With their nimble steering and sporty looks, compact cars like the Subaru Impreza and Mazda3 are a lot of fun to drive. Which one is right for you though? To help drivers in Ithaca decide, Maguire Subaru put them up against each other in this Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3 comparison.

Passenger & Cargo Room

The Subaru Impreza and Mazda 3 are both available as either a sedan or a 5-door hatchback. In both styles they offer a comfortable interior, plenty of storage space, and a sleek, aerodynamic design.

The Impreza offers a little more room to stretch out though. Its hatchback offers up to 100.9 cubic feet of passenger space, while the sedan features nearly as much room with 99.8 cubic feet. The Mazda3 feels a bit more cramped with 92.8 cubic feet of space in the sedan and 92.7 cubic feet in the hatchback.

Passengers in the backseat will notice the biggest difference. Three people can easily pile into the Subaru with 36.5 inches of rear legroom and 55.2 inches of hip room. Again, it's a tighter squeeze in both models of the Mazda3 with 35.1 inches of legroom in the backseats and just 50.9 inches of rear hip room.

Safety Features

The Subaru Impreza delivers a dependable drive in any conditions thanks to standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-MODE®. These systems will help you grip the road when you're whipping around turns in the summer or making your way through a snowy winter.

In addition to all-wheel drive, the Impreza also offers lots of smart driver assistance features. The EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology looks out for every angle of your car. Overall, you'll have more awareness thanks to features like:

  • Rear-Vision Camera
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning with Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind-Spot Detection

With its drivetrain, technology, and an airbag system that includes side-curtain airbags that cover both rows of seats, the Subaru Impreza was named a 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Mazda3 also offers lots of similar driver assistance features and comes with side-curtain airbags. However, all-wheel drive doesn't come standard. As a result, it didn't earn the same IIHS honors as the Impreza.  

Fuel Economy

Under the hood, both versions of Subaru Impreza have a standard 2.0L 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® engine. This features a Dual Active Valve Control System and works with a Lineartronic® Continuously Variable transmission. Together this helps it get up an EPA-estimated 28 MPG city and 38 MPG highway.

The Mazda3 is also an efficient car but can't quite deliver the same level of fuel economy. It's powered by a SKYACTIV®-G 2.5L 4-cylinder engine but can only get up to an EPA-estimated 26 MPG city and 35 MPG highway[i].

Test Drive the Subaru Impreza

Contact Maguire Subaru to learn more about this Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3 comparison and what each car can do for you. As both a hatchback and a sedan, the Impreza offers a safe, efficient, and comfortable ride for drivers in Ithaca.


[i] Based on EPA estimates for Mazda3 Sedan with FWD and without Premium Package, 26 city/35 highway. Actual results will vary.

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Maguire Subaru of Ithaca

320 Elmira Road
Directions Ithaca, NY 14850

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