The Mazda3 is this company’s true entry-level model, a compact sedan that underpins the brand’s lineup as its most-affordable offering.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
New for 2021 is the addition of a turbocharged engine, a 2.5L shared with most of Mazda’s other vehicles.
Additionally, the entry-level GX and top-end GT trims gain new standard features that were optional last year, which we’ll discuss in detail below.
The Mazda3 is offered in GX, GS and GT trims. GX and GS are standard with a 2.0L four-cylinder. GS is optional with a 2.5L naturally aspirated engine, which is standard in the GT. And GT can be optioned with the new turbo engine. There’s also a 100th Anniversary trim package that can be added to the GT model.
Transmissions are a six-speed manual offered with the 2.0L engine, and a six-speed automatic that is optional with the 2.0L and included with both uplevel motors. All-wheel drive is optional with the non-turbo 2.5L and standard with the turbo mill.
Mazda also makes a hatchback version called Mazda3 Sport, which is covered in a separate buyer’s guide article.
The entry-level GX trim’s new standard features are alloy wheels, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, air conditioning, heated front seats, cruise control, power side mirrors, auto on/off headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.
Items carried over from 2020 are an 8.8-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker stereo, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, push-button engine start, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, an electric parking brake, LED cabin lighting, cloth upholstery, an eight-way manual driver’s seat, and a 7.0-inch digital gauge display.
GX’s list of safety items comprises tire pressure monitoring, and blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert.
GS trim adds radar cruise control, city-speed forward collision/pedestrian detection with automatic braking, distance recognition support, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, driver attention alert, heated side mirrors, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic A/C, a heated/leather-trimmed steering wheel, leather shifter trim, a rear centre armrest with cupholders, and an overhead console with sunglasses holder.
GT adds 18-inch wheels/tires, rear automatic braking, 360-degree camera views, traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, a sunroof, adaptive headlights with automatic leveling, signature lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, passive keyless entry, navigation, a 12-speaker stereo, satellite radio, leather upholstery, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.
The 100th Anniversary package adds an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, a front wiper de-icer, front and rear parking sensors, a frameless rearview mirror, an integrated garage door opener, red interior trim and carpeting, and a head-up driver display.
A Mazda3 GS with automatic transmission can be optioned with a luxury package of leather upholstery, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.
The GT trim’s premium package adds rear automatic braking, front and rear parking sensors, a wiper de-icer, head-up display, a frameless rearview mirror, integrated garage door remote, 360-degree view cameras, and traffic jam assist.
Mazda’s fuel consumption estimates are 8.7/6.4 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 2.0L engine and manual transmission, and 8.4/6.6 with the automatic.
Cars with the 2.5L engine are rated for 8.9/6.5 L/100 km with FWD and 9.3/7.0 with AWD.
Finally, the 2.5L turbo/AWD combination is ranked at 10.1/7.5 L/100 km.