Product Reviews

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Face-Off: Mazda3 vs. Toyota Corolla

Both cars are being redesigned, so expect good deals on outgoing versions

Mazda3 vs. Toyota Corolla.

The Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla are both excellent compact sedans, and all-new versions of each are going on sale later this year. That means now is a great time to buy the leftover, previous-generation models, because they’re good cars and because dealers should be willing to negotiate pricing to clean out their old inventory.

It’s often a smart choice to buy the final model year of a car rather than a car in its first year of a redesign. The older a car is, the more likely it is that any kinks have been worked out. New versions often have some reliability teething pains.

More Compact Sedan road tests

With their high Overall Scores and test scores, the Mazda3 and Corolla match up well. Their different engine and transmission combinations are fuel-efficient, they are similarly sized, and they have nearly the same weight. Both cars have also proved to be very reliable, according to our annual survey of CR members. Despite that, there are still plenty of distinct characteristics that set them apart.

The Mazda3 is the sportier of the two; it’s available in sedan and hatchback body styles. The Corolla is a more restrained-looking car whose function trumps style. (We aren’t talking in this comparison about the Toyota Corolla Hatchback on sale now. That car uses a new platform, which the redesigned Corolla sedan will get when it arrives later this year.)

We take an in-depth look at these two models by comparing how each fared in CR’s testing and surveys. And we let you know which of these end-of-generation sedans buyers should choose.

The Case for the Mazda3