Suppose $M$ is a hyperbolic $3$manifold whose fundamental group has rank $r.$ What is the best (lower) bound on the volume of $M?$ Similar question for rank of $H_1.$ There is a bunch of papers of Culler and Shalen on related subjects, but they seem to care about "small" manifolds, whereas this question is more on the asymptotic dependence.
In Counting arithmetic lattices and surfaces, Mikhail Belolipetsky, Tsachik Gelander, Alex Lubotzky and Aner Shalev prove the following Theorem.
Applying this to $SO(1,3)$ gives $\mathrm{vol}(M) \ge 1/C\cdot r(\pi_1(M))$ in your case. 

