2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback

#12
in Compact hatchbacks
2018 MODEL

$19,345 - $24,945

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Detailed Review

Mazda 3 is a fantastic car at a reasonable price. Available in two stylish body styles and with an upmarket interior feel, it is one of the best cars to buy in the compact segment. Apart from the looks, the hatch has great handling and driving dynamics.

Starting at $19,345, Mazda 3's prices hike to $24,496 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.

Apart from its looks and features, it's a great performer as well. It is quick and is a fun to drive car with a 184 hp motor mated to a six-speed manual transmission. All in all, Mazda 3 is worth consideration when compared to its closest rivals like Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic and Kia Forte.


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

 
 
 

Mazda 3 is a fantastic car at a reasonable price. Available in two stylish body styles and with an upmarket interior feel, it is one of the best cars to buy in the compact segment. Apart from the looks, the hatch has great handling and driving dynamics.

Starting at $19,345, Mazda 3's prices hike to $24,496 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.

Apart its looks and features, it's a great performer as well. It is quick and is a fun to drive car with a 184 hp motor mated to a six-speed manual transmission. All in all, Mazda 3 is worth consideration when compared to its closest rivals like Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic and Kia Forte.

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Features

8.1/10

The new iteration is available in three trims namely, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. 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, it 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
  • 3-point seat belts for all seating positions
  • 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\u2019s-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
  • 6-way power adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment
  • Variable heated front seats
  • Leatherette-trimmed sport seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
  • 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
  • LED combination tail lights
  • LED fog lights
  • Black metallic finish front grille
  • 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
  • Analog tachometer and digital speedometer
  • Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Engine

8.9/10

The Mazda 3 isn't the quickest car in its class, but it does deliver a bright and engaging experience that will be appreciated by drivers who enjoy cars beyond the transportation aspect. -edmunds

Engine and Transmission

The hatch is available in two engine options. A 2.0 L inline four-cylinder engine for the base Sport trim producing 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. And a 2.5 L inline four-cylinder engine for Touring and Grand Touring trims pumping out 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.

All the trims 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

Accelerating 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 \xa0\xa0(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

Though the Mazda 3 falls behind in terms of numbers, it offers exceptional driving dynamics. The steering is very engaging although the feedback from the road is not as good as one would expect.

It is not the quickest it handles like no other car in this segment, being 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 hatch have a decent bite. Braking is linear and smooth without any unnecessary jerks. The Mazda 3 covers about 122 ft before stopping from a cruising speed of 60 mph.

Comparing it to Honda Civic and Kia Forte which takes only 115 ft and Volkswagen Golf which takes 177 ft to stop from 60-0 mph, the Mazda 3 has the longest stopping distance in this segment.

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

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Fuel Economy

9.1/10

Mazda 3 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 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

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Interior

8.0/10

The best part of the Mazda 3 could very well be its interior. Controls are easy to use and allow you to focus on driving, and there's ample room up front for people of all sizes. Rear passenger space isn't great for taller passengers, but overall this cabin has been well designed. -edmunds

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. 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 Mazda 3s 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 Volume

The hatch 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

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Exterior

8.9/10

The 2018 Mazda 3 isn’t using any tricks to look good: it’s just simple design, executed perfectly. -thecarconnection

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.

Mazda 3 leads this segment with highest ground clearance of 6.1 inches. Hence, overall figures suggesting the hatch 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

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Safety

9.0/10

The NHSTA has rated the Mazda 3 with a five-star overall rating while the IIHS calls the Mazda 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

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Competition

Mazda 3 vs Volkswagen Golf

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

But, the cargo volume in the 3 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 3 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 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 3 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 3 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 the Mazda 3. Hence, the Kia Forte5 has a better utility score.

2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Final Verdict

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.

Pros

Superior Interior quality

Attractive interior and exterior design

Powerful engine

Upgraded standard features

Cons

Average cargo space

Cramped rear seats

What's New?

Powerful 2.5 L engine for Touring and Grand Touring trims

Advanced Safety features as standard.

Minor Exterior and Interior upgrades.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$19345

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

5

top speed

132 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu. in.

horsepower

155 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

150 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed manual

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

10.4 in. ventilated front disc/11 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

175.6 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

57.3 in.

curb weight

2875 lbs.

ground clearance

6.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

96.4 cu ft.

cargo volume

20.2 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.2 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

27/31/37 mpg

highway range

488.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

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

Exterior

8.9

Engine

8.9

Comfort

6.0

Safety

9.0

Features

8.1

Fuel Economy

9.1

Interior

8.0

Driving

8.6

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Sport

Sport

power
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
31 combined

$19,345 - $20,395


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $19,345 MSRP (27/31/37) 155 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5 NA
Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $20,395 MSRP (28/32/37) 155 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5 NA

 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Touring

Touring

power
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$20,840 - $21,890


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $20,840 MSRP (25/28/33) 184 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2.5 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5 NA
Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $21,890 MSRP (26/30/35) 184 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2.5 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5 NA

 2018 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Grand Touring

Grand Touring

power
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$23,895 - $24,945


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $23,895 MSRP (25/28/33) 184 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2.5 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed manual front wheel drive 5 NA
Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $24,945 MSRP (26/30/35) 184 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2.5 L, I4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5 NA