2018 Mazda 3 Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Sporty and confidence-inspiring performance
- Some high-end features are unique to this class
- Top crash test scores
- Interior quality exceeds expectations
- Ride quality can be a little stiff with optional 18-inch wheels
- Cargo capacity ranks below the class leaders
- Road and wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds
- Less interior storage than rivals
- The Touring 2.5 trim has been dropped since the 2.5-liter engine is now standard on the Touring level
- Sport models gain a forward collision warning and mitigation system
- LED headlights are now standard on the Grand Touring
- Some options packages have been renamed, combined or dropped throughout the lineup
- Part of the third Mazda 3 generation introduced for 2014
The 2018 Mazda 3 isn't the quickest car in its class, but it is the best to drive. The Mazda 3 doesn't have the biggest cargo capacity in its class either, but it will certainly hold a whole lot of stuff. This is a clear case of the raw numbers not telling the entire story.
Inside and out, the Mazda 3 is attractive, and plenty of elements give it a more upmarket appeal. On the road, it's not just competent; it's actually entertaining and sporty to drive. Even if you're not into performance, this translates to a feeling that the car will respond to emergency maneuvers with confidence and ease.
In the competitive budget-conscious compact sedan and hatchback class, the 2018 Mazda 3 is a rarity for exceeding expectations and delivering far more than its price would suggest. We bore this out in a yearlong test of this car's current generation as well as subsequent evaluation of newer variants. You'd be remiss not to have it on your short list.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Mazda 3 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.9 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Mazda 3 Sedan Grand Touring (2.5L inline-4 | 6-speed manual | FWD).
Since this test was conducted in 2017, the current Mazda 3 has received no significant revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Mazda 3.
|Overall||7.9 / 10|
Noise & vibration6.5
Ease of use8.5
Getting in/getting out8.0
Child safety seat accommodation6.5
Audio & navigation8.5
Which 3 does Edmunds recommend?
2018 Mazda 3 models
The five-passenger 2018 Mazda 3 is available as a sedan or four-door hatchback. Both body styles are offered in Sport, Touring or Grand Touring trims.
The Sport trim is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (155 horsepower, 150 pound-feet of torque). The Touring and Grand Touring models get a 2.5-liter engine (184 hp, 185 lb-ft). A six-speed manual transmission is standard for all Mazda 3s, with a six-speed automatic available as an option.
Standard Sport trim features for the sedan include 16-inch steel wheels, remote keyless entry, keyless ignition, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, low-speed forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, emergency telematics, and a six-speaker stereo with two USB ports. The hatchback adds the upgrades of alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.
The sedan is eligible for 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 Touring trim includes all of the above, along with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, a six-way power driver's seat and heated front seats.
At the top of the range, the Grand Touring model gains LED exterior lights (headlights, foglights and taillights), a sunroof, a digital speedometer, an upgraded instrument panel display, leather upholstery, a nine-speaker Bose surround-sound system and satellite radio. To this, the Premium Equipment package adds adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, a heated steering wheel, paddle shifters (for the automatic transmission), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and braking for higher speeds, and a traffic sign reader.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the 3 models:
- Smart Brake Support
- Warns if a front collision is deemed imminent and automatically applies the brakes if you don't react in time.
- Lane Keep Assist
- Alerts the driver if the car begins to drift out of its lane and performs steering corrections if the driver does not.
- Advanced Blind-Spot Monitoring
- Alerts the driver if a vehicle is approaching or lurking in your blind spot and chimes if you signal for a lane change in that direction.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.5%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2018 Mazda 3 Overview
The Used 2018 Mazda 3 is offered in the following submodels: 3 Hatchback, 3 Sedan. Available styles include Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned Mazda 3 models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine or a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 184 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Mazda 3 comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 Mazda 3 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Mazda 3?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Mazda 3 trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Mazda 3 Touring is priced between $18,998 and$25,074 with odometer readings between 12163 and111465 miles.
- The Used 2018 Mazda 3 Sport is priced between $18,990 and$23,998 with odometer readings between 5606 and74687 miles.
- The Used 2018 Mazda 3 Grand Touring is priced between $21,975 and$25,999 with odometer readings between 7628 and92844 miles.
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Which used 2018 Mazda 3S are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Mazda 3 for sale near. There are currently 163 used and CPO 2018 3S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $18,990 and mileage as low as 5606 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Mazda 3.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Mazda 3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.