This week I bring you the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback Turbo Premium Plus. A hatchback that makes running mundane errands a whole lot more fun! The moment you open the door, its red leather-trimmed interior beckons you with promises of an anything but boring ride. So too does the Turbo badge on the exterior.
The Mazda3 Hatchback certainly has a unique look to it. You won't find aggressive, athletic angles or a huge spoiler off the back, but instead Mazda's refined sophistication with an understated, enticing sportiness.
The blacked-out look with the 18-inch aluminum wheels with a black metallic finish and high gloss black grille looks great in contrast with the special Snowflake White Pearl paint hue. On the profile, there are black dual folding power side mirrors.
The Premium Plus trim stands out from the lineup with a black aero rear roof spoiler, black front air dam and front air guides.
In front you'll find LED adaptive front lighting along with LED daytime running lights. In back, LED combo tail lights.
The Turbo engine is only available on two of seven trims, the Turbo and Turbo Premium Plus. The 2.5-liter Turbo engine delivers up to 250 horsepower and up to 320 pound-feet of torque. You'll get those numbers using Premium fuel. Go with regular, and it drops to 227 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters along with manual and sport modes.
An inviting interior is refined and upscale with a sporty vibe befitting a hatchback. You can see the attention to detail. Smooth soft-touch surfaces stretch across the layered dash and door panels. The aluminum Bose speakers in the door panels look and sound great.
This model is equipped with the range-topping Premium Plus Package which includes perforated leather-trimmed sport seats in either red, like my test model, or black. The 8-way power driver's seat is well designed, comfortable and perfectly supportive. Other features include heated front seats and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Mazda is a bit behind in the tech department compared to other automakers. For instance you won't find a wireless charger in here, or flashy graphics animating across a driver display. Perhaps it's by design that Mazda has not as of yet jumped all the all-digital instrument cluster bandwagon. Above the steering wheel you'll find the brand's familiar setup, a 7-inch digital LCD display surrounded by analog dials. I did appreciate the color Active Driving Display with road sign recognition projected on the windshield.
Set back on the dash, you find an 8.8-inch center non-touchscreen display. It runs the Mazda Connect infotainment system that you control with the multi-function commander knob on the center console. I find the system rather cumbersome to operate. The system features Bluetooth, HD Radio and non-wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touchscreen houses a backup camera with gridlines that has a nice resolution.
There's not a ton of leg-room in the second row, but the 60/40 split fold-down seats are cushiony. There's also a drop-down center armrest with cupholders. Due to the car's design, the windows slope up in the back and you lose some 2nd-row window real estate. However, a power moonroof allows natural light in from above.
Other standard features on my test vehicle include a great-sounding 12-speaker Bose sound system, push-button start, a cargo cover, remote keyless illuminated entry, two front USB inputs, an electronic parking brake and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Ride and Drive
The Mazda3 Hatchback Turbo is at its core a vehicle aimed to deliver excellent driving characteristics, and it does in spade. It's equipped with both Mazda's terrific G-Vectoring Control Plus along with standard all-wheel drive. The result: sharp handling, excellent acceleration, a confident ride and engaged steering. All of which make the Mazda3 Hatch a exceptionally fun daily driver.
All Mazda3's come standard with i-Activsense safety features that include Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, Smart Brake Support, Rear Cross Traffic Safety, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, and High Beam Control.
The Premium Plus Package adds Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Brake Support, Traffic Sign Recognition, Smart Brake Support-Rear, 360-degree view monitor and Traffic Jam Assist.
What You'll Pay
Options on this model include a rear bumper guard ($135) and the special paint ($395). Total MSRP as equipped is just shy of $37,000 which I find on the low side given all its attributes, minus the infotainment system.
Its exceptional driving dynamics and near luxury interior make the Mazda3 Hatchback an appealing package for drivers who want to spice up their commute, provided they're ok with the infotainment system and a not terribly roomy back seat.
- What I liked most: Driving characteristics, red leather-trimmed seats, Bose audio.
- What I would change: Update the cumbersome infotainment system, add a wireless charger.
- MSRP: Base price: $35,300. As equipped: $36,895.
- Fuel Economy: 23 city/31 highway/26 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 5,202 miles.
- Weight: 3,393 pounds (AT AWD)
- Spare Tire: Temporary Spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 175.6” long/70.7" wide/56.7" high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.7 gallons with the filler on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Snowflake White Pearl ($395).
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
- 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback in a few words: A fun, engaging hatchback that borders on near luxury with its impressive interior.
- Warranty: 3-year, 36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty; 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain protection, 24-hour roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Hofu, Japan.
- Manufacturer's website: Mazda