2012 Mazda 3 Priced: 40-MPG Skyactiv Four Available at $19,245
October 6, 2011 By Stuart Fowle – CAR AND DRIVER
Mazda announced earlier this year that the 2012 3 would have stylistic updates and a significant addition to the engine lineup: the 155-hp, 2.0-liter Skyactiv direct-injection four-cylinder. As the photos here show, the aesthetic changes are minor, but the new engine is big news in terms of fuel efficiency. A four-door Mazda 3 i with the Skyactiv 2.0-liter—it’s available in the i Touring and i Grand Touring models—will deliver an EPA-certified 40 mpg on the highway, while a five-door i with the same engine just misses that mark at 39 mpg.
The adoption of the Skyactiv engine (the port-injected 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines carry over) has compelled Mazda to reshuffle its model and trim lineup for 2012, as outlined in the table below. (New additions are in blue.)
Pricing for the revised 2012 lineup is as follows, starting at the cheap end: The 3 i SV, which uses the old 2.0-liter, drops by $600 to $15,995. The next highest trim, the i Sport, also has the old 2.0, but its price rises by $140 to $17,640. Both are offered only as sedans.
At $19,245 and $19,745, the i Touring sedan and hatch are the least-expensive models to get the new direct-injected Skyactiv four. The i Touring hatch is new this year; the sedan costs $350 more than last year. We asked Mazda if the increase could be pinned on the Skyactiv powertrain being more expensive to produce, but didn’t get a concrete answer. We were assured, however, that all previous features made the move to 2012.
An s Touring replaces last year’s s Sport, and adds the following as standard: leather on the steering wheel and shift knob, keyless entry and start, and a moonroof, among other stuff. It runs $22,095 for a sedan, or $500 more for five-door goodness. There’s now also an i Grand Touring model with the Skyactiv engine; GT goodies such as leather and navigation had been limited to s four- and five-doors. (A 2.5-liter four is still the exclusive engine for smodels.) This new trim starts at $23,095 for the sedan, with $500 extra required for the hatch. While we’re at it, the five-door-only Mazdaspeed 3 is $300 dearer this year, at $24,795.
So there you have it. We’re glad to see that prices didn’t change much, and offering the five-door with a smaller, more-efficient engine has been a long time coming. As to whether the Skyactiv four lives up to its efficiency claims, we’ll find out soon: We’ll have a test in the near future.