Mazda is saying farewell to the base 2.0-liter engine on the 2023 Mazda 3, the company announced this week. Now the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder is the base engine, and for 2023, it receives a five-horsepower increase and improved fuel economy.
Now the lowest-price Mazda 3 on sale for 2023 will be the 2.5 S trim that costs at $23,615—a $1,400 increase over the lowest-price 2022 model after a small price increase in April. Yet for that extra cash, you get a decent little upgrade. Along with the pricing changes, Mazda announced that the now-base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine gets a bump up to 191 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque.
Furthermore, Mazda says its updates to the larger engine's cylinder deactivation tech allowed them to achieve an estimated EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined. That all matches what the 2.0 liter offered, save for its highway mileage where the 2.5-lieter engine now gets 1 more mile-per-gallon.
On the opposite end, the highest-spec 2023 Mazda 3—a fully loaded turbocharged AWD Premium Plus hatchback—will start at $36,365 before any paint options like Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint ($595). The top-spec 2.5-liter turbo engine isn't going anywhere, thank goodness. Models with the turbo engine now start at $33,515.
The six-speed manual remains an option, albeit only on the 2.5 S Premium hatch—as in, the top-spec one available with the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine. These start at $30,215 for 2023, which admittedly stings a bit to type even if it is a pretty loaded trim. Could we not get a lower-spec manual Mazda 3? Or perhaps a sedan?
However, Mazda says its Carbon Edition trim was so popular that they will now offer this package—with its pretty Polymetal Grey exteriors and red leather interiors—with all-wheel-drive as well. The Carbon Edition is offered on 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine sedans and hatchbacks with the six-speed automatic transmission, and it features a 12-speaker Bose audio system, black 18-inch alloy wheels and gloss-black heated door mirrors on top of everything the Preferred trim offers, like heated eight-way-adjustable front seats and a power moonroof.
Maybe if more of y'all bought manuals—well, you know what I'm going to say here.
Per Mazda, the 2023 hatchback models will arrive at dealerships first this fall, with model-year 2023 sedans following suit in winter.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the price difference between 2022 and 2023. After an increase in April, the 2023 Mazda 3 will cost $1,400 more than its predecessor.
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