According to Burnsville car dealers, the compact sedan remains one of the most popular vehicle segments on offer. The compact stature finds a nice middle ground between easy and nimble driving without sacrificing space. Two popular choices for new-car shoppers have been the Honda Civic and Mazda 3.
Both bring different advantages to the table, but which one is the better choice for you?
Initially introduced in 1972, the Honda Civic is perhaps the blueprint for what a compact sedan should be. The 2022 Honda Civic is currently on its recently released 11th-generation and it hasn’t lost a step.
The new Honda Civic features a fresh redesign inside and out. With a new fastback-inspired sloped roofline, the new Civic is given a sporty, yet aggressive silhouette only comparable to cars many times its price.
Even sitting in the compact segment, the Civic still brings an ample amount of room with a passenger volume of 99.0 cu ft of space and 14.2 cu ft of cargo room.
Throughout its four different trims, the Honda Civic offers two different engines. The first is a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine generating 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful 1.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine develops 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Either engine option pairs well with the lightweight Civic, leading to easy and responsive driving.
Fuel economy is excellent regardless of which engine you decide on. With the 2.0L engine, the Civic will receive up to 31 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway. Despite the turbo engine having more power, it also has better fuel economy. The 1.5L turbo will net you up to 33 miles per gallon in the city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway.
In short, the Honda Civic is seen by almost every automaker as the compact car to beat. It has the looks, space, and power to satisfy almost anyone.
Watch the video below to learn more about the 2022 Honda Civic
Even at almost 20 years old, compared to the Honda Civic, the Mazda 3 is a newcomer to the segment. First introduced in 2003, the current Mazda 3 is on its fourth generation which debuted back in 2019.
Despite having almost the same exact exterior dimensions as the Civic, the Mazda 3 does have a slightly more cramped interior. The most noticeable difference will be the rear seat legroom, where the Mazda 3 has notably less space than the Civic. The total passenger space in the Mazda 3 is 92.8 cu ft with the cargo room also slightly smaller at 13.2 cu ft.
As opposed to the Honda Civic, the Mazda 3 offers three different engines. There is a 2.0L 4-cylinder, only found in its base model, making 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Next, a 2.5L 4-cylinder making 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. Lastly, the most powerful engine on offer is a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Mazda offers both FWD and AWD for the 3, but you can only choose between the two on the mid 2.5L engine. The 2.0L is only offered as a FWD and the 2.5L turbo is only available in AWD.
The Mazda 3 gas mileage takes a significant hit when compared to the outstanding fuel efficiency found in the Honda Civic. Even in its lower power engines, the fuel efficiency fails to reach what is offered by the Civic.
Below you will find the mile per gallon (city/highway) for each engine configuration:
Both models come in at a very attractive starting price in the low-$20,000 range. While the Mazda 3 offers the cheapest trim out of the two, it is important to note that it does so as a bare-bones vehicle. Most of the standard features found on the base LX Civic are excluded from the Mazda 3. Some notable omissions include Android Auto and Apple Carplay, along with a couple of safety features.
|Honda Civic Trim||MSRP||Mazda 3 Trim||MSRP|
|2.5 Turbo Premium Plus||$32,600|
Most of the features found in each car are controlled through their respective touchscreens found atop the center console. Here you will be able to use various connected services through Bluetooth, Android Auto, or Apple Carplay. It is important to note that Android Auto and Apple Carplay are not found on the base Mazda 3.
The Honda Civic also features their innovative HondaLink suite. As an app, HondaLink allows you to check the status of your car and even gain access to things like locking and unlocking your car right from within your phone.
A few notable driver’s assistance features are also missing from the base Mazda 3. The base Honda Civic includes additional features such as Traffic Jam Assist as well as Traffic Sign Recognition.
Despite their small size, both the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 are safe cars. The NHTSA has given the Civic and Mazda 3 a five-star rating in all of the crash tests. Likewise, both the Civic and Mazda 3 received awards from the IIHS for their superior crash safety and additional safety features.
On all Civics you’ll find Honda Sensing, a unique safety suite including many high-profile features. There are many features found within the suite, but a few of them are:
Collision Mitigation Braking System: The system will bring your Honda to a stop automatically when the system detects that a collision will be inevitable.
Road Departure Mitigation System: Keeping track of the road markings, if your Honda sees that you are drifting out of the lane without signaling, it will provide alerts and steering input to bring you back in line.
When choosing between the Honda Civic vs Mazda 3, neither should worry you when it comes to reliability. Both brands have been known to produce quality products. Honda and Mazda both maintain top marks for reliability and are found within the top 5 in Consumer Report’s Most Reliable Brand rankings.
Both brands also offer the same 3yr/36,000-year limited warranty as well as a 5yr/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
As a forefather of the compact sedan, the Honda Civic is a hard option to get the better of. Bringing a good mix of reliability, safety, and driving characteristics, it’s hard to understand on just paper. The best way to find your best match is to test drive the cars for yourself. Whenever you are looking to take the next step, please feel free to stop by the Twin Cities’ favorite car dealership, Walser Honda, where our expert staff will be happy to answer any questions.