Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Which one to buy?

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Which one to buy?

There are other vehicle options beyond SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks if you are not into those bulky vehicles. Compact sedans are great options if you are intimidated by the size and maneuverability of bulky vehicles. Here, we pit the flagship models of the Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic, and Mazda 3 for a side by side (by side) comparison on how each sedan stacks up against the others.

Dimensions

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Dimensions comparison

When it comes to size, the Mazda 3 is longer than both the Corolla Altis and Civic which translates to better legroom. And the ground clearance is also low which gives passengers better headroom as well. Despite having the lowest ground clearance at 133 mm, the Civic is significantly shorter by 24 mm to 39 mm compared to Mazda 3 and Corolla Altis, respectively which can make the cabin feel cramped.

Exterior

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Exterior features comparison

In terms of exterior, the design language for the Corolla Altis, Civic, and Mazda 3 are very modern and makes generous use of LED lights.  There’s no rubber duck or shark fin antenna on these sedans as all three cars have glass printed antenna.

Interior

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Interior features comparison

The interior cabins for each car focus on a different aspect of comfort. The Mazda 3, for instance, focuses on its audio and infotainment with its 7-inch full-color touchscreen display coupled with Bose 9 speaker surround sound system and internet radio integration. The Civic tries to remove that plasticky feel of the car by wrapping its steering wheel, center shift gearbox, and seats with leather accentuated by red stitches.

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Cabin

For the Toyota, it’s all about lighting—on the push start button, room lamp, cup holder, and front doors. The instrument cluster also feels very modern with its streamlined dashboard, full LED instrument cluster, and push buttons instead of knobs. Plus, the Corolla Altis s the only sedan that has AC vents at the rear which is a plus when it comes to the comfort of the rear passengers. On the other hand, the Mazda 3 does have a pollen filter integrated on its AC so that’s a plus too.

Engine

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Engine Comparison

Under the hood, the top of the line Corolla Altis Hybrid is equipped with a VVT-I, 4-cylinder inline DOHC, 16 valve petrol engine partnered to an electric motor. While the rest of the Corolla Altis models are run by a 1ZR-FE Dual VVT-I, 4-cylinder inline DOHC 16 valve engine that can churn the same 121 hp at 6,000 rpm and 153 Nm at 5,200 rpm of torque. Honda Civic specs sheet features the earth's dreams technology DOHC VTEC turbocharged while the 1.8 E and 1.8 S are powered by a SOHC i-VTEC engine that delivers 140 hp of power at 6,500 rpm and 174 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm.

Both the Elite and Premium Mazda 3 models run on the SKYACTIV-G inline 4-cylinder DOHC 16 valves engine but the Elite has lower power output at 109 hp at 6,000 rpm and less torque at 146 Nm per 3,500 rpm. Of all three, the Honda Civic is packed with the most powerful engine while the Toyota Corolla Altis provides the least power but decent enough output to get you places around the Metro. Mazda’s power output is competitive plus it also has the biggest fuel tank of the three which helps in lessening your trips to the pump.

Safety

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Safety comparison

Needless to say, all three sedans are packed with the basic safety and driver-assist features and so much more. Some of the safety and driver-assist features may not come standard to the other trims on these sedans but are available options to the other models on the range. Mazda, however, inched both the cars in terms of safety with features like the 360-degree camera which both the Toyota and Honda are lacking; front-cross traffic alert and speed-sensing door lock that the Corolla Altis specs sheet does not have; and blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert that the Civic does not come equipped with.

Price

Below is the detailed price list for all the variants of Corolla Altis, Civic, and Mazda 3 sedans:

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Honda Civic vs Mazda 3 - Price Comparison

As per usual, Toyota still offers the most affordable compact car of the three by a wide margin. It’s cheaper by more than Php 100k compared to the base model Civic and almost Php 300k for the Mazda 3 Elite. However, if we’re going to base affordability in terms of the flagship models, Mazda comes out as the clear winner with a price tag, that’s Php 100k less than that of the Toyota 1.8 V Hybrid and a little over of that for the Civic RS Turbo. However, all compact sedans are in the same one million price range and the slight differences in prices could easily be attributed to additional specs or marketing strategy of the automaker as it tries to cater to its particular niche of buyers.

Bottom line

The Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic, and Mazda 3 are all good sedan options that are just right on the one million marks. All three have great safety features, style quality, and comfort features. Mazda 3 would appeal more to yuppies and millennials because of its infotainment and connectivity features that most in these generations can barely live without. But if you are thinking of the resell value, then the Civic is a good sedan investment. If you’re thought is more on affordability and the after-service support, the familiar Corolla Altis is a good bet. Either way, you will find that each car is a great option.

Also read: 2020 Honda Civic RS Turbo introduced, available in new color

Abhishek Katariya

Abhishek Katariya

From collecting Hotwheels to actually creating a list of cars driven, Abhishek has been a fanboy of cars since childhood. As much as he enjoys being behind the wheel, he also loves munching miles on big tourer bikes. 

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