2019 Mazda 3 vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mazda 3 has standard Whiplash Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Mazda 3 =’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Mazda 3 and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 3 Premium/Hatchback/AWD’s fuel efficiency. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Transmission

The Mazda 3 offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

The Mazda 3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Mazda 3’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mazda 3’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Rav4 (107.3 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Mazda 3’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The Mazda 3’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda 3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4.

The Mazda 3 Hatchback is 5.3 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Mazda 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Mazda 3 is 10.3 inches shorter in height than the Rav4, making the Mazda 3 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Ergonomics

The Mazda 3 Premium has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and warning light readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Mazda 3 Base Sedan’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Mazda 3 Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Rav4 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Rav4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Mazda 3 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Rav4 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Model Availability

The Mazda 3 comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Toyota Rav4 isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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