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2018 Mazda Mazda3

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$13,995 - $22,995
$13,995 $22,995
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2018 Sport 4dr Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $18,095
2018 Sport 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $19,345
2018 Touring 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $20,090
2018 Touring 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $20,840
2018 Grand Touring 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $23,145
2018 Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $23,895
Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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The 2018 Mazda Mazda 3 – to use its full and redundant name – continues to boast excellent driving dynamics, an attractive design, and a high-quality cabin. But this year, Mazda is making some important improvements to its entry level model.

What's New For 2018

The base Sport and range-topping Grand Touring trims get added safety equipment, while the mid-level Touring trim now packs the more potent 2.5-liter engine as standard.

Mazda Mazda3

Choosing Your Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is available in two engine configurations — a 2.0-liter engine that has 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque and a 2.5-liter unit that makes 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Both send the drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, although a six-speed automatic is available for an extra $1,505.

As has been the case since the Mazda3 debuted on US shores, the 2018 model is available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatch. Trim levels and standard equipment are broadly similar between the two designs, although the sedan is marginally more fuel efficient.

The 2.0-liter engine returns 27 miles per gallon city, 37 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined with a six-speed manual transmission and 28 city, 37 highway, and 32 combined with the automatic. On the other hand, the 2.5-liter engine provides an EPA-estimated 25/33/28 mpg with the stick-shift and 26/35/30 mpg with the automatic.

As is the case with most of its models, Mazda is offering its smallest car in base Sport, mid-grade Touring, and range-topping Grand Touring form.

Mazda Mazda3


The Mazda3 Sport starts $20,220 (including $875 destination charges) for the sedan or $21,270 for the five-door hatch. This base model is only available with the less potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, although owners can grab either a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic. Standard equipment includes 16-inch wheels (wheel covers with the sedan), keyless entry with push-button start, cloth upholstery, a rear-view camera, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls and a seven-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Also standard from this year is Mazda’s low-speed automatic emergency braking system, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS). An Appearance Package ($1,300 for the sedan and $1,750 for the hatch) adds aerodynamic elements like a front spoiler, side skirts, a rear diffuser and blacked-out side-view mirrors. The four-door model is also available with a $1,000 Preferred Equipment Package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist, heated mirrors, auto on-off headlights, and rain-sensing wipers.

Mazda Mazda3


The Touring trim is priced at $21,715 for the sedan and $22,765 for the hatchback, and as we already mentioned, now comes with the 2.5-liter engine. Aside from the extra grunt, Touring features include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, heated side-view mirrors, faux leather upholstery, heated front seats, a six-way power adjustable driver seat with manual lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, and Mazda's proximity key. The Touring also offers blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, for added peace of mind. The Appearance Package is still available, but it's joined by the unimaginatively named Bose/Moonroof/Satellite Radio Package. This package costs $1,500 regardless of body style and – we're sure you'll be shocked to find out – adds a Bose audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio and a moonroof.

Mazda Mazda3

Grand Touring

The top of the line Mazda 3 Grand Touring model commands $24,770 for a four-door and $25,820 for a five-door. Features include LED headlights, fog-lights, and running lights, leather upholstery, a moonroof, a head-up display, satellite radio, Bose audio system, and a slightly different instrument cluster with digital speed display. A $1,600 Premium Equipment Package adds automatic high beams and full-speed automatic emergency braking, adaptive headlights, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, navigation, heated steering-wheel, traffic sign recognition, and paddle-shifters for the automatic transmission.

CarsDirect Tip

A Mazda3 Hatchback Touring is a smart pick, bringing a lot of worthwhile content in a versatile body style and for not a lot of money. If you can afford, the LED headlights and the available Premium Equipment Package on the Grand Touring turn this little Mazda into a brilliant all-arounder.

Get your price on a Mazda Mazda3 »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Writer

The 2018 Mazda Mazda3 adds standard low-speed automatic emergency braking to a value proposition that already includes a slick design, stellar performance, and solid fuel economy numbers. But it continues to have issues with cramped rear quarters, a finicky and distracting infotainment system, and advanced safety features that are only available on the top trim.

Best Value

Prices for the 2018 Mazda3 start at $18,990 including destination for a base Sport sedan with a six-speed manual transmission and escalate to over $29,000 for a fully-optioned Grand Touring hatchback with the six-speed automatic gearbox and optional paint. Sport models feature a 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while Touring (new for this year) and Grand Touring models receive a larger 184-hp, 2.5-liter four cylinder engine. On all models, a six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic offered as an option.

Besides the usual power bits, the base Sport comes with low-speed automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, keyless push-button start, a seven-inch touchscreen, and Bluetooth, Pandora, Stitcher, and Aha internet radio integration. Alloy wheels are standard on the Sport hatchback.

Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is optional on the Sport and standard on all other trims. Mazda's most advanced safety features, including automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and automatic emergency braking, are optional only on the top-level Grand Touring model.

We prefer the hatchback's versatility, and would choose the mid-level Touring trim equipped with the bigger engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, leatherette seat trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and rain-sensing wipers.

We'd prefer the six-speed manual. Rowing your own with this transmission isn't only a joy, it ups the fun factor and saves $1,050 over the automatic. But at this point, realism rears its ugly head, and we bow to the wishes of a majority of buyers and opt for the automatic. As a result, here's what our "best value" Mazda3 looks like:

  • Model: 2018 Mazda Mazda3 5-Door Touring
  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 184 hp / 185 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 26 City / 35 Hwy
  • Options: Bose/Moonroof/Satellite Radio Package ($1,500, moonroof, shark fin roof antenna, satellite radio, nine-speaker Bose sound system)
  • Base Price:$22,785 (including the $895 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$24,285


Mazda Mazda3

Both engines offer good performance and are very fuel efficient, while the G-Vectoring Control engine management system dabs the brakes a bit to shift weight forward for a tighter line in cornering. The six-speed automatic shifts crisply, although enthusiasts will gravitate toward the very enjoyable six-speed manual with a clutch that's easy to modulate and a shifting action and short throws that are delightfully smooth.

The good news is that the Mazda3 doesn't sacrifice fuel economy at the altar of performance. A hatchback equipped with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic tops the list with an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 32 combined. The worst-case scenario is the hatchback with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to the six-speed automatic that checks in with an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city, 35 highway, and 30 combined. Meanwhile, we managed a vehicle-measured 27.8 mpg in spirited suburban driving in our automatic-equipped Grand Touring hatchback.

But all is not perfect. Although not unusual for a smaller, non-turbocharged four-cylinder, power in the base 2.0-liter engine doesn't come on strongly until around 4,000 rpm, which is on the high side. The full-electric power steering system isn't as good as the combination electric and hydraulic system on the last-generation model. Also, the G-Vectoring Control system can sometimes work a little too aggressively – especially during high-speed cornering when it can feel like the brakes are being applied to the rear wheels.


Following a mild refresh last year, the Mazda3 steps into 2018 with a pair of what are arguably the slickest-looking designs in the compact class. It starts up front with the requisite five-point corporate grill and wing-shaped chrome trim that traces the lower two-thirds until it meets the headlights. Bi-LED headlights with auto-leveling and LED daytime running lights and taillights are now standard on Grand Touring models, while below the grille a lower valance with a narrow lower air intake is flanked by pods that, on the Grand Touring, house small, round, LED fog lights that sit above a lower air dam.

Along the sides, three character lines trace arcs from the front fenders to the front door handles, above the rear door handles to above the taillights (on sedans the arc begins just behind the C-pillars), and from behind the lower front wheel wells to nearly midway in front of the rear wheel wells. The 16-inch steel wheels are wrapped in P205/60 R16 all-season tires are standard on Sport models, while both Touring and Grand Touring models (like our tester) come with 18-inch alloys finished in dark silver that are wrapped in Dunlop SP Sport 5000 Symmetrical P215/45R18ultra high performance all-season tires.

In back, the horizontal teardrop-shaped taillights are wider on the sedan, although we prefer the sportier overall look of the hatchback that features a standard rear wiper and bright-finished dual exhaust outlets.

Both body styles are wrapped around an intuitive interior layout that, thanks to added sound insulation, is much quieter than the previous model. The front seats are supportive, among the best in the compact class, with large cushions and big seatbacks that offer a natural position. All horizontal and many vertical surfaces are now covered in soft-touch materials. The gauges are straightforward and easy to read with a prominent center tach that contains a digital speed readout flanked by a transmission indicator to the left and information center on the right. The dashboard layout and much of the trim is better than average, while the perforated-leather found on the Grand Touring gives it a luxury-level look. In addition, thanks to the low cowl and beltline and relatively narrow c-pillars, the driver’s view out the front, sides, rear three quarters and back are anywhere from very good to excellent.

But perfection is eluded as the hatchbacks sleek shape cuts into rear seat head room, where leg room is already tight for the class, while the lower-quality headliner and hard plastic rear door trim are disappointments in an otherwise splendid cabin. Moreover, the sedan's trunk falls short at just 12.4 cubic feet and, over the years, Mazda's infotainment system has gotten more complicated, not simpler. Not only is it distracting, it's neither Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay compatible.

The Best and Worst Things

The Mazda3 reminds us that it's the small things that count. In this case, it's the "organ style" accelerator pedal – hinged at the bottom – which Mazda believes feels more comfortable, and we agree. Common in German luxury cars, it's rarer in this class.

The well-controlled ride is on the firm side and definitely not plush. While some will find it entertaining, it can get busy over rough pavement and can prove to be tiring on long trips.

Right For? Wrong For?

Mazda Mazda3

A sharp manual transmission and class-leading handling will appeal to value-oriented enthusiasts.

At the same time, a cramped rear seat and poor infotainment system will have families looking elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

While it disappoints with a cramped rear seat, distracting infotainment system, and advanced safety features only available on the Grand Touring model, the 2018 Mazda Mazda3 remains a top choice in the compact class thanks to its stunning exterior, quick and agile handling, and pair of entertaining and fuel efficient four-cylinder engines.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 155 HP / 150 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd man w/OD
Available: 6-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
28 / 38 / 33 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 155 HP / 150 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
28 / 38 / 33 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
13.2 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
12.4 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
96 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
180.3 "
Exterior Width
70.7 "
Exterior Height
57.3 "
Front Headroom
38.6 "
Rear Headroom
37.6 "
Front Legroom
42.2 "
Rear Legroom
35.8 "
Front Shoulder Room
57.2 "
Rear Shoulder Room
54.4 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,899 Lbs. / 2,967 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
17.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
16.0 " Steel / 16.0 " Silver Aluminum / 16.0 " Painted Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote / Dual Power Remote Heated
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Cloth / Premium Cloth
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm/hd, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Smart City Brake Support Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Active Blind Spot Monitoring Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

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