Jump to content
Create New...
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Hatchback

      Is the 2018 Mazda3 still worth it as the new one sits next to it?

    It feels weird to be writing a review of the previous-generation Mazda3 when the new model is currently sitting out front at dealers. But I find this situation to be unique because I had the chance to explore a 2019 Mazda3 to get some first impressions while working on a review of the 2018 model. This gives me a chance to compare the two in certain aspects, along with pondering the question of whether or not the previous model is still a good buy.

    • Despite the new model taking the styling up another level, the outgoing model is still a looker. From the bold front end with a large grille and slightly angled headlights, to sculpting running along the sides, the 2018 3 still stands out in the compact crowd. The older design also allows for slightly better rear headroom and a larger area of glass for improved visibility. 
    • But the new 3 holds a significant edge over the old model when it comes to the interior. The modern design and use of high-quality materials really help boost Mazda’s ambitions of becoming something more premium. But the 2018 model I found to have a slightly easier center stack layout and more interior room.
    • One item I didn’t get the chance to play within the 2019 Mazda3 is the infotainment system. Aside from boasting a larger screen, Mazda has also dropped the touchscreen functionality. The latter has been a big issue on some of the recent Mazda vehicles I have driven, including the 2018 3. It is difficult to figure out which parts of the screen are touch-enabled and which aren’t.
    • The system is also beginning to show its age somewhat as the system showed some slowdown in certain areas such as connecting to my phone via Bluetooth.
    • Under the hood of the 2018 model is either a 2.0L or 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. My tester had the latter which produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet. This engine can also be found under 2019 Mazda3, albeit slightly tweaked - 186 for both horsepower and torque.
    • I find the Mazda3 to be the best application for the 2.5 engine. The lighter weight of the vehicle allows the 2.5 to provide a smooth and quick acceleration for most situations you find yourself in. However, the 2.5 feels like it is running out of breath when going above 70 mph, making passing and merging onto a highway slightly difficult.
    • Where the 3 really shines is down a twisty road. Very few vehicles can match the sharp handling characteristics on offer. The suspension keeps the vehicle level when cornering and quickly respond to change in direction. Steering is quick and features a nice weight when turning.
    • Ride quality is slightly rough with a fair number of bumps coming inside. Some of this can be attributed to the 18-inch wheels fitted on my tester. 
    • Should you consider a 2018 Mazda3 when the bright and shiny 2019 3 is available now? I can only give a half-answer as I haven’t driven the 2019 model yet. But having sat in one, I can see why someone would consider it. The impressive design inside and out can make you believe you’re driving something from a luxury brand.
    • The 2018 model still has some things going for it such as having slightly more interior space, similar fuel economy figures, and dealers beginning to lower prices on them to get them out. As I am writing this (May 5th), I have seen dealers in my local drop prices by $1,000 to $3,000 on 2018 models. Right now, I would be willing to pocket the extra cash and go with a 2018 Mazda3.

    Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 3, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Mazda
    Model: 3
    Trim: Grand Touring
    Engine: 2.5L SKYACTIV-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
    Driveline:  Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
    Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/35/30
    Curb Weight: 3,098 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Mexico
    Base Price: $24,945
    As Tested Price: $28,035 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)

    Premium Equipment Package - $1,600.00
    Soul Red Metallic Paint - $300.00
    Scuff Plates/Door Sill Trim Plate - $125.00
    Rear Bumper Guard - $100.00
    Cargo Mat - $75.00

    Edited by William Maley

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Yes, this is my final 2018 model year review. If you're wondering why it got published in May, it was because I have been quite busy with my new job back in February. But I'm glad to get it out of the way.

    The good news is that I should be having 2019 model year reviews start coming out within the next few weeks.

    • Thanks 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I have to say this looks really dated, good info and like the comparison to the new 2019 model. Mazda is just Meh to me, I honestly do not get the excitement other members here have for the product line.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Posts

    • This is good stuff, I am glad Ford is expanding and helping the push to eV, the faster we go all EV and EV costs come down the better.  Also it is good they are investing the education side, because this country as a whole needs more people in Manufacturing, auto repair, auto body repair and trades in general.  We kind of got away from making things here and a lot of the people doing trade jobs are older, once they retire we are screwed if there aren't young people doing it too. 2 million EV's by 2026, Tesla is already there.  GM and Ford will probably have a good battle for #2 EV maker, what I don't see from Ford is the volume vehicles outside of F150, which the Lightning as it now is far outsold by the ICE version.  Mach-E isn't a volume product, Ford needs the $30k Escape EV that can sell huge numbers.  Lincoln is a dead brand, you aren't getting volume there.  Ford could do well with pickups and vans for the commercial market.
    • @surreal1272 Common Man, your popping his conspiracy bubble of false narrative about pricing on items that are not Tesla or Mercedes AMG Fan boy crazy prices cause an American Company has built auto's that are collectors items. 🤣 Here is just a portion of what I found in my neck of the woods and I see no price reduction like SMK is saying.
    • Good lord. Did you miss the limited production part of the Demon or do you somehow think there will be millions of them 20 years from now? It should be noted that the other cars you mentioned are all less than 20 years old too so maybe (skipping the fact that I routinely see CTS-V Wagons going for right at their original sticker with low miles), pick a spot and sitka with it because you can't have it both ways. A low mile limited production Demon will fetch above original price 20 years from now. They start at $69K and the Redeye starts at $76K so...go ahead and explain this...   And this...
    • Ouch another FORD Recall. They forgot to put in the proper circuit to allow Trailer Towing. Recall Alert: The 2023 Ford Maverick Can’t Tow (msn.com)
    • Used Hellcats right now are $50-85k for the most part, nothing is going to make those go up in value.  So I don’t see the last call demon selling for like $200k 20 years from now when there will be a ton of cheap hellcats and prior demons out there All the prior CTS-V’s, Camaros, Shelby Mustangs all depreciated.
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online

This is the Call To Action(CTA)

  • Create New...

Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search