Mazda 3 Premium Plus Hatchback Continues to Distinguish Itself

Tom Crosby
| March 10, 2024 | 3 Minute Read
A blue 2024 Mazda 3 hatchback in a field by a large rock formation Tom Crosby

For the 2024 model year, the Mazda3 Premium Plus Hatchback with All-Wheel Drive continues to distinguish itself as the pinnacle among the six Mazda3 variants. Our evaluation model was tastefully adorned in an optional Polymetal Gray Metallic Black paint, adding $450 to its allure.

In a market predominantly swayed by SUVs and trucks, the Mazda3, with its compact and stylish design available in both sedan and hatchback forms, successfully captivates sports enthusiasts who resonate with Mazda's spirited "Zoom Zoom" philosophy underscored by the motto "Driving Matters."

2024 Enhancements

This year sees the introduction of the Carbon Turbo package among other enhancements, including the adoption of All-Wheel Drive in all 2.5 Carbon Editions and the availability of a 10.25-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone integration on select trims. Our test vehicle was equipped to the brim, incorporating this new touchscreen alongside features from less expensive trims, pushing its price to $38,265—positioning it as the most premium Mazda3 option and over some of its rivals like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Subaru Impreza, and Nissan Sentra.

The Test Drive

Acceleration is brisk, with the 2.5-liter turbocharged SKYACTIV-G engine propelling the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, a testament to the Mazda3's engaging driving experience complemented by sport mode and steering wheel-mounted manual paddles. The ride quality remains impeccable with G-vectoring control, precise rack-and-pinion steering, a sturdy suspension system comprising an independent MacPherson front strut and a rear torsion beam axle, all riding on stylish 18-inch black alloy wheels.

Interior Highlights

The Mazda3 remains a competitive option even against luxury German brands, offering an enhanced performance when fueled with 93-octane gas. Its safety credentials are robust, earning top ratings in governmental and industry tests, with the Premium Plus Package adding an array of driver-assist technologies. The interior exudes luxury with high-end materials, heated front seats, a BOSE 12-speaker audio system, and advanced navigation. Although the rear seating can be snug for taller passengers, the vehicle compensates with ample front room and versatile cargo space, augmented by Mazda Connected services for a comprehensive tech experience.

Likes: Responsive powertrain, chic aesthetics, dynamic handling, efficient cabin layout, comprehensive safety features, impressive fuel economy, and cutting-edge technology.

Dislikes: Higher price point, absence of complimentary maintenance, constrained rear seat space for tall occupants.

Bottom Line: The Mazda3 Premium Plus is a spirited and stylish choice that boasts considerable appeal on the road, making it an ideal vehicle for burgeoning families or those seeking a blend of performance and sophistication.

Car fact file


        2024 Mazda 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus HB AWD     

    Base Price                     $37,815 ($38,265 as tested)
    Curb Weight      3,395 lbs. 
    Wheelbase      107.3 inches
    Length      183.5 inches
    Width      70.7 inches
    Engine Specs      Skyactive-G 2.5 liter, DOHC turbo                     
    Horsepower      227 hp @ 5,000 rpm
    Torque      310 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
    Transmission      6-speed automatic w/ manual paddles
    EPA Rating      23 mpg city | 31 mpg hwy
    Range      12.7 gallons, regular
    Performance       0-60 in just over 5.7 seconds

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