As we've noted several times now, Mazda's onto someting.
The Japanese automaker fell on tough times not so long ago and it's nice to see that it has finally figured out how what it takes to get back on track.
A big part of that equation was making compelling products and we're pretty sure that's why its all-new Mazda 6, CX-5 and now the 3 have garnered so much attention. But it's not just all looks either. Mazda makes a pretty damn good driver's car if you set them up right.
It's BIG news that Mazda has set the price for the 3 because you have to remember two things: 1) This company is on the mend, and 2) the 3 is its biggest selling product. Obviously it not only has to be good, it also has to be price competitive.
So, how did they do? YOU tell us. Check out the FULL press release below.
Mazda's press release follows:
MAZDA ANNOUNCES PRICING AND FUEL ECONOMY OF ALL-NEW 2014 MAZDA3
Redesigned Compact Car Offers Competitive Pricing, Best-in-Class Fuel Economy
IRVINE, Calif. -- Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced official pricing and fuel economy figures for the all-new 2014 Mazda3. Starting at $16,945 MSRP, the redesigned compact vehicle is the brand's best-selling and most recognizable nameplate worldwide with more than 3.5 million vehicles sold. With the full complement of SKYACTIV® technologies combined with the handsome styling of the KODO "Soul of Motion" design language and all-new technologies such as the capacitor-based regenerative engine braking i-ELOOP system, the 2014 Mazda3 touts exceptional styling and best-in-class fuel economy with 41 highway mpg.
"The compact car segment is one that is competitively cutthroat, meaning there is little room for error when launching an all-new vehicle like the 2014 Mazda3," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. "But our best-selling vehicle has only gotten better, winning over the industry critics that were recently offered a behind-the-wheel experience. Yet our most important judges remain the consumers and I am confident that our third-generation Mazda3 will not disappoint."
The Mazda3 was the first Mazda in North America to feature SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, introducing the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine as well as SKYACTIV manual and automatic transmissions in 2012. On sale in September, the 2014 Mazda3 will be offered with two SKYACTIV engine choices in the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter gasoline engines. The standard engine on i designated trim levels (SV, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring) remains the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter, which produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. For s designated models, the larger SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine will be standard equipment and boasts 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm.
The sedan-only i SV is available with either the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual ($16,945 MSRP) or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic ($17,995 MSRP) transmissions. However, this entry-level model can hardly be called "base." Although featuring a slight price increase ($245) from the previous model year, in addition to SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, the 2014 Mazda3 i SV model offers new standard features such as push-button start, automatic power door locks, a remote keyless entry system, daytime running lights and a USB connection port. Also standard are a matte-finish front grille, 16-inch full-cover steel wheels, body-color door handles and bumpers, dual-power folding outside mirrors, power windows with driver-side one-touch down/up, a tilt-and-telescopic adjustable steering column, air conditioning with a pollen filter, trim-specific cloth sport seats, a fold-down rear seat, a four-speaker AM/FM audio system and an auxiliary input jack.
Moving up to the i Sport adds illuminated steering wheel controls, a 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio connectivity, cruise control, a trip computer, a CD player, map lights, body-colored side mirrors and a tachometer. Sport models are available in either sedan or new-for-2014 five-door form and can be fitted with either transmission. The Mazda3 i Sport four-door with SKYACTIV-MT starts at $18,445 MSRP while an identically equipped five-door starts at $18,945 MSRP. Optioning the SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic adds $1,050 for either sedan or five-door model.
Mid-level i Touring models feature all-new 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, heated body-color folding outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, bright beltline trim, a rear seat folding armrest with cup holders, the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry & Start system, Touring-specific cloth-trimmed sport seats as well as a leather-wrapped brake handle, shift knob and three-spoke steering wheel with contrast stitching. A body-color rear deck lip spoiler becomes standard on sedans while a rear roof spoiler is fitted onto five-door models. A Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) also is standard on all i Touring models. The Mazda3 i Touring four-door with SKYACTIV-MT starts at $19,595 MSRP while the five-door version adds $500 to a starting price of $20,095 MSRP. Like i Sport models, the automatic transmission can be added for $1,050, regardless of how many doors are optioned.
A Touring Technology Package ($1,600 MSRP) is available for all i Touring models. This optional package adds Mazda's all-new human-machine interface (HMI) system featuring a seven-inch full-color touch screen display, navigation, a multi-function commander control for display screen operations, a rearview camera, a Bose® Centerpoint® 2 nine-speaker Surround Sound System with AudioPilot® 2, HD Radio™ Technology, Sirius/XM satellite radio with a four-month complimentary subscription, Aha by HARMAN™ radio integration, Pandora® internet radio compatibility, Stitcher™ internet radio integration, E911 automatic emergency notification and SMS text message receipt and delivery, two USB ports, voice command, dual zone automatic climate control, an overhead console with sunglasses holder, illuminated vanity mirrors and a shark fin antenna.
The i Grand Touring starts at $22,745 MSRP for the sedan and $23,245 MSRP for the five-door when featuring a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission. The SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic adds $1,050 to $23,795 MSRP and $24,295 MSRP, respectively. All i Grand Touring models feature the equipment of an i Touring with SKYACTIV-Drive as well as a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment, leatherette seats and door panel inserts, variable heated front seats and a moonroof with a one-touch open function.
Fuel economy for all five-door models featuring the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine is rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 29 city/40 highway/33 combined mpg with a manual transmission and 30 city/40 highway/33 combined mpg when equipped with an automatic. Sedan models are estimated to offer 29 city/41 highway mpg (6MT) and 30 city/41 highway mpg (6AT).
The more powerful SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine is reserved for s models, which are available only in Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. At launch, the SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission will be the only transmission option available, but the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual is confirmed to be offered at a later date. Estimated fuel economy for the s-designated sedans is 28 city/39 highway mpg or 29 city/40 highway mpg when equipped with i-ELOOP. Five-doors are estimated to achieve 28 city/37 highway mpg or 29 city/39 highway mpg with i-ELOOP. All i and s trims deliver their fuel economies equipped with standard temporary spare tire.
Starting at $24,595 MSRP, the Mazda3 s Touring sedan is equipped not only with the robust SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine but boasts 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights with manual leveling, a piano black-finish front grille, halogen fog lights, LED combination taillights, LED daytime running lights, the all-new Active Driving Display, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment, leatherette seats and door panel inserts, and variable heated front seats in addition to the features available on the i Touring with Technology Package. The five-door model starts at $25,095 MSRP.
A Sport mode button also is standard and offers a more direct response in terms of accelerator feel and a heightened sense of linearity. All Mazda3 vehicles equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission feature a manual shift option but the Sport mode feature (s models only) adjusts the shift mapping – and to a lesser extent the throttle response – to better match more engaging driving conditions, such as twisty roads. The transmission will hold gears longer and not upshift or downshift as much while manually shifting when driving through turns.
The top-of-the-food-chain s Grand Touring features all the equipment of the s Touring with Technology Package as well as auto on/off headlights, bi-xenon headlights with auto leveling, a pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto dimming rearview mirror, perforated leather-trimmed seats and a moonroof with a one-touch open function. The s Grand Touring sedan starts at $25,995 MSRP and the five-door at $26,495 MSRP.
A Touring Technology Package ($1,600 MSRP) for the s Grand Touring model adds the i-ELOOP regenerative engine braking system, active grille shutters, High Beam Control (HBC), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).
SCBS is an added safety component designed to assist a driver in reducing the extent of front collisions when traveling at speeds between 2 and 19 miles per hour. When the imbedded laser sensor detects an obtrusive object ahead of the vehicle and the system calculates there may be a high risk for collision, the brake pedal travel is reduced in order to hasten braking. Should the driver fail to perform an avoidance maneuver, the SCBS system will activate an automatic braking function. While the system will not eliminate accidents, its intent is to minimize them and reduce the severity of an impact.
All 2014 Mazda3 vehicles are available with a choice of eight colors: Jet Black, Soul Red, Blue Reflex, Liquid Silver, Meteor Gray, Snowflake White Pearl and the two all-new Mazda shades of Deep Crystal Blue and Titanium Flash. A choice of Black or Sand cloth seats as well as Black or Almond leather seats is available based on trim level. Leatherette-trimmed seats are offered only in Black.
Standard safety features for the 2014 Mazda3 includes six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), whiplash-reducing front headrests, headrests for all seating positions, power-assisted ventilated front and solid rear disc solid brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Launch Assist, a collapsible steering column (following air bag deployment), a trunk entrapment release system, a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a keyless remote panic button on the key fob, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
i Touring and above models feature a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) as standard equipment. A rearview camera is an available option on i Touring models and is standard on i Grand Touring as well as s Touring and Grand Touring models. The Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and rain sensing wipers are standard on the s Grand Touring. High Beam Control (HBC), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) are available as part of the Grand Touring Technology Package for the s Grand Touring models.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP does not include $795 destination charge (Alaska $840), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).
 These figures are only estimates as provided by the manufacturer and not yet confirmed by the EPA. This particular model/trim has yet to be tested by a government agency.