2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2020 Mazda 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Corolla Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mazda 3 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.

Both the Corolla Hybrid and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 3.

There are over 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Mazda 3’s redline is at 6500 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000-RPM redline.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Corolla Hybrid’s reliability 48 points higher than the Mazda 3.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 19th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 3 Sedan:

MPG

Corolla Hybrid

FWD

1.8 4-cyl. Hybrid

53 city/52 hwy

Mazda 3 Sedan

FWD

Premium 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Corolla Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Corolla Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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The Corolla Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda 3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

Passenger Space

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The Corolla Hybrid has .3 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more rear hip room than the Mazda 3 Sedan.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Corolla Hybrid and the Mazda 3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hybrid the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Mazda 3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Consumer Reports rated the Corolla Hybrid’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the Mazda 3’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The Corolla Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

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 2020/08/09

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Mazda 3 by over six to one during 2019.

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

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