Deal Check! 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Sedan (NJ)

My girlfriend is looking to lease a 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Sedan. We went to test drive it today and had zero plans to negotiate until after I did my research. Needless to say, the guy obviously tried to haggle us to make a deal and threw numbers at us.

She currently has a 2019 Civic Hatchback with a payoff around $19,740 and Carvana is willing to take it from her lease and pay us $1,200 on top. With that said, below is the what the Mazda guy handed us which has a tiny $250 in credit for her Civic (Carvana was $1,200), and a ridiculously high $404/month payment (mind you with taking her Civic with only $250 in credit, and her putting down $2,000 as well). Before walking out he dropped to $359/month. Picture below of his write-up (no clue why he put in $299 “Aftermarkets” and could someone please explain what “Cap Fees” are? And is “Cap Tax” just the normal tax on the car for the duration of the lease or some other weird thing?):

After leaving the dealer and actually doing my own research…my calculations and what i’m shooting for are zero down and $348/month. I do not think this is too aggressive as this is only 7% off MSRP (TrueCar shows in my area for this car the average is 6.3% off), and keep in mind the original calculations where at full MSRP because I was not planning on making a deal that day), also upping the Civic to $1,200 value which I just took off the MSRP on top of the 7%, and removing the unnecessary charges.

For reference of what some of the major companies are wiling to pay for her Civic:
Carvana: $20,935 (I put it was a lease and the amount so this is the most legit)
Vroom: $22,406 (could not input it was on a lease, not sure if they would offer less)
Carmax: $23,800 (could not input it was on a lease, not sure if they would offer less)

Do you guys think I should shoot for better, if so at what angle? Or do you think this is a good deal if I can get close to this? Here is a link to the lease calculator that I tried to fill out as best as possible (I think I filled it out correctly):

Lastly I heard the weeks for Memorial Day that dealers/companies just take away all the good deals/incentives, and then just bring them back during Memorial Day to make it seem like it’s a bigger deal than usual. Can anyone confirm, and would it be wise for us to hold off until Memorial Day week to see if there are any incentives? Appreciate everyones input and help, thank you all in advance!

Run far, far away from this dealer.

Not sure how realistic your target deal is, though. Here’s a LH broker thread for comparison: 🔥 AutoLeaseNinjas April Mazda Deals! Instant Personalized Quotes, Crazy $90 CX-30s! LH's Go-To Mazda Source - #537 by AutoLeaseNinjas


Drive it over to carmax and get that high bid. Shouldn’t change based on being a lease. You can’t wait too long though as it can become a problem having it bought out too close to lease end. Not sure how it works with Honda.


This is BS. Whatever source told you this should not be trusted. Generally, holiday sales events mean that whatever incentives exist are simply rebranded as XYZ holiday sales event. Rarely are additional incentives added. With the low days supply out there, it’s a given that nothing will be added.

This being said, this car isn’t going to lease well at all. Between limited support from Mazda and Mazda’s worsening inventory crisis, your GF will pay heavily if she is set on this

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Can you explain why/elaborate on that last part where you said the car isn’t going to lease well? I am currently trying to score a deal with the top-tier trim of the Mazda 3 and MSRPs are all very high. I am trying to get MSRP down to the mid-$31,000 range but every dealer requires something down (no $0 down thing) and many dealer MSRPs are inflated in-person. One dealer had a $6k markup sticker and another dealer confirmed they have door guards added in as a $300+ markup. I am a first-timer for leasing too…I don’t want to purchase because the Mazda 3 just did a mid-cycle refresh for 2021 and I am curious what the MX-30 will be like. I am just scared about the chip shortage and my 328i (my current car which I just dropped $$$ on to replace an A/C compressor) crapping out with anything in the next half of this year.

In this market, I would keep fixing that 328i.

It’s kinda in there:

Residuals are ok, MF good, incentives are $0-450 from what I see

Supply is an issue, especially for the J VINs that are supplied by the erstwhile Japanese chip plant. However there are 2900+ 2021 Mazda3s I see on the ground (nationwide).

TL;DR inventory will be short in the short-run, so dealers are discounting less. Programs are not aggressive, so it won’t lease particularly well. If you don’t need to lease a car now, this is not the time to try.

Also if this your first lease, consider using a Mazda broker from the Marketplace.

Thank you for the explanations. Yeah, I just know I have other costly things shops have pointed out that I should get fixed for my car, and I’m just sick of putting money into it.

And I’ve been told the chip shortage can last up to 5 months…that’s not exactly a short term. But I also understand on the zero incentives going on right now…there’s no specials. I’m also annoyed in general that I am eyeing 12k/miles a year, which generally doesn’t fit lease incentives that are always set for lease terms of 10k/miles a year.

And yeah I looked into Marketplace right now but have no idea how I find a broker. There are also no active threads for Mazda right now.

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I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I think some dealers have paused working with brokers for a couple months due to shortages, maybe that’s the case there?

I see @Benedetto also has paused Mazda

I would get that bimmer detailed in-and-out like it’s new, and buy it a treat: new stereo (fix a busted speaker), shoes, curb rash repair, something. Talk dirty to it and never discuss replacements out loud.

Paging @AutoLeaseNinjas


Mazda for me is near a standstill.

I have sold a few this month but it’s not open season on deals.

The real problem is allocation for my network is horrible.

One of them has been “given” 6 cars in two allocation periods.

How are you supposed to run a dealer if you’re getting 3 cars per month?

Mazda is going to be in the squeeze for the foreseeable future.

Ironically Volvo seems to have figured it out.

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I have never seen an incentive that is restricted to number of miles. Not sure what you are referring to.

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I’m guessing you are looking at the advertised specials? If so, completely disregard them. They are garbage. Incentives don’t apply to one mileage and not the other.

Why not look at other Mazda models (such as CX-30) or other small sedans? Civic leases much better than Mazda3

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Msrp is not negotiable, nor can the dealer inflate it. The msrp is what the msrp is. It’s defined on the window sticker.

Your goal is to negotiate a lower selling price which represents a discount from msrp. The dealer may add a mark up and try to negotiate a higher selling price, but they can’t change the actual msrp. This is relevant because things like the residual value are based on the msrp.

If you go into a conversation with a dealer, talking about lowering the msrp, etc, you’re basically presenting yourself as an uninformed consumer.


Okay, thanks. Yeah, I’m new to leases and am basing my worry off the fine print I see for lease incentives/specials. I was afraid those deals only qualify if you go for 10k/miles for 3 years and the deal would void if you changed any of the terms.

Stop looking at advertised lease specials. They’re useless


Ok, thanks for the clarification. And I’ve been stuck on the 3 because I’m very exact about what I want. I’m anal about having at least the driver-side mirror auto-dimming. I know the other smaller models (even smaller compact SUVs) don’t have this feature at all. I know the 6 has this but the 6 is too big for me. I know Subaru has both mirrors auto-dim but Subaru isn’t really my thing.

If you’re shopping the car, understand. You picked one that doesn’t lease particularly well, but you can still follow all the advice in Leasing 101 to make your best deal (not really any Mazda brokering to speak of ATM or I’d recommend that).

Good luck!

Yeah I haven’t been asking any place to lower the MSRP…I have been asking about those dealer markups and if there is “wiggle room” on the price (I may have misworded some stuff in my initial post). A couple SoCal Mazda dealers have told me dealers are marking up and adding in crap to have a new “dealer’s asking price” after I called around after my test-drive experience at Puente Hills. So I understand that is what I should be playing with. Yeah, I am a first-timer so I’m trying to gain insight here (and from Reddit, where I was recommended this place from). Appreciate the pointers.

I’m hearing across the board places aren’t budging much on the prices so…might have to wait. Because you have to haggle off their inflated asking price and if you get it down anywhere, it’ll just be at the original advertised price of the car from the dealer pre-markup. So you’re not getting any deal.

So far only Tustin Mazda has told me they don’t have any mark-up on their vehicles and “are the only dealer in the OC and LA areas to do so.” (the sales lady’s words) :man_shrugging:t2:

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Just to clarify some terminology issues. MSRP cannot be changed, you can negotiate the discount resulting a sale price changed. Also when we say a car doesn’t lease well it means it’s not a good deal for the consumer.

Stop listening to the dealers. Of course she’s telling you that. She’s highly motivated to paint herself as the place to go.

Work through the process recommended here for establishing a target price and start making offers. The only two words that a dealer can say that should mean anything to you is “yes” or “no” to your offer.