Every driver has unique needs and preferences, and so Mazda offers the Mazda3 in seven trims: 2.5 S, 2.5 S Select, 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 S Carbon Edition, 2.5 S Premium, 2.5 Turbo, and 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. Power for all versions (except the Turbo and Turbo Premium Plus) comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 191 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. Those top two trims get a turbocharged version of this powerplant, producing 250 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque with 93-octane gas (or 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque with 87-octane fuel).
Front-wheel drive is the default, but all-wheel drive is optional on the Carbon Edition and standard on higher trims. Uniquely, the Premium can be equipped with front-wheel drive. In this case, it’s the only Mazda3 with a six-speed manual gearbox (all others get a six-speed automatic). For trims with the base engine, the Mazda3 Hatchback is EPA-estimated for 26 mpg around town and 36 mpg on the open road. The highway fuel economy changes to 33 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Mazda makes a point of packing a ton of choice content into this base trim. Among its finest features are LED exterior lights, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, rain-sensing wipers, exterior mirrors with built-in turn-signal indicators, push-button ignition, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seatback, and a cargo cover to keep your belongings safely out of sight. In the tech and connectivity department, it gets a pair of USB ports, a 12V power outlet, a 7-inch LCD gauge cluster, and an infotainment system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, HD radio, and an eight-speaker sound system. The brand’s i-Activsense suite comes standard, equipping the 2.5 S with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, driver attention monitoring, and automatic high beams.
As the second tier of the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback’s lineup, the 2.5 S Select gets a few more desirable amenities, such as dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic-leather upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. What’s more, its safety suite is bolstered with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The luxury factor rises in the 2.5 S Preferred, which receives heated front seats, a moonroof, illuminated vanity mirrors, an overhead console sunglasses holder, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. It also adds position memory for the outside mirrors and driver’s seat.
If you’re looking to make a statement, the 2.5 S Carbon Edition is the way to go. This distinct trim flaunts the exclusive Polymetal Gray Metallic paint, black side mirrors, and striking red leather seats. On top of that, sound quality is heightened with a 12-speaker Bose audio system that will certainly appeal to music lovers.
The 2.5 S Premium builds off the 2.5 S Preferred with signature LED headlights and taillights, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and black leather seats. Its infotainment system is also elevated with onboard navigation, aluminum speaker grilles, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Safety and driver convenience are improved as well with a head-up display, an adaptive front lighting system, and traffic sign recognition.
While the 2.5 Turbo doesn’t come with built-in navigation or traffic sign recognition, it does get the adaptive front lighting system. Most notably, it gets the higher-powered engine, along with a rear window wiper, a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, durable simulated leather seats, and a heated steering wheel to help take the chill out of cold mornings.
The first thing you’ll notice about the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus is its front air guards, black aero roof spoiler, and front air dam. Beyond that, it gets a mix of the attributes found in the 2.5 S Premium and the 2.5 Turbo, plus a HomeLink universal garage door opener, and perforated leather seats. To top it off, this top-end trim has the most complete driver-assist stable, adding reverse automatic emergency braking, a surround-view monitor, and traffic jam assist.