2020 Mazda 3 vs. 2020 Toyota Yaris

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/12

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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Smart City Brake Support in the Mazda 3 as “Superior.” The Yaris scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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’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 (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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Mazda 3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Yaris last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda second in reliability. Toyota is ranked third.

Engine

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The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 80 more horsepower (186 vs. 106) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda 3 is faster than the Toyota Yaris (manual transmissions tested):

Mazda3

Yaris

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

81.8 MPH

As tested in Consumer Reports the Mazda 3 is faster than the Toyota Yaris (automatics tested):

Mazda3

Yaris

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.6 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/12

An engine control system that can shut down some 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).

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/12

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mazda 3 higher (7 out of 10) than the Toyota Yaris (3). This means the Mazda 3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Yaris every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Mazda 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Yaris.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Mazda 3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Yaris:

Mazda 3

Mazda 3 AWD

Yaris

Front Rotors

11.02 inches

11.61 inches

10.2 inches

Rear Rotors

10.43 inches

10.43 inches

9” drums

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.

The Mazda 3 stops much shorter than the Yaris:

Mazda 3

Yaris

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Mazda 3 has larger standard tires than the Yaris (205/60R16 vs. 185/60R16). The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s 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 Sedan’s standard 65 series tires. The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s 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 Sedan. The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s 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.

Suspension and Handling

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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 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Yaris.

The Mazda 3 Premium Sedan handles at .86 G’s, while the Yaris Sedan pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Mazda 3 Premium Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Yaris Sedan (26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Mazda 3 Premium Hatchback is quieter than the Yaris Sedan:

Mazda3

Yaris

Full-Throttle

74 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/12

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 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The Mazda 3 Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Yaris Hatchback with its rear seat up (20.1 vs. 15.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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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 power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Yaris has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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.

The Mazda 3’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 Yaris L/LE’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Mazda 3’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Yaris’ headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Mazda 3 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 Yaris has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE.

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 and it can provide a boundary between children. 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 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Mazda 3 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Mazda 3 with a number “3” insurance rate while the Yaris is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mazda 3 is less expensive to operate than the Yaris because typical repairs cost less on the Mazda 3 than the Yaris, including $68 less for a starter, $78 less for front struts and $44 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/12

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mazda 3 and the Toyota Yaris, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mazda 3 outsold the Toyota Yaris by over two to one during 2019.

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

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