2019 Toyota Prius c vs. 2019 Mazda 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Prius c and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius c for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 3.

There are over 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius c’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mazda is ranked third.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius c gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda3:

 

 

 

MPG

Prius c

FWD

Auto

1.5 4 cyl. Hybrid

48 city/43 hwy

Mazda3

FWD

Manual

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/35 hwy

 

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

 

Sedan Premium 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

AWD

Auto

Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Prius c’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Prius c’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The Prius c has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Prius c’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the Mazda 3’s (31.4 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Prius c may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 750 pounds less than the Mazda 3.

The Prius c is 1 foot, 1.2 inches shorter than the Mazda 3 Sedan, making the Prius c easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The Prius c has a much larger trunk than the Mazda 3 Sedan (17.1 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius c’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Mazda 3 Sedan’s useful trunk space.

Ergonomics

The Prius c Four’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

Recommendations

The Toyota Prius outsold the Mazda 3 by 36% during 2018.

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

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