Sedans & Coupes

What Does the Base Model Mercedes-Benz A220 Have That a Fully Loaded Mazda 3 Doesn’t?

The Mercedes-Benz A220 versus the Mazda 3. Though this isn’t a comparison that seems super obvious, the more you think about it the more it makes sense. Automobile Magazine drove vehicles for their All-Star testing and found that they continued to find reasons to compare the two sedans. Automobile Mag says the cars are on a “marketing collision course,” and then give us a full report of their experience with each vehicle. So what does the base model Mercedes-Benz A220 have that a fully loaded Mazda 3 doesn’t?

“Both are compact sedans of roughly similar dimensions, and both offer engines of similar horsepower with a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive. And they just barely overlap on price: The cheapest A220 and the most-expensive Mazda3 both list for right around $33,000.”

Aaron Gold | Automobile Magazine

The Mercedes-Benz A220 vs. the Mazda 3

When you think about it, this comparison says so much for the quality of the Mazda 3. This compact car gets praised for its upscale, luxury interior regularly. The 2020 Mazda 3 is basically the luxury car of the non-luxury cars.

The Mercedes-Benz A220 on the other hand has brought down its base level to meet the needs of a lower budget audience. Due to this fact, the 2020 Mercedes A220’s starting price point is very similar to the top trim price of the Mazda 3. Does the Mercedes have anything in its base level model that actually makes it a more compelling choice than the top tier Mazda 3?

Interior and technology

Though the Mazda 3 does boast premium luxury for its class, Mercedes does a great job of maintaining its standards while still bring the price down for the A220. And, while the fully loaded Mazda 3 in its Premium trim is plush and peppy, the Mercedes A220 starts at $32,800, making it one of the least expensive luxury cars. Additionally, it still feels like many of the more expensive A-Class. All things considered, the A220 is a luxurious deal.

a white Mercedes-benz A220
2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan

But the Mazda 3 still holds its own. Though the 2020 Mazda compact sedan has tight rear seating, the A220 has a tiny trunk cargo. Also, even though the prices nearly overlap, the 2020 Mazda 3 is still thousands of dollars less expensive at starting. To drive off the lot in a new Mazda 3 Premium it will cost at least $26,500, according to US News and World Report.

The folks at Auto Mag had little in the way of kind words to say about either of the compact cars’ technology. They felt the infotainment system is complicated to operate, even “to the point of being dangerous.” Of the Mercedes infotainment, Auto Mag wrote that their tech system is “a bit of a mess” and let drivers down in terms of the ease with which it operates.

Power and performance

For its sub $30,000 price point, the Mazda 3 still shows up pretty strong. Its naturally aspirated 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine generates 186 horsepower with 186 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough, but it lacks the option of a turbo upgrade.

The Mercedes A220 is equipped with a 2 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder that creates 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, which is 35 pound-feet stronger than the Mazda. However, it weighs more as well. Auto Mag’s editors commented on the Mercedes’ “adequate” power. Overall, they felt it quite on the same playing field as the cheaper compact car.

a gray Mazda 3 hatchback parked in an industrial area
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback | Mazda

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They each have similar fuel economy, too. The 2020 Mazda 3 achieves 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz A220 gets 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, according to US News. Each car can upgrade to an AWD powertrain, and sacrifice a mile or two per gallon when equipped as such. The Mazda 3 manual hatchback has slightly lower gas mileage as well, but the Mercedes doesn’t even offer a manual transmission version of the A220 for comparison.

The verdict

As two comparable cars both in luxury interior design and in the way they handle the road, the A220 and Mazda 6 are neck and neck. You can easily buy two mid trim Mazdas for the price of one slightly upgraded Mercedes A-Class. What does the base 2020 Mercedes-Benz A220 have that the 2020 Mazda 3 doesn’t? Well, it’s a Mercedes. And, from where we are standing, that’s pretty much it.