2018 Mazda 3


Ranked #4 in Compact Sedan

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Starting MSRP 

$19,145 - $24,195

Key Spec of 2018 Mazda 3
fuel economy


fuel type

Regular unleaded


184 hp @ 5700 rpm

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

2018 Mazda 3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: May 4, 2022

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The 2018 Mazda 3 may not be the quickest, but it is the best car to drive in the compact class. Designed using Mazda's 'Kodo – Soul of Motion design language, the Mazda 3 looks exciting but doesn't have the biggest cargo capacity. Inside and out, the Mazda 3 is easy to live with and way more attractive than its class rivals.

The sedan is actually entertaining and sporty to drive and has enough bang for the buck. For 2018 Mazda added more standard safety features and the sedan starts at $18,095. The segment comprises competitors such as Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, and Toyota Corolla.

2018 Mazda 3 Latest Updates

  • Apr' 26, 2022 : Fastest Cars Under $30,000, On Sale In The US Read More »
  • Mar' 25, 2022 : All 2022 Model Year Mazda Vehicles Win The Top Safety Pick+ Award From The IIHS Read More »
  • Mar' 11, 2022 : Mazda And Mitchell Launch The New Mazda Collision Network To Help Customers With Car Repairs Read More »

ProsConsWhat's New

Fun to drive

Touch screen only responds when vehicle is stopped.

Low-speed forward collision warning became standard.

Zippy powertrains

Great safety scores

Stylish, upscale interior

Over All Rating


Out of 10

Pricing and Features8.00
Engine and Performance8.00
Fuel Economy8.00
Notable Rankings

#4 in Compact Sedan

#6 in Sedan

Pictures & Videos


Sport$19,145 onwards

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Low-Speed forward collision warning
  • Mazda Connect infotainment system w/ 7-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Six-Speaker stereo w/ 2-USB ports

Touring$20,090 onwards

  • Dual-Zone automatic climate control
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Six-Way power driver's seat

Grand Touring$23,145 onwards

  • Digital speedometer
  • Leather upholstery
  • Led exterior lights
  • Nine-Speaker Bose surround-sound system
  • Sunroof

Colors and Styles

2018 Mazda 3 in Jet Black Mica color
Jet Black Mica

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The 2018 Mazda3 is a front-wheel-drive compact car available in two body styles: sedan and a hatchback. It slots below the midsize Mazda6 and starts just above $18,000. For 2018, all Mazda3 trims gain standard forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, and all Touring trims are now powered by the larger 2.5-liter engine. The Mazda3’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are estimated at $22,000, which is average in the class.


Starting from $18,095, the 2018 Mazda3 sedan's price ranges up to $24,195 (MSRP) across the lineup that comprises of three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The Sport trim comes equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine while the Touring and Grand Touring models get a 2.5-liter engine. All Mazda3 models are available with either manual or autmotic transmission, paired with front-wheel-drive only.

Trims Sport Touring Grand Touring
MSRP (Manual/FWD) $18,095 $20,090 $23,145
MSRP (Auto/FWD) $19,145 $21,140 $24,195
Key Features 16-inch alloy wheels In addition to or replaces Sport feature with: In addition to or replaces Sport feature with:
  Body-colored, dual folding power side mirrors Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade
  Clear-lens halogen headlights 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Dark Silver finish Bi-LED headlights with auto-leveling
  Daytime running lights Body-colored folding, heated power side mirrors with integrated turn signals LED Daytime Running Lights
  Dual exhaust with bright tip finishers Auto on/off headlights LED combination tail lights
  Rear roofline spoiler Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring System 12 with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert 13 LED fog lights
  Rear window wiper Dual-zone automatic climate control system Black metallic finish front grille
  Dual map lights and rear cabin light 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment Roof-mounted "shark fin" antenna
  3-point seat belts for all seating positions Variable heated front seats Perforated leather-trimmed sport seats
  Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) Leatherette-trimmed sport seats Bose 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2
  Dynamic Stability Control6 and Traction Control System Leather-wrapped steering wheel SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4-month trial subscription 11
  Air conditioning with pollen filter Leather-wrapped gear shift knob Full-color Active Driving Display
  Power door locks with 2-stage unlocking feature Rain-sensing windshield wipers Analog tachometer and digital speedometer
  Power windows with driver\u2019s-one-touch up/down Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry  

Mazda offers a long list of available features such as a navigation system, a heated steering wheel, and remote start. The sedan also gets the optional Preferred Equipment package that adds alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, upgraded upholstery, and a rear-seat armrest with cupholders.

The Grand Touring trim is eligible for the Premium Equipment package which includes adaptive pivoting headlights, automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and Smart Brake Support.

We Recommend:

The entry-level Mazda3 Sport is a good choice in the 2018 lineup. For an affordable starting price, the Mazda 3 Sport comes well equipped with tech and safety features. The interior is also designed handsomely and feels premium for the price point. 

Engine and Performance

Performance is where the 2018 Mazda3 stands out. It has two energetic four-cylinder engines, and it has sharper handling than virtually every class rival. It also has sharp steering and sturdy brakes. -cars.usnews

2018 Mazda3 Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Mazda3's base engine is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 155 horsepower, and 150 pound-feet of torque. The Touring and Grand Touring trims comes standard with a 2.5-liter engine rated at 184 hp, and 185 lb-ft. Both engines can be paired to a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Mazda3 Sport's four-cylinder engine is peppy and is decent around the town as well as at highway speeds. The available 2.5-liter engine offers smooth and more powerful acceleration. Both manual and automatic transmissions are slick and provide refined performance.


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra







2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

2.0 L 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

1.8 L 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated


6-Speed Automatic Transmission

6-Speed Automatic Transmission


6-Speed Automatic Transmission


155 hp @ 6000 RPM

147 hp @ 6200 RPM

132 hp @ 6000 RPM

147 hp @ 6400 RPM


150 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM

132 lb-ft. @ 4500 RPM

128 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM

132 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM


Front-Wheel Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-Wheel Drive

All MAzda3 sedans are front-wheel-drive while some of the competitors offer all-weather capability with the available AWD option. The 2018  Mazda 3 sedan has the most powerful base engine and so is its off-the-line performance.

2018 Mazda3 Acceleration

The 3's zippy four-cylinder engine is responsive and the car sprints from 0-60 mph in just 7.7 seconds, which is above average performance in the compact class. This base engine has plenty of peps but the 184-horsepower 2.5-liter engine is noticeably more energetic and it provides quick acceleration.


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra

0-60 MPH

7.7 sec

6.6 sec

9.5 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter mile

16.2 sec

15.2 sec

17.4 sec

16.2 sec


2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

2.0 L 4-Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

1.8 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

2.0 L 4 Cylinder Naturally Aspirated

Comparing the 3 to its closest competitors, it seems to be an average performer but beats the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra sedans off the line. Though Kia Forte shares most of the equipment with Hyundai Elantra, it is almost a second faster than the Hyundai.

2018 Mazda3 Handling and Braking

Like every other Mazda model, the 3 sedan is a driver's car and offers an excellent driving experience. Handling the compact car is easy and sharp, as the steering gives more feedback than any of its competitors. Around the turns, the sedan remains stable and exits quickly. Though Mazda's taut suspension justifies the sporting tendencies of the 3 sedans, it delivers a compliant ride on the road.

The Mazda3 has a rewarding drive and inspires confidence. It blends handling and ride quality, and is one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. There is not optional AWD drivetrain. The car rides top 18 inch wheels, still, they hardly impact the ride quality.


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra

Brake Front(in)





Brake Rear(in)





Curb weight

2967 lbs.

2,804 lbs.

2885 lbs.

2,812 lbs.

60-0 MPH

121 feet

127 feet

126 feet

116 feet

The 3's strong brakes rein things in when needed and in the panic stop test, the car needed 121 feet to completely stop from 60 mph. This is average performance in the class. The brake pedal is adequately firm and responsive, and the car is very stable. 

Fuel Economy

The 2.0-liter-equipped Mazda3 sedan gets an EPA fuel economy ratings of 28/38 mpg city/highway with the automatic or 28/37 mpg with the manual transmission. With the larger 2.5-liter, the 3 sedan's fuel economy is rated 27/36 mpg with the automatic and 25/34 mpg with the manual. 


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra

MPG (city)





MPG (highway)





MPG (combined)





By comparison the 2018 Mazda3 gets good fuel economy in the compact class, however, the 2018 Forte sedan leads the chart with EPA rated 29 mpg in the city. Though the 2018 Corolla isn't that powerful it still lags behind the fuel economy section in this comparison.


"The 2018 Mazda3 might have the nicest cabin of any compact car. It looks stylish without feeling busy. The materials quality is excellent, and that extends to the user-friendly infotainment system." - cars.usnews

2018 Mazda3 Seating and Comfort

The Mazda 3 boasts a thoughtfully designed interior with a driver-centric layout. Most of the buyers enjoy being inside the 3's cabin, thanks to its spacious front row. There is plenty of legroom, headroom, and shoulder room even for over 6-foot tall adults. The rear legroom however feels cramped if the driver is tall. Though, the driver can find an excellent driving position, thanks to the wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustments. 

Overall, the Mazda3 has one of the nicest interiors in its class, especially its smart design. The cost-cutting techniques are well-appreciated as all the hard plastic is textured and does not feel cheap. The dashboard is trimmed with soft-touch plastics and elegant metal accents. The base Mazda3 Sport also has a few padded surfaces and remains quiet. Everything feels solidly built as well, with no creaks.


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra

Passenger capacity





Passenger Volume(ft cube) w/ sunroof





Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)





Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)





Going with the Mazda3 will deliver an Audi-like experience as the interiors look way better than the price point. Else, look for Toyota Corolla's practical interiors which looks dated by scores high on utility. Kia Forte's interior comprises premium materials and the latest tech, which is somewhat similar to the Hyundai Elantra.

Interior Features

  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Digital speedometer
  • Six-way power seats and heated front seats.
  • leather upholstery
  • 7” Infotainment touch screen

2018 Mazda3 Infotainment System

The Mazda3 comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen MazdaConnect infotainment system. The display offers clear graphics and is within easy access of the driver. There is a BMW-style iDrive controller at your disposal while the layout is simple. There are physical buttons and knobs on the center console as redundant controlling options. Though we don't like the screen's ack of response which is limited to touch inputs while the vehicle is stopped or parked.

Mazda does not offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, otherwise common in many other compact cars. The Mazda 3 offers an extensive list of technology upgrades as well including a 9 speaker surround system for the best music quality. 

2018 Mazda3 Cargo Capacity

At 12.4 cubic feet, the trunk of the Mazda3 sedan is a bit small for a compact car. Folding the rear seats expands the space and opens up flat cargo space and it's easy to load and unload items. However, we recommend the Mazda3 hatchback for those looking for more practicality. 


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra

Volume (ft cube)





A few other compact cars offer more cargo room, such as the 2018 Kia Forte and 2018 Subaru Hyundai Elantra. As for the small storage, the MAzda3 offers deep door pockets, a cellphone tray, and good-sized cupholders. It could have been better as some of the rivals integrate storage space in a much better way.


Mazda’s entire lineup is handsome, and the revisions made to the 3 for 2017 brought additional crispness to its taut, athletic lines, which look particularly fetching on the profile of the hatchback. -caranddriver

Dimension and Weight

Mazda gave the 3 sedans a mild refresh last year, and the 2018 Mazda 3 sports a better exterior look. Available in two body styles, the sedan, and hatchback, both rank above-average for the zesty exterior. The car's overall proportions look like rear-drive proportions and the Mazda 3’s nose looks aggressive, unlike predecessors with a soft face.

The front pillars have moved 4 inches farther back from the hood, and certainly, give a glimpse of a performance sports car. The athletic profile of the sedan matches its dynamics and looks pleasant to the eyes. Though the hatch uses a streamlined, fastback roofline both the sedan and hatch have rounded rear ends.


2018 Mazda Mazda3

2018 Kia Forte

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Hyundai Elantra

Curb weight(lbs)




















Ground clearance(in)










Yes, the Forte has a tempting stance with Kia’s signature design elements starting from the large grille that houses the brand monogram, but still, a second glance and you will find there is plenty of room for improvement. Also, since it is based on the Hyundai Elantra, the Forte shares a lot of similarities including the platform.

Exterior Features

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Self-leveling LED headlamps
  • Rear spoiler
  • Keyless entry
  • Power sunroof

The IIHS named the Mazda3 a 2018 Top Safety Pick+, thanks to its top rating of Good in all areas of crash-test and an Average score on the headlights test. The properly equipped Mazda3 models earned a Superior rating on the front crash prevention test. The NHTSA gave the 3 sedans an overall safety rating of five out of five stars.

All MAzda3 trims come standard with a rearview camera and a low-speed forward collision warning with brake assist. Grand Touring trim is eligible for a Premium Equipment package which includes advanced driver assistance features such as below:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Full-speed forward collision warning with brake assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive pivoting headlights
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition

2018 Mazda mazda3 vs 2018 Toyota Corolla

The 2018 Toyota Corolla trails the MAzda3 in some areas. The Corolla's drive is uninspiring while the Mazda is one of the most fun to drive cars in the class. The MAzda3's cabin materials are way more premium, unlike the Toyota Corolla which feels cheap inside. Also, Toyota's engine isn’t very punchy.

Overall, the Mazda3 is more enjoyable to drive, but the Toyota Corolla is still one of the best-selling compact cars. The Toyota has a higher predicted reliability rating, higher fuel economy, roomy seating space, and user-friendly tech features.

2018 Mazda mazda3 vs 2018 Hyundai Elantra

In this value-packed segment, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra adds a versatile hatchback just like the Mazda3 nameplate. Though both are good options, the Mazda3 is the one to go for. The Hyundai Elantra has nothing bad but at the same time does not stand out. It is practical, affordable, and comes with ample standard features and class-leading warranty coverage.

On the other hand, the Mazda3 sedan is one of the best cars you can drive with an upscale interior and advanced safety features. The only downside of the Mazda3 is its cramped rear seats.

Final Verdict

The 2018 Mazda 3 is a great bargain in the compact car segment, especially considering its merits. The starting price is average in the class but for the price, the MAzda3 sedan looks way more premium inside-out. The driving dynamics and acceleration is some of the best in the class while the interior materials feel upscale. There are ample available advanced safety features, however, we miss the all-wheel-drive option.


vehicle bio
base price


body style

4dr Sedan

engine type

152 cu in

horse power

184 hp @ 5700 rpm


185 lb.-ft. @ 3250 rpm


6-Speed Manual


180 in


106 in


72 in

curb weight

3013 lbs


57 in

Ground Clearance

6 lbs

passenger volume

96.3 cu ft

cargo volume

12.4 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy

26/29/34 mpg

highway range

448.8 mi

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

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