It’s been a long time coming, but a turbocharger finally returns to the Mazda 3. Just don’t call it a Mazdaspeed 3.
The 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo makes 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque from its 2.5-liter turbo-4 with 93 octane gas, the automaker announced Wednesday. The torque-rich engine doesn’t match the 263-hp Mazdaspeed 3 that was discontinued in 2013, but it boosts the Mazda 3 back into the hot hatch discussion.
Redesigned for 2019, the Mazda 3 lost some of the handling verve that made it an eager but underpowered competitor to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai Veloster N, Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line, and the Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo. With the addition of all-wheel drive for all but the base models, the Mazda 3 sedan became the more sophisticated compact, while the hatchback geared more toward enthusiasts with an available 6-speed manual.
2021 Mazda 3 with…