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New 2021 Mazda 3 compact car upgrades to three available engines

July 9, 2020

The 2021 Mazda 3 compact car will offer three available engines when it goes on sale, including a new entry-level inline-4. Following the news of the return of a larger turbocharged engine, Mazda revealed a smaller 155-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 to complement the 2.5-liter engines available in the sedan and hatchback, the automaker announced Wednesday.

The smaller 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 155-hp and 150 pound-feet of torque will come with front-wheel drive on the sedan only. A similar engine tuned to 148 hp powers the 2020 Mazda CX-3 small crossover. It likely will be the base engine offering in the Mazda 3 and may be more fuel-efficient than either of the 2.5-liters offered elsewhere in the lineup. With front-wheel drive, the 2020 CX-3 is rated by the EPA at 29 mpg city, 34 highway, 31 combined; the 2020 Mazda 3 makes 27/36/30 mpg. Mazda will disclose trim levels, pricing, and fuel economy of the 2021 Mazda 3 when it goes on sale this fall.

The mid-grade engine available in both the sedan and hatchback remains the 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Mazda calls it the 2.5S for 2021. It comes with front- or all-wheel drive with a 6-speed automatic transmission on all but the Premium package on the hatchback, which is the only Mazda 3 available with a 6-speed manual.  

The king of the powertrain hill for the 2021 Mazda 3 is the 2.5 Turbo, which comes with a 2.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 250 hp and 320 lb-ft on 93 octane gas (227 hp and 310 lb.-ft. with 87 octane). It comes with a 6-speed automatic only and can be had in the sedan or hatchback. The 2.5 Turbo goes on sale late in the year.  

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