Everyone is citing these baseline prices, yet in other threads there is talk of everyone wanting all the great creature comforts. Of course we all want HID, navigation system, leather seating, or any other goodies ... but for $14,500 you will not be getting any of that. The current ES (well-equipped) comes in at the low 17's. If you figure HID costs just under $1,000 and the navigation system is $2,000 (conservative estimate?) ... you're looking at a $20,000+ Mazda3 fully equipped, a far cry from $14,500 for the base model. And isn't the 3 supposed to have leather seats available too? I think I have seen pictures of it ...
I know the Protege5 currently comes in around $1,000 more than a fully-loaded ES, also (about $18K). Anybody agree or disagree with me here? Let's be realistic: what do you think all these high-end options will actually cost on the new 3?
Enthusiasts will want all the goodies, but people that are not enthusiasts won't need leather and HIDs or sunroofs, etc. Mazda's market is enthusiasts anyway, so I think we'll see quite a lot of mid and upper level trims being sold.
When we cited $14,500, we meant the base model (the "I"), starts at $14,500. I read somewhere that the price difference between the '03 Protege and the '04 Mazda3 shouldn't be too dramatic. But if you are opting for the leather, HID's, and navi system, don't expect it to be anywhere around $17K. The navi system in the RX-8 is $2000 alone. HID's usually run $750 and leather is $800 (of course those are all ball park figures). I'm hoping the top of the line model is no more than $20K.
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