2015 Mazda3 2.5 Finally Adds Manual Transmission

When Mazda launched the all-new 2014 Mazda3, one of the glaring omissions was the lack of a manual transmission on the optional 2.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine, but that has been remedied for the 2015 model year. Customers who desire the peppier Mazda3 s now have the same transmission options as the base Mazda3 i – a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
2015 Mazda3 1 photo
Photo: Mazda
Not surprisingly, the modern automatic is still more efficient than the row-your-own manual gearbox with the new Mazda3 s with the manual transmission receiving EPA fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway for the sedan and 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway for the hatchback. Compare this to the automatic transmission that helps return 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway on the sedan and 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway for the hatchback. Engine output remains the same at 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.

For those who demand the ability to perform their own shifts, this fuel economy decrease will likely be negligible, but the good news is the price drop from 2014 is quite substantial. In Touring trim, the 2015 Mazda3 s with the manual transmission represents a price drop of $750 compared to the 2014 automatic-only model, while the Mazda3 s Grand Touring drops by $950. If you’re still looking for an automatic transmission, these prices have risen by $300 for the Touring and $100 for the Grand Touring; pricing for the 2.0 model holds steady across the board with a starting price of $16,495 for the sedan and $18,945 for the hatchback.

Even better, the option for a manual gearbox also helps shave a few pounds off the curb weight of the Mazda3 s. In sedan form, the base weight drops by 35 pounds to 2,947 pounds, while the hatchback drops by 24 pounds to 2,978 pounds. Although the weight difference is trivial, every little bit helps when it comes to vehicle balance, and the third-gen Mazda3 is already one of the most enjoyable compacts in this segment.
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