2018 Mazda 3 Fastback Considering the L is particular order solely, and the LS doesn’t add much for a substantial price bump, we think it’s price skipping straight to the LT mannequin. Its listing of added options is not in depth, but you do get upgraded headlights for better nighttime visibility, along with satellite radio and tinted glass. The LT additionally opens the doors to several worthy option packages. The Confidence and Convenience package stands out, with extra luxury features and blind-spot monitoring.
Fortune does not essentially favor the daring within the compact crossover section — the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue and the Toyota RAV4 are perennial best-sellers thanks in part to their all-around competencies and historical past of reliability. Still, automakers attempt to make their small SUVs distinct. The 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback stands out by bringing high-end luxurious options and a few distinctive engines to this sometimes price-conscious class.
Redesigned simply last yr, the 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback is one of the newer entries on this phase. As such, all the most recent safety options are available, from a surround-view parking digicam to forward collision warning system that may identify pedestrians. Not like some competitors, most of these options can solely be ordered on the top trim stage, however a minimum of you will get them. Also available are a panoramic sunroof, a surround-view parking camera and ventilated entrance seats — rare options in this class.
We also like that the 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback offers two alternative powertrains if you aren’t glad with the base turbocharged 1.5-liter engine. At one end of the spectrum is a fuel-efficient diesel that achieves 32 mpg in combined driving (the usual engine earns 28 mpg); on the different, a turbocharged 2.Zero-liter with a further 80 horsepower. Be careful, nevertheless: When you begin checking the choices boxes, the 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback will be considerably costlier than rival crossovers. An engine stop-start system that can not be disabled and disappointing materials high quality also may give prospective buyers pause.
2018 Mazda 3 Fastback models
The 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback is a five-passenger compact crossover that costs a bit more than most rivals. It is bought in 4 trims: L, LS, LT and Premier. The base L model seems like an excellent deal till you notice that it is a custom-order mannequin and you’ll have to wait for it to be constructed. You will find the LS at practically any dealer, however it’s dearer and does not add a lot. Finest to skip straight to the LT, which is just a bit more expensive and includes more options and access to further options. If you want the LT and its two packages, the leather-trimmed Premier consists of it all.
The improve from the base 1.5-liter engine to the two.Zero-liter is well-justified with the quantity of energy and efficiency it delivers. On top of that, the 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback has spectacular handling on a twisty road. The one downside is the big turning radius that affects U-turns and parking.
This engine is one of the greatest in the class. Acceleration is smooth and very manageable in everyday driving, however the front-wheel-drive mannequin can generate torque steer when you flooring it. Ours needed only 6.four seconds to achieve 60 mph, quicker than rivals. The diesel took a more leisurely 9.8 seconds.
The brakes feel nice and dependable. The pedal effort is suitable for this kind of car, and response is neither grabby nor lazy. It just feels proper. Our 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback executed a panic cease from 60 mph in 115 toes, a solid outcome within the compact SUV class.
Steering effort is what we expect from a small crossover, with low effort at parking speeds and more weighting at highway speeds. The car tracks straight on most surfaces, and ample on-center feel makes for a calming drive. However we observed some squirm on roads with longitudinal rain grooves.
The 2018 Mazda 3 Fastback is surprisingly succesful and balanced on a challenging twisty street. The handling limits are surprisingly excessive and approachable in these circumstances, and it is nearly as fun to drive as the class-leading Mazda CX-5.
We’re deducting factors for an unusually large turning circle. Multipoint turns are a standard occurrence with this automobile on streets the place rivals could make a simple U-turn. We seen this characteristic when nosing into crowded parking heaps, too.