2014 Mazda3 starts at $17,740, gets top 41-mpg highway mark

Complete pricing and EPA numbers have now been released for the all-new 2014 Mazda3 that goes on sale in September. Now benefitting from the full array of the automaker's Skyactiv suite of efficiency-enhancing technologies and again available in sedan and 5-door hatchback configurations, the best-selling member of the automaker's lineup will match solid value with a best-in-class EPA highway figure of 41 mpg.

The 2014 Mazda3 i SV 4-door opens at $17,740 and is fitted with a 2.0-liter/155-horsepower transmission and 6-speed manual transmission. Moving up the line, the i Sport starts at $19,240 in sedan form and $19,740 for its 5-door counterpart. The Mazda3 i Touring variants raise those entry price points by $1,150, respectively, while the i Grand Touring sedan/hatch duo starts at $23,540/$24,040. Opting for a 6-speed automatic transmission adds another $1,050.

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Either i Touring model also can be enhanced with a $1,600 Technology Package that nets Mazda's new head-up display, a 7-inch color touchscreen with voice control navigation, multifunction Commander switch, Bose premium audio, HD and Sirius Satellite Radio, dual-zone climate control and a rear-view camera - all of which are included in the 3i Grand Touring's feature set.

The 2014 Mazda3 s models - fitted with a more potent 2.5-liter/184-horsepower engine and backed by a paddle-shiftable 6-speed automatic transmission -- offer even more amenities. The s Touring Sedan commences at $25,390 while the Touring Hatch starts at $25,890. Boasting features like leather upholstery and a power moonroof, their plusher Grand Touring kin raise each of those figures by $1,400. Mazda3s GT models also can be upfitted with their own $1,600 Technology Package that adds radar cruise control with forward obstruction warning, auto high-beam control, lane-departure warning and Smart City Brake Support that can help prevent or mitigate low-speed impacts, as well as Mazda's econo-enhancing i-Eloop engine braking energy recovery system.

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As for EPA numbers, all Mazda3 i sedans earn estimated 29 mpg city and compact-class-best 41 mpg highway marks when fitted with the manual transmission and 30/41 mpg figures with the automatic. The automatic-only Mazda3 s set nets an estimated 28/39 mpg in 4-door form with the hatch coming in at 28/37 mpg. Models fitted with the available i-Eloop technology see those stats rise to 29/40 mpg and 29/39 mpg, respectively. Mazda has now confirmed that it will offer s models with a 6-speed manual transmission at some point after the new Mazda3 launches, although it has not released any fuel-economy numbers for that powertrain combo.

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