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Deals of the week: Mazda3, Prius, Dodge Journey and Kia Forte

The compact-car segment is heating up with redesigned entrants coming from Ford (Focus), Honda (Civic) and Hyundai (Elantra, already in showrooms). That is putting pressure on Mazda to keep the Mazda3 in the game.

In fact, the Mazda3 was Canada's second best-selling car in 2010, behind the Civic. To drive sales in the face of renewed competition, Mazda has a two-pronged strategy.

First, underpin the 3 with sales sweeteners that include either cash-back rebates or 0.0 per cent finance/lease rates. That's the Deals of the Week piece.

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But Deals also wants to point out that the 2012 Mazda3 unveiled at the current Toronto auto show is receiving a facelift and it includes a new powertrain - the new SKYACTIV gasoline engine and SKYACTIV automatic transmission.

The "Sky" concept will combine gas and diesel engine refinements with weight reduction and chassis improvements. Mazda's new technology will first be launched with the gasoline engine and auto transmission for the 2012 model year. Mazda is also planning to introduce stop-start technology and even regenerative braking. The goal is to improve fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 30 per cent by 2015, above 2008 levels.

Buyers today can take advantage of the rebate or finance/lease deals now, or they can wait for the new and improved version of the Mazda3 which surely will arrive with deals worth less than the current offers.

Deals of the Week found the Mazda3 story intriguing. Deals also likes what's being offered on three other vehicles, with the details below. The Dodge Journey is not a huge surprise, but the money Toyota Canada is offering to Prius hybrid buyers is a little surprising. And if you want a four-door hatchback, Kia has something interesting on the Forte compact.

As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from Here are the numbers.

2011 Mazda3 Sport GT

MSRP: $24,425

Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,495

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Dealer discount (estimated): $1,000

Factory discount: $1,000 (Retail Cash, factory-to-dealer)

Taxable subtotal: $24,020

Total price with 13% HST: $28,159.60

Factory discount: $250 (Loyalty Bonus, factory-to-customer)

Note: 0.0 per cent finance rates for up to five years; no payments until spring.

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2010 Dodge Journey R/T AWD

MSRP: $29,895

Freight, dealer prep: $1,500

Dealer discount: $1,000

Factory rebate: $3,000 (Consumer Cash factory-to-dealer rebate; stackable.)

Taxable subtotal: $27,395

Total price with 13% HST: $30,956.35

Factory discount: $500 (Cash for Clunkers)

Government discount: $300 (Retire Your Ride)

Factory discount: $1,000 (Bonus Cash in Ontario only)

Final price: $29,156.35

Note: 0.0 per cent financing for up to three years can be combined with discounts.

2011 Kia Forte EX five-door

MSRP: $19,195

Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,555

Dealer discount (estimated): $750

Factory discount: $1,000 (Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer)

Factory discount: $500 (Retail Deliver Credit factory-to-dealer)

Taxable subtotal: $18,500

Total price with 13% HST: $20,905

Note: 1.9 per cent financing for up to five years.

2011 Toyota Prius

MSRP: $27,800

Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,590

Dealer discount (estimated): $600

Factory discount: $1,500 (Non-stackable factory-to-consumer rebate)

Taxable subtotal: $27,290

Total price with 13% HST: $30,837.70

Factory discount: $500 (Four Million Sold stackable celebration bonus factory to customer.)

Final price: $30,337,70

Pricing information source: Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.

READ MORE: Click here for full coverage of the Canadian International Auto Show

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About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More

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