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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 Yaris doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Mazda 3 offers optional Rear Smart Brake Support that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Yaris doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Mazda 3 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Yaris doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan)’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Yaris doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Mazda 3 offers an optional 360-Degree Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Yaris only offers a rear monitor.
The Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan)’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Yaris doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan)’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Yaris doesn’t offer a cross-path warning 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 Yaris doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Mazda 3 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Yaris doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Mazda 3 and the Yaris have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and available crash mitigating brakes.
The Mazda 3 weighs 540 to 870 pounds more than the Toyota Yaris. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 80 more horsepower (186 vs. 106) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
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 Yaris doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Mazda 3 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Yaris (12.7 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Mazda 3 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Yaris (13.2 vs. 11.6 gallons).
The Mazda 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Yaris.
For better stopping power the Mazda 3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Yaris:
Mazda 3 AWD
The Mazda 3 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Yaris. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.
For better traction, the Mazda 3 has larger standard tires than the Yaris (205/60R16 vs. 185/60R16). The Mazda 3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Yaris (215/45R18 vs. 185/60R16).
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 Yaris L’s standard 65 series tires. The Mazda 3’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Yaris LE/XLE’s 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 3 Sedan has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Yaris L. The Mazda 3’s optional 18-inch wheels are larger than the 16-inch wheels on the Yaris LE/XLE.
The Mazda 3’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Yaris only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mazda 3’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Yaris (107.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mazda 3 is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Yaris.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Mazda 3 a Compact car, while the Yaris is rated a Subcompact.
The Mazda 3 Sedan has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Yaris (92.8 vs. 85.9).
The Mazda 3 Sedan has .4 inches more front legroom, 6 inches more front hip room, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .7 inches more rear legroom, 1.4 inches more rear hip room and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Yaris.
The Mazda 3 Auto offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Yaris doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
When two different drivers share the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Yaris doesn’t offer a memory system.
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 Yaris doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Mazda 3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Yaris’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
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 Yaris doesn’t offer cornering lights.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mazda 3 has standard extendable sun visors. The Yaris doesn’t offer extendable visors.
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 Yaris’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Mazda 3’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Yaris doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.
The Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Yaris.
The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Yaris doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Yaris doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Mazda 3 has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Yaris doesn’t offer rear vents.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mazda 3 (except Base Sedan) has a standard Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Yaris doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Mazda 3. The Mazda 3’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Yaris doesn’t offer a navigation system.
The Mazda 3 comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Toyota Yaris isn’t available as a four door hatchback.
The Mazda 3 outsold the Toyota Yaris by over two to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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