2015 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. Its Competition

2015 Mazda Mazda3
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

There is perhaps no larger range of options in a segment than when it comes to compact cars.

Some cater to the practical side, while others load up on features or emphasize sporty manners.

The 2014 Mazda 3 manages to do all three.

Along with the Ford Focus, it's the sportiest of the group.

The Focus, like the Mazda 3, has a taut ride and a very responsive driving feel overall; we tend to like the Mazda 3’s dash layout better than that of the Focus, but Ford makes back-seat passengers happier.

The Volkswagen Golf, new for this model year, is also fun to drive, and has a premium feel to rival the 3's, but it's still a bit short on options, particularly when it comes to infotainment.

The Chevrolet Cruze is super-spacious, with a back seat that feels like it came out of a mid-size sedan, and its ride is quiet, although there’s nothing exciting about the driving experience.

The Honda Civic is right smack in the middle of the segment—so is the newly redesigned Toyota Corolla, of course, and the Kia Forte—and the Civic in particular is a top-notch safety performer.

The Dodge Dart, like the Corolla and Cruze, is only sold as a sedan, but it offers a wider range of powertrains as well as a far more spacious interior—all with quite a bit of comfort yet a sporty design.

2015 Mazda Mazda32015 Mazda MAZDA3
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2015 Dodge Dart2015 Dodge Dart
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2015 Ford Focus ST2015 Ford Focus
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2015 Honda Civic LX Sedan2015 Honda Civic
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2015 Subaru Impreza2015 Subaru Impreza
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2015 Volkswagen Golf R  -  Driven, January 20152015 Volkswagen Golf
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Quick Specs
The 2015 Mazda 3 is one of the best-driving small cars, with efficient engines and smooth transmissions that help give it a more premium feel than its price would suggest.
The 2015 Dodge Dart brings back some of the Neon's personality with all of the modern features you could want in a compact car.
The 2015 Ford Focus lineup gets a clean new look for 2015, as well as a high-mileage three-cylinder engine option and revamped cabin comforts. From efficiency-minded models to the high-performance ST, it remains one of the best-driving small cars on the market.
The 2015 Honda Civic is refined, comfortable, and offers top-notch safety ratings and features.
The 2015 Subaru Impreza is tough, practical, and relatively attractive, offering a small all-wheel-drive package for those who need it without the big fuel-economy penalty it used to bring.
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI trade flashy looks for great interior and cargo space, especially in the SportWagen model—but they don't give up anything for driving fun.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
25 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 47 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded H-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Sedan SE4-Door Sedan S2-Door Manual LX4-Door Manual 2.0i2-Door HB Manual Launch Edition *Ltd Avail*
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2015 Dodge Dart2015 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2015 Ford Focus2015 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2015 Honda Civic2015 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2015 Subaru Impreza2015 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2015 Volkswagen Golf