2023 Mazda3 Drops Base Engine, Revs Starting Price Up $1,400

A 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo driving on a bridge 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo | Manufacturer image

As Mazda aims to nudge its way up market, the automaker has announced a series of price increases for its 2023 lineup that started with the CX-5 and new CX-50 SUVs, and now includes the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. While the sedan’s starting price jumps significantly with the base model’s discontinuation of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine option, most trims see modest increases. In exchange for the higher price of admission comes a minor boost in horsepower and fuel economy from the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

Related: 2021 Mazda3 Turbo: More Appealing, Still Niche

What’s New?

The most notable update for the 2023 Mazda3 is the departure of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found on the base 2022 2.0 S sedan; that’s now replaced with the 186-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine. As a result, the starting price for the Mazda3 jumps $1,400 to $23,615 (all prices include a $1,065 destination charge). The 2.5-liter engine adds marginal power and efficiency, with output up to 191 hp from 186, while the maximum EPA-rated mpg inches up to 28/37/31 mpg city/highway/combined — a small improvement over the outgoing model’s 26/35/30 rating.

The vehicle’s available turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, which makes up to 250 hp with premium fuel and 227 hp with regular, returns to the Mazda3’s top 2.5 Turbo and 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus trims unchanged for 2023. Most trims come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission, though the Premium hatchback also offers a six-speed manual. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available or standard on higher trims.

Trims, Pricing and Release Date

The starting prices for the 2023 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback climb by $450-$500 on all trims besides the Premium with an automatic transmission, which sees the highest jump. The $1,700 increase comes as a result of Mazda dropping the Premium’s FWD option for 2023, leaving AWD as the standard setup. Hatchback models are expected to arrive in the fall, followed by sedans this winter.

  • 5 S: $23,615 (sedan); $24,615 (hatchback); $450 increase
  • 5 S Select: $25,015, $26,015; $500 increase
  • 5 S Preferred: $26,615; $27,615; $450 increase
  • 5 S Carbon Edition: $28,265; $29,265; $450 increase
  • 5 S Premium (manual transmission): $30,215 (hatchback only); $450 increase
  • 5 S Premium (automatic): $30,465; $31,465; $1,700 increase
  • 5 Turbo: $33,515 (hatchback only); $550 increase
  • 5 Turbo Premium Plus: $35,065; $36,365; $550 increase

Standard features for the base 2.5 S include a suite of safety and driver-assist features, cloth seats, an 8.8-inch center touchscreen and an eight-speaker sound system inside, while the exterior gets a matte grille, LED headlights and silver 16-inch wheels. The 2.5 S Select adds a blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and door mirror turn signals, while the interior swaps cloth seats for imitation leather and adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Moving up to the 2.5 S Preferred gives you a power moonroof, heated front seats with eight-way power adjustability and lumbar support, and gloss-black exterior accents.

Previously only offered with standard FWD, the 2.5 S Carbon Edition gains available AWD for 2023. The model comes exclusively with Polymetal Gray exterior paint and red leather inside, and it adds a premium 12-speaker Bose audio system, black 18-inch alloy wheels and gloss-black heated door mirrors.

The AWD-only 2.5 S Premium builds on the Preferred with a premium audio system, full-color head-up display and built-in navigation system. The sedan offers black or white leather seats, while the hatchback gets black or red leather. Exterior distinctions include 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and unique LED illumination for the headlights and taillights.

mazda-mazda3-turbo-2021-07-badge--engine--interior--logo.jpg 2021 Mazda3 | photo by Kelsey Mays

The 2.5 Turbo comes with a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and built-in navigation inside, while the exterior adds gloss-black 18-inch wheels that match the grille and door mirrors. The range-topping 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus gains a rear spoiler, plus more standard driver-assist features including reverse automatic braking, Traffic Jam Assist and a 360-degree camera system. It also upgrades the built-in navigation system with an active driving display and traffic sign recognition.

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Versus the Competition

The Mazda3’s rivals are compact sedans and hatchbacks including the Kia Forte, Subaru Impreza, and Toyota Corolla (compare them here). All currently undercut the Mazda3’s new starting price: The 2023 Kia Forte starts at $20,585; the 2022 Subaru Impreza at $20,290 for the sedan and $20,790 for the hatchback; and the 2022 Toyota Corolla at $21,520 for the sedan and $22,260 for the hatchback.

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