2019 Mazda 6 vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mazda 6 Signature has a standard 360-degree View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Corolla only offers a rear monitor.

To help make backing safer, the Mazda 6’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 Corolla doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Corolla 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Mazda 6 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Corolla has not been tested, yet.

Engine

The Mazda 6’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (187 vs. 139) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 126) than the Corolla’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mazda 6’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 18 more horsepower (187 vs. 169) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 151) than the Corolla SE/XSE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring/Signature’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 81 more horsepower (250 vs. 169) and 159 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 151) than the Corolla SE/XSE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 6 (except Turbo)’s fuel efficiency. The Corolla doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Mazda 6 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corolla (16.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Mazda 6 has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Corolla doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mazda 6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla:

 

Mazda6

Mazda6 Turbo

Corolla

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

12.6 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

10.9 inches

10.9 inches

10.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mazda 6 has larger tires than the Corolla (225/55R17 vs. 195/65R15).

The Mazda 6 Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Corolla L’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 6 Sport has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Corolla L. The Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Corolla SE/XSE.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mazda 6’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Corolla (111.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Mazda 6 is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Corolla.

Chassis

The design of the Mazda 6 amounts to more than styling. The Mazda 6 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .285 Cd. That is lower than the Corolla (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Mazda 6 get better fuel mileage.

The Mazda 6 (except Sport) offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Corolla doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Mazda 6 a Mid-size car, while the Corolla is rated a Compact.

The Mazda 6 has 11.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corolla (99.7 vs. 88.6).

The Mazda 6 has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 3.9 inches more rear legroom, 9.6 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Corolla.

Cargo Capacity

The Mazda 6 has a much larger trunk than the Corolla (14.7 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Mazda 6’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Corolla’s useful trunk space.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Corolla doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve and Signature have a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Corolla doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Mazda 6’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Corolla L’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Corolla LE/SE/XLE/XLS’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Mazda 6’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 Corolla doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Corolla offer available heated front seats. The Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Corolla.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Corolla doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve/Signature’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Corolla doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Mazda 6’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 Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Mazda 6 and the Corolla offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Mazda 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Corolla doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda 6, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mazda 6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 6 years. The Corolla has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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