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Why I Love (and Hate) the New 2024 Mazda 3 Hatch Turbo – Full Review!

Last week, I got the chance to test drive the 2024 Mazda 3 Hatch Turbo Premium Plus, thanks to Mazda. I was especially excited about this because I really like this type of car and it’s packed with cool features in a compact frame.

The stylish look, comfortable interior, and powerful turbo engine really stood out to me. But, it wasn’t perfect. I’ll share my detailed thoughts on what worked and what didn’t.

What I Loved About the Mazda 3 Hatch Turbo Premium Plus

1. Stunning Exterior Design

First off, the aesthetics of this car are a delight. Sporting the latest generation design introduced in 2019 with some minor tweaks in 2021 when the turbo engine and all-wheel-drive system were incorporated, the model I drove featured an eye-catching red exterior.

Key details like the gloss black front splitter and mirror caps, along with the rear spoiler, add a touch of sophistication that distinguishes the turbo models from their less sporty counterparts.

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2. Feature-Rich Interior

Inside, the Mazda 3 feels more premium than its class would suggest. The Premium Plus package includes a slew of high-end features uncommon in compact vehicles, such as rain-sensing wipers, a heads-up display, memory driver’s seat, and a premium audio system.

The large infotainment system, coupled with these features, reinforces the car’s upscale ambition, justifying its price point to some extent.

3. Bose Premium Audio System

The sound system deserves a special mention. The 12-speaker Bose setup with a subwoofer integrated into the spare tire well provides an acoustic experience that rivals systems found in much pricier vehicles.

Whether you’re tweaking settings on the infotainment screen or just cruising, the audio quality is exceptionally crisp and satisfying.

4. Advanced Infotainment System

The 10.25-inch infotainment display is a hub of connectivity, supporting navigation, wireless Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Its quick response time and seamless integration with mobile devices enhance the overall user experience, making tech navigation intuitive and straightforward.

5. High-Quality Interior Materials

The cabin’s materials feel near-luxurious, featuring soft-touch surfaces on almost all sides, tasteful chrome and silver accents, and meticulously stitched leather elements.

Although there’s a bit of gloss black plastic around, it doesn’t detract from the overall high-quality impression.

6. Pleasant Engine Sound

Despite being a 2.5 L turbocharged 4-cylinder, the engine produces a surprisingly deep and pleasant sound, enhancing the driving experience with its robust auditory feedback.

7. Reliable All-Wheel Drive

The all-wheel-drive system, which operates seamlessly without any need for driver intervention, provides added confidence in adverse conditions, making it a reliable feature for diverse driving environments.

8. Efficient LED Lighting

Both the interior and exterior lighting are LED, with the exterior featuring Mazda’s signature adaptive front lighting system. This not only contributes to safety during night driving but also elevates the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal.

What I Disliked

1. Partially Heated Steering Wheel

Contrary to expectations, the heated steering wheel only warms the sides, leaving the top and bottom cold, which can be a letdown in colder climates.

2. Heavier Steering Feel

The steering is noticeably heavier compared to other vehicles in its class. While it’s not a dealbreaker, it’s something potential buyers might want to test for themselves.

3. Compromised Visibility

Due to the design, the visibility, especially around the rear through the C-pillars, can be challenging. This is something to consider if extensive driving in traffic is routine.

4. Awkward Cup Holder Placement

The placement of the cup holders and the wireless charging pad could be more ergonomic. They are somewhat obstructed by the gear shift, making access cumbersome.

5. Lack of Ventilated Seats

For a vehicle that reaches into the upper $30,000s, the absence of ventilated seats is a notable omission, especially given the leather upholstery.

6. Small Fuel Tank

The 12.7-gallon tank limits the range of the car, especially considering its less efficient turbo engine, which means more frequent stops at the gas station on longer trips.

7. Underwhelming Driver Assistance Tech

While the car is equipped with a comprehensive suite of driver aids, their real-world performance isn’t as polished as one might expect from a vehicle in this price range.

8. Steep Pricing

At just over $38,000, the price is on the higher end for compact hatchbacks. While the Mazda 3 Hatch Turbo Premium Plus offers many commendable features, its cost will undoubtedly be a significant factor for many potential buyers.

Final Verdict

In summary, the 2024 Mazda 3 Turbo Premium Plus hatchback presents itself as a compelling option in the competitive compact hatchback segment.

As an individual who recently test drove the vehicle, I was particularly impressed by its striking design, which seamlessly blends elegance with sportiness.

The interior exudes a sense of sophistication, with high-quality materials and meticulous attention to detail throughout.

During my test drive, I found the driving experience to be exhilarating, thanks to the potent turbocharged engine that delivers ample power and torque.

The responsive handling and precise steering further contributed to the enjoyment behind the wheel. Additionally, the advanced technology features, such as the intuitive infotainment system and comprehensive driver assistance systems, enhanced both the convenience and safety of the driving experience.

While the price point of the Mazda 3 Turbo Premium Plus may be higher compared to some competitors, I believe it offers excellent value for the performance, refinement, and features it provides.

Overall, my personal experience with the 2024 Mazda 3 Turbo Premium Plus left me thoroughly impressed, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in search of a compact hatchback that delivers on both style and substance.

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