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The Mazda 3 has standard Whiplash Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Mazda 3 offers optional Rear Smart Brake Support that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Civic doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Mazda 3 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Civic doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The Mazda 3 offers an optional 360-Degree Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Civic only offers a rear monitor.
To help make backing safer, the Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan)’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Civic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Mazda 3 =’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Civic doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Mazda 3 and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.
The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 28 more horsepower (186 vs. 158) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 138) than the Civic’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (186 vs. 174) and 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 162) than the Civic’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (186 vs. 180) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 177) than the Civic Hatchback Sport’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.
An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 3 Premium/Hatchback/AWD’s fuel efficiency. The Civic doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda 3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Civic Hatchback Sport requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Mazda 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Civic.
For better stopping power the Mazda 3 AWD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic:
Mazda 3 AWD
For better maneuverability, the Mazda 3’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Civic LX/EX’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The Mazda 3’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.8 feet).
The Mazda 3 Sedan has .9 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 3.6 inches more rear hip room than the Civic Sedan.
The Mazda 3’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
When two different drivers share the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Civic doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Mazda 3 Premium has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and warning light readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Civic doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Mazda 3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Civic’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Mazda 3 Base Sedan’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Mazda 3 Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Civic doesn’t offer cornering lights.
When the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Civic’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Mazda 3 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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