What Is the Cheapest Mazda?

The Mazda3 sedan is the cheapest Mazda vehicle you can buy new, but is it the right car for you?
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Christelle Agustin
The cheapest Mazda on the US market for 2023 is the Mazda 3 sedan. Stylish, reliable, and pleasant to drive, the Mazda 3 offers premium sedan quality for a fraction of the price.
While EVs and subcompact SUVs continue to wield their popularity in the US auto market, you might think there isn’t much room left for the small sedans of the world. Mazda begs to differ. The Japanese automaker has been producing the Mazda 3 sedan since 2004 and it remains a popular vehicle option to this day.
If you’re contemplating a
purchase but don’t want to overspend, here’s everything you need to know about the affordable Mazda 3.

The Mazda 3 is the cheapest Mazda you can buy

The starting MSRP for a 2023 Mazda 3 sedan is $22,550, making it Mazda’s cheapest new vehicle. There’s also a
version that’s a bit pricier with a starting MSRP of $23,550.
Much of the Mazda 3’s staying power can be credited to consistency. Year after year, the Mazda 3 is applauded by auto experts for being a nice-looking, comfortable, slightly sporty small sedan that’s not just an affordable investment but a worthy one.
The 2.5 S is the base trim level, but it’s still plenty stocked with the latest tech and safety features, but if you want pleasantries like a built-in navigation system, heated front seats, or a power moonroof, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher trim—which comes with a higher sticker price. Let’s take a look at how the starting MSRPs compare for each 2023 Mazda 3 trim level:
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How much cheaper is the Mazda 3?

If the Mazda 3’s starting MSRP is a number you feel comfortable with, there are a couple of other Mazda models whose starting prices hover in similar territory. Here are some of Mazda’s other affordable options for 2023:
  • Mazda CX-30
    : $22,950
  • Mazda 3 Hatchback: $23,550
  • Mazda CX-5: $26,700
  • Mazda CX-50: $27,550
For Mazda enthusiasts with a bigger budget or something specific in mind (like a cute little sports car or a three-row SUV), these models complete the 2023 lineup:

How to find an affordable Mazda

Purchasing a new car is super exciting, but it’s also a huge financial responsibility. If you want to get the most affordable deal on your Mazda, take the following tips into consideration:
  • Go with the base trim level. Unless you’ve budgeted for specific upgrades that you can’t live without (like leather seats), go with the base trim level—you’ll still get plenty of standard features in any Mazda model you choose. 
  • Decline unnecessary upgrades. If the dealer is trying to schmooze you into adding a built-in navigation system or a state-of-the-art sound system, stick to your budget and decline the extra bells and whistles.
  • Consider a used model.
    Certified pre-owned
    Mazdas undergo a 160-point inspection before they can be sold to customers. You could save thousands and still be protected under warranty as long as the Mazda you purchase is six years old or newer and has less than 80,000 miles on the odometer. 
  • Take advantage of dealer incentives. Dealerships have numerous annual sales, whether it be a Labor Day sale or an end-of-the-year blowout. You could benefit from a deep discount if you purchase a Mazda during one of these events.

The best Mazda 3 competitors you can buy for under $23,000

The Mazda 3 has more than its fair share of selling points, but if you want to explore similarly priced options beyond Mazda, consider the following alternatives:
  • Kia Forte:
    The 2023 Kia Forte has a starting MSRP of just $19,690. The Forte is praised for its great selection of standard features, comfortable interior, and enviable fuel economy. 
  • Toyota Corolla:
    Starting at $21,550, the 2023 Corolla’s affordability is just one of its many charms. Well-designed and quality built, the Corolla has always managed to keep up with the times. Over 55 million have been sold since 1966.
  • Hyundai Elantra:
    Now in its seventh generation, the Elantra has been recently restyled and continues to be one of the top-rated small sedans thanks to its modern features, awesome fuel economy, and affordable starting MSRP of $20,500. 
  • Subaru Impreza:
    Handsome and roomy, the Impreza is affordable with a base price of $19,795—or $21,095 if you prefer an automatic transmission. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, and, like the Mazda 3, also has a hatchback version.  
  • Volkswagen Jetta:
    For a bit of European flair, consider a 2023 Jetta, which starts at $20,655. Updates to its styling and tech help Jetta keep up in the compact sedan segment. If you require an automatic transmission, the
    costs a hair over 23k with an MSRP of $24,385.
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