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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.

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 Mazda3. 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.