The Mazda MX-3 was the 2-door hatchback counterpart of the Mazda Protege 4-door sedan. It was available in two models -- the base, which featured a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder engine and 88 horsepower, and the GS, which featured a 1.8-liter V6 engine and 130 horsepower.
A cassette stereo was added to the Mazda MX-3, and a new color (Laguna Blue Metallic) was added to the lineup.
In 1994, the MX-3 started at about $12,000 and finished over $19,000. Twelve grand may have been entry-level, but $19,000 definitely wasn't, and at that price there was a wide range of cars from which to choose. One of the few cars to successfully make the transition from entry-level to upscale was the MX-3's sibling, the Miata.
The MX-3 had lines reminiscent of the gorgeous RX-7, though without that car's proportions. A little blind in the rear quarters, it was nevertheless a pleasant package, roomy enough for all of the impedimenta of modern recreational life and able to carry a couple of passengers more easily than say, a 300ZX 2+2.
The most distinctive feature of the little front-drive coupe, a jewel-like 1.8-liter V6 engine, was now gone. The cost was too high and it never provided the instant torque most drivers prefer. For 1994, the base sohc Four was upgraded to a Miata-like 1.6-liter dohc 4-valve Four that, although 25-hp short of the little V6, had only 15 fewer ft.-lb. of torque, and that 900 revved lower. Since most of the buyers were looking for style rather than unique engineering, the V6 was probably never missed.
With only the base model left for its final year, the Mazda MX-3's antilock-braking system now only came with manual transmission.
As of April 1, 1994:
- $13,925 (1994 Mazda MX-3)
- $16,425 (1994 Mazda MX-3 GS)
As of September 1, 1994:
- $14,440 (1995 Mazda MX-3)
As of June 30, 1995:
- $14,795 (1995 Mazda MX-3)
- $425 (1994 models)
- $440 (early 1995 models)
- $450 (1995 models)