2011 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. Its Competition

2011 Mazda3
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The Mazda3 is in an especially crowded field of vehicles, and the rivals continue to improve with each redesign; but the Mazda3 remains one of the sportiest choices on the market.

Only the Honda Civic approaches the sporty feel and crisp handling of the Mazda3; the Nissan Sentra, in SE-R and Spec.V trims, comes close but it sacrifices a little comfort in the process.

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is about as far from the Mazda3 in look, feel, and purpose as you could get; it's only offered as a sedan so far and rides more like a smaller version of a large sedan than a nimble small car; the Corolla and Elantra are also at the soft end of the scale.

Ford’s Focus remains a solid choice but doesn’t offer the chassis refinement of the Mazda3 or the availability of high-end options.

The Focus will be completely redesigned for 2012, with a sportier look and feel and sedan and five-door variants like the Mazda3, so if you're shopping around late in the model year, take a look.

2011 Mazda32011 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2011 Ford Focus 4-door Sedan S Side Exterior View2011 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2011 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto EX-L Angular Front Exterior View2011 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings2011 Hyundai Elantra2011 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings2011 Toyota Corolla2011 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.0
The 2011 Mazda3 provides more driving enjoyment than most other small-car models, along with a stylish, racy look; but with a tight, noisy cabin, it’s not without compromise.
7.2
7.2
The 2011 Honda Civic is still a standout for its perky driving feel and responsiveness, but in most other respects it's no longer so impressive.
8.2
38 mpg; a sleek, sophisticated look; and even more value for the money confirm that this little sedan has officially left the Corolla in the dust.
7.2
The 2011 Toyota Corolla is spacious, safe, and well-equipped; but if you're looking for excitement or inspiration, it's not here.
MSRP From    
$15,800$16,640$15,805$14,945$15,900
Gas Mileage    
18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
CompactCompactCompactMid-SizeCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Sedan S4-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Ulsan Plant) *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan Manual L (Natl)
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/A4N/A
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManualManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2011 Ford Focus2011 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2011 Honda Civic2011 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra2011 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2011 Toyota Corolla