2018 Mazda 3 hatchback

Pros: Sporty, nimble driving character; crisp manual shifter; well-assembled interior

Cons: Middling acceleration with 2.0-liter engine; tacked-on navigation screen can wash out in bright sunlight conditions; some complicated audio controls; tight rear-seat space

CG Says: The 2018 Mazda 3 now has standard Smart City Brake Support on all models. Smart City Brake Support can automatically apply the brakes at speeds between 2 and 18 mph. All Touring models now have the larger 2.5-liter engine. The 3’s base engine is a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that offers a choice of  6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Touring and Grand Touring models get a 184-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that is mated to a 6-speed automatic. Mazda 3 is available in 4-door sedan and 4-door hatchback bodystyles. Available features include LED headlights, lane-departure warning and mitigation, adaptive cruise control, low-speed automatic braking, automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Mazda 3 boasts distinctive styling, respectable fuel-economy numbers, a good array of safety and technology features, and a genuinely athletic driving character. There are several compact cars that are a bit more practical and space-efficient, but few that are as engaging behind the wheel.

The Facts
Class Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback, 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Mazda
Nation of Manufacture Japan
Base Prices Sport sedan: $20,020
Sport hatchback: $21,270
Touring sedan: $22,015
Touring hatchback: $22,765
Grand Touring sedan: $25,070
Grand Touring hatchback: $25,820

Base Engine
2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine (Sport)
Horsepower
155
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
27-28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
37-38

Optional Engine
2.5-liter 4-cylinder (Touring, Grand Touring)
Horsepower
184
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
26-27
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
35-36