This is a car that looks the part wherever you are, whether that's sitting quietly outside Piedmont Arts to waiting in line for the kids at Albert Harris Elementary School.

The 2021 Mazda3 is a compact sedan that somewhat straddles the divide between mainstream and luxury sections of the auto market, but the good news for buyers is it can deliver that luxury feel at mainstream prices. This is a car that grabs your attention with its sleek exterior styling but has no problem holding your attention when you start to investigate further.

  

Meet the family 

The 2021 Mazda3 is available in two versions which are the Mazda3 Hatchback and the Mazda3 Sedan but they are not identical models, so here we're looking at the 2021 Mazda3 Sedan. The Mazda3 Sedan is now available in seven different versions, which start off with the very competitively priced, entry-level 2.0 Sedan.

The next model in the family is the 2.5 S Sedan, and then the range goes to the Select, Preferred, Premium, 2.5 Turbo and the top-of-the-range 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. These seven models cover a wide range of specifications and a broad spectrum of prices, so there's a Mazda3 Sedan in the current lineup to suit most budgets and requirements..

As involved as you want to be

There are several reasons why the Mazda3 is a standout model in the compact sedan segment of the current market, and one of them is the way it offers buyers so many levels of driver involvement. It's hard to think of a rival in its class that offers the extra capability of all-wheel-drive to help make winter driving on William F Stone Highway easier and safer when ice and snow are around, but Mazda goes even further by also still offering a manual transmission and three engine options.

The first of the trio of engines is a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 155 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque. Next up is a 2.5-liter version of the inline-four which then gives the little Mazda 186 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque to play with. If you want the best performance the Mazda3 has to offer, however, make sure you check out the sensational 2.5-liter turbo-four which then puts an impressive 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal.

Every model comes standard with an excellent six-speed automatic transmission, but you do have the option of that six-speed manual if you go for a high-spec Mazda3 with the non-turbo 2.5-liter engine.
Nicely equipped but still affordable

You only have to look at the 2021 Mazda3 to realize this is no longer the economy car it once was, but you'll still be pleasantly surprised at how extensive the list of standard features and equipment is for the price at every level.

Base models come standard with manually adjustable front seats, a full set of power features, keyless ignition, an eight-speaker audio system, a large 8.8-inch infotainment screen with a rotary controller, LED headlights, and 16-inch alloys, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming and HD Radio. If you must have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, which many buyers will now consider essential, you'll have to go up a level to the 2.5 S Sedan or higher.

If you go for the highest specification the 2021 Mazda3 has to offer you're heading towards genuine luxury territory with such upscale features as a premium Bose 12-speaker audio system, real leather upholstery, paddle shifters, satellite radio, satellite navigation, a heated steering wheel, the 2.5-liter turbo-four engine, standard AWD and plenty of advanced safety features.

Test-drive Mazda3 in Martinsville, VA

Regardless of which version of the Mazda3 you go for you'll be getting an awful lot of car for your money. At the entry-level, it's an extremely affordable but still high-quality compact sedan, and at the higher end of the trim level spectrum it really does look and feel like a luxury car but with a luxury price ticket.

Come and see for yourself what a sensational car the 2021 Mazda3 is right now with a test drive from us today here at Nelson Mazda, 201 Commonwealth Boulevard, Martinsville, VA.

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