As in the past, the Mazda 3 sedans are less expensive than their hatchback siblings. A base 3i sedan starts at $15,175, $355 more than the previous 3i sedan. Although we’ve nothing against that car’s five-speed manual transaxle, Mazda expects most buyers will move to the Mazda 3i Touring in order to opt for an automatic transmission. A 3i Touring sedan with the manual starts at $18,170, while a car equipped with the automatic will run at least $19,020.
Want the hatchback? In order to do that, you’ll have to shop the “sport” model of the bunch, the Mazda 3s. A 3s Sport hatchback with the manual transmission carries an MSRP of $19,900, $490 more than a 3s Sport sedan. Oddly, there’s no such penalty on the top-end 3s Grand Touring model – both sedans and hatchbacks with the six-speed manual start at $22,170.
Those who buy the 3s Grand Touring can add an available technology package, which adds features like advanced keyless entry and ignition, a navigation system, security alarm, and Sirius satellite radio. Sure, the extra $1195 may seem steep, but rest assured: a fully-loaded 2010 Mazda 3s Grand Touring sedan is actually $240 less expensive than the 2009 model.