Last Chance: The 2018 Mazda 3 Four-Door Grand Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Mazda 3 Four-Door
The 2018 Mazda 3 Four-Door Grand Touring.

If you, like us, love the current-gen Mazda 3, this would be a very good time to get one.  Early next year, there will be an all-new 3, a clean sheet of paper.

Side view of 2018 Mazda 3 Four-Door
2018 Mazda 3 Four-Door Grand Touring.
It's hard to imagine making a quantum leap over the current 3, a small sedan so good, so different from the immediate competition of Corolla, Civic, Sentra, Elantra, Forte, Jetta, Focus and Cruze,  based purely on its fun-to-drive quotient, that when we reviewed its mid-cycle refresh two years ago, we referred to it as "polishing a gem".

And that driving fun (largely found in the handling) comes with some strong fuel economy numbers---27 city/36 highway.

2018 Mazda 3 Grand Touring interior.
Our most recent tester, a few weeks ago, was the top-of-the-line Grand Touring.  The base price of $24,195 gets all of this standard:

  • 184-horsepower 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine.
  • Six-speed automatic transmission with sport mode.
  • G-Vectoring control.
  • Four-wheel disc brakes.
  • Electric power-assisted steering.
  • 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers.
  • Heated power side mirrors with turn lamps and LED fog lights.
  • Moonroof.
  • LED combination taillights.
  • LED headlights with auto on/off.
  • LED daytime running lights.
  • Gloss black grille.
  • Body-colored rear deck spoiler.
  • Roof-mounted shark fin antenna.
  • Bright beltline trim.
  • Leather-trimmed sport seats.
  • Six-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment.
  • Variable heated front seats.
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control.
  • Power windows and locks.
  • Keyless entry.
  • Pushbutton start.
  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seat.
  • Rear seat armrest with cupholders.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob.
  • Electronic parking brake.
  • Color active driving display.
  • Seven-inch color touchscreen.
  • Multi-function commander control.
  • Rearview camera.
  • Bose nine-speaker Centerpoint audio system.
  • Pandora, aha and Stitcher audio.
  • AM/FM/HD Radio with two USB inputs.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
  • Text message delivery and reply.
  • Bluetooth.
  • Cruise control and trip computer.
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls.
  • Carpeted floormats.
  • Anti-theft engine immobilizer.
  • Blind spot monitoring.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Tire pressure monitoring.
  • Smart city brake support.
  • Dynamic stability control.
  • Traction control system.
  • Hill launch assist.
  • ABS with EBD and brake assist.
Let's repeat the price for all that---$24,185.  Our tester had some extra-cost options beyond that:

  • Cargo mat ($75)
  • Snowflake White Pearl paint ($200)
  • Scuff plates ($125)
  • Appearance Package I---Front air dam, door mirror caps, rear bumper skirt and side sill extensions ($1,200)
  • Premium Equipment Package---Navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, HomeLink, heated steering wheel, high-beam control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist ($1,600)
With $890 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line was $28,385.

Fun, economical cars under 30 grand are not thick on the ground.  We're excited and anxious to see and drive the next-gen Mazda 3 when it arrives in early 2019.  But you could do a lot worse than to buy one of the last of this very good breed while dealers still have them.