Driving the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo in the Snow Instills Thrills and Confidence

Driving in the snow can either be scary or really fun, depending on what car you’re driving. If you happen to be driving a rear-wheel-drive car, then you’ll need good tires and prayer to get through the white stuff. But if you happen to drive the new 2021 Mazda3 Turbo, then you’ll be able to confidently navigate your way through a winter wonderland.

The Mazda3 Turbo sticks to the ground well

When driving through the snow, you need as much traction as you can get and thankfully, the 2021 Mazda3 has a lot of it. My test car was fitted with Bridgestone Turanza EL440 all-season tires that work very well when the ground is covered in snow and even inspired a lot of confidence when I drove the car hard. Of course, I probably have the car’s i-Activ AWD system to thank even more for that as it kicked in seamlessly when accelerating hard on slippery surfaces.

Overall, the Mazda3 doesn’t disappoint from a handling aspect as it hugs the curves on any road with tremendous grip but stays soft and compliant when you’re cruising on the freeway or simply tooling around town. Also, its steering is on point as it provides a great on-center feel without being too twitchy and there’s a well-balanced weight to it when it’s under load at high speeds or when you’re aimlessly driving around a parking lot in search of the well-hidden exit.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo in the snow
2021 Mazda3 Turbo | Joe Santos

It’s all about that turbocharged engine, though

It’s safe to say that the Mazda3 Turbo handles well and steers confidently in everyday driving situations, but the real story here is the car’s turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. In case you haven’t heard, this new addition to the Mazda3 lineup produces a whopping 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque when you fill the tank with 91-octane and while I can’t attest to the power loss when using the regular swill, I can at least tell you that you can definitely feel the power.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo rear shot in the snow
2021 Mazda3 Turbo Rear | Joe Santos

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Considering I drive around at a mile-high elevation, the Mazda3 Turbo’s powertrain never ceased to amaze me. The boost kicks in a low enough RPM that you can feel the power when driving normally, but when you put your foot to the floor, it wakes up quickly with a jolting force and a healthy – and possibly artificial – growl. The best part about the whole experience is that there’s no torque steer like there was in the Mazdaspeed3. Again, I have the all-wheel-drive system to thank for that.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo interior
2021 Mazda3 Turbo Interior | Joe Santos

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The Mazda3 Turbo is a great all-season car

If you live in a snow state, then it’s easy to get lured into buying a Subaru or perhaps an SUV or crossover to handle the snowy terrain. However, I would personally argue that this new Mazda3 Turbo could give you the all-season traction that you’re looking for – along with enough passenger and cargo room – in addition to the power and elegance that you crave all wrapped into one hatchback-shaped package.