In 2023, the Honda Civic Hatchback once again stands up to the Mazda3 Sport. The latter is a stylish compact car that’s very pleasant to drive. However, the Honda Civic HB presents some undeniable advantages. Thanks to its hatchback, it’s more practical, while also offering irresistible European style. What’s more, the car’s rigid chassis and well-calibrated suspension make it a very agile vehicle…as is the Mazda3.

So where do they vary? For the match between the Honda Civic HB and the Mazda3 Sport to be meaningful, you have to compare the most popular versions of each. So let’s focus on the GT Turbo (Mazda) and the Type R (Honda). However, we should point out that the Civic Super Sport can unleash 315 horsepower, while the Mazda3 only produces 250.

Fuel economy is a win for the Honda Civic HB

Both of these vehicles are appealing little sports cars. The Honda Civic Hatchback base model (LX) features a 2.0 L inline-four i-VTEC engine, generating 158 hp (138 lbf·ft). As for the Mazda3 GX, it features a four-cylinder that produces 155 hp (150 lbf·ft). In the Sport and Sport Touring versions, an excellent VTEC turbo propels the Honda. This engine is a 1.5 L inline-four (DOHC + direct injection + 16 valves), which delivers 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, in the GS and GT versions, the vigor of the Mazda3 relies on a 2.5 L inline-four producing 186 horsepower.

Where the Civic HB has a distinct advantage is in the area of fuel economy. Primarily thanks to the Eco Assist system, which comes standard, the Honda’s turbo engine is more efficient than that of the Mazda, with lower combined (city/highway) consumption, i.e. 7.1 to 7.5 liters per 100 kilometers compared with 8.4 to 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers.

A less roomy Mazda3

The Honda Civic Hatchback can comfortably seat five passengers, offering them more headroom and legroom. The 693 liters of cargo space also make it a very practical option for active families. In contrast, the Mazda3 Sport has a 374-liter trunk (569 liters of cargo space in the Hatchback version). What’s more, the Civic Hatchback includes a touchscreen, as well as more advanced infotainment and safety (Honda Sensing) technologies than those found in the Mazda3.