Why Buy a Mazda 3 When You Can Buy the Hatchback Instead?

The Mazda 3 has grown massive popularity over the last few model years. It is a well known and decorated compact car. And it also comes as a hatchback. We totally get why someone would buy a Mazda 3. They rank high on every list. The Mazda 3 is smooth and, according to Car and Driver, is “richer-feeling” than alternatives like the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic. Its base model does well in terms of absolute value, plus it’s pleasing on the eyes. And yes. The 2020 Mazda 3 sedan is nice, but why buy a Mazda 3 when you can buy the hatchback instead?

a gray sedan and a red hatchback from a sky view
Mazda 3 and its hatchback counterpart | Mazda

It’s the same car with more cargo. And the hatchback adds character and helps drivers stand out in their compact cars. Driving enthusiasts everywhere appreciate a good hatchback, and it seems like something as good as the Mazda 3 just gets better with a little more of it to love. And that’s exactly what you’ll get from the Mazda 3 hatchback.

Sedan vs hatchback

Sedans are practical and popular for many good reasons. They can either blend in or stand out. They can even come with super capable AWD packages as Toyota showed us by adding TRD options to some of its more popular cars. There is a ridiculously wide range of options that start super basic and then move on up the ladder topping out in ultimate luxury. Economy, however, is one of the more compelling draws of the compact car.

2019 Mazda3 hatchback
2019 Mazda3 hatchback | Mazda

The Mazda 3 is hailed for its value. It can come full of fancy features and is one of the more fun-to-drive cars on the market. It gets good mileage, and it boasts handling and driver connection that gets attention in its reviews. But both the hatchback and the sedan have tight rear seating.

“The Mazda3 is an outstanding compact car that’s a blast to drive. It comes in two body styles: sedan and hatchback. No matter which one you select, you’ll get an agile vehicle with responsive steering and braking, as well as a peppy engine. Inside, the Mazda3 looks upscale, and it has plenty of user-friendly features. This car’s main drawback is cramped seating in the rear.”

US News and World Report

Pricing and specs

The 2020 Mazda 3 models are equipped with a 2.5 liter four cylinder engine which generates 186 horsepower. There is a manual transmission option for the hatchback, but if you want AWD (which is $1,400 for the sedan and $1,500 for the hatch) you’ll have to go with the automatic. If the manual is a make or break it point for you, the hatchback will be the way to go, as the manual option is not offered for the sedan.

The sedan in its base model starts at $21,500. For this price, you’ll get an 8.8 inch infotainment display equipped with HD radio, Bluetooth, and a couple of USB ports. It also gets lane-keeping assist with lane departure warning, forward collision warning, driver condition monitor, pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rearview camera.

The 2020 Mazda 3 hatchback

The 2020 hatchback skips the base and Select trim of the sedan. The entry-level Mazda 3 hatchback model starts at $23,600 and gets the select trim’s features. This means Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and keyless entry.

It also means added niceties like a leather-wrapped steering wheel synthetic leather seats, and a rear seat armrest. Zoned climate control and larger alloy wheels which are another addition. Plus, you get blindspot monitoring (thank goodness!) and rear cross traffic alert. The biggest edge the hatchback has on the sedan –– besides its looks and the manual option –– is 20.1 cubic feet of cargo versus the 13.2 offered by the Mazda 3 sedan.

So, why would someone buy the Mazda 3 hatchback instead?

One thing we’ve seen from both Car and Driver, as well as US News and World Report, is the hatchback’s bulgy but cool-looking design costs the driver some major visibility. So there you have it. The reason why someone would buy a Mazda 3 sedan over the hatchback is that they test drove it and couldn’t stand the nasty blindspots. Or, they wanted a cheaper starting price point and didn’t mind all the features you sacrifice in the sedan’s base model.