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A 'new' base engine joins the 2021 Mazda3 lineup

Expect 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque from this strangely familiar four-cylinder.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
2 min read
2021 Mazda3 Base Engine

This entry-level engine could lower the Mazda3's base price.

Craig Cole/Roadshow/Mazda

A "new" engine will be offered in the Mazda3 sedan for 2021. Evidently, the automaker has dusted off its old Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter four-pot unit, which will serve base duty in this handsome little machine. It will be a step below the now-midrange 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two rungs down the ladder from the just-announced 2.5-liter turbo.

Drivers can expect 155 horsepower from this entry-level engine and 150 pound-feet of torque, figures that are identical to what the company's 2.0-liter powerplant delivered in the previous-generation . All that giddy-up is routed to the car's front wheels, likely through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Just to recap, this car's midrange 2.5-liter four-cylinder is rated at 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. As for the range-topping powertrain, which is shared with larger Mazda models including the CX-9 crossover, it also displaces 2.5-liters, but a turbocharger huffs air into its quartet of lungs, helping deliver a potent 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when running on premium fuel. Because of that mountain of twist, it will be paired exclusively with all-wheel drive in the 2021 Mazda3. Both of these up-level engines are available in either sedan or hatchback models.


Mazda's 2.5-liter turbo-four is a potent little powerplant.

Standard equipment for 2021 includes things like 16-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers and a matte-finished grille. Inside, you'll find an 8.8-inch infotainment display, and two USB ports to keep your mobile devices fully juiced. Mazda's i-Activsense suite of safety and convenience features is also included at no extra charge. This bundles things like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams and more.

The 2021 Mazda3 is scheduled to go on sale in America later this year. Naturally, pricing has not been announced yet, but the 2020 sedan model starts at less than $23,000, including destination fees, which is a little richer than some of its rivals like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. It's entirely possible that new base engine will lower the car's price just a skosh, broadening its appeal.

The 2020 Mazda3 is a piece of art

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