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