Scoops and spoilers accompanied forced induction the last time Mazda turbocharged its Mazda3 compact car. That long gone but not forgotten 2013 Mazdaspeed 3 displayed all of the traditional hallmarks of a raw-around-the-edges hot hatch, making it a favorite of the “Fast and Furious” crowd despite its silly smiling grille.
Now, Mazda targets a more mature customer: someone seeking greater sophistication in a refined, upscale performance package. As such, the new 2021 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 Turbo does away with scoops and comes only with subtle spoilers (though an optional body kit does add visual sizzle). And while the new Mazda3 Turbo offers Mazdaspeed levels of performance and handling, the automaker has no plans to revive its former performance sub-brand. Having spent quality seat time in the new 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, that’s fine by us. But are the target customers ready to pay a premium for an entry-luxury compact car that doesn’t wear the prestigious emblem of a luxury brand?