2021 Toyota Corolla vs. 2020 Mazda 3

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 2020/08/10

The Corolla 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 and the Mazda 3 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, 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 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’s warranty.

Reliability

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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’s reliability 42 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

© 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 2020/08/10

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

Corolla

Mazda 3

2.0 4 cyl./6-spd. Manual

29 city/36 hwy

25 city/35 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Manual

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

31 city/40 hwy

27 city/36 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

31 city/38 hwy

26 city/35 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

1.8 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

n/a

1.8 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/37 hwy

n/a

Transmission

© 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 2020/08/10

The Corolla 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Corolla stops shorter than the Mazda 3:

Corolla

Mazda 3

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Corolla SE/XSE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mazda 3 (225/40R18 vs. 215/45R18).

The Corolla SE/XSE’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla 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.

The Corolla XSE handles at .83 G’s, while the Mazda 3 Premium Sedan AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Corolla SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Mazda 3 Premium Sedan AWD (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Corolla 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 and the Mazda 3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla 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 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Mazda 3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Corolla owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Corolla with a number “3” insurance rate while the Mazda 3 is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 3 because it costs $246 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Corolla than the Mazda 3, including $8 less for a water pump, $19 less for a muffler, $27 less for front brake pads, $124 less for a fuel pump, $20 less for front struts and $72 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/08/10

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

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its October 2019 issue and they ranked the Toyota Corolla XSE higher than the Mazda 3 Premium Sedan.

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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