Mazda Prices Skyactiv-Powered Mazda3

By Danny King October 11, 2011

Mazda3 skyactiv engine _large thumb.jpg

Mazda cut the price of the 2012 Mazda3, the first version of the Japanese automaker's best-selling model to be powered by the more fuel-efficient Skyactiv direct-injection engine. The 2012 Mazda3 will have a base price of $15,200, down $600 from 2011. Mazda is looking to continue its strong sales momentum by cutting the price while boosting the fuel economy for its most popular U.S. model.

The Mazda3 has accounted for almost half of the Mazdas sold in the United States this year. September Mazda3 sales surged 37 percent over September 2010, pushing year-to-date sales 8.5 percent higher. Mazda is also looking for the new Skyactiv engines to boost its fleetwide fuel economy by about 30 percent over the next four years. Mazda's U.S. light-duty vehicles for model-year 2010 averaged 22.7 miles per gallon, fifth-worst fuel economy among the 14 largest automakers and worst among Japanese automakers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Skyactiv engine boosts fuel economy relative to prior engines because of its combination of an extremely high compression ratio, weight-saving aluminum construction and components that reduce friction in the engine's valvetrain. The 2012 Mazda3's 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine will achieve as much as 40 miles per gallon on the highway, or 7 miles per gallon more than the most fuel-efficient version of the 2011 Mazda3.

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