How the Mazda3 stacks up against Chevy, Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring under our evaluation this week is equipped with all the bells and whistles. Not surprisingly, that means its price tag might seem a bit hefty for a compact hatchback with a naturally aspirated four-cylinder. As such, I decided to look at the Mazda3’s competitors and their comparable trim levels and optional equipment.

I settled on the 2017 Volkswagen Golf, the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT, and the2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. For each, I selected their range-topping trim and added the appropriate options for an apples-to-apples comparison. Here’s how things shake out.

Continue reading for the pricing break down.

2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring

Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition Exterior
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Three trim levels are offered, starting with the Sport, Touring, and the Grand Touring

The Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring starts at $19,345. Three trim levels are offered, starting with the Sport, Touring, and the Grand Touring. My Grand Touring tester with the automatic transmission carries a base price of $24,945. Both the Touring and Grand Touring come standard with the 2.5-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder engine making 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, though for $1,050, a six-speed automatic can be had.

Several stand-alone options add cost, but also add convenience and style. These items include the $75 cargo mat, the $300 Soul Red Paint, the $100 rear bumper guard, the $125 scuff plates and door sill trim plates, and the big one – the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package.

The Premium Equipment Package adds GPS navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, auto-dim rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Needless to say, that $1,600 is well spent.

Add in the $875 destination fee, and the total price comes to $28,020.

Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition Exterior
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Sport MT SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $19,345
Sport AT Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $20,395
Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $20,840
Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $21,890
Grand Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $23,895
Grand Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $24,945

2017 Volkswagen Golf

2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven Exterior
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The 2017 VW Golf starts at $19,895 for the S trim

The Volkswagen Golf is undergoing a refresh for 2018, though it won’t land on U.S. shores until the 2019 model year. As such, we’ll stick with the 2017 model found on VW’s build-and-price website.

The 2017 VW Golf starts at $19,895 for the S trim. Only one other trim is available, the Wolfsburg. It starts at $22,415. Since we’re comparing apples to apples here, opting for the six-speed automatic transmission costs $1,100. The Golf doesn’t have any big option packages that bundle features together. Rather, it’s almost a mono-spec car, grouping all the main features by trim level. It’s basically a take-it-or-leave-it scenario.

The á la carte items needed to add are the door sill and rear bumper protectors, with the former costing $195 and the latter $166. With an $820 destination fee, this 2017 VW Golf Wolfsburg lists for $23,875.

It’s worth noting the Golf comes with a 1.8-liter turbo-four making 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Regular unleaded is all that’s required and the EPA estimates fuel economy 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.

2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven Exterior
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S Trim $19,895
Wolfsburg Trim $22,415
Six-speed auto $1,100
Door sill protector $194
Rear bumper guard $166
Destination price $820
Total price $23,875

2018 Honda Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback
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The base LX trim starts at $20,050, but the range-topping Sport Touring trim starts at $28,650

The 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback comes in five trims, meaning there is a one for nearly any budget. The base LX trim starts at $20,050, but the range-topping Sport Touring trim starts at $28,650. That’s where we’ll start in this comparison.

At this trim, the Continuously Variable Transmission is the only gearbox available, meaning the sweet six-speed manual sadly can’t be had. Still, the peppy 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is under the hood. It packs 174 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque thanks to Honda’s nifty VTEC system and a singles-scroll turbo making 16.5 pounds of boost. Fuel economy with the CVT is EPA-estimated at 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined.

The Sport Touring includes Navigation and Honda Sensing as standard equipment, so no need for ordering some big option package. Honda Sensing includes collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping. The smaller options include the $62 Rear bumper guard, or what Honda called the rear bumper appliqué. Honda apparently doesn’t sell a door sill guard.

After the $890 destination, the Civic Hatchback tops this comparison in terms of pricing with a list price of $29,602. However, Honda’s website shows a $2,000 rebate, which brings the price to $27,602.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback
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LX Trim $20,050
Sport Touring Trim $28,650
Navigation & Honda Sensing Standard on Sport Touring Trim
Rear Bumper Appliqué $62
Destination Fee $890
Total Price $29,602

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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The base 2018 Elantra GT starts at $17,850 and comes with a six-speed manual.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is the newest contender here, having moved into a new generation for this model year. The Elantra GT is basically a rebranded i30 hatchback that Hyundai sells in Europe and around the world. The base 2018 Elantra GT starts at $17,850 and comes with a six-speed manual. A six-speed automatic costs an extra $1,000.

There are no major trim levels to choose from, only between the Elantra GT and the Elantra GT Sport, which comes with a more powerful 1.6-liter turbo-four engine. The standard GT uses a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder making 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. It achieves 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined, according to the EPA.

Now the Elantra GT does have two major option packages to choose from. These are what take the car from mild to wild – at least in terms of features. The Style Package adds $1,800 and brings blind spot monitoring, side-mirror turn signals, proximity key with push-button starting, a larger 4.2-inch TFT driver information display, dual automatic HVAC system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a power driver’s seat with lumbar, heated front seats, automatic up/down on the driver’s window, and a sliding center armrest.

The Tech Package costs a hefty $4,300 but brings a slew of add-ons. These include LED headlights and taillights, heated and vented leather seats, larger brakes, rear HVAC vents, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with navigation and Blue Link connectively, an Infinity audio system, a wireless phone charging pad, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink and Blue Link. It’s important to note the Tech Package does require the Style Package be selected.

Add on the $70 rear bumper appliqué and the $885 destination fee, and a decked-out 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT costs $27,700.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Six-speed automatic $1,000
Style Package $1,800
Tech Package $4,300
Rear bumper appliqué $70
Destination fee $885
Total price $27,700

2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Driven Exterior High Resolution
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The “base” LT trim can be had with a six-speed manual transmission for $22,195.

Chevrolet combines the Cruze sedan and Hatchback together on its build-and-price website, so fumbling through the initial menu to pick the right body style and trim pairing can be a bit overwhelming the first time. After picking the base model Cruze Hatchback, you see Chevy doesn’t offer the Hatch in the lowest trim. That means the Hatch’s base price is several thousand more than the sedan.

The “base” LT trim can be had with a six-speed manual transmission for $22,195. Interestingly, adding the six-speed automatic transmission only bumps the price up by $200 to $22,395. However, for this comparison of range-topping models, it’s the Premier trim that we need. It starts at $24,895 and includes the automatic gearbox.

Chevy offers a slew of major option packages that move the car from base to baller. The $865 Enhanced Convenience Package brings heated rear outboard seating, wireless phone charging, a 110-volt power outlet, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and an express-up/down power window for the driver.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Driven Exterior High Resolution
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The $1,995 Sun and Sound With Navigation Package brings a power sunroof, the upgraded 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system with, well, navigation, a 4.2-inch driver information display in the gauge cluster, and an upgraded stereo from Bose. For another $790, the Driver Confidence II Package adds automatic high beam headlights, rear park assist, a following distance indicator, and forward collision alert. Oddly enough, the package is only available when paired with the $995 RS appearance package.

The Cruze Hatchback comes standard with the 1.4-liter EcoTec turbocharged four-cylinder. It makes 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Sadly, the 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder isn’t available in the hatchback.

Add everything up, and the price falls right behind the Honda Civic Hatchback. An $875 destination fee brings the total asking price to $29,540. Chevy is offering $2,000 cash back, which brings the price to $27,540.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback – Driven Exterior High Resolution
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LT trim – six-speed manual transmission $22,195
LT trim – six-speed automatic $22,395
Premier trim $24,895
Enhanced Convenience package $865
Sun and Sound with Navigation $1,995
Driver Confidence II package* $790
RS Appearance Package $995
Destination Fee $875
Total Price $29,540

*Driver Confidence II Package requires getting the RS package

References

Mazda3

Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition Exterior
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The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury

2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.

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Read more Mazda news.

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