2019 Mazda 3 vs. 2019 Honda Fit

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Fit 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 Fit 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 Fit 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 Fit 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 Fit doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Mazda 3 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Fit doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Mazda 3 and the Fit have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

Reliability

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.

Engine

The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 58 more horsepower (186 vs. 128) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 113) than the Fit Auto’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 56 more horsepower (186 vs. 130) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 114) than the Fit’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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 Fit doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Mazda 3 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Fit (12.7 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Mazda 3 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Fit (13.2 vs. 10.6 gallons).

Transmission

The Mazda 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Fit.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mazda 3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Fit:

 

Mazda 3

Mazda 3 AWD

Fit

Front Rotors

11.02 inches

11.61 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Rotors

10.43 inches

10.43 inches

7.9” drums

The Mazda 3 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fit. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mazda 3 has larger standard tires than the Fit (205/60R16 vs. 185/60R15). The Mazda 3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fit (215/45R18 vs. 185/60R15).

The Mazda 3’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 3 Sedan has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Fit. The Mazda 3’s optional 18-inch wheels are larger than the 16-inch wheels on the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L.

The Mazda 3’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Fit only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mazda 3’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the Fit (107.3 inches vs. 99.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mazda 3 is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Fit.

Ergonomics

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 Fit 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 Fit 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 Fit’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Fit’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Fit EX/EX-L’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Fit 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 Fit’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Mazda 3’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Fit doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Fit doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fit doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Fit doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Model Availability

The Mazda 3 comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Honda Fit isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

Recommendations

The Mazda 3 outsold the Honda Fit by 83% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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