Comparative Mazda 3 Vs Toyota Corolla

Comparative Mazda3 Vs Toyota Corolla

Today it is not easy to be clear about the car we should buy. As we always say, the first thing to consider is what we need and what budget we have. Large, medium or small car? Petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric? Approximate price? Today we are going to compare two compact models that arrived on the market during the past 2019: Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. Which is more interesting?

As in all our comparisons, in this one we are also going to analyze all the points of both vehicles and we are going to compare them. Design, habitability, interior qualities, trunk, mechanical offer, behavior, performance, safety technology and assistants, EuroNCAP crash test results and prices. Which of these two compact we should buy the Mazda or Toyota?

Exterior design

Although both are Japanese cars and differ markedly from European designs, they do not resemble each other. They have taken very different styles. Obviously, there will be those who like one or the other more, but I believe that the Mazda has opted for a more sculptural style while the Toyota has wanted to convey a more technological and aggressive feeling.

mazda3 profile

Starting with the Mazda, as we say, has a more sculptural aesthetic. There are no excessive torn shapes or lines of tension, but they have been adopted by curved panels. Mazda calls this design style Kodo. In this sense, it is very characteristic and differential on all four sides, with natural and soft forms.

Two negative points is that this peculiar design has reduced the glazed surface and has not allowed to take full advantage of the interior space. In its favor, it has as a remarkable aspect that its design and a very careful color palette, makes the body look different shades depending on the incidence of light and its intensity. The red color Soul Red Crystal is particularly striking.

Toyota Corolla 5 doors dynamic rear

If we go to Toyota, this car also does not have a style that follows the rest of the manufacturers. Bet on a technological style and somewhat sporty. It is very opposite to the Hiroshima compact, because the Corolla has many sharp lines, many angles, lines of tension and sharp shapes.

All those ribs of the bodywork are combined with the style of LED lighting, both in the headlights and in the taillights, creating a well-crafted ensemble. On the other hand, the body can be two-tone, with the roof in black to promote greater aesthetic contrast. Of course, we must also take into account that there are notable differences at the design level between the different bodies of this Toyota Corolla.

This section of the exterior design can be summed up in that the Mazda 3 is clearly committed to a beautiful, sculptural and elegant design without losing sportiness, while the Toyota Corolla tries to convey a much more technological, electrifying and more urban image. As you can see, they are very different bets.

Interior design, technology and qualities

mazda3 dashboard

As on the outside, the design of the cabin of these two Japanese compacts is very different. The Mazda3 tries to keep inside that elegance and cleanliness in its exterior forms, while the Toyota Corolla moves stress lines, ribs and “sharp” surfaces from the body to the interior.

El Mazda 3 It has a more minimalist aesthetic, something that at the moment is a hallmark of the Hiroshima company. You can see some creases in the dashboard, but if we look at other points, such as the central area, we see that everything is reduced. We only have the climate control. And speaking of air conditioning, something that doesn't quite fit me is the low position of the passenger's ventilation outlets.

The use of the famous piano black in the area adjacent to the gear lever is also not pleasant.

The central screen of the dashboard is operated by means of buttons and a rotary control that falls very handy on the center console and is intuitive. Unlike many other brands, Mazda claims not to resort to touch screens (at least while driving) because they divert the driver's attention. The instrument panel is partially digital, but with a very classic design.

Toyota Corolla inside

In the case of Toyota Corolla The general style seen in other models of the company, such as the C-HR, is maintained. We have less elegant and sharper features. The central screen is of the floating type and, to tell the truth, it does not offer a good operation. It doesn't have great image quality and it doesn't exactly stand out for its good speed.

The instrument panel has changed completely compared to the previous Auris. It is now more modern and easier to read. By the way, it changes depending on the engine. In any case, despite being digital and having a more modern appearance, it is not up to the digital tables of the Volkswagen group or Mercedes. It is more baroque and less configurable.

Corolla also has gloss black (Piano Black) surfaces. The reason why we do not consider it a success is that it gets dirty and scratches very easily.

If we compare general qualities, the Mazda 3 takes the victory In that aspect. The materials used are of better quality, have better fits and are noticeably better to the touch. This can be seen not only on the dashboard, but also on the steering wheel, on the roof and door trims, as well as on the various controls.

Exterior dimensions and interior space

Five-door body dimensions.
Length Width Height Battle
Length Width Height Battle
Mazda3 4.660 mm 1.795 mm 1.435 mm 2.725 mm
Toyota Corolla 4.370 mm 1.790 mm 1.435 mm 2.640 mm

If we take a look at the table above, we quickly see that the Mazda3 is considerably longer than the Toyota Corolla. The dimensions of width and height are practically identical, while the wheelbase is considerably higher in the case of the Mazda. This, a priori, should mean that the Mazda3 is more spacious.

However, once we sit in the rear seats of both models, we see that none is particularly wide. In fact, both are below the category average. This supposes a special negative point in the case of the Mazda, since its battle is very extended and the total length of the exterior is one of the largest in the C segment, that of the compact ones.

In both cars, the rear seats are fair both in space for the knees and for the head. Four adults of about 1,75 tall can ride, but not with the comfort of rival models. In addition, in the case of the Mazda we have a much reduced glass surface due to the design of the bodywork, which further reduces the feeling of spaciousness.


Mazda3 5 doors trunk

Trunk of the Mazda3 5 doors.

Trunk of the Toyota Corolla 5 doors

Trunk of the Toyota Corolla 5 doors.

Shall we go to the trunks? I start with the Mazda 3, because with the Toyota I have to explain a curiosity. In the case of Mazda, the 5-door body cubic 358 liters. As with the space of the rear seats, if we take into account its total length, it is very little trunk volume. The four-door sedan body has a boot lid and offers 450 litres, making it a better option if cargo space is important to the customer.

What is peculiar about the cargo volume of the Toyota Corolla? Well, it depends not only on the bodywork, but also on the engine. Yes, depending on the chosen engine we will have more or less trunk. Then I leave you a table with the volume depending on the bodywork and the equipped engine.

1.8 Hybrid 125H 2.0 Hybrid 180H
1.8 Hybrid 125H 2.0 Hybrid 180H
5 doors 361 liters 313 liters
touringsports 598 liters 581 liters
Sedan 471 liters non-market version

As you can see, with the more powerful engine, the trunk of the 5-door bodywork is considerably reduced. From my point of view, if we want the 180-horsepower engine, it is highly recommended to purchase the Touring Sports body.

Bodywork offer

As we have already mentioned, the Mazda3 is marketed in two bodies and the Toyota Corolla in three. In the case of the Mazda we have a five-door variant and a four-door variant., having no place for a family body.

In turn, the Toyota Corolla enjoys the variants of 5 doors, Sedan and the familiar Touring Sports. In addition, we must add the Trek version based on the station wagon, which brings a more country aesthetic although its possibilities outside the asphalt are minimal. In fact, it doesn't even have all-wheel drive.

Mechanics Offer

All the mechanical differences between both models are very notable in our country. The Mazda3 offers two gasoline engines and one diesel, while the Toyota Corolla is only marketed with non-plug-in hybrid engines and therefore carries the DGT Eco label. Regarding the Mazda, the gasoline engines have a microhybrid support, for which it also receives the Eco environmental label. Let's see:

Mazda3 engines

Mazda3 dynamic sedan rear

Denomination Fuel Number of cylinders Displacement Power
Denomination Fuel Number of cylinders Displacement Power
2.0 Skyactiv-G Petrol 4 cylinder 1.998 cc. 122 CV
2.0 Skyactiv-X Petrol 4 cylinder 1.998 cc. 180 CV
1.8 Skyactiv-D Diesel 4 cylinder 1.759 cc. 116 CV

The gasoline engines are atmospheric, that is, they do not have a turbo. Of them, the Skyactiv-X also stands out, and not only because of its greater power. It is a gasoline mechanic with a high compression ratio and that in certain circumstances does not use the spark from the spark plug to ignite the mixture in the combustion chamber. In the following link we leave you information about this mechanic.

Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv-X Engine
Related article:
First official data of the Skyactiv-X engine that the Mazda3 will soon release

Toyota Corolla engines

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports TREK

Denomination Fuel Number of cylinders Displacement Power
Denomination Fuel Number of cylinders Displacement Power
1.8 Hybrid 125H Gasoline (Hybrid) 4 cylinder 1.798 cc. 122 CV
2.0 Hybrid 180H Gasoline (Hybrid) 4 cylinder 1.987 cc. 180 CV

The Toyota Corolla is marketed with these two non-plug-in hybrid drives. The 125H gives 122 hp of maximum power; while the 180H develops 180 hp. Both are necessarily linked to an automatic change e-CVT.

dynamic behavior

It is time to move on to the driving impressions section and evaluate the dynamic behavior. What car is better in the city? Which one defends itself better on the road? Which one do we have the best time with if we decide to practice fast driving? Which one has better overall driving feel?

Throughout this comparison we have seen that these two compact cars in the C segment have very large differences in some sections, while in others they are more even. Within the driving impressions there are quite a few differences.

Toyota Corolla Sport Touring

The Toyota Corolla is an easier car to drive when it comes to wandering around because it comes standard with a automatic change type eCVT. It is progressive, easy to dose, soft and pleasant in the city. Loitering also has the advantage that it has a larger glass surface, and that is not one of those that offers more visibility from the inside, but the Mazda is very bad in that sense.

However, if we forget about outward visibility, the Mazda3 is also a very pleasant car to drive in the city. It has a very successful clutch and brake feel, the steering wheel is very pleasant and the feel of the manual transmission is the best in the entire C segment. It does not have very long routes, the inserts are slightly noticeable, it is precise. A manual change is not uncomfortable at all, although logically it is always easier to drive an automatic car.

Regarding the thrusters, the two gasoline engines are atmospheric. This has a clear advantage over turbo engines, which is that they are more instantaneous and, above all, smooth. That smoothness stands out especially in the city, where we do not need large reserves of torque or power. But they also have disadvantages.

Mazda3 5 doors side

The main drawback is that they have less torque and, in addition, the maximum figure is obtained at a high rpm. This means that the engine must be revved more when we want strong acceleration, something that is especially noticeable on fast roads, climbing a mountain pass or in acceleration lanes.

Since the Corolla is automatic, it does it on its own when we hit the gas hard. However, as a general rule, this sound and operation are not liked. In the manual Mazda 3 we will have to resort more than normal to the gear lever. It gives the impression that she "does not run". On a hill on a motorway, it may be that we have to reduce a couple of gears to maintain a speed of 120 km/h, which may seem to more than one person to “force the engine”. In short, we do not have to mind playing with the change or, on the other hand, it will be more interesting to acquire it with the automatic transmission.

Regarding the consumptions, the two models show that they are not “gastonous” cars. The Toyota stands out for its efficiency, especially in the city, which is where the electric motor works the most with the thermal engine off. Of the Mazda it is striking that it has such efficient gasoline engines despite its large displacement and the absence of a turbo. With both cars you can easily get averages of less than 6 litres.

Leaving aside the engine, personally I like the touch and behavior of the Mazda3 much more than the Toyota Corolla. Without being a sports car and maintaining a high level of comfort, the Mazda3 offers a much more direct response and conveys more information. The steering is fast and precise, the suspensions are somewhat stiff but at the same time comfortable, the feel of the change is very good, the braking is dosed very well, etc. It's a great set. It is a pity that due to its engines it seems that "it does not work".

And with that said, it's not that the Corolla is bad. Not much less. But it is a model that does not convey the same impressions as the Mazda. This Toyota is more filtered, not quite as precise, and the suspension allows for a little more lean. The address also has no feedback and is not as precise. In any case, drivers who are not passionate about driving will not miss it.

Test Mazda3 2019
Related article:
Test Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 CV Zenith Safety Black (with video)
Test Toyota Corolla Touring Sports
Related article:
Test Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 2.0 hybrid 180H (with video)

Security systems

These two Japanese cars can count on a wide range of active safety systems and driving assistants. Some of them are: adaptive speed control with recognition of road signs, involuntary lane departure alert, LED headlights with long automatics, adaptive lights, rain sensor, parking assistance, blind spot control or automatic emergency braking.

As usual, the higher the level of finish, the more attendees we receive.

EuroNCAP results

The two protagonist models of this comparison underwent the EuroNCAP crash tests in 2019. Both managed to obtain the maximum score in number of stars, that is, the two cars took the five stars EuroNCAP.

Mazda3 Toyota Corolla
Mazda3 Toyota Corolla
Adult Occupants 98% 95%
Child Occupants 87% 84%
Pedestrians 81% 86%
Active Security 73% 77%

In the table above we can see that the difference in safety in all aspects according to the EuroNCAP body is very slight. The Mazda scores slightly higher for adult and child occupant protection, while the Toyota scores slightly higher for pedestrian crash protection and driver assistance and active safety systems. As I say, the difference is minimal and much less is it a reason to choose one vehicle or another.


And now let's take a look at the starting prices of these two models of segment C. An access Mazda 3 -Origin finish and Skyactiv-G engine- has a rate of 23.985 euros. For its part, the most accessible Toyota Corolla -Business finish and 125H engine- costs 24.200 euros.

If we go to more interesting versionsFor my part, I would opt for a Mazda3 with the Skyactiv-X engine, 5-door bodywork and Evolution X finish. It is priced at 29.185 euros and has more than good equipment. In the case of the Toyota Corolla, I would go for the Touring Sports body, the 180H engine and the Feel! trim level. Its official price without discounts is 31.350 euros.

In any case and, as we always say, when talking about prices it is best to contact the commercial agents and see what real conditions each one offers us -especially when we plan to finance-, and then calculate how much money we are really going to pay for our car.


Mazda3 bodies 5 doors and sedan

The three bodies of the Toyota Corolla

The Mazda3 and the Toyota Corolla, despite having close origins and belonging to the same market segment, have different approaches. However, it may be that some customers have that debate about whether to bet on greater quality and elegance or, on the contrary, resort to popularity with hybrid mechanics and better use of space.

I believe that if the large interior and trunk space is not a priority and other aspects are valued more, such as driving dynamics, interior quality or aesthetics, the Mazda 3 is a better option than the Corolla. For its part, the Toyota is not emotional when driving or in design, but it is true that its greater space and hybrid technology will convince customers who want a car with a more ecological image.

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 180H Feel!
Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 180H Feel!
Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 HP Zenith
Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv-G 122 HP Zenith
4.5 star rating4.5 star rating
22.100 a 29.45023.415 a 34.765
  • Exterior design
    Publisher: 80%
  • interior design
    Publisher: 60%
  • front seats
    Publisher: 60%
  • rear seats
    Publisher: 65%
  • Trunk
    Publisher: 75%
  • Spring Suspension
    Publisher: 70%
  • Consumption
    Publisher: 90%
  • Comfort
    Publisher: 85%
  • Price
    Publisher: 75%
  • Exterior design
    Publisher: 95%
  • interior design
    Publisher: 90%
  • front seats
    Publisher: 75%
  • rear seats
    Publisher: 60%
  • Trunk
    Publisher: 50%
  • Spring Suspension
    Publisher: 80%
  • Consumption
    Publisher: 85%
  • Comfort
    Publisher: 85%
  • Price
    Publisher: 75%

other rivals

The C segment, that of the compact, is one of the most populated. If we talk about rivals, these two cars can fight face to face with models like the Renault Mégane, Seat Leon, Volkswagen Golf, Mercedes A-Class, BMW Serie 1, Ford Focus o Hyundai i30 among others. For interior quality, the Mazda3 is closer to the premium models, while the Toyota Corolla is located with the more general brands. Another non-plug-in hybrid of similar size is the Hyundai Ioniq.

Botton line

Mazda3 Positive Points

  • internal quality
  • dynamic behavior

Bad points Mazda3

  • Interior space
  • Power delivery in gasoline engines (because they are atmospheric)

Positive points Toyota Corolla

  • Driving comfort and smoothness
  • Ease and smoothness of use in the city

Negative points Toyota Corolla

  • Interior qualities and improved infotainment
  • trunk capacity

Gallery Mazda3

Gallery Toyota Corolla

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