Mazda used last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show to debut the new 2010 Mazda3 Sedan, and then followed it with the reveal of the Hatchback model at the Bologna Motor Show just one month later. The carmaker’s North American chief Jim O'Sullivan revealed in January that the car’s U.S. launch is “on track” for March this year, and today the car was priced to start at $15,045, a rise of $355 over the outgoing car.

Mazda plans to launch both the Sedan and Hatchback models simultaneously but isn’t predicting sales to top last year’s levels, which peaked at 100,000 units. Canada and Mexico will see the cars arrive in dealerships later this month. The most popular spec car, the 2.0L Mazda3 i Touring with the automatic transmission, starts at $18,350. Stepping up to the sport model costs $19,540 for the four-door, or $20,030 for the hatch. A technology package is also available, which includes advanced keyless entry, push-button start, a compact full-color navigation system, satellite radio with six months of free service and a perimeter alarm for $1,195.

There is one more variant of the new Mazda3 that is yet to be fully revealed. The car is the high-performance Mazdaspeed (MPS) model, which is expected to make its world debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show.

As for the standard Sedan and Hatchback models, both cars will come with two different engine options: a 148hp (110kW) 2.0L four-cylinder with 135lb-ft (183Nm) of torque and a 167hp (124kW) 2.5L unit with 168lb-ft (227Nm) of torque.

For European markets, a newly developed 2.2L turbodiesel engine will also be available. This engine, which was just launched in the Mazda6 overseas, will output 182hp (136kW) and 295lb-ft (400Nm) of torque while delivering fuel economy figures of around 42mpg (5.6L/100km).