Six airbags, stability control, seatbelt reminders on all seats, and rear parking sensors, contribute to a well-rounded safety package on all Mazda 3s.
In addition, every Mazda3 comes with Smart City Brake Support Forward – a significantly enhanced version of the automatic emergency braking system that had been offered as an extra-cost option prior to the facelift of August 2016.
The Mazda3’s auto braking now works at speeds up to 80km/h, using a camera to detect obstacles on the roadway ahead (typically another car that has slowed suddenly, but also pedestrians), and braking the car if you do not react immediately to a warning.
On all but the least costly Mazda3, the Neo Sport, auto braking
also works in reverse, applying the brakes to prevent your backing into objects (or people) detected by a sensor on the rear bumper.
All Mazda 3s have a reversing camera and rear parking sensors to help you check back there yourself.
All versions except the Neo Sport have a blind-spot monitor that alerts you, when you indicate to change lanes, if it detects another car near your rear corner but out of view of your mirrors. And a rear cross-traffic alert helps you avoid trouble when reversing out of parking spaces or driveways, warning you if it detects a vehicle approaching from either side.
Two more driving aids arrive with the Mazda3 SP25 GT, most significantly a fatigue detector that looks for changes in the way that you steer the car on the highway. If it detects evidence that you may be falling asleep, it warns you to take a break. The other is Traffic Sign Recognition, which helps you keep track of speed limits. It reads roadside signs, and shows the most recently detected limit on your head-up display.
On the SP25 Astina, the active safety suite is enhanced further. The addition of a radar sensor to the auto-braking system extends its operating range to 160km/h. And Lane Keep Assist acts to guide the car back into its lane if you have begun to drift distractedly across the roadway.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) awarded the third-generation Mazda3 its maximum rating of five stars, most recently in August 2016.