Crossover & Midsize

All-New Mazda 3 Is Tanking Like We’ve Never Seen

Man, Mazda must be spinning out about the performance of its all-new Mazda 3. Being one of its rock-solid performers for years it looked to continue that feat when an all-new 2019 3. Instead, it sank to its lowest sales numbers in 29 years. That’s practically three decades. Yikes! Now, it’s launching a compact crossover version of the 3. Will it really matter?

The reliable Mazda 3 could always be counted on to do well for Hiroshima company. Most years figures exceeded 100,000. But with an all-new 3 for 2019 Mazda hoped to repair the last couple years of numbers dipping well below six-figures. Instead, it got worse. 

We’ve seen the all-new Mazda 3 do well in reviews and comparisons 

Mazda’s 3 has always done well in reviews and comparisons. Sales were above 100,000 even during the rough recession years of 2008-2010. With all-wheel-drive and safety and tech features galore it is not a back-of-the-pack compact. Neither is its price. The average sale price of the hatchback is around $25,000. That’s a few grand more than others in this segment. So, did the 3 price itself out of its own market? 

With the competition falling by the wayside-think Cruze, Dart, Focus, the 3 was looking good. Less competition means more sales, right? The thinning segment sees the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla as the 3’s competition. Some have even compared the 3’s looks to the Tesla Model 3. That’s also good. But now Mazda has decided to put a competitor right in the middle of the 3’s mix. 

2020 Mazda CX-30 Crossover | Mazda-2
2020 Mazda CX-30 Crossover | Mazda

For 2020 the Mazda CX-30 is entering the market. It’s a lifted subcompact wagon with heavy cladding that has been turned into a crossover. Mazda doesn’t sell a wagon version of the 3 but this is what it looks like. All of these crossovers sell well. With eight inches of ground clearance and that beat-the-bushes cladding disguising the wheel opening gaps, it’s as crossover as any crossover can be. 

Will the all-new CX-30 rob sales from the 2020 Mazda 3?

But, will the CX-30 rob sales from the 3? According to Truth About Cars, the CX-30 goes for $1,700 less than a base Mazda 3 hatchback. It seems like that in itself is going to decimate 3 sales. Maybe Mazda should just apply the crossover cosmetics to the hatchback?

At least the 3’s base 2.0-liter engine helped to keep low-end pricing low. But, with the new 3 that engine was eliminated making the base model more expensive. It just seems that every move Mazda makes is killing the 3 one cut at a time.  

2020 Mazda CX-30 Crossover | Mazda-2
2020 Mazda CX-30 Crossover | Mazda

Mazda has made strides to present the CX-30 as a premium crossover for a cheaper price. If its calculations are correct and it sells well, will it seal the hatchback’s fate? Maybe that has been the plan all along as the entire car segment slowly evaporates. If no, then Mazda may have to do something drastic to move its small hatchback.