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September 9, 2019

2020 Toyota Corolla Altis vs Mazda3 vs Honda Civic vs Subaru Impreza vs MG 6

Forget crossovers, SUVs, and pickups for a minute—there’s a compact car war brewing resulting in a wider, more competitive range of choices. Starting with the arrival of the refreshed Civic early this year, the battlefield is now joined by two other compact car stalwarts: the 2020 Mazda3 and 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis. All these tables are high-res, so feel free to download them (please, no cropping of the watermark though...we know who does this).

Until such time when we can bring these compacts for an on-road comparo, here’s how they stack up on paper. In this multi-panel comparo, we first look at how the Corolla Altis, Honda Civic, and Subaru Impreza compare dimensionally.

Here, the Mazda3 shows that it’s slightly longer (with a longer wheelbase) than the rest. However, this doesn’t translate into interior room, where the Civic, and surprisingly, the Impreza beat out the Mazda3 and Corolla Altis in front room. The Toyota though exacts its revenge in rear legroom, beating even the voluminous Civic by 102 mm. Even without a tape measure, the Mazda3’s rear quarters are tight, but getting the exact measurements reveal it’s 35 mm smaller than the next smallest entry (Impreza) and a whopping 160 mm smaller than the Corolla Altis.

Next up, we pit the Corolla Altis 1.6 V against three others in the same price range: the Mazda3 1.5 Premium, Honda Civic 1.8 E, a wildcard, the MG 6 Trophy. Now, while the Corolla Altis shares its price with the Civic, it does manage to outgun the Mazda3 and Civic in almost every department—a clear indication that Toyota’s done their homework this time around. It also shows that, without a doubt, Toyota sees a bulk of Corolla Altis sales in this segment.

As we go higher up to compact cars in the P 1.5 million price range, the Corolla Altis 1.8 V Hybrid finds itself against some healthy competition: the Mazda3 2.0 Premium, Honda Civic RS Turbo, and the wildcard of the bunch, the Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S. Apart from the uniqueness of that hybrid powertrain, Mazda has successfully turned the tables here by being the most loaded in terms of luxury, convenience, and safety features. It’s the only one in the bunch to offer a premium sound system (a 12-speaker Bose system), a full-featured infotainment system, and even a full suite of driver assist tech. Sadly for Honda, it also shows how the Civic RS Turbo is simply outgunned in terms of features, beaten even by the Subaru.

Whatever you choose, it’s pretty obvious that buyers will be spoilt for choice. The resurgence in the compact sedan market is very welcome, especially for those who don’t want to ride the crossover or SUV wave just yet.


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