How was the 6 less than the 3? The 3 was loaded and the 6 was base? The 3 I drove was around $21kish if I remember. But yeah, I definitely wouldn't spend more on a 3 than a 6.
And a 3 wagon would be amazing.
Mazda 3 5-door, stick, sport: $19,345 base.
NOW the 6-Sport, stick is MSRP $21,950. But I paid under $19k and there were NO deals on the 3 in a Sport/stick trim when I bought mine. At all. The "3" in a 5-door, hatch and stick, sport trim would have not only been almost $1,000 more than I paid it ALSO would have precluded replacing the stereo since it had the "burnt toast" display and not a double-din that I could pull out and replace.
Today it would be easy; I'd do the 3 5-door (hatch), no contest. I don't actually NEED the additional length and the hatch + folded rear seats is plenty of cargo space. And I'd still go "sport" because I just can't get my arms around $1,500 for the Blows stereo. No way, no how.
How they get "33mpg" on the highway for the 2018 "6" is beyond me; I easily achieve 37/38, and that's with an *average* speed across the tank of ~68mph (70mph speed limits, typical actual speed 75mph.) What the hell did they do to destroy its economy?
I'm quite interested in the "3" when the HX engine comes out for it. I'll give it a year to make sure there isn't anything catastrophically wrong with it, but if not I want one -- with a stick. That ought to be a 50mpg highway vehicle; I'll sell my "6" when it shows up or, if I can't get a price I like maybe I'll give it to my kid if her Jetta is getting nasty by then.
BTW when I had my "6" in for the door sill recall they gave me a "3" as a loaner. It was an ATX Touring. I liked it, but the ATX was uninspiring. With a stick I would have liked it a LOT.