The Mazda 3 may not be the fastest in its class, but it’s best to drive. It also does not have the largest cargo capacity in its class, but it can still carry a lot of stuff. It is a fact that numbers do not tell the whole story.
Outside and inside, the Mazda 3 remains attractive, there are many elements giving it a top class appeal. On this road is really entertaining and sporty to drive. Even if you do not focus on performance, this translates to a feeling that the car will respond to emergency maneuvers with ease and confidence.
In the competitive compact sedan and hatchback class, it an oddity if the 2018 Mazda 3 does not exceed expectations given far more than its price would suggest. You will regret not to have it on your shopping list.
Trim, Features and Engine Specs
The 2018 Mazda 3 is a compact car available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Both are offered in three trims level: Sport, Touring or Grand Touring.
Standard features for the Sport sedan include remote keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, keyless ignition, low-speed forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, emergency telematics, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker stereo with two USB ports. The hatchback models add a rear spoiler and alloy wheels upgrades.
The Sport sedan can be added with the optional Preferred Equipment package, which adds alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a rear-seat armrest with cupholders and upgraded upholstery.
The Touring includes all of the above plus keyless entry, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a six-way power driver seat and simulated leather upholstery.
The 2018 Mazda 3 Grand Touring gets LED headlights, LED taillights, foglights, a sunroof, upgraded display in the instrument panel, a digital speedometer, a leather upholstery, a nine-speaker Bose surround-sound system and satellite radio.
The optional Premium Equipment package for the Grand Touring adds automatic high beams, adaptive headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a heated steering wheel, paddle shifters (automatic), a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, a traffic sign reader, lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning and braking.
The 2018 Mazda 3 offered two different engines. The Sport trim is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Standard on the Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. Front wheels drive and a six-speed manual transmission is standard for all Mazda 3, a six-speed automatic available as an option.
In track testing, a Mazda 3 Sport sedan with the automatic transmission accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, quicker than average for a compact car with a base engine. The Mazda 3 hatchback with 2.5-liter engine hit 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which puts it near the top of its class.
EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2018 Mazda 3 is impressive. The 2.0-liter engine rated at 31 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway) for automatic transmission, while the manual at (31/28/38). The 2.5-liter engine and the automatic transmission rated at (30/27/36), while the manual stand at (29/25/34).
The Mazda 3 interior is one of the best in its class for several years, and it gets better this year. The cabin is full of high quality materials, panels and switches, which are logically placed and easy to use. The 2018 Mazda 3 cabin getting more upscale thanks to standard features like LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a color head-up display and imitation-leather or leather upholstery on almost every trim. Most of these features are not offered on many competitors.
The 2018 Mazda 3 front seats are also in the top ranks of the class. It is very convenient for long trips and provide enough bolstered to hold you during enthusiastic driving. The back seat is comfortable, although the leg room is behind the class leader. The sedan 12.4 cubic feet of luggage space is rather small for the class, as well as the hatchback, with 20.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat. Folding the hatchback rear seat down opens up to 47.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which is some cubic above average.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Mazda 3 has available now at US dealers across the country. The Sport model begins at $20,220 (including $875 destination fee) for the sedan and $21,270 for the hatchback. The auto transmission is available for an extra $1,050.
The Touring sedan starts at $21,715 while the hatchback starts at $22,765. The top-range Grand Touring priced at $24,770 for sedan and $25,820 for a five-door hatchback. The automatic transmission tends to be more popular and is available as an upgrade for an extra $1,050 as well.