Safety Smorgasbord - 2012 Mazda 3 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mazda 3 Long Term Road Test

2012 Mazda 3: Safety Smorgasbord

November 06, 2012


Here in the newsroom at Edmunds, we often wear two hats: We're both journalists and sources for other journalists (it's a little weird after years of being the quoter to become the quotee). 

Anyway, a writer asked us last week if there's an "average" price for the newer safety features that some cars now offer--things like blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping, adaptive headlights, forward collision avoidance, etc.  

Our awesome data team came up with the answer, which is that there is no average price. Safety features run the gamut from stand-alone items that cost a couple hundred dollars to soup-to-nuts packages that would set you back $30,000 (on the 2012 Range Rover). Those a la carte options are fairly rare, too. As with lots of other optioning, if you really want one thing (let's say, blind-spot monitoring), you might have to buy a bunch of other things in order to get it. 

In our Mazda 3, blind spot monitoring (BSM) is part of the $1,400 Technology Package, which is sort of safety-oriented, despite its name. In addition to blind-spot monitoring (which you can turn off), you get rain-sensing wipers and adaptive, auto-leveling, auto on/off bi-xenon headlights.

But Sirius satellite radio and a perimeter alarm are also part of the package. If you want blind-spot monitoring or the adaptive headlights, you're buying those things, too. By way of comparison, blind-spot monitoring is a stand-alone option in the 2012 Toyota Camry. It costs $500. 

It would be a service to car buyers if carmakers would group their safety offerings into logical packages, or offer them a la carte. But I'm not holding my breath. 

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @19,629 miles

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