Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2014 Mazda 3 VS Corolla gas mileage?

I find Mazda 3’s give better or same gas mileage but certainly more horse power - how did they do it?

Corolla: 1.8 engine, 132HP, about 28/38
Mazda 3:
2 to 2.5 lits; 155 to 180HP, 28/38-41

How did they do?

We have a 2007 Corolla with the standard engine and a 2012 Mazda3 with the standard engine. The gas mileage is virtually identical. However, a 2014 Mazda3 with the Sky-Active direct injection engine will give better mileage that the smaller Toyota engine without direct injection. The main reason is the much higher compression ratio of the Mazda engine giving more horsepower for the same amount of fuel used. Think of a direct injection engine as halfway towards a diesel.

Interesting! Thanks for sharing
Why do u say “halfway towards a diesel”?

Is Honda doing anything like this?

Also, the transmission on the 2012 Mazda is a 6 speed auto. My 2010 Corolla is a 4 speed auto.

Gearing has much to do with economy as any other single factor with ICE motors. That’s why cvt s tend to do a better job with economy and with a larger number of gear selections…the motor tends to work in it’s most efficient range.

@sciconf A diesel may have a compression ratio of 17 to 1 or better, while a gasoline without direct injection may have 9+ to 1 or so. A gasoline engine with direct injection can have a 13 to 1 ratio, making the combustion process much more efficient.

The final gearing is important as well, the 4 speed Corolla and the 6 speed Mazda are both in overdrive at highway speed.

The super economy model Corolla has a CVT to get more mpg.

Most car manufacturers are going to direct injection, Honda has some models and Hyundai and Kia both have direct injection engines.

Toyota is a bit of a laggard in this respect, but they are ultra conservative when introducing new designs.

“Toyota is a bit of a laggard in this resect, but they are ultra conservative when introducing new designs.”

Which is why their reliability tends to be so good…

“Which is why their reliability tends to be so good…”

+1 for VDCdriver because “tried and true” wins hands down every time when it comes to reliability.

Do both engines do ok on 87 octane? Sometimes higher compression requires that a higher grade of gasoline. In which case the cost per mile is the number to go on, not just mpg. Higher compressions tend to stress the head gasket and cooling system more, so those are other issues to consider when making engine comparisons. I don’t recall seeing many complaints about those from Mazda owners here though.

…they are ultra conservative when introducing new designs…" Ie. Toyota.
Well, yes and no. Toyota was one of the first manufacturers to introduce DOHC and variable valve timing throughout their entire line many years ago. They also made traction stability control standard throughout their SUV line, years ahead of most. I know the motor in my truck was in use over twelve years ago but the comparable motors in midsize trucks have lagged waaaay behind Toyota, literally forever until This model year. They introduce technology that has proven reliability right off after their endurance testing. They are reluctant to throw direct injection in their till now for two reasons. It has associated reliability problems that have to be worked out and it’s an expense vs performance that must pay off for them.

And…talk about technology. how many years has the rest of the automotive world been behind the Prius. This car has been around forever and only recently has Ford come up with a hybrid to equal it’s performance. The hybrid Camry and Hylander were trend setters and no hybrid SUV from anyone else is on the horizon with comparable performance and reliability.

What they do lag behind in is glitz. I got a ride home yesterday from a friend with his 2014 Chevy Silveado. The dash board was a virtual Christmas tree compared to Toyotas sedate and unobtrusive lighting. For the most part, the technology IS there but it’s below the surface and reliable. For most of a model run, they are technologically more advanced than most and only lag as the others catch up near the end of a run. Then, they leap frog the competition again for the next half dozen to ten years.

I’m sort of a Luddite about electronic-gadget technology in cars, prefer as little as possible b/c when it fails it is usually problematic, time consuming, and expensive to fix. And often it can’t be fixed at all. But I have to say I was having some work done by a building contractor over the summer and he had one of those Chevy Silverados. Wow, it was really impressive to ride along with the contractor and see the dashboard. It was even fun stepping in, as it had this sort of step on the side to make it easy. Much easier to step into the Silverado than my 4x4 truck. And wow, the seats and suspension was great too, a very smooth ride.

And this contractor made use of many of these gadgets to his benefit. Due to the nature of his work, he had to drive to different unfamiliar addresses all the time, every day almost, so he’d just punch the next address into the dashboard, and a voice would tell him which way to turn at each corner.

And he’d be able to take phone calls while driving (hands free) from the dashboard. One time I was riding along the voice was saying “turn right … etc”, meanwhile a vendor called and said they couldnt’ deliver a load of supplies the next morning as he requested b/c everybody in the yard was taking the afternoon off. This contractor, he didn’t even blink an eye; while driving, following the computer direction voice, he just said “Really? Do you want me to use a different supplier then?”. Voices heard in the background, a certain amount of yelling and questionable adult phrases … the load was delivered by the original vendor’s work crew at 7:30 am the next morning, he was able to negotiate this entire deal while commuting to the next address! For him all this technology worked well for him, b/c this contractor, unlike most contractors I’ve worked with, he’d always arrive 15 minutes earlier than when he said.

So I guess what all this means is that sometimes, for certain situations, a boat load of technology in the car is definitely worthwhile.

Before the corolla CVT was introduced, the outdated Corolla with a 4 speed auto, well behind everyone else in transmission technology, was the six leading car in sales ahead of all other compacts. When Corolla introduces a cvt, they are not going to just throw out the 4speed and use the cvt throughout the line. That’s why they still offer it. It still sells on the lower models and had less to do with technology then it does sales. When customers start buying up the cvt in exclusion of their low end, you can bet it will then move throughout. That’s why technology doesn’t often permeate directly through a line right off. Guys like us still like older stuff and it takes time. We don’t want to see new stuff all the time.

If I could I’d buy a car with no abs. I do like auto transmission. The fewer bells and whistles the less to break.

CVTs do fantastic in EPA numbers but show no or little improvement in real world driving because people tend to step harder on the gas to get the car moving.

Mazda designed the Skyactiv engine to have the high compression but still be able to run just fine on regular gas. From the hatchbacks we considered and sadly had to reject for my mom in 2009 Mazda has improved their mileage by at least10mpg even with the 2.5 engine. She wanted to replace her '90 Protoge which had been extremely reliable but was no longer comfortable enough but the mileage rating for the 3 hatch in 2009 was too much of a downgrade for her. But in hindsight i think she really always just wanted the Prius which is what she bought.

Toyota makes great cars for the average buyer, Mazda has for some time tried to balance mileage and fun with reliability that for the group of family and friends who own late model mazda’s is just as good as Honda or Toyota. Others may not have the same experience.

Reading most of the posts:

  1. if u want a strip down version, get a Scion XB, boxy - per Consumer Reports
  2. As much as love my vintage 1987 Acura Integra (a motorbike on 4 wheels), I love gas efficiency - Toyota brought CVT a long ago when Prius was a prototype - it is a shame to realize that they lagged so badly
  3. Just called Honda - their 2015 are all on CVT - apparently they do not have the direct fuel injection
  4. Am I correct that the Mazda engines are more gas efficient than any other latest cars (pls consider the HP it produces too)?

PS: It sometimes sounds weird to think that you are carrying batteries in electirc cars and running around - at the same time, for short commute, the gas engine works very hard and therefore burns more fuel (not good). Chevy Volt prob has the best technology.

“… apparently [Honda does] not have the direct fuel injection”

The 2015 Fit has direct fuel injection.

I think the 40 mpg Accord does according to CR does too.

My question is whether CVT & DI are considered to be true & tested and that is why we are seeing them more, OR it is just the CAFE standards pushing for it and we are going to be stuck with big repair bills esp after 100K miles.

Toyota can get away with it. The engine is competitive MPG(nothing else) and works okay for their target buyers in this class. Corolla has a name and the engine fills the shoes. I rented the new one and compared to Mazda 3 for the money the Corolla was outclassed.

Mazda has to be something different and has successfully made a very desirable vehicle with higher MPG AND driving dynamics. They are gaining market share but not a household name. Reliability time will tell…