Mazda has built a strong reputation for making vehicles that feel much more expensive than they really are. With the 2021 Mazda3, the company provides the market with an affordable car that feels sporty and fast. The Mazda3 has a streamlined look, both on its exterior and inside the cabin. This is true whether one chooses the hatchback version or the sedan. The seats are comfortable and the technology is impressive. Overall, the experience of riding in a Mazda3 is quite pleasant, and as described below, there are plenty of reasons why this car offers excellent value.
What's New for 2021?
There have been some important changes made to the Mazda3 for the 2021 model year. First, the Preferred trim, which sits in the middle of the pack, gets a power sunroof as a standard component. At the same time, though, it loses its navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio. To get these features plus the sunroof, customers will have to move up to the Premium.
Mazda has put in some new engine choices for the Mazda3. The base model gets to run on a 2.0-liter engine, and the top trims can take advantage of new turbocharged engines that make a noticeable difference. The middle trims run on the same engines that were found in previous model years.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Mazda3 – The Pros
1. Multiple Engine Choices
As just referenced above, the Mazda3 can run on one of three available engines. The 2.0 Sedan, which is the most basic Mazda3 available, uses a 2.0-liter engine with variable valve timing and four cylinders. This engine generates 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Like the 2.0 Sedan, the 2.0 S Sedan has a four cylinder under its hood. It's larger than the other, with a displacement of 2.5 liters.
The engines that are powered by turbocharged engines are marked with a "Turbo" designation on their trim name, to no surprise. These engines also have displacements of 2.5 liters. Being turbocharged means that these engines are much more spirited; horsepower goes up from 186 to 227, and torque increases from 186 pound-feet to 310 pound-feet.
2. Choose a Preferred Configuration
The hatchback has one advantage over the sedan - it's size. Hatchbacks are known for being reliable and practical, and it has a cargo volume of just over 20 cubic feet. The sedan, on the other hand, has a cargo capacity of 13.2 cubic feet. Remember that the hatchback has the greater height in the back, so that's why it has so much more space for storage.
3. Looks Sporty
Whether someone gets the sedan or hatchback, the Mazda3 has an athletic vibe to it. It starts out with LED headlights, a front grille that has a matte finish, and 16-inch wheels. On the higher end of the spectrum, the car can be upgraded with signature LED headlights, side mirrors that have turn signals, a glossy black front grille, a spoiler in the rear, and 18-inch wheels with a black finish. The curves built into the car make it aerodynamic and almost futuristic.
4. Feels Sporty, Too
The Mazda3 doesn't necessarily need tons of horsepower to feel agile. It's close to the ground and relatively compact, and it has a six-speed sport automatic transmission. The car feels lively, especially if one gets a turbo model. Select trims have paddle shifters on their steering wheels, and using these can be particularly exciting whether someone is using his/her car on an open highway or just when running errands around town.
5. Seats Feel Premium
The seats in the Mazda3 are supportive and comfortable. Mid-level trims are upgraded with leatherette sport seats that look upscale. Heated front seats start to be found at the Preferred level, and with this trim, there is also power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support and a memory function. The Premium Plus trims, which automatically come with 2.5 turbo engines, are enhanced even more. They feature perforated leather sport seats that look refined and sophisticated.
6. So Many Safety Components
For being such an economical choice, the Mazda3 has a lot of driver-assist technology. Even the base models come with adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and systems that can warn drivers when they're inadvertently departing their lanes. Sometimes, the car can actually steer itself back into position, and it can also hit the brakes if it seems like the driver is about to hit the car in front of it. The Select level is the first one in which blind spot and rear cross traffic monitoring are included.
7. Infotainment System is Impressive
This Mazda comes with an 8.8-inch center display regardless of what trim is selected. In the lowest trim of the sedan, there's HD Radio, Pandora radio, and Bluetooth. All of the other Mazda3 trims are equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the Premium level, there are some noticeable improvements to the system. The car is upgraded with 12 speakers and Centerpoint 2 technology, and it has SiriusXM Satellite Radio and navigation.
8. Everything is Convenient
The Mazda's cabin might not seem like it has as many features as some other models have have, but it might surprise some consumers. Everything works together perfectly in the Mazda3, and there are numerous storage components so that things can be safely tucked away when not needed. The car can come with a dual-zone climate system so both the front passenger and drive can choose their desired temperatures, and it has controls mounted on the steering wheel so people can keep their hands where they belong. Advanced trims have Homelink technology built into their rearview mirrors to take the place of separate garage door openers.
9. All-Wheel Drive Improves Traction
There aren't that many compact cars that can be set up with all-wheel drive. To Mazda's credit, this model is one that has that feature, and it helps this car stand out from its competition. All-wheel drive is available on most trims of the Mazda3, and it can make a significant difference when dealing with rough conditions and trying to maintain proper traction with the road.
10. A "Smart" Key
The Select trim and anything higher come equipped with Mazda's advanced keyless entry system. With this system, keys can stay in someone's bag or pocket while he/she unlocks the car and starts the engine. The reason that this is possible is because the car can detect the presence of its key fob. If the key fob is in close proximity to the car, a door can be unlocked by the driver simply touching its handle. Push button start is on every model of the Mazda3.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Mazda3 – The Cons
1. Hatchback Doesn't Have Great Sightlines
Due to the shape of the roof in the hatchback, some people might have trouble seeing behind them. Unlike SUVs that have more open cabins and unlike sedans that have trunks that hardly block anything, hatchbacks present some obstacles in terms of sightlines. Fortunately, the Mazda3 comes standard with a rearview camera that can be very useful while backing up.
2. Smaller Back Seat
Leg room in the second row of the car is just over 35 inches. If anyone is traveling with adults in the back, those passengers might start to feel cramped after a short period of time. This would be especially true if three adults ever try to squeeze together back there.
3. Limited Exterior Colors
There aren't many choices of paint colors with this car. The 2.0 Sedan is only offered with a silver or black, and the next level up gets the addition of white as an exterior color. It comes with a catch, though. "Snowflake White Pearl Mica" costs more than $400 extra. At the Select level, there are a few more choices, like red, blue, and gray. While the blue hue can be chosen for no additional cost, the gray costs $495 and the red costs $595.
4. No Seat Ventilation
Even if one gets a Premium Plus model, the seats don't come with ventilation. Having heated and ventilated seats is becoming more common, and some people may notice that this is lacking in the Mazda.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Mazda3 vs 2021 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic can be a hatchback or sedan, like the Mazda3, and it can also be a coupe. What it can't be is an all-wheel-drive vehicle, so that's the biggest way in which the Honda differs from the Mazda. The Civic is priced a bit higher than the Mazda3 is, and many of its trims don't compare to what the Mazda offers in terms of power.
2021 Mazda3 vs 2021 Toyota Corolla
In the horsepower department, Mazda wins over Toyota in a matchup of their compact cars. The turbo version of the Mazda3 far outperforms the Corolla, and its base engine manages to edge out the base engine of the Corolla. In addition, there is slightly more second-row leg room in a Mazda3 than in a Corolla.
There are many people in the market who really want to drive models that feel like luxury vehicles but simply don't have the budgets to accommodate their upscale tastes. For these types of consumers, the Mazda3 is a perfect fit. It looks elegant, but it doesn't have the same expensive price tag as some others in the industry. Considering its price, its nice that it comes with a large infotainment screen, a sleek cabin, and advanced safety mechanisms. What makes it even more attractive is the fact that the 2021 Mazda3 comes with three available engines. People can choose from a variety of trims and engine types.
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