So, there are a lot of compact sedans out there, and most of them fall into the category of appliance transportation. However, there are two products that go the extra mile to impress and even excite the customer, and that’s the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3. These two have long been ranked at the top of the segment, but who wins when we place the 2024 Honda Civic vs. 2024 Mazda 3 against each other? Let’s find out!

Pricing and Equipment

So, for this faceoff comparison, let’s begin by quickly establishing pricing for these two.

This time around, we wanted to keep with the mainstream mid-level trims that most people buy, so for the Civic, that is the Sport trim. The all-told price is just under $27k after factoring in the destination.

MSRP (Civic Sport): $25,550 | Options: $0 | Destination: $1,095 | Total: $26,645

Next up, for the Mazda 3, we have the new Select Sport trim level. Surprisingly, this new trim starts at a very affordable $24,600 and once you factor in destination, comes in about $800 less than the Civic. 

MSRP (Select Sport): $24,690 | Options: $0 | Destination: $1,165 | Total: $25,855

By the way, if you want to get the best price from local dealerships and access to invoice pricing info for these two models or any vehicle, we have a tool on our website to do just that. Click here for more information!

Exterior Design

But now that we’ve wrapped that up, let’s talk about the exteriors. Both these two have some of the most mature and sophisticated designs in the segment. They also have a sporty edge and aggressive looks especially when you finish them in black like our testers.

The Mazda does have one piece of chrome that intersects the headlights. Here, both surprisingly have full LED lighting including the turn signals. Mazda, however, goes another step above and beyond with adaptive abilities and more premium projector headlamps.

Checking out the side profiles, they are virtually the same sizes, and as far as the wheels, both have very nice looking blacked-out 18-inch alloys. 

Length: 184.0-in (Civic) | 183.5-in (Mazda 3)

Around back, the clean and classy designs continue, though the Mazda has a couple advantages. For one, all its rear lighting is LED, including the reverse lights and fading turn signals and additionally, for people who like symmetry, it has dual chrome exhaust outlets compared to just one on the Civic.

Additional Features

Now heading on to some of the other features, the Mazda now includes bling spot monitoring standard on all Mazda 3s for 2024, and includes heating at this trim level. The Honda has neither of those features, but both offer extensive lists of other safety features. They contain adaptive cruise, auto high beam headlights, lane keeping assist and forward emergency braking. 

For warranties, they have the same setup for basic and powertrain, but only Honda is including 2 years of complimentary maintenance.

Warranties (both): Basic: 3yr/36k mi | Powertrain: 5yr/60k mi | Compl. Maintenance: Honda 2 Yrs/24k Mi

Alright, so that’s it for the exteriors, which means it’s now time to check two of the nicest cabins in the segment.

Mazda 3 Interior
Civic Interior

Interior Design

Now, walking up to the cars, both cars have Smart Entry systems but only the Honda has remote start build into the fob.

Text: The Mazda can remote start from the MyMazda app, which requires a subscription after the trial period ends.

Once we open the door, you’ll begin to see what I alluded to earlier. These two are some of the nicest cabins you can get at this price, so let’s start to break it down. 

As you can see, both models have black interiors, but the seats on the Civic Sport are partially cloth, whereas the Mazda gives you a full leatherette covering.

Hopefully you like the cold because in these more affordable trim levels, neither includes seat heating, and as far as adjustments, both will be manual adjusting.

Now once fully inside, we can talk about the major area of cabin materials, which are impressive in both. They use soft touch plastic in most of the areas where people will touch, but the Mazda approaches on luxury territory with lots of extra leather padding on the dash and along the center console.

Upon firing them up. you’ll see that both have partially digital gauge clusters for their Sport trim levels. It’s a 7-inch reconfigurable display on both, and then pulling back to the steering wheels, you’ll see nicely leather wrapped ones. One difference is that Mazda is including rain sensing wipers at this price.

Storage and Technology

Okay, so the next major thing to talk about is interior storage. Honda has a way of always pulling off the win here, and the Civic is no exception, since its center console and front storage is simply bigger than the Mazda’s any way you look at it.

TEXT: Neither have a wireless charger at this price tag. 

One nice thing about both these models is that they have a traditional shifter, and when in reverse, they both have regular backup cameras but only the Honda has active trajectory. HALF

Next up is climate, where the Mazda has a dual-zone automatic setup, while the Sport Civic only has a single zone setup.

And then after that, let’s talk about audio. For both models we have 8-speaker unbranded audio systems that have impressive sound quality and not enough of a difference to score a point. Do keep in mind, Bose systems are available on higher trims.

Civic: 8-speaker audio

Mazda 3: 8-speaker audio

Now car technology is increasingly becoming important for buyers nowadays so let’s dive into the infotainment systems. In the Sport trim, the Civic is rocking a 7-inch touchscreen and the Mazda an 8.8-inch display for 2024. That’s quite a bit more screen real estate, and both have wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto until you get to the higher trim levels which include wireless ability. Neither have built-in navigation at this price, but it’s worth noting only the Honda includes touch ability for the native car infotainment which is more user intuitive.

Now moving beyond that, both have manual-dimming mirrors, and you will have to choose higher trims to get a sunroof.

Mazda 3 Rear
Civic Rear

Rear Seats and Cargo

But these are still family vehicles at the end of the day, so let’s see how much room you’ve got in the rear. Honda continues to impress with their ability to get a ton of space out of a small exterior with about 7% more legroom than the Mazda.

Civic: Legroom: 37.4-inches | Headroom: 37.1-inches

Mazda: Legroom: 35.1-inches | Headroom: 37.3-inches

Looking at the features back here, they are going to be rather sparse with no USBs, vents, or an armrest in the case of the Civic. Mazda, on the other hand, does include that with cupholders built in.

Moving on to the trunk areas, we see the same thing happen. The 3 has a very class competitive amount of cargo space but the Civic continues to stand at the top of the class.

Civic: 14.4-cu.ft

Mazda: 13.2 cubic feet

Alrighty, so now we’re done with the interiors, so now let’s get to the part that really makes these two stand out: the driving dynamics!

Mazda 3 vs Civic Thumb


While both are fun behind the wheel, they aren’t that similar under the hoods. The Honda comes with a smaller displacement engine in its lower trim levels which means our tester has the 2.0L 4-cylinder making 158 horsepower. Meanwhile, the Mazda 3 got rid of its base powertrain setup, which means that even this Select Sport gets the larger 2.5L I-4 making significantly more power at 191 horsepower and about 50 lb. ft. more torque. That’s certainly a difference you’ll feel when accelerating.

Civic: 2.0L I-4 158 hp | 138 lb.ft

Mazda: 2.5L I-4 191hp | 186 lb. ft.

Another important difference is the transmission situation. The Mazda has a 6-speed automatic compared to a CVT in the Civic, which judging by personal experience and the comments we see on YouTube, is certainly an advantage.

Additionally, we do want to point out that the Mazda can get available AWD, which is something not offered on the Civic.

Test Drive and Fuel Economy

As far as the experience driving these two, they continue to impress. These vehicles both sit at the top of this class in terms of dynamics and handling’s characteristics. They are legit fun to hustle around back roads, with extremely limited body roll and very tossable feels. The steering gets a slight advantage to the Mazda for having a heavier setup with more feel.

We found both ride qualities to be nice and smooth, but as far as our sound samples, they come in as the loudest options in the segment at 64 and 64.2 dB respectively. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re shopping for the quietest vehicle.

Civic: 64.2 dB @ 55 MPH

Mazda: 64.0 dB @ 55 MPH

Finally, as far as fuel economy, the Civic pulls out ahead getting 2MPG better combined which is about a 7% advantage over the Mazda.

Additionally, I do want to point out that the Civic has an upcoming hybrid model for 2025, and while it’s not available in the U.S. just yet, it will be by the end of this year. That’s something Mazda can’t say.

Civic: 30/37/33 mpg

Mazda: 28/37/31 MPG

2024 Honda Civic vs. 2024 Mazda 3 winner!

So, there you have it; these two fought it out until the very end!


  • Maximum space; cargo, rear seats & storage
  • Honda reputation reliability and resale
  • Upcoming hybrid/better fuel economy


Mazda 3:

  • Most luxurious interior
  • More features for a lower price
  • Available AWD and more powerful engine


Now we want to know your opinions, so make sure to head to the comment section and let us know which one you would pick!

Thanks for joining us for another Car Confections Comparison! We’ll catch you next time as we sample the latest automotive delicacies!