5: The real deal
While 2.5-liter equipped models are arguably the benchmark in the compact car segment, Mazda’s less powerful models still feature amazing value in a fun-to-drive package. It’s hard not to recommend the Mazda3 to anyone who is considering a Corolla or Civic, as the new 3 can really hang with the top-dogs in its price-point.
For example, the similarly equipped Honda Civic EX can only be had with a CVT and costs $1,490 more than the Mazda and while the Toyota Corolla LE is $880 cheaper, it features a less powerful engine and none of the fun-to-drive elements of the Mazda3.
It’s clear that Mazda’s latest compact is a winner no matter how you take it.