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In previous Mazda3 models, the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine and Carbon trim package were two attractive, but mutually exclusive options. For 2024, the Mazda3 Carbon Turbo blends the two to create what may be the most compelling variant of Mazda’s impressive compact offering.

The Mazda3 Turbo vs non-turbo engines

Both the Mazda3 Turbo and non-turbo engines are 2.5-liter four-cylinder outfits, but the naturally-aspirated base model lacks some punch. At 191 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, it’s ahead of competition like the Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic. But as an upgrade, Mazda also offers a turbocharged version.

The Mazda3 Carbon Turbo uses this setup to deliver 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. That significant leap cuts a full second off the car’s zero-to-60 mph acceleration, from 6.4 seconds to 5.4. In addition, the newest Mazda3 trim comes exclusively with all-wheel drive, for some added versatility.

Before you get excited about hooning around some dirt roads in your all-wheel drive hot hatch, the Mazda3 Carbon Turbo does have some disappointments. For one, the manual transmission isn’t available with all-wheel drive; thus it isn’t available here either. And with an electronic e-brake, initiating tail-happy slides and using the all-wheel drive to power away isn’t on the cards either.

That said, the punchy turbocharged four-pot and all-wheel drive confidence make it an engaging daily, even with the auto-box getting that power to the wheels.

Mazda3 Carbon Edition touches

A 2023 Mazda3 hatchback in gray
2023 Mazda3 Carbon Hatchback | Mazda

The Carbon Edition trim is Mazda’s annual set of bespoke design choices. Consisting of a unique exterior paint color, black trim, and colorful faux-leather upholstery, it represents a unique vision of the newest Mazda lineup.

For 2024, the Mazda Carbon setup includes Zircon Sand Metallic paint. The soft gold metallic is one of the more unique paint colors to hit the market recently. And unlike the weird greenish-yellow of the KIA Seltos and Volkswagen Arteon, this softer gold hue has a timeless elegance rather than a garish luminescence.

Inside, a reddish-brown leatherette upholstery gives the Carbon Turbo a distinctive, luxurious warmth. Mazda calls it “Terracotta”, and it’s exclusive to the Carbon line for 2024.

In addition, the Carbon Turbo gets 18-inch black metallic wheels and black mirror caps. In the past, Carbon models featured black badges though we know little about such changes for this year’s offerings.

Tech updates in the 2024 Mazda3 Carbon Turbo

In addition to styling and performance changes, the new 2024 Mazda3 Carbon Turbo edition also gets new tech. The biggest change is up front, where a 10.25-inch infotainment display now takes center stage. That’s 2.25 inches larger than the outgoing setup, and now includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Furthermore, the 2024 Mazda3 Carbon Turbo gets standard wireless phone charging and two USB-C ports. Signature exterior lighting and a Bose 12-speaker Premium Audio system are also part of the package for the new model.

How much is the 2024 Mazda3 Carbon Turbo?

Factoring in destination charges, the 2024 Mazda3 Carbon Turbo starts at $32,915 for the sedan. The hatchback costs a tick more at $34,115. Compare that to similar hot hatches like the Golf R and GR Corolla, and the Mazda3 Carbon Turbo is a bargain. That said, it lacks the handling and engagement of those choices, though luxury approaches what the VW has to offer.

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