• Mazda3 rated at 40 miles per gallon on the highway
  • Will return 29 or 30 mpg city, depending on transmission
  • Sedan and 2.5-liter engine not yet rated

The redesigned 2014 Mazda3 will get 40 mpg. That's the latest from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which recently announced fuel-economy ratings for the 5-door hatchback version of the newly updated compact sedan.

According to EPA, the base-level Mazda3 hatchback will return 30 mpg city/40 mpg hwy with its optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Drivers who stick with the standard 6-speed manual will get 29 mpg city/40 mpg hwy. EPA says both transmissions return 33 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

The Mazda3's base engine -- a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder -- is carried over from last year's model. New for 2014 is a 2.5-liter SkyActiv 4-cylinder, which offers a robust 184 hp, placing it near the top of its class.

Unfortunately, that engine has not yet been rated by EPA. But Mazda has high hopes, targeting 40 mpg with the powerplant's available i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. That should be achievable, since EPA recently rated the larger Mazda6 at 40 mpg with the same engine and braking system.

Also not yet rated is the 2014 Mazda3 sedan, which the brand only recently showed for the first time. That model could reach as high as 41 mpg on the highway, which Mazda says is its target fuel-economy figure.

With a fuel-economy rating of 40 mpg, the Mazda3 can easily take on highly efficient versions of rival models. Those include the Dodge Dart Aero (41 mpg hwy) and the Chevrolet Cruze Eco (40 mpg hwy).

Mazda says the latest Mazda3 goes on sale this fall. The automaker has not yet announced pricing for the car, which marks the beginning of the popular compact model's third generation.

What it means to you: The all-new Mazda3 offers new styling, new features and impressive fuel economy.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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