Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 28, 2023
2023 Mazda Mazda3

Compact cars have come a long way over the past few years. Most compact vehicles are now available with advanced tech features, upscale interiors, and even all-wheel drive. The Subaru Impreza and Mazda3 are two main compact cars that are available with AWD. In addition to being available with AWD, the Impreza and Mazda3 have a lot of similarities that can make it difficult to choose one model over the other.

In this comparison, we’ll look into the ways that the Mazda3 and Impreza are similar and different from one another in key specifications that include price, fuel economy, performance, and technology. In the end, we’ll name a winner that’s a better buy for the majority of shoppers.

Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3 Price

2024 Subaru Impreza

The prices for the Subaru Impreza start at $24,085 for the base trim and go up to $28,975 for the range-topping RS trim. The cheapest Mazda3 is the 2.5 S sedan which starts at $25,335, while the most expensive Mazda3 is the hatchback 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus that's priced at $37,815.

When you compare the two compact cars to one another, there’s a price difference of $1,250 in the Impreza’s favor. Comparing the range-topping trims to one another reveals a large price difference of $8,840 between the Impreza and Mazda3.

As the more affordable option of the two, the Impreza is available with more affordable lease deals than the Mazda3. Shoppers looking to purchase a model will find that the Mazda3 tends to be available with better financing deals than the Impreza.

Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3 Fuel Economy

The most efficient Subaru Impreza comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. AWD is standard on the Impreza. In this configuration, the Impreza is rated to get up to 30 mpg combined (27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway).

The Mazda3 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. With the base engine, the Mazda3 can get up to 31 mpg combined (27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway).

There’s not a large difference in fuel economy between the two compact cars. The EPA estimates that the average driver who drives 15,000 miles annually and spends 55% of the time driving in the city will save $50 a year by going with the Mazda3.

Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3 Performance

2023 Mazda Mazda3 Engine

The standard Subaru Impreza comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The RS trim comes with a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration in the Impreza with either engine is dull and the car’s CVT saps enjoyment from the vehicle.

Mazda offers the Mazda3 with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 191 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Turbo trims come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. The base engine can be paired to a six-speed manual in the hatchback, while a six-speed automatic is standard everywhere else.

With far more power than the Impreza, the Mazda3 offers better acceleration and overall engine performance than the Subaru. Additionally, the Mazda3 has a sportier suspension setup and a chassis that delivers more athletic driving dynamics than the Impreza.

Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3 Technology

2024 Subaru Impreza Dashboard

The Subaru Impreza comes with the automaker’s dual-screen setup that includes two seven-inch touchscreens as standard equipment. Other standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, four audio speakers, Bluetooth, and one USB port. Available tech features include an 11.6-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone connectivity, 10 audio speakers, navigation, a wireless charging pad, voice recognition, and dual USB ports.

Standard features on the Mazda3 include an 8.8-inch display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six audio speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and voice recognition. Available features include wireless smartphone connectivity, a 10.3-inch display, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and satellite radio.

Which Is Better: Subaru Impreza vs. Mazda 3?

The fully redesigned 2024 Subaru Impreza represents an incremental improvement over the last-gen model. Compared to the Mazda3, the Impreza is more affordable, comes with AWD as standard, and is available with a larger touchscreen. Unfortunately, it loses this comparison.

The Mazda3 is one of the better compact cars in the segment. It’s available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, has athletic handling, comes with more powerful engines, and features a premium design. The Mazda3 is also available with AWD and has a far more luxurious interior than the Impreza.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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