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2021 Corolla Hatchback vs. Mazda3 Hatchback Comparison

Enjoy your drive inside and out with a hatchback that excites behind the wheel and has the space to fit all of your stuff. The Toyota Corolla Hatchback and Mazda3 Hatchback are two great examples, but only one can win out. They offer sporty exteriors and tech features to enhance your driving experience.

If you're focused on affordability and functionality, the Corolla SE Hatchback costs less than the Mazda3 2.5 S Hatchback whether you choose a manual or automatic transmission. With a manual transmission, the Corolla SE Hatchback starts at $20,715, or $21,815 with an automatic transmission. Comparatively, the base model Mazda3 2.5 S Hatchback starts at $22,650.

You also get better mileage estimates with the Corolla Hatchback which has better EPA-estimated MPG ratings on all models compared to the Mazda3 Hatchback.

For those looking to add some style to their life without breaking the bank, the Corolla Hatchback has lots of standard safety, performance, and convenience features for less.

Published Date: 06/21/2021

Red 2021 Corolla Hatchback driving down a brick road

Safety

  • The Corolla Hatchback comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0).
  • The Mazda3 has a lot of comparable safety features, but lacks Road Sign Assist.
  • The Corolla Hatchback SE with automatic transmission has available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). To get the same feature on the Mazda you'd have to get the Mazda 3 Hatchback Select.

Carmakers know that while a vehicle should be fun to drive, it should also help keep you safe. With the Corolla Hatchback and Mazda3 Hatchback, you get a whole bundle of safety features.

Standard Safety Features

When it comes to standard safety, the Corolla Hatchback has a lot to offer with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). The models with an automatic transmission have a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA). With a manual transmission you lose Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) instead of Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

The Mazda3 Hatchback offers similar features like Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane-Keep Assist, High Beam Control, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go. Mazda’s website does not mention a feature comparable to Toyota's Road Sign Assist though.

Additionally, the Corolla SE Hatchback with an automatic transmission has available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) for an additional $1,350 MSRP bringing your total to $23,165. This feature comes standard on the Corolla XSE Hatchback which starts at $23,665 with a manual transmission. To get this same feature standard on the Mazda3 Hatchback you'd need to upgrade to the Mazda3 Hatchback Select which starts at $23,850.

Blue 2021 Corolla HB parked in a shipping yard

Performance

  • The Corolla Hatchback has better EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings than the Mazda3 Hatchback.
  • You can get a manual transmission on the Corolla Hatchback SE or XSE. To get the same on the Mazda3 you'd need the Premium trim.

What makes a hatchback like the Corolla Hatchback such a joy to drive is the impressive handling, peppy performance, and surprisingly good fuel economy ratings.

Mileage and Horsepower

The Corolla SE w/CVT has an EPA-estimated 32/41/35 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. For those that choose the Mazda3 2.5 S Hatchback, you'll have a standard EPA-estimated 26/34/29 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

While you have better EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings in the Corolla Hatchback, you do get slightly more horsepower at the base level with the Mazda3 Hatchback. The Corolla Hatchback has a standard 168 horsepower compared to the Mazda3 Hatchback which has 186 horsepower.

Just because it doesn't have as much horsepower doesn't mean the Corolla Hatchback isn't just as fun to drive. Depending on your style, the Corolla Hatchback has options for those that want more control with the availability of both manual and automatic transmissions on the Corolla Hatchback SE and XSE. For a manual transmission on the Mazda3 Hatchback you would need the Premium model which is significantly more expensive than any Corolla Hatchback trim.

Couple standing in front of a red 2021 Corolla HB

Style & Convenience

  • You get more no extra cost paint color options with the Corolla Hatchback.
  • The Corolla Hatchback has Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, while the Mazda3 Hatchback lacks Amazon Alexa.
  • You also get paddle shifters in the Corolla Hatchback, something the Mazda3 doesn't have.

Substance, meet style. Get noticed with seven exterior finish options, plus five two-tone options with the Corolla Hatchback.

More Interior and Exterior Options

Starting at $21,815, the Corolla Hatchback SE w/CVT has loads of exterior colors options (five free, two extra cost colors) to make you standout. Plus, choose two-tone options for an even more unique look. The base model Mazda3 Hatchback (starting MSRP of $22,650) has only three paint options that won't cost you extra. The other three cost anywhere between $395-$595. There are no two-tone options available.

Get more connectivity options in the Corolla Hatchback, too. Enjoy your favorite music on any compatible device with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility standard in the Corolla Hatchback. The Mazda3 Hatchback offers Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® integration, but not Amazon Alexa. Plus, when your phone needs a quick charge, you get one USB media port and one USB charge port standard on all Corolla Hatchbacks. You also get two USB audio inputs with the Mazda3 Hatchback.

Aside from interior entertainment options, you can feel like a rockstar with the premium leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifters that are standard on the Corolla SE Nightshade Edition Hatchback. Not only that, but you get leather-trimmed heated sport seats, too. Paddle shifters are standard on all Corolla Hatchback automatic models. Mazda3 Premium has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, plus leather-trimmed sport seats, but no paddle shifters.

Front view of a Corolla Hatchback driving on a two-lane road

Conclusion: Corolla Hatchback vs. Mazda3 Hatchback

  • With the Corolla Hatchback, you get more safety features for less.
  • You also have the option for a manual transmission for less with the Corolla Hatchback.

For a sporty and sleek hatchback model, the Corolla Hatchback packs a lot of features into a small package.

Since it has a lower starting MSRP, you can even add on more safety features to the Corolla Hatchback for less. The available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) on the Corolla Hatchback SE w/CVT will cost you an additional $1,350, however, the total comes out to less than the Mazda3 Hatchback Select which has standard Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Not to mention, you get more control over your drive with the available manual transmission on the Corolla Hatchback SE and XSE, plus paddle shifters are standard on all Corolla Hatchback models.

Overall, the Corolla Hatchback is a great choice for those that want to spend less and get more out of their drive.