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2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan

#12
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

$18,095 - $24,195

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Overview

The 2018 Mazda 3 Sedan is an all able and a confident car. With its stylish design, strong bodyline and striking proportions, the Mazda 3 sedan is an instant eyeball grabber. Do not misunderstand. This car isn’t just about looks. It has some solid stuff under its hood and has the ability to give you some exciting driving experiences once you get behind the wheel.

The Mazda 3 sedan is offered in 3 trim levels. The Sport variant starts at $18,095 and comes with a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder engine mated with a humble manual transmission that delivers a 155 brake horse power. There is an automatic variant on offer but it will cost you $1050 extra.

Mazda has smartly placed this car in the market. The engineers at Fuchu, Japan have worked really hard to ensure that the Mazda 3 remains the most powerful car among its Asian rivals like the Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra. Moreover, Mazda has also scored big in terms of safety with this sedan.

See detailed review »

Pros

Smooth transmission

Efficient Engine

Suave looks

Cons

Not so good handling

Larger carbon footprint

What's New?

2 colors added to the lineup

No significant Change


Features

Power

155 hp

150 lb-ft

MPG

28 city

37 hwy

Engine

i4 cyl

2 l

transmission

Manual

drivetrain

front wheel drive

warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.



Styles

 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Titanium Flash Mica color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Soul Red Metallic color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Sonic Silver Metallic color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Snowflake White Pearl Mica color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Machine Gray Metallic color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Jet Black Mica color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Eternal Blue Mica color  2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan in Deep Crystal Blue Mica color
Titanium Flash Mica

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.1

Engine

8.9

Fuel Economy

9.1

Interior

8.0

Exterior

8.9

Safety

9.0

Driving

8.6

8.7

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan Sport

Sport

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$18,095 - $19,145

Configurations
Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
Seating: 5 HP: 155-hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 150 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(28/31/38)
Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Seating: 5 HP: 155 -hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 150 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(28/31/37)

 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan Touring

Touring

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$20,090 - $21,140

Configurations
Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
Seating: 5 HP: 184-hp @ 5,700 rpm
Torque: 185 lbs.-ft. @ 3,250 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(25/29/34)
Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Seating: 5 HP: 184 -hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque: 185 ft-lbs. @ 3250 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(27/30/36)

 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan Grand Touring

Grand Touring

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$23,145 - $24,195

Configurations
Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
Seating: 5 HP: 184-hp @ 5,700 rpm
Torque: 185 lbs.-ft. @ 3,250 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(25/29/34)
Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Seating: 5 HP: 184 -hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque: 185 ft-lbs. @ 3250 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(27/30/36)

Expert Review


carhp editor October 11, 2018

8.7

Overall Rating


8.1/10
Features

 

8.9/10
Engine

 

9.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.0/10
Interior

 

8.9/10
Exterior

 

9.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

Starting at $18,095, Mazda 3’s prices hike to $24,195 according to the trim (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring), body style (Sedan, Hatchback) and transmission (six-speed Manual/AT) you choose. Also, adding optional packages will not cost you much.

Features

8.1/10

The 4-doored sedan is available in three trims namely, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, where the Sports trim is the base variant and is fairly featured against the price at which it is offered. It comes with a 2.0 L engine whereas, the Touring and Grand Touring trim gets a 2.5 Liter engine. All Mazda 3s comes coupled with a six-speed manual transmission while a six-speed automatic is optional.

With a base price of $19,345, the Mazda 3 has many standard features listed in the table below. The Touring variant with a price tag of $20,840 is an upgraded version of Sport. The range-topping Grand Touring starts at $23,895 and features LED exterior headlights, fog lights and taillights, a sunroof, a digital speedometer and an upgraded display in the instrument panel.

Trims Sport Touring Grand Touring
Auto $20,395 $21,890 $24,945
Manual $19,345 $20,840 $23,895
Features
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-colored, dual folding power side mirrors
  • Clear-lens halogen headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Dual exhaust with bright tip finishers
  • Rear roofline spoiler
  • Rear window wiper
  • Dual map lights and rear cabin light
  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
  • Dynamic Stability Control6 and Traction Control System
  • Air conditioning with pollen filter
  • Power door locks with 2-stage unlocking feature
  • Power windows with driver’s-one-touch up/down
  • Remote keyless entry system with "answer back" feature
  • Push button start

 

  • In addition to or replaces Sport feature with:
  • 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with Dark Silver finish
  • Body-colored folding, heated power side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Auto on/off headlights
  • Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring System 12 with Rear Cross Traffic Alert 13
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry

 

  • In addition to or replaces Sport feature with:
  • Bi-LED headlights with auto leveling
  • LED Daytime Running Lights, tail lights, fog lights
  • Roof-mounted "shark fin" antenna
  • Perforated leather-trimmed sport seats
  • Bose 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4-month trial subscription 11
  • Full-color Active Driving Display

We Recommend

We recommend the intermediate Touring variant on any of either body styles considering one’s use. It offers a right balance between power and features. With a powerful 2.5 Liter engine, it won’t keep you off getting a thrilling experience. If you can extend your budget, the Grand Touring option is the best pick equipped with a host of advanced features.

Engine

8.9/10

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

Engine and Transmission

For 2018, the Mazda 3 is available in two engine options. The 2.0L inline four-cylinder engine for the base Sport trim produces 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque and a 2.5 L inline four-cylinder engine for Touring and Grand Touring trims pump out 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.

All Mazda 3s come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard while a six-speed automatic comes as an option with the same Front Wheel Drive (FWD). The 2.5 L engine with a six-speed manual transmission is a perfect recipe to have fun with.

Models Mazda 3 (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
MSRP $20,235 $20,150 $20,910 $18,300
Engine 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder 1.5L I-4 DOHC 16-Valve Turbocharged 1.8L TSI DOHC 16V Turbocharged 4-cyl 2.0L, DOHC, 16-valve I-4
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual 5-Speed manual 6-Speed Automatic
Power 155 hp 174 hp 170 hp 164 hp
Torque 150 lb-ft 167 lb-ft 184 lb-ft 151 lb-ft

Acceleration

Mazda 3 accelerates swiftly, the 2.0 L engine has plenty of power for daily driving but the more powerful 2.5 L engine under the hood offers better acceleration and makes driving a thrilling experience.

It takes 7.6 seconds from a standstill to click 60 mph and does a quarter mile run in 16 seconds. Comparing the Mazda 3 to its closest competitors, it seems to be the slowest accelerating car in this segment. Golf leads the race doing 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds followed by Kia Forte5 and then Honda Civic.

Models  Mazda 3   (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
0-60 MPH  8.1 sec 7.5 sec 6.7 sec 6.9 sec
Quarter mile  16.0 sec 15.5 sec 15.3 sec 15.2 sec
Engine  2.0L i-4 1.5L i-4 1.8L i-4 2.0L i-4

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

 5.6 5.3 6.1 6.3

Handling and Steering

In terrms of handing, the sedan offers exceptional driving dynamics. The steering on the Mazda is very engaging although the feedback from the road is not as good as one would expect.

Though the Mazda 3 is not the quickest it handles like no other car in this segment. It is nimble around the corners and remains composed in the straight line at highway speeds. The grip on the tires is good and the suspension setup will give you more confidence while driving.

Braking

Brakes on the Mazda have a decent bite. Braking is linear and smooth without any unnecessary jerks. It covers about 122 ft before stopping from a cruising speed of 60 mph, making it longest stopping distance in this segment.

Comparatively, Honda Civic and Kia Forte take only 115 ft and Volkswagen Golf which takes 177 ft to stop from 60-0 mph. 

Model Mazda 3 (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
Brake Front(in) 11.0 11.1 11.3 11.0
Brake Rear(in) 10.4 10.2 10.7 10.3
Curb weight(lbs) 2875 2822 2963 2928
60-0 MPH (ft.) 122 115 117 115

Fuel Economy

9.1/10

Fuel economically, the 4-door sedan gets a rating of 28 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway. The numbers have improved from the 2017 model. It's more efficient than the Golf and Kia Forte5 by 3 mpg.

But, Honda Civic is marginally efficient than the Mazda 3. It scores 29 mpg in city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Model Mazda 3 (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
mpg (city) 28 29 25 25
mpg (highway) 37 38 34 34
mpg (combined) 31 33 29 28

Interior

8.0/10

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. The seats are comfortable, though some rivals have larger rear seats. Trunk space is on the low side in sedan models, but it’s quite good in the hatchback. -cars.usnews

Seating and Comfort

The Mazda 3 features one of the best interior design and comfort. It is the simplicity of the interior that makes it so good. It can accommodate 5 people easily with rear seats having some height restriction. It’s also easy to get in and out with wide door openings and high head clearance.

Driver’s position offers 6-way adjustment feature to settle in and the ergonomics of pedals are just in the right position which makes driving enjoyable. The cockpit offers good visibility except for the area around bulky C-pillars. The rear seats are little cramped and it may get tight for taller people whereas the fronts seats have ample amount of legroom and thigh support.

Model Mazda 3 (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume (ft cube) 96.4 97.2 39.5 98.2

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

38.6/57.2/42.2 39.3/57.0/42.3 38.4/55.9/41.2 39.4/56.1/42.2

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

37.6/54.4/35.8 37.4/55.0/36.0 38.1/53.9/35.6 38.7/54.9/35.9

Infotainment System

All the trims of the Mazda 3 come with a 7-inch touch infotainment display using Mazda connect. The graphics are crisp and the interface is easy to use. It also features a heads-up display showing relevant information. The range-topping GT variant gets an updated display in the instrument panel and a digital speedometer.

It also gets a 9 speaker surround system for the best music quality, with connectivity feature options like Bluetooth and 2 USB ports. Sadly, the car is not equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Interior features

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

Cargo Capacity

In its boot, the 3 gets a decent amount of cargo space in the compact car segment with 20.2 ft.cube of total volume. There is no available storage space in underfloor as spare tire sits there. The maximum cargo volume that can be achieved is 47.1 ft.cube with the rear seats folded.

Model Mazda 3 (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
Behind 2nd Row (ft.cube) 20.2 25.7 17.4 23.2
2nd Row Folded (ft.cube) 47.1 46.2 53.7 N/A

Exterior

8.9/10

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

Over the generations, Mazda 3 has been slightly upgraded in exterior dimensions and design. It is longer, wider and taller than Volkswagen Golf and Kia Forte except when compared to the Honda Civic. The wheelbase remains the same for majority leaving out the Golf with the shortest wheelbase of 103.8 inches.

The Mazda 3 leads this segment with the highest ground clearance of 6.1 inches. Hence, overall figures suggest it to be a comfortable car that can tackle most of the terrains.

Model Mazda 3 (Sport) Honda Civic Hatchback (LX) Volkswagen Golf (S) Kia Forte5 (LX)
curb weight(lbs) 2875 2822 2963 2928
Length(in) 175.6 177.9 167.5 171.3
Width(in) 70.7 70.8 70.8 70.1
Height(in) 57.3 56.5 57.2 57.1
Ground clearance(in) 6.1 5.1 5.4 5.5
Wheel base(in) 106.3 106.3 103.8 106.3
Track width(in) F/R 61.2/61.4 60.9/61.5 61.0/59.8 61.5/62.0

Exterior Features

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

Safety

9.0/10

The NHSTA has rated the sedan with a five-star overall rating while the IIHS calls the it a Top Safety Pick. It gets a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

NHSTA Rating

Overall Rating 5 Star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 5 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 5 Star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 4 Star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating 5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 4 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5 Star
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat 5 Star
Combined Side Rating Front Seat 5 Star

IIHS Rating

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front passenger side N/A
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

 

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Acceptable

Safety Features

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Mazda Connect Emergency Sos
  • Smart City Brake Support Forward Collision
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning

Competition

Mazda mazda3 vs Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf has better performance capabilities than the Mazda 3. It has better acceleration, power and torque. But, the Mazda takes over the Golf in braking and efficiency. On the inside, the Golf outclasses it in cargo capacity with 53.7 ft.cube of total volume.

But, the cargo volume in the Mazda is not so bad, with seats folded you get 47.1 ft.cube of total volume. Also, it scores superior numbers in crash tests than the Golf. Offered at a low sticker price, Mazda seems to be a better choice.

Mazda mazda3 vs Honda Civic

Honda Civic and Mazda 3 are very similar in terms of their safety standards and Interior Quality. Also, both come in two body styles namely sedan and hatchback. Honda Civic comes with a 174 hp motor which makes it a more comfortable cruiser and is also efficient than the Mazda.

On the contrary, Mazda is offered at a cheaper price with a host of advanced safety features than the Civic. Hence, if you are looking for an agile and sporty car with a decent price tag, Mazda 3 beats most in the segment.

Mazda mazda3 vs Kia Forte5 LX

Kia Forte5 starts at a much lower rate and it has got much more power than the Mazda 3. Also, the Kia comes with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission whereas in the Mazda it will cost you extra for the automatic transmission.

Kia Forte5 overshadows the Mazda 3 in performance figures too. It is faster and brakes do a decent job on the road when compared to it. Hence, the Kia Forte5 has a better utility score.

Final Verdict

The 2018 Mazda 3 is a great bargain in the compact car segment. Starting at $19,345, Mazda is a good deal. Offered in two body styles and three trims with optional packages, Mazda gives a whole lot of variations to choose from. Though, it lags behind in some areas such as cargo volume and engine performance but, it can be compromised considering its merits.

A well-placed interior, advanced safety features, striking design, and great handling performance offered at an economical price, the Mazda 3 forms a perfect package of comfort, safety and performance. But, if you are looking for a comfortable cruiser and money doesn't bother you much consider Honda Civic before buying.

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