Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Audi A3 VS 2015 Mazda 6 Near Phoenix, AZ

Responsive image

2015 Audi A3

Responsive image

2015 Mazda 6

Safety Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mazda6 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A3 Sedan 2.0T has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A3 Sedan offers optional Parking System Plus to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Compared to metal, the A3 Sedan’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Mazda6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Mazda6:

A3 Sedan




5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Mazda6:

A3 Sedan


Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

107.67 G’s

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Warranty Comparison

The A3 Sedan comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Mazda6’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mazda6’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Mazda6’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

The A3 Sedan 1.8T’s standard 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (200 vs. 185) than the Mazda6’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The A3 Sedan 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 36 more horsepower (220 vs. 184) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 185) than the Mazda6’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

The A3 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 185) than the Mazda6’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi A3 Sedan is faster than the Mazda6 (automatics tested):

A3 Sedan 1.8T

A3 Sedan 2.0T


Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

5.4 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

18.7 sec

14 sec

20 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

14 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

100 MPH

90 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan TDI gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda6 i-ELOOP (31 city/43 hwy vs. 28 city/40 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Mazda6:

A3 Sedan


Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.7 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Mazda6:

A3 Sedan


80 to 0 MPH

219 feet

221 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

127 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda6 Sport’s standard 55 series tires. The A3 Sedan’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Mazda6 Touring/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the Mazda6 Grand Touring pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Mazda6 Touring (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Mazda6’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 4.1 inches shorter than the Mazda6, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro is quieter than the Mazda6 Grand Touring:

A3 Sedan


At idle

41 dB

42 dB


73 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A3 Sedan easier. The A3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.3 inches, while the Mazda6’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the A3 Sedan. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the Mazda6 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A3 Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda6 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A3 Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Mazda6’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A3 Sedan has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Mazda6 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Mazda6 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Sedan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Mazda6 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the A3 Sedan, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Mazda doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Mazda6 Manual Sport.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The A3 Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the A3 Sedan will retain 54.23% to 55.18% of its original price after five years, while the Mazda6 only retains 48.13% to 48.51%.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.