Sedans & Coupes

5 Reasons the Honda Civic Is Better Than the Mazda 3

These two compact cars are some of the most popular cars on the market. They both attract a well-deserved fan base and they also come onto the scene with similar price points. But how do they really stack up next to each other?

The Honda Civic has been around in the US since the 1970s and remains a top choice after selling millions of units nationwide. But the Mazda 3 is worthy competition. In a time when SUVs and trucks are dominating the market, these two cars are still strong. But which one is better? Here are 5 reasons the Honda Civic is better than the Mazda 3.

Passenger comfort

Though the interior of the Honda Civic pales a bit in comparison to the Mazda 3, its seats are more comfortable. A tribute to the Honda engineers who pride themselves on creating a product that is highly functional, while thinking of the rider’s comfort. As far as having lumbar support and plenty of space for passengers, the Honda is better than the Mazda. The 2020 Mazda 3 is also comfortable in its own right. However, the tight rear seat space really lets it down.

Price

One of the things that actually makes the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 so comparable is the price range. They are both more expensive than most of the other compact cars in their class. But the Civic edges the Mazda out in terms of pricing. The 2020 Honda Civic, in fact, was a finalist for the US News and World Report ‘2020 Best Compact Car for the Money’ award.

bright blue Honda Civic sedan
2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan

A 2020 Civic sedan starts at $20,650, while the Mazda3 sedan’s base price is a bit more at $21,500. The range-topping Touring model comes in at $27,700. Then there’s the sporty Civic Si coupe and sedan which carry a price of $25,200. The 2020 Honda Civic lineup highest trim offering is the performance-oriented Type R hatchback. You’ll have to pay at least $36,300 to roll away in one of those.

For a Mazda3 sedan, the price can climb up to about $28,000, which is for a Premium model with the available all-wheel drive. The Mazda3 hatchback, which starts at $23,700, is a few thousand dollars more than the Civic’s entry-level hatchback. A fully loaded all-wheel-drive Mazda3 hatch is about $29,000.  

More spacious cargo

It makes sense to compare the hatchbacks first, as they are designed for utility. The 2020 Civic hatchback takes this one with 22.6 – 25.7 (the Mazda hatch has just 20.1) cubic feet of space in the trunk cargo. With the rear seats folded down, the total cargo space maxes out at 46.2 cubic feet.

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback cargo space
2020 Honda Civic Hatchback cargo space | Honda

The Mazda 3 hatchback has 20.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is still impressive for a car of this size. Mazda does not provide a maximum cargo volume for when you fold down the rear seats.

Between the sedan versions of the Honda and the Mazda, the Civic still gleans the prize. The Civic has 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, while the Mazda sedan is only 13.2 cubic feet.

Fuel economy

Though both the base engines are strikingly similar, the Honda compact car get better fuel mileage. With standard equipment, the 2020 Honda Civic gets up to 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. The highest efficiency you can achieve with the Mazda 3 is up to 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.

A new Mazda3 on display at an auto show
A Mazda3 on display at an auto show | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

RELATED: Here’s What Car Experts Say About the Honda Civic Si

Acceleration

The 2 liter 4-cylinder 158 horsepower engine that comes equipped on the standard 2020 Honda civic is just enough. The 2020 Mazda 3 gets a 186 horsepower 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine that is starkly similar to the Honda’s. Us News and World Reports says: “This engine moves the Civic around with little issue, sufficiently getting you through the day. The manual transmission also makes acceleration more engaging.”

Blue 2020 Honda Civic Type R driving around a corner
2020 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

But where the Civic‘s acceleration really shines is in all of the options. The hatchback Civic Type R boasts a 306 horsepower turbocharged 2 liter 4-cylinder engine races. The Mazda 3 has no answer for this engine in its trim level yet.