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Mazda Protege5 vs. Honda Civic

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Comments

  • smashersmasher Posts: 31
    Oh, me, too. The Civic hatch (Si or not) is much more interesting than the sedan or coupe. The Civic (and Corolla) have gotten SO boring lately--which is a shame, because the Civic used to be a really unique-looking car. Now it looks like everything else.

    I think if they brought over the 5-door they'd have a real contender for what's now being called the "crossover" market. A 5-door Civic would be a strong alternative to the Matrix/Vibe, Focus ZX5, or even the P5. If they'd offered one here I would have seriously considered it when I was shopping.

    I wouldn't be suprised if they brought it over here at some point, though they may think it'd crowd into the CR-V's market.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    You can have an Si + $8K+ in mods or you can have a Mazdaspeed.

    You can have an Si + $5K+ in mods or you can have an R/T.

    I just love the Si seats. Get into some g, and they are even better. As important perhaps, my most frequent passenger is no thrill seeker; yet she feels perfectly confident with my driving (in those seats).
    Great seats. (Great woman.)
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Unfortunately, they don't make a Mazdaspeed Protege5.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I know; and I think it's unfortunate, too.

    I was responding to Smasher's: "Again, I think these may be two different markets: the Si may be closer to a Mazdaspeed Protege, or a
    Dodge Neon SRT-4. But to play in that pack, the Si needs better handling and roadholding. I personally want something a little less aggressive than that, a little more refined, a little more practical."
    I'm just making the point that is doesn't make a difference what segment the Si is compared in, if you're counting cost in the comparison the Si has quite an edge.
    Want luxo, spend on luxo. Want performance, spend on performance.
    Comes out the same moneywise.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    That was my whole point with the depreciation. You only get to take advantage of depreciation when you sell the car. While you have it, the Si costs about the same as a Protege5. You don't get as much back when you sell the Protege5 in 5 years (assuming Honda resale values continue to be high), but, in the mean time, the cost to own is about the same.

    As for the MS Protege, you can add $8000 in mods to the Si, but it won't be covered by a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty. With the MS Protege, you are paying for a tuner car that is supported by the manufacturer. A good example of this from Honda is the Civic typeR which Honda doesn't bother to sell here. I suspect it would cost more than the MS Protege, perhaps in the RSX price range. I think Honda doesn't bring sell the typeR in the US, so it doesn't compete with the RSX. That is too bad for Honda enthusiasts.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I think you're right about a lot of this.

    My point is that if you don't take the costs into account, the comparisons are spurious - like comparing a 'Vette, an S2000, and a Miata.
  • jadams6jadams6 Posts: 9
    Firstly, thanks to all those who responded to my post on other boards (which may have inadvertently led to the creation of this board!). I have just come in from test driving the Civic LX-Sport again (Canadian trim line - highest of the Civic trims, not sure what the equivalent would be in the US) and here are my (hopefully) final impressions:

    - though I have no doubt re: the durability/reliability of the car, it really just didn't do anything for me this time (now that I've test driven the P5). I felt like a responsible adult on my way to run errands....of course, not a bad thing at all, but just doesn't register on the excitment scale.

    - why do the salespeople only want to talk about reliability and resale value (I've been to four different Honda dealerships and this seems to be the standard line)....aren't there any other attributes/selling points of the Honda worth mentioning...now that Mazda and other makers are pretty much on par in terms of build quality and reliability, you'd think they'd want to focus on something else.....I mean, when I mentioned that the other car in the running for me was the Protege 5, the salesperson acknowledged that "Proteges were ranked slightly higher than Civics, but Civics' reliability couldn't be beat". Oh really?!?!?

    - the Civic was definitely quieter than the P5, but could this be the result of the smaller engine/less horsepower (4-door Civics all only have 115hp and a 1.7l engine...I think you can get up to 127hp in the 2 door coupe where of course the P5 has a 2.0l engine with 130hp)? Perhaps also the smaller wheels (15" on the Civic) made it quieter? I would think yes, but I don't know that much about the inner workings of cars...

    - thought that the Civic dash was set a little far to the right....I'm not of small stature, but found I really had to stretch to reach the buttons on the right hand side of the radio

    - I did like the flat back floor on the Civic (no bump in the middle)

    - Can't count the number of Civics on the road...sign of a good quality car maker, or just the shepherd with his/her sheep? Hence, I'm in fear of the "baaaaa factor".....

    - I know that next year, Mazda is coming out with the MP3 - resign for both the sedan and the P5 (so I've been told). That being the case, as some people have mentioned in other boards, the P5 could become rare bird since it would have only been in production for three years ( I think - 2000-2003?). Who knows if the P5 will become a collectors' piece, but does anyone foresee any problems down the road (like in 5-10 years) with a car that was only in production for three years....I believe the sedan and P5 share almost everything with the exception of a few options/accessories and of course, exterior styling, so I wouldn't think servicing would be a problem down the road, but again, what do I know...

    - one more question...age factor. I'm a 33 year old single chick, and think that I looked (and felt) pretty good when I test drove the P5...but will I still look good when I'm 43 and still in this car...will child seats look funny in this car...and who is this car aimed to? When I test drove the car, the guy in the car behind me (must have been in his early-to-mid twenties and was driving a 90s Honda Civic coupe) definitely was checking the car out when he pulled up beside me...This could be good or bad.....

    - so overall, I see it like this:

    responsible decision=Civic
    - proven car, excellent crash test ratings, will likely be okay if I'm ever hauling kids around, would likely get a couple more bucks for it in 2013 when I want to sell, looks okay (though looks like everything else)

    fun decision=P5
    - definitely had more fun driving it, liked the interior better (maybe just 'cause I'm used to it as I drive a '99 Protege sedan now), not crazy about the exterior yet, but feel it will grow on me, will more than likely be a better price than the Civic, concerned however about the lack of crash test results (noted as not tested on the NHSTA website, but I would think its performance would be comparable to the sedan which did almost as well as the Civic?), will have to launch a major PR campaign to convince friends and family why I chose it over the Civic

    Anyway, sorry to be long (haven't had power for a couple of days so am getting it all out here!), but again, any comments would be appreciated....I'd like to make the final decision next week so I can take delivery of the car (which ever it is) before the end of the month.

    Thanks.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    "responsible decision=Civic"

    Huh? Sorry I don't get why you say this.

    For me responsible decision=Civic or Protege

    Do you REALLY think Civics are a better car quality-wise than Proteges ever since the 2001 redesign of the Civic? What makes you say so if you answered yes? Yes you see LOTS of Civics everywhere, as you see LOTS of Cavaliers/Sunfires/Corollas and I wouldn't even want to test drive one of those.

    You said you were concerned with parts being available down the road. As you mentionned the 2001-2003 PRO 2.0 LX and ES engines are the same as in the P5 and the interior is the same as the ES sedan. Only question would be body pannels - let's hope we won't need that.

    Dinu
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    The Protege5 arrives to the NA market from April 2001: that's 2002 model (like mine.) So this model has less than three year of life span indeed.

    The lastest crashtest of the Protege Sedan by NSHTA is with an old model that is no longer for sale, not to mention how it could be related to the Protege5.

    I think car manufacturers *must* ensure to be able in providing parts of a specific model many years after the end of its production. I don't have the exact number, but it could be 20 years or something like that.

    What ever you decide, good luck.

    Bruno

    PS: please don't use "MP3" for the upcoming Mazda3, since coincidently, "MP3" is the name of another defunct animal from Mazda. It's rather confusing for us.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    The Protege5 has actually been produced overseas as the Familia and 323 5-door hatchback as long as the current generation Protege (since 1999). It uses many of the same parts as the Protege Sedan. The 2.0L engine was used in the 626 for many years before it made its way into the Protege family. Parts availability should not be a concern.
  • smashersmasher Posts: 31
    I'll take (most) of your points one by one. (I've edited them down for space.)

    > - though I have no doubt re: the [Civic's] durability/reliability...

    If you look at the numbers, Protege/Protege5 reliability should be on par with Honda. Either way you'll be getting a very dependable, reliable car. I wouldn't sweat reliability as an issue with either car.

    > - why do the [Honda] salespeople only want to talk about reliability and resale value ....aren't there any other attributes/selling points of the Honda worth mentioning...

    Um.... I hate to say it, but maybe not. Yes, they're reliable. Yes, they're well engineered. Yes, they have good resale value. But the Civic/Accord don't really have much in the way of excitement, and it seems all the personality has been engineered out of them.

    > - the Civic was definitely quieter than the P5...

    Tire/wheel combination can have a lot to do with it. A lot of things factor into noise: wheel/tire combination, engine/transmission design, sound deadening materials, airflow characteristics.

    The P5 does have a bit of tire noise on some surfaces; can't say whether it's more or less than the Civic. Probably more.

    Engine noise isn't too bad; I kind of like the growl in the exhaust note. Any compact car in this price range is going to have some noise.

    > - thought that the Civic dash was set a little far to the right....I'm not of small stature, but found I really had to stretch to reach the buttons on the right hand side of the radio

    I felt this way when I test drove the Civic Si, and I have gorilla arms.

    > - Can't count the number of Civics on the road...sign of a good quality car maker, or just the shepherd with his/her sheep? Hence, I'm in fear of the "baaaaa factor".....

    I think there's a bit of a baaaa factor. Civics and Corollas have the small car "mind share" that the Protege doesn't. When people think "reliable compact sedan" they think Corolla and Civic.

    I wouldn't have even bothered looking at the P5 unless a friend of mine suggested it. I hadn't even considered Mazda until this guy mentioned them, because it had never occurred to me to try them out. Now I own a P5.

    > - ... does anyone foresee any problems down the road (like in 5-10 years) with a car that was only in production for three years....

    No, because nearly all the internal parts (drivetrain, suspension, brakes, electrical system, etc.) are common to the Protege ES, and many of the components have a pedigree going back years.
    > - ...age factor. I'm a 33 year old single chick, and think that I looked (and felt) pretty good when I test drove the P5...but will I still look good when I'm 43 and still in this car...will child seats look funny in this car...and who is this car aimed to?

    I think the intended demographic is single men in their 20's and 30's, but don't let that stop you. I've read a number of posts from owners (men and women) saying that it makes a great small family car, with plenty of room for kids and their stuff (carriages, safety seats, diaper bags, etc.). Interior space is on par with or better than the Civic/Corolla. Trunk space is very good for a car this size, and of course you have the added bonus of a hatchback configuration for more flexible cargo carrying.

    - so overall, I see it like this:

    responsible decision=Civic
    - proven car, excellent crash test ratings, will likely be okay if I'm ever hauling kids around, would likely get a couple more bucks for it in 2013 when I want to sell, looks okay (though looks like everything else)

    P5 is on par with Civic on reliability. Depreciation is probably better on the Civic, but it evens out the longer you keep the car. A used car's value is heavily dependent on how well it's been maintained.

    > fun decision=P5
    > - definitely had more fun driving it, liked the interior better (maybe just 'cause I'm used to it as I drive a '99 Protege sedan now),

    ...and would you buy another Mazda, based on your experience? Are you happy with that car, or has it given you trouble?

    > not crazy about the exterior yet, but feel it will grow on me, will more than likely be a better price than the Civic...

    I had my doubts about it when I first looked at the P5, but the style has really grown on me. It's of course totally subjective.

    As far as practicality is concerned, the Honda will probably get slightly better gas mileage, but the P5 has the hatchback layout.

    >... concerned however about the lack of crash test results (noted as not tested on the NHSTA website, but I would think its performance would be comparable to the sedan which did almost as well as the Civic?),

    Yes. This isn't an afterthought body design; it's been sold in other markets for years. Protege sedan performance should be on par with the P5 for most common crash tests (front, side, front/side). Don't know about the rear, though.

    > will have to launch a major PR campaign to convince friends and family why I chose it over the Civic.

    Cancel out reliability as a deciding factor for both cars; it'll be on par for both.

    Civic advantages:
     - better resale value (?)
     - slightly better gas mileage

    P5 advangates:
     - more sporty (handling, steering, brakes)
     - hatchback body design
     -
  • jadams6jadams6 Posts: 9
    Thanks to all for the comments so far. Dinu, I don't have much history with the Civics, so can't really answer your question, but the reading I've done does support your point that the Civic redesign has resulted in some issues for the car.

    My '99 Protege has never given me one bit of trouble (only getting rid of it 'cause its leased), and love the fact that only one other person I know has one, but I thought I should investigate these Civics before I buy, because one does see a lot of them on the road and I've never heard one bad thing about this car....in fact I'm doing my negotiating through a car broker (can get into that on another board if necessary), and when I mentioned to him that the two cars in contention were the Civic and the Protege, his response was "well that's a no-brainer (his words), get the Civic". When I questioned him on his opinion, he did note that the Protege was "a good little car", but with the Civic, again it was all about reliability and resale value...sigh.

    In anycase, unless new information comes to light this week totally condemning the P5 (or I get a knockout deal on the Civic), I'll likely go with it...but will let you all know the end of the week...

    P.S. I've asked this question on another board, but will repeat quickly here in the hopes of guaranteeing an answer...I've read somewhere that with the keyless entry on the P5, press once and open the driver's door, press twice and open all doors, including the hatchback...is this right?

    Thanks.
  • smashersmasher Posts: 31
    > I've read somewhere that with the keyless entry on the P5, press once and open the driver's door, press twice and open all doors, including the hatchback...is this right?

    Yes.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Almost every time I've made a purchase (cars or otherwise) based on practicality alone, I end up regretting the decision later. The car you want to drive, is the car you should buy.

    My P5 is just about out of warranty (just shy of 50K), and as for reliability, I'm not worried at all. ;)
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    I don't think Civic LX-sport is the highest trim in Canada. I believe there is an equivalent of US EX being sold as Si with 127 hp, and US Si is sold under Si-R with 160 hp. Want more luxury you can get a Luxo Civic under Acura EL name, which is not evailable in US.

    Personally, I did not like the LX/EX trims being offered in the US and fell inlove with the Si. Fits me perfectly, and has the fun factor I have been looking for. I just wish Swindon, UK plant had better quality control. Buying a Japanese car I expect Japanese quality and attention to detail, or be at least on par with Liberty, OH/Alliston Ontario plants.

    If you relly like the P5 layout, check out Matrix/Vibe. I cross shopped them, but the Si came at a better price, when I compared Matrix XRS/Vibe GT with the Si. Ocasionally I regret not getting Matrix/Vibe, especially when I have people getting into the back seat. But 95% of the time it is just me driving.

    <>

    I assume you live in the south, because this past winter these all season tires did an excellent job of keeping the car on the road in all the snow storms we had. I would have liked to have stickier rubber for the summer, but have no means of having a winter and summer set of tires. I did put Yokohama Avid T4 on the CR-V, it greately improved wet/dry handling, but Yokohama's sucked really bad in the snow.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I am sorry to hear that your Si has build quality issues. As I have posted on other boards in the past, I found the 2003 EX I drove to be unfortunately full of build quality issues. It was built in OH IIRC. Panel gaps were almost Saturn sized. Paint grain was inconsistent. Some of the rubber molding around the windows was loose. I was truly disappointed by Honda's current offering. I did not look at the Si, but I thought perhaps it would have been better. I guess not. It is a shame that Honda's quality is suffering so after many years of being on top. The Odyssey/Pilot transmission problems alone have given Honda quite a black eye. I actually have a friend who purchased a Dodge Grand Caravan rather than an Odyssey because he was concerned about reliability after reading all of the problems Odyssey owners were having. Then you have Toyota and their engine sludge problem. Times have changed.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Times have changed but the majority of car buyers are not aware of these issues Honda and Toyota have and will continue to buy their products without investigating. When most people think H/T they think reliability, but they don't research it to know if it's true or not.

    Too many preconceived notions are hurting other manufacturers like Mazda.

    Dinu
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    So, I read the entire thread. And some people wonder why Honda sales people would stress their reliability and resale. I wonder why they wouldn't. Why in the world would they do anything but tout their strengths? You can point to recent problems Honda has had with the 2001 Civic but, what have they had since? Not much. If you buy a 2003 Civic, you're going to get one of the best built vehicles on the road. Much of the automotive press ripped the 2001 Civic, I remember one headline read, Something new from Honda, a loser. Since then, Honda has really attacked the short comings of the latest generation Civic and it is getting a huge thumbs-up.

    Mazda would give it's left arm to be able to compete head to head with Honda and Toyota. They can't. You won't see Mazda compare themselves to Honda or Toyota....ever. Many people that LOVE Japanese cars love them because of their reliability. They're people that have been burned by the big3 too many times and they want a solid car. Zoom zoom is a really nice idea. However, at the end of the day, I want to know I can get home and how much fun I have doing it means little when I'm stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

    If you can't come out and say you're the most reliable, you're just not going to stand up well to Honda or Toyota.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The Zoom-Zoom is as reliable as the bore-bore.

    Dinu
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    It takes more than your saying so and current vehicle offerings to make it true. Long-term dependability studies don't back-up your statement.

    They still have to overcome the 626, early problems with the Tribute/Escape and their affiliation with Ford.
This discussion has been closed.