2014 Mazda Mazda3
(Mazda Motor Of America Inc.)

Mazda showed off its all-new 2014 Mazda3 hatchback almost a month ago, which was followed by the introduction of the sedan. Now the automaker says it expects the 2014 Mazda3 sedan to get 29/41 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 30/41 mpg with the automatic. The EPA has not rated the sedan yet (it rated the manual hatchback at 29/40 and automatic at 30/40 mpg), but Mazda's estimates are some of the highest among compact cars.

Among non-hybrid compact sedans, the 2014 Mazda3’s projected fuel economy tops the Nissan Sentra’s 30/39 mpg EPA fuel economy rating (CVT), as well as the Honda Civic’s 28/39 mpg estimate and the Hyundai Elantra’s 28/38 mpg rating.

If the EPA confirms Mazda’s fuel economy estimates for the new Mazda3 sedan, they will compete with, or even top, some of the ratings on compact cars that have a trim designed to save fuel. For example, the Chevrolet Cruze Eco gets 26/39 mpg (automatic) and 28/42 (manual), the Dodge Dart Aero gets 28/41 (manual) and 28/40 (automatic) and the Honda Civic HF earns a 29/41 rating (automatic). These fuel-efficient trims often cost more than the base model, though, and these three models all cost upwards of $19,000.

The 2014 Mazda3 will cost more than last year’s model. The 2014 sedan with a manual transmission will start at $16,945, which does not include a $795 destination fee. This is a price bump of $245 over the 2013 Mazda3 sedan. The base model with an automatic will cost $17,995. Mazda points out in a press release that the extra money gets you more standard features for 2014, including a USB port, push-button start, daytime running lights, remote keyless entry and automatic power door locks.

The 2013 Mazda3 is currently ranked at the top of our compact car class. Will the 2014's high fuel economy estimates and newly standard features keep it there? Car and Driver calls it “one heck of a small car,” and says “it happens to drive like no sub-$20,000 car deserves to.” Jalopnik says the 2014 Mazda3 is “arguably the most exciting car in this segment.” Autoblog says, “But beyond its slick lines, we found the new compact hatch to be a pretty remarkable steer, offering up good levels of comfort and refinement, not to mention functionality and engagement.” The 2014 Mazda3 goes on sale in September.

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