The class of compact cars today spans a wider range than it ever has in purpose and personality.
While some models tend to skew to the practical side and others go for sporty driving manners and lots of tech features, the Mazda 3 plays both sides.
Closest to the Ford Focus, the Mazda 3 is tied as 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 offers a somewhat better back seat.
The latest Volkswagen Golf 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 Honda Civic is right smack in the middle of the segment, as is the Toyota Corolla and the Kia Forte; but 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.
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.
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|2016 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2016 Dodge DartBrowse Used Listings||2016 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2016 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings||2016 Volkswagen GolfBrowse Used Listings||2015 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings|
|25 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 47 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded H-4||Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4|
|Compact Cars||Midsize Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars|
|4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||4-Door Sedan SE *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Manual 2.0i||2-Door HB Manual TSI||2-Door Manual LX|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2016 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2016 Dodge Dart||2016 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2016 Ford Focus||2016 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2016 Subaru Impreza||2016 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2016 Volkswagen Golf||2016 Mazda MAZDA3 vs. 2015 Honda Civic|