— The 2018 Mazda CX-3 adds new standard features across each of its three trim levels. It also increases the price across the board for the subcompact SUV by $150 to $235.
The largest addition for 2018 is Mazda's Smart City Brake Support, a low-speed automatic forward emergency braking system that works at speeds of less than 19 mph. This technology was optional last year and only available on the top Grand Touring trim level, but it's now standard for 2018.
Mazda also says that the steering and chassis have been revised, and G-Vectoring Control has been added to improve handling, though we'll have to wait to test the CX-3 ourselves to say for sure. There are also improved door seals, thicker rear glass and added sound-deadening material underneath the floor and behind the dashboard to help keep the cabin quieter.
Newly available features include a head-up display, power driver's seat with memory and heated steering wheel.
The CX-3 is still offered in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Price increases for each trim level are modest -- the Sport starts at $21,050 (all prices include a $940 destination charge), an increase of $150 from last year's model. Touring models see a $235 increase to $23,135, and Grand Touring models go up by $175 to $26,105. Opting for all-wheel drive also bumps up the price by $1,250.
Versus competitors, the 2018 CX-3 is on the higher end. The 2018 Chevrolet Trax starts at $21,945, but the 2017 Honda HR-V starts at $20,405 and the 2017 Jeep Renegade at $20,585; compare all four here.
Comparing the 2017 CX-3 to the 2018 version, my preference is firmly for the newer model. Even if the handling and noise improvements don't bear out, it's a small price to pay for additional safety technology that is now standard across all three trim levels and has been proven to reduce crashes.