The Toyota Corolla is a legacy car with a long history starting in 1966. Meanwhile, the Mazda 3 is a relative newcomer, having been released in North America in 2004. In this head-to-head, we'll compare the Corolla and the Mazda 3 in safety, price, and fuel economy.
Published Date: 9/24/2019
Every grade of the 2020 Corolla comes with the Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0) suite of advanced active safety features.
Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0) features include: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). 2020 Corollas with CVT also include Lane Tracing Assist and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
Only Select Package and higher Mazda 3 sedans include comparable driver assistance features, such as Smart Brake Support which includes pedestrian detection.
Toyota is known for its reliability over decades of car history. Corolla has been around since 1966, while Mazda 3 was new for 2004. Consumer confidence in Toyota is backed by having won 2 awards from J.D. Power for dependability in 2018. This is awarded to brands that had the fewest problems reported by 100 owners over a 12 month period with their 3-year old vehicle. On this score, the winner is clear.
For its part, the 2018 Mazda 3 did receive a Top Safety Pick award from IIHS. What’s more, Mazda was recognized as the 2019 Best Car Brand from U.S. News & World Report.
When looking at price, Toyota takes the edge. The Corolla L has a starting MSRP of $19,600 while the Mazda 3 sedan has a starting MSRP of $21,000.
ToyotaCare comes as an advantage over Mazda’s extra-cost maintenance plans. When buying a car, it is important to look at the cost of ownership, including maintenance costs. The Corolla comes standard with the ToyotaCare No Cost Maintenance Plan (2-years/25,000-miles) and Roadside Assistance (3-years/unlimited mileage). While all-new Mazda vehicle purchases come with emergency roadside assistance for 3-years/36,000-miles, they do not offer a comparable no-cost maintenance plan. Instead, there are prepaid maintenance plans available to purchase when buying a Mazda 3 sedan.
Corolla comes standard with a number of convenience features that make your drive more comfortable. Some of these features include Apple CarPlay®, which is standard on the Mazda 3 Select and above models but not the base-grade Mazda 3 sedan. Corolla also has the Toyota+Alexa app which is not available on Mazda 3. Mazda does have Alexa compatibility through its Mazda Connect service, which requires a paid subscription. With the exception of both vehicles’ base trims, all Corolla and Mazda 3 trims come standard with automatic climate control.
When it comes to fuel economy, Toyota is the clear winner. The Corolla L has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 30/38/33 MPG (city/highway/combined) which beats the Mazda 3 sedan’s EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 26/35/30 MPG.
The 2020 Corolla offers the Hybrid LE which has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 53/52/52. Mazda 3 does not have a hybrid option. However, Mazda 3 does offer an AWD option which is not available on Corolla.
The 2020 Corolla XSE has a solid 169 hp and 151 lb.-ft. torque and has an impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 31/38/34 MPG. Mazda 3 has slightly more power at 186 hp 186 lb.-ft. torque, but has a lower fuel economy rating of 26/35/30 MPG. Also, the 2020 Corolla has an available manual transmission. This feature is not available on Mazda 3.
The Toyota Corolla has a long history of reliability, having first been released in 1966. The Mazda 3 is much newer to the sedan scene, having been released to North America in 2004.
The Corolla comes at a lower starting MSRP than Mazda 3 and offers the potential for even more savings by boasting significantly better fuel economy. It also comes standard with ToyotaCare. Plus, every Corolla comes with standard Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0). Comparable safety features are only available on Mazda 3 Select and higher packages.
The Corolla L has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 30/38/33 MPG (city/highway/combined) which beats the Mazda 3 sedan’s EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 26/35/30 MPG.
ToyotaCare comes as an advantage over Mazda’s extra-cost maintenance plans. With all of the advantages of the Corolla, it's easy to see why it's our winner in this head-to-head.