2018 Mazda 3 adds safety tech, drops F1-inspired regenerative braking

July 22, 2017

The 2018 Mazda 3 will come with more active-safety equipment as standard, but it'll also have less in common with a Formula 1 car than before.

According to CarsDirect, which sourced its information from an ordering guide, the 2018 Mazda 3 will come standard with low-speed automatic emergency braking (which the automaker brands as Smart City Brake Support). Last year, Smart City Brake Support was standard on the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels and optional on the entry-level Mazda 3 Sport. 

The change only adds $250 to the base price of the Mazda 3.

MORE: Read our 2017 Mazda 3 review

This year's change puts the compact Mazda 3 more or less in line with rivals like the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra that both come standard with automatic emergency braking for the 2018 model year. Last year, the Corolla became the first compact car to be fitted as standard with the tech, which automatically applies the brakes to mitigate the severity of an impact if the driver isn't doing enough.

While that's undoubtedly good news, it's not the only change for the Mazda 3. The i-ELOOP regenerative braking system was a $800 option in 2017 and it added 1 mpg combined on the EPA's fuel economy cycle—from 30 to 31 mpg when so-equipped.

Additionally, Mazda has dropped the mid-range Touring trim level and entry-level 2.0-liter engine combination from the lineup, leaving only the 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder for that variant. The 2.0-liter base engine remains standard on the base model Mazda 3 Sport, however.

The 2018 Mazda 3 will start at $18,970.

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