2021 Toyota Corolla vs. 2020 Mazda 6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 6 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.

The Corolla’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 Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Corolla’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda 6 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Corolla and the Mazda 6 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, rearview cameras, 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 6.

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 16 points higher than the Mazda 6.

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 SE/XSE SE CVT 2.0 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Mazda 6 with its standard 4 cyl. (31 city/40 hwy vs. 26 city/35 hwy).

Transmission

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The Corolla offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

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 6 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Corolla stops much shorter than the Mazda 6:

Corolla

Mazda 6

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/08/13

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 6 Touring/Grand Touring/Signature’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Corolla XSE handles at .82 G’s, while the Mazda 6 Signature pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Corolla’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Mazda 6’s (35.6 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Toyota Corolla may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 550 pounds less than the Mazda 6.

The Corolla is 10.4 inches shorter than the Mazda 6, making the Corolla easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla easier. The Corolla’s trunk lift-over height is 27.1 inches, while the Mazda 6’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Corolla and the Mazda 6 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 6 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 6 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Corolla XLE/XSE offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Mazda 6 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Mazda 6 isn’t available as a four-door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 6 because it costs $253 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Corolla than the Mazda 6, including $36 less for front brake pads, $236 less for fuel injection, $74 less for a fuel pump, $51 less for front struts and $49 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 2020/08/13

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.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Mazda 6 by over fourteen to one during 2019.

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