2019 Mazda3 AWD Vs. 2019 Honda Civic: Which Sporty Japanese Compact Comes Out On Top?

The all-new 2019 Mazda3 is one of the most popular cars launched in 2018 and that explains why there are so many videos of it.

While we’ve already watched reviews of the new Japanese compact both in hatchback and sedan guise we didn’t get to see it go against some of its rivals. Fortunately, this video from Canada’s Throttle House addresses that as it pits the 2019 Mazda3 against one of the segment’s leaders, the hot-selling Honda Civic.

Both cars tested are in range-topping trims: the Mazda is a Sport AWD model while the Civic is a Sport Touring. Right off the bat, it must be said that the Honda doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, not even as an option, which means the Mazda3 does get a head start in this comparison. However, you won’t get to feel the AWD system at work that often on a dry road because the Mazda3 feels underpowered.

Also watch: 2019 Mazda3 First Reviews Are In And They Praise Its Handling And Quality

Not our words, that’s what the reviewers say comparing the Mazda’s naturally aspirated SkyActiv-G 2.5 engine that makes 186 hp and 186 lb-ft (252 Nm) of torque to Honda’s 1.5-liter turbo-four that produces 174 hp and 162 lb-ft (219 Nm) with the CVT. So how can the Mazda feel slower when its numbers are better? Well, the AWD system adds about 200 lbs (91 kg) compared to the FWD model and the naturally aspirated engine needs more time than the Civic’s turbo unit to reach peak torque.

With that out of the way, the 2019 Mazda3 does get praise for its quiet and premium-like cabin, refined ride, as well as its sleek looks. However, the price for the cool styling is a less practical interior: the 3 is nowhere near as roomy as the Civic. It has a much smaller trunk and cramped rear seats compared to the Honda.

There’s a lot more to the comparison than this and the video covers everything you need to know about the two Japanese hatchbacks — including a surprising winner.


  • Sean Sweeney
    • no25

      …and why are you posting useless, random photos?

      • Sean Sweeney

        ZOOM ZOOM

    • Matt

      Can you actually stop spamming every website with photoshopped Mazda’s?

      • Sean Sweeney

        spam (spăm)
        1. Unsolicited email, often of commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk email.
        2. A single piece of such email: “receiving dozens of spams a day” (George Johnson).
        tr.v. spammed, spam·ming, spams
        1. To send unsolicited email to.
        2. To send (a messaindiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups.

        • no25


          noun [ U ] UK ​ /ˈspæmɪŋ/

          the activity of sending advertisements or related items to people who do not want to receive them

      • no25

        poorly photoshopped Mazdas*

  • Sean Sweeney
  • Sean Sweeney
  • TheBelltower

    The Mazda is so nicely styled. So if the Civic is considered to be a better car, then the choice is obvious. Neither.

    Also, love these reviewers.

  • DMax

    Mazda 3 is once again in a league of it’s own. That C pillar though ugh. I guess no car is perfect.
    I’m gonna cry myself to sleep tonight, for Speed3 will remain in our dreams only. AWD with 300hp in package like this, Mazda shut up, build it and take my money!!!

  • no25

    I am just not a fan of the Mazda3 Hatchback’s shape. The C Pillar is awful. The Civic is also over styled; always looks like someone went too hard on the aftermarket mods.

  • willhaven

    I don’t know if I could live with the lack of useful torque on the Mazda.

  • Six_Tymes

    yeash… that civic is horrid looking

    • StrangerGP

      they both aren’t lookers, Mazda went too far with the rear of the new hatchback

  • Darnell Robeson

    Im a fan of the current Civic. But I’ll take the Mazda. Easy choice

  • Ben

    Unlike most people, I’m actually a fan of the current CIVIC look and more so of the Type R. However, I say the Mazda just beats it senseless in the looks department. It makes the Honda look like a Tonka toy while the Mazda has e-type like flowing lines. On the other hand, I know the Honda drivetrain(if paired with a manual) would last likely twice as long as the Mazda’s skyactive engine. Overall, I’d take the Honda and that’s mainly because the Mazda has no power!

    Slap the bean counters across the face, say to hell with “Most economical use of material” and just give us a new Mazda SPEED 3 Hatch.

  • vidwa

    *laughs in CVT*

  • ace_9

    Mazda 3 is for people caring mainly about looks that like to pretend they are good drivers and need a sporty car.
    Civic is for people actually caring how a car drives, but also need practicality and that Honda feeling of robustness and reliability.

  • Super Rob

    Test drive both cars, then go buy a CRV. Fun to drive yet you can do so much more with all the space.

  • Giziclown

    Firstly, Mazda 3 is premium.
    Secondly, an AWD car is havier, and slower.
    Thirdly, these guys are spoiled brats, they know nohing about cars.

    • uS’gedlemba


  • Kagan

    Mazda 3 seems good in driving but otherwise it is a joke. Back row as spacy as in 911. If you buy in grey it looks like a corolla from 90:s. Very expensive too.

  • SteersUright

    In summarym (if you don’t watch) Civic is outdated but competent, though needs help on NVH. Mazda3 has excellent NVH, nicer design, more premium interior, yet is less comfortable, slower than all hell, and a GTi is a better option than either of these.
    I’d never buy a Mazda these days, their powertrains are awful. Everyone I’ve driven feels unacceptably slow and even their new turbo engine isnt anything to get excited about. Also, they just aren’t as comfortable as their competitors, feeling less spacious and with less comfortable seats. Mazda should buy engines & ZF8 speed from BMW, boom, problems solved.

  • Jason Lewis

    Why are they comparing the mazda built for snow which adds weight and therefore slower than its non AWD version. I know they want it to be just as sporty but at this price segment, your fighting for hp and torque. It might not make much difference but do this same test in Tahoe and it would probably illustrate my point better.

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