models. The Mazda3 offers less roominess than competitors such as the Civic hatchback, particularly in the rear seats and cargo area, potentially causing discomfort for taller passengers.

The 2022 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo is priced at $31,915 for the sedan and $32,915 for the hatchback variant.

In conclusion, the Mazda 3 Turbo stands out as a stylish, premium compact sedan and hatchback that surpasses rivals like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. With its turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive capabilities, the Mazda 3 Turbo competes effectively against compact German models like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

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