Skip to main content

In a showdown of affordable hatchbacks, the 2024 Mazda3 Hathback and 2023 Toyota Corolla hatch bring a lot to the table. But once you dig a little deeper, it isn’t hard to see which of these hatches comes out on top.

Which hatchback has more cargo space?

The hallmark of any good hatchback is its versatility. On that front, the 2024 Mazda3 Hatchback clearly pulls ahead of the Toyota Corolla hatch. Per Edmunds, the Mazda features 20.1 cubic feet of cargo room — 2.5 cubes over the Toyota. That’s enough room for an additional duffel bag, which might be important if you’ve got five occupants on board.

Ranking back seat passenger space

Speaking of versatility, measuring the back seat space of the 2024 Mazda3 Hatchback and 2023 Toyota Corolla hatch once again tips the scales toward the Mazda. At 35.1 inches of rear legroom, the Mazda3 hatchback has over five inches more space than the Corolla hatch. In the Mazda, adults can comfortably fit in the back seat. In the Toyota, however, it’s hard for even teenagers to find legroom behind the front seats.

Comparing performance in the 2024 Mazda3 and 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchbacks

Blue 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback next to building
2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback | Toyota

Under the hood, the 2024 Mazda3 offers two different powertrain options. The standard setup is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder putting out 191 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the Mazda3 Turbo adds forced induction to that 2.5-liter setup. That arrangement is good for 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. In addition, the Mazda3 offers an all-wheel drive option for greater versatility.

Looking at the 2023 Toyota Corolla hatch, you’ll have much less power at your disposal. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the only option for the Toyota hatchback. That setup offers 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, putting it behind even the base 2024 Mazda3 hatchback. For a turbocharged experience, the GR Corolla is available as a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbo. This rally-bred hot hatch is good for 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Importantly, that hatch is both all-wheel drive and manual-only as a result of its rally-inspired roots.

Finding the most versatile entry-level hatchback in 2023

2023 Mazda3 Red
2023 Mazda3 | Mazda

For starters, the added cargo and passenger space makes the Mazda hatchback a more versatile compact than its Toyota rival. If the mark of a quality hatchback is its ability to handle anything, there’s no doubt that the Mazda is a winner.

Furthermore, both the 3 and the Corolla hatch come with a host of advanced driver assistance features. The Toyota offers active lane tracing that the Mazda does not. However, basic features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise are standard on both models.

Finally, there is overall comfort. The Toyota Corolla hatchback is a comfortable ride. However, the Mazda3 offers both more space and higher-quality materials overall. Even in the base model, the Mazda3 feels like a luxury car. As good as the Corolla Hatch might be, it’s outclassed by the Mazda model at every level.

Value for money: Is the Mazda3 hatch a better value than the Toyota Corolla hatch?

On pure dollars, the 2023 Toyota Corolla hatchback starts at $23,155, versus nearly $26,000 for the Mazda3. However, what you get for that extra cash makes the 2024 Mazda3 Hatchback a better overall value.

Related The Cheapest 2024 Mazda3 Comes with More Features Than You Expect for Under $25,000

The Cheapest 2024 Mazda3 Comes with More Features Than You Expect for Under $25,000