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Behind The Wheel: 2018 Mazda3

With sporty styling and room for plenty of groceries, the 2018 Mazda3 is great for the first time car buyer, single person, or new parents. Keep reading to see why we feel the 3 is perfect for people in this category. 



The 2018 Mazda3 exterior continues with the same body style of the 2017 model. This 2018 4 door  Grand Touring model we tested features body lines running from the hood through the doors as well as styling lines going from the rear doors through the tail lights.

The front of the car features the Mazda styled grill as well as Auto LED headlights, fog lights, and LED daytime running lights. The taillights are also LED.  Door handles are color matched as well as the bumpers.  While color matched mirrors are an option, the appearance package that came on the Mazda3 gave us black mirrors, black front air dam, black side skirts, and rear bumper skirt. These black panels, while minimal, is the perfect offset to the Snowflake White Pearl Mica Paint.  The tire package includes 18 inch all season tires wrapped around gun metal grey rims.


The 2018 Mazda3  Grand Touring comes with  a 2.5L 4 cylinder engine that has 184 horsepower and 185 foot pounds of torque. This is mated to a 6 speed sport mode transmission. The combination of this Skyactiv engine and transmission with a curb weight of around 3,000 pounds will give you and EPA Estimated Gas Mileage of 27 City and 36 Highway for a combined rating of 30. With the Mazda3 you have great acceleration for when you need to get somewhere in a hurry, but also the gas mileage to let you get there without stopping at every gas station.  If you are worried about your environmental footprint, you get a greenhouse gas rating of 7 with a max of 10 and smog raiting of 7 with a best of 10.


The Mazda3 is packed full of features to not only make your ride comfortable, but also enjoyable. Lets start off with the leather wrapped sport seats. These seat are not only comfortable, but they hug your body like sport seats should. You feel very secure in the seat even under heavy cornering. The drivers seat is 6 way powered with manual adjusting lumbar support. Both drive and passenger can enjoy heated seats for those cold winter mornings. They driver gets the added luxury of having the leather wrapped steering wheel heated also. Since we are on the steering wheel. This wheel  features all the controls you need to virtually control everything in your Mazda.  You have controls for hands free phone, radio/satellite radio, sport shifting with shift paddles,  adaptive cruise control, and more.

The rear seats are also leather wrapped with the same leather as the front. The rear is what leads us to believe that this car is best for a single person or a new family as there is very minimal leg room in the rear if you have anyone in the front seats. Thanks to the LATCH System and easy access with wide opening doors, it makes for easy access to put your child seat in.

Climate control is dual zone with digital display that lets you set the perfect temperature for you without freezing or melting your co-pilot.

The trunk has plenty of room for all of your groceries and other belongings. If you plan on going skiing or taking something with you that is long, the rear seats are 60/40 split folding.

The infotainment center is the heart of your trip. While in the earlier model years of the Mazda’s we tested, we felt the screen felt out of place and like an afterthought, we have grown to love it. It is well placed, easy to see in all but direct sunlight and is in the proper place for the driver to glance at it.

The infotainment system includes AM/FM/SiriusXM, Bluetooth, and Pandora for your musical selections, as well as GPS Navigation, Vehicle maintenance reminders, fuel economy, rear view camera, and SMS Text display from your connected device.  You can also adjust all the features of the car on the screen.


What good is a car if it isn’t safe?  The 2018 Mazda3 is packed full of safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe.   You get Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Tire Pressure Monitoring, Smart City Brake Support, Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist, LATCH System, ABS Brakes, Electronic Brake Control, Dual Front Air Bags, Front Side-Impact Airbags, Front and Rear Side Air Curtains, Radar Cruise Control, Traffic Sign recognition, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Warning System.



Base price for the 2018 Mazda3 is $19,145 with a price as tested at $28,470. This includes the Grand Touring package and the Appearance Package I and Premium Equipment Package and a $875 Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee.


Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a sporty compact car for under $30,000 you can’t go wrong with the fully loaded Mazda3. Its great for getting around town, carrying your child, getting groceries, or just going out for a drive to clear your mind. With excellent handling and packed with safety features, you will be happy no matter where you go.



I am the owner of and the Verizon Wireless Reviewer for Ben’s love of gadgets came from his lack of a Nintendo Game Boy when he was a child . Ben vowed from that day on to get his hands on as many tech products as possible. Ben’s approach to a review is to make it informative for the technofile while still making it understandable to everyone. Ben is a new voice in the tech industry and is looking to make a mark wherever he goes. When not reviewing products, Ben is also a 911 Telecommunicator just outside of Pittsburgh PA. Twitter: @gizmoboaks Hangouts: Beavercountyemt Skype: Ben.Oaks

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