By on January 24, 2019

Image: Mazda

Mazda’s next-generation 3 sedan and hatch heads to dealers in March, where buyers can kiss the idea of a “base” engine goodbye — at least until the innovative Skyactiv-X motor shows up. Until then, the 2019 3 fields just one power source: the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder, which makes 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque.

While the new 3 doesn’t afford buyers any choice in the engine department, its drive wheels are another matter.

Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive system appears as an option package offered on sedan and hatch models, enlivening the rear wheels for buyers who aren’t in the mood for a crossover. New standard tech also appears for 2019, concurrent with the disappearance of a manual transmission in all but one hatch trim level. Look elsewhere, and you’ll only find a six-speed automatic.

Image: Mazda

Bearing updated KODO design language, Mazda’s 2019 3 packs on extra cost, with the model range starting at $21,895, after destination, for a base 3 sedan. That’s $2,905 more than last year’s base manual sedan. Moving up to the Select package brings the sticker to $23,495, while the Preferred package sedan rings in at $25,095. Going Premium will cost you $27,395 after destination.

Interested in more compact car grip? The cheapest AWD sedan carries the Select package and retails for $24,895, but moving up through Preferred and Premium brings the range to a high point of $28,795.

Image: Mazda

On the hatchback side, the year-over-year price gap grows. At $24,495 after destination, a base front-drive hatch warrants an additional $4,455 outlay over the 2018 model. Of course, there’s no base 2.0-liter on board, nor is there a manual tranny, which carried a $1,050 premium in 2018.

It’s in the hatchback line where you’ll find the most variation. Mazda plans to offer a front-drive, manual transmission hatch with Premium package for the relatively lofty sum of $28,395. There’s also a base-model AWD hatch for $25,895. The rest of the AWD hatch line runs up the pricing ladder until you hit $29,795 for a Premium model.

Image: Mazda

The current model year also brings cylinder deactivation to the 2.5-liter, but only for hatch models, Premium package sedans, and AWD sedans. Elsewhere, new gear abounds. Mazda added a new suspension to its 2019 3 and dropped an 8.8-inch infotainment screen into the cabin. An eight-speaker audio system comes standard, as does LED headlamps and taillights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, remote entry, among other niceties.

While sedans start out with 16-inch wheels, hatchbacks gain 18-inchers on the bottom end. Leatherette seating is another standard hatchback perk. Also, while sedan buyers need to move up to the Select package to gain a host of driver-assist features, the hatch further defends its price gain by offering that package’s features as standard.

Image: Mazda

The i-ActiveSense suite of safety features includes Driver Attention Alert to prod drowsy drivers back into coherence, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, High Beam Control, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control. Asking for more means shelling out for a loftier trim.

While Mazda hasn’t said when to expect the Skyactiv-X engine, a mill that blends the features of a gasoline and diesel engine for high-compression efficiency, it’s likely we’ll hear something this week. There’s a Mazda 3 first drive event taking place in California right now, and you can bet that question will be on everyone’s lips.

[Images: Mazda]

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108 Comments on “2019 Mazda 3 Pricing: Engine and Content Upgrades Carry a Premium...”


  • avatar
    nels0300

    This thing is bunk.

    Manual only available in expensive and ugly hatchback. Ox cart rear suspension.

    Sincerely,

    -4 time Mazda owner (3 brand new)

  • avatar

    Question of the Day:

    How can a relatively small company like Mazda engineer vehicles that are in most respects are superior to their GM and Ford counterparts? This morning I was driving behind a Mazda 6 for about 5 miles and it occurred to me this car will outlast every domestic sedan. Maybe the shock of the great GM and Ford car culling of 2018 has not worn off for me.

    For some reason the automotive press lionizes Mazda. I have no experience with Mazda vehicles, but I do know they are still in the car business. The only domestic competitor to the Mazda 6 will soon be the Malibu. Even the Malibu is now in jeopardy due to slowing sales!!

    How did things get so bad? Even the malaise era was better than this. I call this the extinction era for Detroit. I would have never imagined that America would get out of the car business.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Even at its best, the 6 sold a fraction of the volume that the Fusion sold at. The car isnt knocking on anyone’s door for sales dominance. But, I guess if you can twist it to fit your narrative, why not?

      Compare sales of the Equinox, Escape and CX-5 (Mazda’s best seller). That’s where the heart of the market is, no matter if you like it or not.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Mazda 6 is hands down best mainstream sedan in summary. If the DI engines will last and rodents don’t finish it before its time…. Its just so pleasant to drive it.

      • 0 avatar

        I am also talking about quality. All the Japanese brands are more reliable than either GM or Ford. As for the Equinox it is right at the bottom in the latest Consumer Reports survey.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      akear,

      to answer your question…
      American car makers never knew how to make fuel efficient, nimble, reliable car. They could do either, go straight and fast cars, or the soft ones for seniors. And they never nailed reliability, I suppose on purpose – for them it was great if car was broken a lot, so people just buy another one. In Japan, they would be bankrupted long time, if they did such thing

      • 0 avatar
        Kendahl

        My wife and I own a Ford Focus SE hatchback with the 5-speed manual transmission. It was our first “domestic” brand vehicle since the two Corvairs she received as a college graduation present and inherited from her father. In the six years and nearly 80k miles we have owned the Focus, the only item to break has been a window switch.

        I was disappointed to learn first that Ford had discontinued manual transmissions in most Focus models and second that they were getting out of the sedan business entirely. That guarantees the replacement for our Focus won’t be a Ford. I expected it might be a Mazda3. An AWD hatchback with good power would be a treat. However, it looks like they too are abandoning manual transmissions.

    • 0 avatar

      Mazda6 is not superior to Fusion. I cross-shopped both and chose Fusion, twice. But eventually will be because Ford stopped further Fusion development. And BTW you can buy hybrid and plugin hybrid Fusion and AWD too. And V6 turbo. You cannot do that with Mazda. It is like saying that Acura whatever is superior to BMW jut because it is a Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @akear…this car will outlast every domestic sedan” ????

      Around here its not uncommon to see 5 year a five year old Mazda with the quarter panels, and deck lid looking like swiss cheese.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        mikey, it used to be very common – the first gen 3’s were bad for that, and the earliest ones were rusting while that generation was still in production. I think they’ve made huge strides for gen 2, since I’ve only seen one 2nd gen (with the big smiley face, which came out about 8 years ago) with visible rust. Also, for what it’s worth, my 2 is entering its 5th year, and no bubbling yet (even with nothing more than factory rustproofing).

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        mikey,

        I had Protege for nearly 17 years and currently – ’10 and ’11 Mazda3. Both are fine. Protege developed some rust at rear wheel wells @ 13 years. Interestingly, muffler was original on the day I sold the car.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      None of what you say is true for cars of today. It may have been true in the ’80s but all that is left of that is the mindset of people like yourself. Mazdas have a reputation of being noisy, harsh, hard-riding buzzboxes that are very prone to rust. They also have a reputation for things breaking prematurely. Where I live they are not known for their longevity. The fanbois love them of course but that is the reality. They are a non-factor for the most part in the US market and this pricing strategy will ensure they stay that way.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        RedRocket,

        Mazdas that had things fail prematurely were ones that had Ford components or funky engine (rx7/8, Millenia). My J-built Protege lasted ~17 years in my hands and I sold it. So I don’t know how much it really lasted. It was noisy thanks to hi-rev engine. It was buzzing @ 4K rpms @ 75mph. But my ’10 and ’11 are fine. In fact, the Bridgestones they came with were the biggest source of the noise. When I put Pirellis on it, noise just went away. How reliable they are – I have 135K on one and 87K on another – the only problem was is horn failed on one and cost me $50 to repair. My friend had this square pre-Ford 929. He must had 250K miles on it at least. That was some car.

  • avatar
    FBS

    The 2019 Preferred FWD Hatchback costs $26,095.

    MSRP on the 2014 S Touring Hatchback – essentially the same trim level – was $25,095.

    For $1,000 more you get a refreshed interior/exterior and far more active safety features, not to mention the effect of five year’s inflation. Hardly warrants the “Massive Price Increase” headlines I’ve been reading at various outlets today.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The 2.5L is the smallest engine this car can stand, granted it was a pre skyactive but my dad’s old 2010 2.5 6-speed manual had just enough power to get by. I can’t imagine all the horrible souls that opted for the 2.0, it must have been agitating to go anywhere.

    The 2.5l should be the base engine anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yeah and why isnt it body-on-frame for better fuel economy?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Do you live somewhere where everyone is a member of the Garlits, Muldowney, and Force families?

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        He’s simply a fortunate man to have never driven a vehicle with a 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds or higher. A 2.0L manual Mazda3 is far quicker than all the 80’s vehicles I grew up driving.

        Like when Jenson Button drove the Reasonably Priced Car on the Top Gear track and said that it was the first time he’d experienced power understeer. FWD is for poor people (like me).

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I literally own 2 H2s and used to own 2 H1s (down to one now), and a couple Scouts through the years; I am well versed on slow. For a car that weighs under 2 tons, I found the 2.5L adequate at best to shuffle the Mazda around. Given the option then my dad would have likely went with a turbo 2.5l, but he took what was on the lot. Granted he’s much happier in the SS sedan A6 he traded the Mazda for, can’t beat 6.2L V8s.

          I didn’t start driving until 96 so never had to put up with the horrors of the 80s. My 96 K1500 with the 350 was my first taste of driving.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Sounds like you simply don’t like driving compact FWD economy cars. I enjoy ringing them out, but most of their drivers just don’t care about accelerating quickly.

            I once asked the 2.0L Mazda3 owner I know if she had ever floored the accelerator pedal on a vehicle. “Why would I want to do that?” If you put a 4000 rpm limiter on her car, I doubt she’d never find it.

            The Skyactiv isn’t as enjoyable to rev as the MZR, but it is a bit torquier.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Love that they are offering this in AWD. The current 3 is pretty light as I recall, around 3000 lbs with 184 hp. That is nothing to snear at in terms of power. It will be interesting to see what the output of the new skyactive x engine will be. If you have AWD, 6spd manual, low weight with 200 plus hp that 40 something miles to the gallon, that will really be something.

    Specs aside, this combo is probably a decade too late and sales will be slow for the 3 compared to the CX-5.

    Id love to see one in person, I am not really loving the hatch in pictures. When it comes to a car this size, I typically think the Hatch version looks better as a rule.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    My 2 favorite automakers, the 2 that I’ve given more of my money to than any other automakers by far, Honda and Mazda, have lost it.

    These two automakers made cars that had had that special something that other mainstream automakers didn’t have.

    80s-90s Hondas, with world class naturally aspirated 4 cylinders, industry leading manual transmissions, and *understated good looks*. What happened to that company?

    What happened to the “zoom zoom” company? The company that made affordable driver’s cars? Who thought it was a good idea to put an 80s K-car rear suspension in the Mazda3? Who thought it was a good idea to make the price of entry for a manual Mazda3 $27K?

    And how in the world did Hyundai-Kia come in and fill the gap left by Mazda and Honda?

    Strange world we live in.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Maybe wait until a few reviews come out (or drive it yourself) before writing off the 3? I don’t doubt that Hyundai-Kia have made massive strides, but you’re delusional to think they’ve unquestionably usurped the traditional enthusiast choices. Most of their dedicated performance stuff is still good…for a Hyundai (or 95% of whatever benchmark at 80% of the price), and the regular stuff is…plain and regular.

      • 0 avatar
        notapreppie

        Or, you know, give it a test drive yourself rather than relying on other people’s opinions and your own biases.

        I wonder how many of the people whining about the torsion beam rear suspension have mechanical engineering degrees or could even tell the handling difference between a Yukon and a Ferrari.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          I think the most I’ve ever felt like I was going to spin a car in a bumpy corner was in a BMW Z4, and everyone knows how dedicated the Bavarians are to using oxcart suspension /s

          My Mazda2 has a torsion beam, and I get that it’s a compromised, cheapened solution, but it also hasn’t hurt the car. For that matter, one of the most hyped hot hatches of the past decade (the Fiesta ST) used a torsion beam. I’m also disappointed that Mazda chose to do this, but recognize that specs aren’t an absolute (and frankly, if you were a spec-sheet buyer, you were probably never looking at Mazda to begin with).

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I understand the frustrations over the rear suspension changing away from IRS and the cost of a manual transmission. However, I drive a car with a similar rear suspension and find the handling excellent, and I would prefer a nicer interior if I’m going to get another hatchback. I’ll probably check this out in both AWD and manual forms (if they don’t come together, as I think I saw some place elsewhere suggest).

      Unfortunately, car transaction prices are climbing and I don’t think the pricing is _particularly_ egregious for the segment. When I was last buying some place was asking about this much for a USED Civic Si. Speaking generally, I’d be willing to go up to higher trims for a manual transmission, and be willing to pass on higher trimmed automatics – so this strategy probably would net more money from me if I were buying at this time. There are so few makers selling cars I am remotely interested in with manual transmissions left.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      This is the most powerful compact car in base engine mode. As others said, it is not much more than the previous generation, with what seems a much higher quality interior.

      As for the hatchback styling, I am not sure on it but pictures don’t always do s design justice. I will wait to see it in person and in various colors.

      As to the manual point. People complained last time that the manual was only on the base spec. So now they do it on the higher spec and people still complain!

      Thus is a zoom zoom car, 186hp is not far off a Civic Si or Elantra GT.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        People complained that manual is ONLY in base. Although, for Mazda3 it wasn’t true. My problem, for whatever it is, Mazda3 has only manual and leather now, 18″ wheels, and [probably] sunroof. +it is Mexico-made.

        This is why I, in 2017 went with ‘6. Cloth interior, MT, J-built, and with cash on the hood is was $18.5K. For another $45 I installed navigation, and now Mazda offers Apple car play upgrade for $200+labor, which I might do if I will sell the car.

        Mazda probably had largest MT crowd. With these moves, it might loses them.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        People didn’t complain before because the manual was not only available on the base spec.

        It was available on the base spec AND upper level trims, both hatch and sedan.

        Now it’s only available on a loaded hatch.

        Mazda is not giving us more options with this new model, they’re giving less.

        I don’t know how/why people are spinning this like its a good thing. It’s not.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          People have complained about manufacturers limiting, or in many cases eliminating manuals. The complaint has been in part that manuals were on the poverty spec. As someone else said most manual buyers (which is a small pool) buy the highest trim level. Therefore Mazda’s move makes sense. They need to minimise number of build variants (as Ford has discovered).
          They still offer plenty of choice, two body styles, four trims, AWD/FWD.
          Lets wait for the reviews before hating on it.

    • 0 avatar

      Mazda now consider itself as a premium brand (like Buick e.g.). It means higher quality interiors, better sound isolation and so on. It explains higher costs and heavier cars. I am not sold on Mazda interiors but they are high quality for sure, you cannot deny that. And why not – they want to sell more cars. People are not interested in a nimble lightweight but noisy cars with manual transmission. In USA at least.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Honda still has everything but the looks, along with refinement befitting something better than an early 90s economy car.

      Mazda has stumbled with the 3, but the rest of the lineup is solid.

      I think the bigger issue here is that auto enthusiasts are gluttons for melodrama and hyperbole. Go drive a 20 year old Civic/Protege if they are so great.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Where’s the article about the massive differences in pricing and trim structure in the Canadian market for the new 3?

    The American strategy is ridiculous, pricing it against way tougher competition, limiting manual to the high trim, they’re pretyy much trying to force everyone into a CX5.

    In Canada, prices are making a MUCH smaller jump (~$1000), we still get the 2.0 as the base engine, and manuals are available across the lineup in pretty much any trim. Makes much more sense for the enthusiast oriented entry in the segment, and only a fool would consider a 3 a competitor to an Si, GTI, or a Veloster N which is where it’s priced in the US

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Don’t worry. When they see them not selling anymore…

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      The Veloster N is the only vehicle of that group I’m interested in. I drove a prior gen Si and current GTI, and didn’t really go for either. The styling of current Civics is horrendous, so I don’t really care to check out the new generation. The Veloster appears to be a lot more weird (3 doors?), with a worse interior, but more performance.

      I’d consider the next 3 an oddball competitor to those, especially if you can get a nice interior with a manual or AWD. The WRX doesn’t make a hatchback anymore, so will this be the only hatchback on the market with AWD besides Subaru (which uses CVTs)?

      I agree that it’d be nice if there was a cheaper version in manual, but if we’re only going to get one, I know I’d still check out a more expensive one.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        tedward,

        I tell you what problem with this. I used to buy so many mazdas that you have no idea. I always picked nice, next after base level with cloth, no sunroof, and MT. The car that give me everything I want and nothing I don’t. Mazda just killed this. to be honest, I don’t even care anymore. I wouldn’t buy one if I can’t find Japan-made on some lot, most of them come from Mexico now. May be I should find low mileage 2013 and stick it into storage. I like that 2L way more that skyactiv one

  • avatar
    tedward

    I really don’t understand why anyone has a problem with this. They took out the base engine (fine, didn’t want it), added awd (a nearly unique option for the segment), made standard what sounds like the usual suspects/driver assist aids (yay for resale) and raised the comparable price by about $1000. The cherry on top is a high trim level manual, which squares with my experience with manual owners. We aren’t buying stick to save a thousand bucks, we’re in it for the experience and would often be in a premium brand car if they still offered the option. Anyone really out to save a few bucks would be looking at the usually less expensive and less contented sedan version anyway.

    It looks like Mazda is set to give us an even more enthusiast oriented buying experience for the car. Or am I missing something?

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I agree, and their decision to make the nice trim available with a manual, and also sell a hatchback with AWD, makes me likely to check out BOTH versions when it comes time to be shopping again in a couple years.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      Just because you’re not buying a manual to “save $1000” doesn’t mean you should have to spend $27K.

      I have always bought manuals, usually a mid level trim.

      My 2017 Elantra Sport was $18K, it’s hardly bare bones.

      And no, the Mazda3 does not drive appreciably better than the Elantra Sport, I drove both before buying. And I drove the model with IRS, not this new turd.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        nels0300,

        here I am not entirely agree. Suspension wise – Elantra might even better than Mazda, and braking too. But steering and clutch – not close. The “drive” is more organic in Mazda3, with all these components working great. +Elantra switch gear is not up to par. Even Subaru is better these days.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          My wife has a manual Forester and I had a manual Impreza.

          The Hyundai gearbox is undeniably better.

          The Mazda is a little better, but absolutely not $10K, no IRS, better.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Well sure it does, because apparently no one was buying the cheaper one! Anyone who wants to know where the manual money is should check sell prices on the 2015 TDI wagons that VW has been re-selling. The manuals are bitterly fought over provided they are very well equipped, and carry an auction sourced $3000 premium vs. the automatics. That’s our only new-ish car, manufacturer not setting prices at all, example of what the actual market will pay for the different transmission types. The fact that this dynamic falls apart a bit once you start looking at base models and sedans only further proves the point that in this very particular segment, that’s the price and feature content those buyers want. I think Mazda is doing the right thing, if that’s true the question is do they have the market penetration to make any inroads with it. I’m not so sure there, no one who’s not already a rabid fan knows what that brand is up to, which is a damn shame.

        And yes, your Hyundai doesn’t suck (I’m not the one who commented on it though). It’s not quite as good as the Mazda3 or Golf, but the value prop is strong so no hate and they are improving faster than anyone. Still, there’s enough difference there for me to justify a price premium going elsewhere (especially if that somewhere is a 3 or Golf, but those are some of the harshest benchmarks in the entire industry).

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          “It’s not quite as good as the Mazda3 or Golf”

          It’s better than the Mazda3. I just shopped these exact cars and I *wanted* to like and buy the Mazda3. Nobody is going to notice any handling differences. What you will notice is that the Elantra has a lot more usable power, the extra options and pricing are icing on the cake. Zoom zoom.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            I just couldn’t pass all aspects of the interior in Elantra Sport. But partially for Mazda3 too – I don’t like the stupid dash. This is why I took Mazda6. It is just nice inside.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            The Mazda interiors are nice, but I didn’t like the Mazda3 gauges. The Elantra Sport gauge style was lifted from Audi, same layout and colors. And the Mazda didn’t have Android Auto. After having Android Auto, I will not buy another car without it. I’m also now a big fan of turbo torque, and I’m sure I’ll eventually have to clean the intake valves and I’m OK with that.

            Anyway, $18K for a Mazda6 manual is a hell of a deal.

            It’d sure be nice if you could still get a $22-$23K Mazda3 with a stick. I don’t see how that’s asking too much. Even more nice if you could get the new magic engine with a stick, sedan, $23K.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            nels seems to be our resident Mazda hater today, commenting often to criticise a car that hasn`t be reviewed by anyone, nor driven by him.
            I believe Dave Coleman more than him about the tuning potential of the suspension. Time will tell.
            Mazda interiors are superior to the rest of the mid market, with each new generation and this new 3 seems to be no different.

      • 0 avatar
        EAF

        Nels; I love everything about the Elantra Sport, I am concerned the 1.6t may inevitably suffer from the same disease as the 2.0 & 2.4. What is your take on it?

        The 2019 Civic Sport sedan 6MT is quickly becoming more appealing, I don’t really want direct injection and I definitely don’t want cylinder deactivation Mazda!

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          I’m a member of a few forums and I haven’t really heard of the 1.6L having the same issue as the 2.0L/2.4L. Its a different engine family, the 1.6Ls are “Gamma” and the 2.0L/2.4L are “Theta”. The Gamma has been around for 9 years, so I think we would’ve heard about it by now.

          That said, if there does turn out to be an issue, that’s what the 10 year power train warranty is for.

      • 0 avatar

        Your damnation of a car which is not on sale yet really says something about the level of clear thought involved.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I helped my friend buy a 2016 Mazda3 GS MT hatchback a couple years ago. I suppose the silly 18″ wheels could have been sold on Kijiji and replaced with some used 16″ wheels from a previous model, but the plastic seats would have pushed her into the HR-V for sure. She doesn’t even like cold leather in the winter; -40C plastic is far worse.

    Hopefully Mazda Canada doesn’t follow this trend.

  • avatar
    ddr777

    I had a 2006 hatch 2.3L, then, a 2011 hatch 2.5L, I really liked both of them, the problem was in 2014, Mazda asked for too much money as the new model came to market.
    Since then, I had 2 Accords, not as exciting as the Mazda but way better in fuel economy for a much bigger car.
    About one month ago, I was looking for a replacement for my 2016 Accord, I went back to Mazda, I thought I can get the new 6 but no luck, Mazda dealers act as if they don’t want to sell cars, 2 separate dealers did not even return my calls so I ended up with a 2018 Accord EX-L 2.0T, 10 speed AT, I could not be happier, it’s defiantly faster than the turbo 6 and have more features for less money, no wonder they don’t sell too many 6’s.
    With that new 3 pricing, it would be a miracle if they can sell any……….

    • 0 avatar
      SwiftLegend

      I have been mostly a honda guy, but with the styling mistakes they have made I started looking in different directions. Anyways, had a Mazda dealership throw me the keys to a manual 6 and was super nice. One of the most rare experiences I had. I call with what I know is already on their lot and ask to arrange a time or stop in. BTW, this 6 I drove is listed on another dealers website an hour away still, 2mo later. Research and know what you want and how to get it.

      I love the j-series motor, but the Skyactive-G has been around long enough and can see no real problems.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I own an M6 manual. Engine is smooth and fuel efficient. It is NOT fun or engaging in any way however. As an enthusiast sedan, the chassis, brakes, and steering are great value for money, but the long stroke, non-revy nature of the 2.5L is a let down.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          If they offered the choice, I’d take the old MZR over a Skyactiv. The Skyactiv feels and sounds like an old pushrod engine with a few extra revs. The MZR feels and sounds like it enjoys spinning all the way to the 7100 rpm limiter. Well worth the extra $100 a year or whatever in fuel.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I own a 2015 M6 manual. I like the car but it has a few glaring faults, not least of which is the 2.5L engine’s truckish nature. It is a long stroke design tuned for economy. It is not an engaging powerplant, doesn’t like to rev, but it is totally reliable and efficient.

    The rejiggering of pricing and manual availabilty seems an intentional effort kill off the manual. It also moves M3 into the “too spendy” range…IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      It’s definitely in the “too spendy” range.

      $27K for a compact car that’s not the “hot” model if you want a manual?

      But the Mazda3 is the “premium” driver’s compact car you say.

      OK fine…but that rear suspension is not “premium” in any way. It’s cheap corner cutting.

      It’s fine in a super cheap Fiesta, and sure, Ford can make it handle, but you cannot change the fact that it’s basically a skateboard bolted to the rear end of your car. You don’t need to read a review to know that if you understand what an independent rear suspension is. You will notice it EVERY time you drive around a bumpy corner.

      When was the last time Mazda used this type of suspension in the 323 / Protege / Mazda3? Exactly. Mazda didn’t earn their suspension engineering chops zoom zoom reputation with torsion beam rear suspensions. The RX7 didn’t have a solid axle because it isn’t a Mustang, it’s a MAZDA.

      I really don’t understand it, and I don’t like it. I’ve had 4 Mazdas, and now they’re not even an option. I used to be a total Mazda fanboy, I was passionate about Mazdas. One of my favorite cars was my 2006 Mazda3 with the 2.3L / 5sp manual. Back then it was head and shoulders better than most of the competition in terms of driving fun. Would’ve been perfect if not for the rust.

      I just need a manual, and I thought Mazda would be one of the last holdouts that I could count on to put on “my next” list. $27K price of entry with a torsion beam. Ooof. Get out of here with that junk Mazda.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        You cannot deride it as junk with either driving it or reading reviews from trusted sources. Your bias to Hyundai is very clear in your multiple comments on this post.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          I don’t need to drive it to know there are *inherent* undesirable traits to torsion beam rear suspensions. When the right rear wheel goes over a bump, it affects the left rear wheel, and vice versa. You do not need to read a review for that knowledge.

          I’ve owned 4 Mazdas, 3 Hondas, 1 Acura, 2 Subarus, 1 Toyota, 1 Lexus, 1 Ford.

          And 1 Hyundai.

          So about that bias towards Hyundai?

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            All that data shows is that your bias has recently changed to the newest car you bought. It doesn`t refute the assertion that you are now biased against Mazda and towards Hyundai

      • 0 avatar
        NG5

        I understand the disdain for moving from IRS to torsion beam, but as someone who actually test drove an IRS Mazda 3 and bought a torsion beam competitor, I should say that the midcorner performance over bumps was less significant than other aspects of the car. In a perfect world though, I agree. Heck, I don’t think cars should have infotainment screens or non-cloth interior options. However, people want features and aren’t very much attuned to driving fun or smooth dynamics itself. see: CUV craze.

        I wouldn’t mind skidplates bolted to the back tires if it made the car fun to drive though, so my perspective is probably pretty foolish anyway.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Somebody on Tweater described the sedan as the Tesla 3 50% off sale plus 400 miles range and superior QRD.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    The current 3 with the 2.0l and manual is overgeared in my opinion. I’ve driven two and found them revving too low for snappy response around town even in the lower gears. Despite Slavuta and his obsession with Japan made, one of my friends re-leased with the 2.0 2018 after his 2014 gave zero trouble of any kind, and it was Mexico-made. The other leased a RAM after totaling his in a most embarrassing manner – yeah he spent too much time out in the noonday sun.

    The CX-3, which I find has far too high a beltline to be comfortable, has a rear torsion beam axle with AWD. Quite clever implementation, and nobody complains about the way it handles, just everything else.

    The 6 is now mature, and having driven a turbo the same day as a 2.0T Accord Sport, I found it much quieter, more refined and with a better interior. I drove another one four months later and liked it less with the 19 inch wheels. In Canada you can get the entry turbo with 17s and I preferred them, frankly.

    However, as the 6 is a bit larger than I need, I’ll be trying out the new 3 sedan with AWD. Instead of going into caterwauling hysterics about the torsion beam, I content myself that Mazda’s engineers know about ten times as much as the moaners here do. I’ll drive it and see if I like it. I may or may not, but I’ll be the judge of that.

    All that seems to be going on in aggregate is complaints that Mazda doesn’t make stripper specials anymore for the scrooges who inhabit these pages, who’d buy a secondhand anything given half a chance and then boast about how clever and miserly they are. Then try to inform me Hyundais and Kias are better. Get away with you!

    If life were about nothing but buying stripped-out vehicles and opining about this and that based on nothing but opinion and not actual driving, the world would be a colorless place. That it isn’t is shown by people splashing out $60K or more for the rolling land-yachts formerly known as pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      conundrum,

      you said “…re-leased with the 2.0 2018 after his 2014 gave zero trouble…”
      see, you speak of the car that today would be 5 years old. I drive my cars 10+ years. So, you don’t know about 2014 that much. Your friend used it for 36 months and we don’t even know how many miles. Cars have some critical age marks – 30K, 60K, 120K. Truth is – you don’t know. What I said, In my actual experience keeping cars long term, J-vin has been success. Although, I understand that it is not always “great success”. For example, all Nissans I had with J-vin were not exactly Benchmarks of reliability. And CX9 built in Japan was Ford and it had issues with transfer cases. My J-built Highlander had 8 recalls (although all but 1 were laughable) and 1 warranty repair and now @ 130K burns good amount of oil. At same time, my Canadian Civic wasn’t any better than Protege.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    so you CAN get this in AWD manual?

  • avatar
    nels0300

    “Mazda’s engineers know about ten times as much as the moaners here do.”

    The moaners, I guess that’s me.

    Let me tell you something, it wasn’t the Mazda engineers that chose the torsion beam, it was a different department within Mazda. Guess which one?

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    Nobody mentioned this, but who would choose the FWD manual hatch over the base-model GTI? They’re within $1000. I bet the 3 will have more driver aids and tech, but is definitely down on power, and the handling it yet to be determined.

    I think I’d get the VW.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      In the past, I wouldn’t touch a VW with a thirty nine and a half foot pole.

      But with the new VW warranty, and this new Mazda mess, and they’re both made in Mexico, why not?

      GTI all day long over this.

      • 0 avatar
        Ol Shel

        I bought a new 2.0 16V in 1991, and I swore that I’d never own another VW after that. I chuckle when people talk about how amazing they were.

        That said, I drove a GTI Sport a couple of years ago, and every time I see one on the roads, I think that it might be nice…

    • 0 avatar
      ijbrekke

      Bingo. The GTI is a real problem. If Mazda were to do a Mazdaspeed 3 again, where would it be priced? Low $30k range? Because they seem to be ignoring where the competition has set the market.

      The GTI is also a problem because it can play nice and pretend to be a luxury car at times, which is what Mazda seems to be after. It’s the no-brainer best-buy over this new 3 at the price point.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’ve long thought Mazda would be the company that could finally give the GTI a real run for its’ money, but a repeat of the Mazdaspeed 3 wouldn’t be the car to do it with. Let’s keep in mind here that GTI’s killer app isn’t that it’s the quickest car in its’ class, but that it’s incredibly versatile. There’s stuff that’s quicker, handles sharper, or costs less, but the GTI does it all.

        The Mazdaspeed 3 was fast but it was raucous as hell – they were clearly chasing the tuner market with it. I don’t think someone who wants a GTI – an Audi intender, for all intents and purposes – would sign up for the Fast ‘n Furious bit.

        Drop the 2.5 turbo into the new 3, give it AWD and some luxury trim, and I think they’d steal quite a few GTI sales…and from the A3, CLA and other entry-lux cars as well.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          The turbo will hopefully make it in, then it has AWD over the GTi which is base spec is quite lacking in kit. You ave to go to an SE which is $30k. The 6 year warranty is nice and there will be deals as the new Mk 8 comes out which I assume Nel already has an opinion on!

  • avatar
    JoDa

    How is this any better than the new Corolla?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I had a hard time following everything in this story.

    1) can you get manual and AWD? This doesn’t seem clear to me. And if not, AGAIN, why? They could definitely suck old Subaru buyers now that they’re left out in the cold. Or VW buyers who don’t want the issues that come with a VW.

    2) Everything I’m reading here looks VERY expensive to me. I don’t know, if they’re expecting to get near MSRP transaction prices, in a market that is dropping cars, and compact ones especially, at rapid rates, I think they might be nuts.

    3) Manual in high trim only is a MISTAKE. I know we here don’t matter, but come on Mazda. You and VW have been our hold outs! But if you think I’m gonna shell out $27k or whatever for a Mazda3 with a manual, uh, no, I’m not. I’m not going to buy a compact car, that is fun to drive, and get an automatic. And if I’m gonna get an automatic, then I’m probably just going to buy it from some other car company that is probably going to be more flexible on options packages and probably willing to have sane pricing. And likely on a bigger, more comfortable car. Why get something small and nimble then slap an auto on it? Might as well just get a Fusion / Accord / 6 / Camry / ANY OTHER CAR ON THE PLANET.

    4) I don’t care that much, but I actually liked the 2.0. Never felt the 2.5 added all that much, and the 2.0L got noticeably better MPG. But dropping, it, yeah, I think I’m OK with that, especially with Skyactiv-X coming.

    5) I fear that we are being setup for an absurd price for the Skyactiv-X. I mean looking at these prices here, I actually wonder if they’re gonna try to get $30k out of a Skyactiv-X car.

    I am extremely interested in Skyactiv-X. I’m willing to be an early adopter. But if these are the prices we can expect, again, forget it. And if you don’t offer at least a manual with the Skyactiv-X, doubly forget it. I can give up the AWD + manual + Skyactiv-X. But if its auto-only, I’m out.

    Let me see….between me personally and my folks when I was a kid, we have owned 5 Mazdas over the years (2 626’s and a Miata for me, a Millenia, and 1 Miata for my folks). I love the way they drive. They look great. They hold up extremely well for us. But these prices are absurd for this car class, in this market, and on a non-luxury brand. We’re not even talking Acura or Volvo here.

    I had hopes I could pick up a Skyactiv-X with manual and a couple options for maybe $25k. I don’t think that seems unreasonable based on what some comparable VWs or Subarus might go for, or a Civic etc. But I think I can hear the air being let out of my hope-balloon.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      These are MSRP, I expect there will be discounts. I recall for the current generation there was a regigging of specs and prices a few years ago because they had too many trims with both engines overlapping.
      I don`t see the point of the 2.5 when the X comes out – two engines with similar power but different mpg just seems too much of an overlap. I would do 2.0G and 2.0X, with hopefully the 2.5 turbo and a signature trim for $32K or so (cheaper than a GTi autobahn which would be comparable from an equipment perspective)

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    A base model Impreza 5MT hatch (with AWD, naturally) and $2.5k of accessories doesn’t quite hit $23k MSRP. Not really much wonder as to why the Impreza outsold the Mazda3 last year. Of course, raising the price of the 3 will help to sell 10s of units more as it is an upscale premium aspirational vehicle nowadays. //s

  • avatar

    I’ve driven this, and will be doing the review. So many people here need to calm down. So many.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think anyone who likes cars has probably owned a Mazda (raises hand) or shopped them seriously over the years. Heck, I’m nowhere near being in the market for the new 3, and I’ve made it a point to check in at the Mazda place down the street from time to time to see if it’s in stock yet.

      Mazda’s one of those brands that people seem especially “invested” in.

      But, yeah, trashing a car that hasn’t even gone on sale yet doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      Is your review going to change the fact that the manual is now ~$5K more expensive and the IRS was swapped for an objectively inferior suspension design?

      • 0 avatar
        Ol Shel

        I’ve always questioned the importance of a multi-link rear on a car that you wish would oversteer more. If a beam makes the back end less grippy, I’m all for it. We can all agree that FWD cars tend to have issues with understeer, right?

        Or maybe the multi-link, with all the added mass, is supposed to cause some oversteer…

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It may be $5K more but you ignore that with that you get a more powerful engine, more kit, a higher quality interior. You can complain that manual should be on the base, but then people complained when manuals were not on the top spec too. Mazda made the business decision (which all companies have done or are doing) that the volume is not there for manual on all specs. Remember from a dealer perspective you would want manuals on two body styles, 3-04 spec levels, 5+ colors, and AWD/FWD – that is an awful lot of combinations for a vehicles that will sell no more than 100-120K a year in the US given history. Given the market place probably less.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    “ You can complain that manual should be on the base, but then people complained when manuals were not on the top spec too.”

    No. No they didn’t. Mazda has always offered a manual across the trim range of the Mazda3.

    I understand it’s a business decision, but from an actual Mazda manual customer perspective, I don’t like it.

    Are you going to be cool when they ditch the manual entirely because it’s a business decision?

    How about dropping the conventional automatic and replacing with a CVT? Instead of zoom zoom, it’s gonna be zooooooooooooooooom. Because business decision, and because most people can’t tell the difference, just like most people won’t notice the torsion beam suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      You make a fair point. But they do still offer a manual and they offer a proper automatic. So they are a long way from being Nissan or other mainstream brands who offer no manuals and only CVTs.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I should point out, for anyone bummed out by this new Mazda3…..

    The 2020 Corolla!!!! swaps out the torsion beam rear suspension, replaces with an IRS, AND offers a manual on the mid level trim.

    The Corolla!!!!!!!!!

    I drove the iM hatchback with a manual when I was shopping, it rode and handled very well, it just needed more power. Now it has more power.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I looked at the Corolla at your suggestion and it is improved. However it is 10% less powerful (and 15% less torque), the interior doesn`t look like it will be as high a quality (reviews will tell, but Mazda over the past 5 years have beaten Toyota in interior quality) and it has a CVT. You may want a manual but 80+% of buyers in this segment get a auto and Mazda have a proper traditional auto rather than a CVT.
      My question is does the shift to preferred, premium etc as spec names mean that all future Mazda’s will move from Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Seems like another step towards premium model nomenclature.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I also noted that if you bought a Corolla hatchback XSE with a manual then they would not let you buy the packs to get navigation or upgraded sound system, unlike the Mazda. Surely that is wrong!


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