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Mazda Protege5 vs. Honda Civic



  • All,
    Isn't this board a Protege5 versus Civic board, not a Honda versus Mazda board? It seems to me that, if when the comparison starts moving in favor of the Mazda Protege5 one of the few negatives that people can bring up are the 626 issues of yore, it speaks well for the P5 in particular.

    I have a P5, and love it. I also bought this car as a young family car, and am very happy with the practicality of my decision.

  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I was just commenting on posters being surprised Honda focuses on their strentghs.

    I too am happy with my P5. I test drove the Civic Si and a Civic Ex before my purchase.

    The 626 of yore was just last year. The 626 of bore is more like it.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Actually, the article you are thinking of tested a 2003 Civic LX: _id=2505

    It placed 5th out of 11 which is not bad, but it was unexpected from Honda. I am not disputing that the Civic will last a long time, but I do think quality control has fallen off at Honda when I see the sorts of flaws I am used to seeing on domestic vehicles showing up in Hondas.

    When I walk in my dealer showroom, I see comparisons all over the place between Mazda products and the competition, especially for the Protege and Protege5. That is one of Mazda's biggest selling points:

    Just as good as the competition, but fun to drive.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Just as good as the competition, but fun to drive;
    and it costs more.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    0% for 4yrs financing.
    Resale is on Honda's side but $XXX.XX is not worth the same in 10yrs as it's worth today (due to inflation and the rising cost of living).

  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I stand corrected. I wonder why Honda hasn't done anything to improve the paint on these vehicles? My mom's 02 suffers from the same problem. I figured it must've been a one time problem.

    The comparisons are done by a third party, never by Mazda directly. They all speak to the fun-to-drive element or vehicle content and never reliability. Which is great, because, Mazda is on top of the fun-to-drive list. CR says good things about the Protege but, you can't use their name in advertising. Unfortunately, fun-to-drive isn't the over riding factor for the majority of buyers in the categories their vehicles are postioned in. (Mainly entry level to mid level vehicles.) Reliability is. Along with safety, another place Honda accels.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    "Just as good as the competition, but fun to drive;
     and it costs more."

    Yes, but only if you sell it before the depreciation evens out (5+ years). While they are owning it, i.e. not selling it, the costs are equivalent.

    Why push reliability and re-sale? If it is reliable, why sell it?
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I didn't sell my Civic hatch because it became unreliable, I sold it because I wanted four doors. Something new comes along and you want it, you can get more for your vehicle.

    The beauty of Honda is resale the advantage doesn't end after 5 years.

    1993 Cavalier 2 Dr Z24 Coupe
    Trade-In - $890
    Private Party - $1,329
    Dealer Retail - $2,062

    1993 Honda Civic 2 Dr EX Coupe
    Trade-In - $2,326
    Private Party - $2,940
    Dealer Retail - $3,965
    1993 Mazda Protege 4 Dr LX Sedan
    Trade-In - $1,147
    Private Party - $1,632
    Dealer Retail - $2,441

    That's almost $1000 trade-in more. ($1,300 more private party!) And when it comes time for me to make a down payment, that $1000-$1300 extra comes in handy. It's especially appealing in this class (entry level). Where people buy with the knowledge that this won't be their last car.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    This re-sale business is so irrational it kills me. I got more for my 18 month old piece-of-crap Jetta than the Protege cost new, but anyway...

    So essentially, what we have established is this: all things being equal, if you keep your Protege5 10 years, it will probably cost about $9.83 more per month in depreciation over the Civic. I think that is a fair price for "fun-to-drive." Then again, my daily driver is a Miata, so I may be a little biased as to what "fun-to-drive" is worth these days.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    These are entry level vehicles. To most people $1000 is a significant amount of money.

    2000 Honda Civic 2 Dr DX Hatchback
    Trade-In - $6,836
    Private Party - $7,886
    Dealer Retail - $8,916

    2000 Mazda Protege 4 Dr DX Sedan
    Trade-In - $4,963
    Private Party - $5,888
    Dealer Retail - $6,794
    Above is how my hatch fared against the Protege. I paid $13,400 out the door in October 1999. I don't know how that compares to the Pro. I was happy to get $7600 for my Civic, $4400 more than I owed.

    Or more on topic see the comparison below.

    2002 Mazda Protege5 4 Dr STD Wagon
    Trade-In - $9,313
    Private Party - $10,298
    Dealer Retail - $11,940
    2002 Honda Civic 2 Dr Si Hatchback
    Trade-In - $13,471
    Private Party - $14,542
    Dealer Retail - $16,328
    If you had to unload your P5, you'd be pretty unhappy. $4000 less!

    Resale is only part of the picture. Safety, reliability, fuel economy and quality factor in as well. It seems alot of people that buy a Honda view it as a practical purchase. To those buying a practical vehicle, there isn't much that tops the Honda. Believe it or not, there is a huge portion of the car buying public that doesn't give a rats behind about fun-to-drive.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    in depreciation
    in maintenance and repairs
    in insurance

    Plus, the Si IS fun to drive!
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    ... and the 1000 in additional rebates, incentives and finance savings will make that up anyway.

    So you get free driving joy with all that :)

    And you don't have to "live with" a boring CiBiC for 10 whole years!
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    ... and the 1000 in additional rebates, incentives and finance savings will make that up anyway.

    That wasn't available in 2001. Those who bought in 2001 are getting hit harder than those of us that got the incentives. They got $1000 off the value without getting $1000 off at the dealer. Something Honda tries not to do with it's cars, de-value them.

    Many people don't consider living with a Civic much work at all. That's the point.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586

    Have you read CR lately?

  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    "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."

    You should become a full-time stock broker/trader with your amazing psychic ability to predict the future(or does it only work with car manufacturers?).
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    You know differently?

    I guess I should have said in the near future they won't be doing any comparisons in regards to reliability and durability with themselves to Honda or Toyota.

    Funny, the B-Series pick-up was listed on JD Powers Vehicle Dependability Study as one of the top three small pick-ups. I wonder why Mazda hasn't gone with it. Why doesn't any of their advertising reflect this accomplishment? Actually, I know why. They are positioned as the company with zoom zoom, not the company with reliability. Reliability is cornered by Toyota and Honda.

    Nothing psychic there. Just a couple of college advertising courses and some not-too-common sense.
  • smashersmasher Posts: 31
    Regarding trade-in values: for older cars, model-to-model values are kind of irrelevent; condition of the car matters more than its brand. Even then, it's more of a bargaining chip than anything else.

    My '87 Integra was pretty much worthless by the time I needed a new car. I was going to donate it, but I was dubious that anybody would want it. It had about 170,000 miles on it, but the body was rotted out (my shop said they could see the carpet through the floorpan), the muffler was shot, the interior was faded and trashed, the stereo didn't work. Still, I got ~$1500 for it on trade-in, at least on paper. Haggling over the trade-in was kind of a joke:

    Dealer: "Does it have a CD player?"
    Me: "Yes, but it doesn't wo--"
    Dealer: "Never mind that; does it have a CD player?"
    Me: "Er, yes."

    It was the dealer's way of selling me a new P5 for the negotiated price. (MSRP - trade-in = negotiated price.) For those of us who drive cars into the ground, trade-in value isn't as relevant as longterm reliability and owner satisfaction while we own the car.

    So many more things factor into TCO, and owner satisfaction, than simply trade-in value: gas mileage, reliability, cost/availability of parts, lost productivity due to time spent at the dealership or service facility, insurance, travel time to dealer/service station, cost of mods if you want/need them, purchase price, finance rate, etc.

    Good luck juggling all that.

    In the end, you need to figure out what is important to you and what isn't. VWs may have a better resale value than Mazdas, and I really like VWs a lot, but I decided I didn't want to drive a car wondering when the windows would break or when the engine would start leaking oil or when the trim would start falling off. No thanks.

    I have a good friend in his early 30s who drives a Mercury Sable. Nothing against the Sable, but it's essentially an old-man car. I don't think he enjoys owning or driving the thing; his wife hates it. When I ask him why the heck he bought a Sable, he says, "Well, it got good ratings."

    Me, I don't just look at the ratings or the TCO or the resale value when I buy a car. I consider that stuff, but it's not the only consideration. To me, fun-to-drive is a big thing, as is utility. If it's going to be my only car, it'd better do everything I want a car to do.

    Anyway. We were talking about the P5 and the Si. I test drove the Si, but it just wasn't me. It shifted great and had a great engine, but I wasn't thrilled with the handling. Regardless of its merits (and it's a fine car), I couldn't see myself driving the thing day after day. It just left me cold. And I've been a Honda/Acura guy for years.

    The P5 was another story. It felt right, it had the right combination of sportiness and utility and personality, it was fun to drive, it was a little different from the other stuff I'd driven. It felt like it had more personality than the Si. Out of all the cars I test drove, the two I really liked were the Mini and the P5. The Mini was really, really (REALLY) fun, maybe a little sluggish, but it was too expensive (with no room to haggle with dealerships), too small, with slightly odd ergonomics (e.g., no dead pedal, window switches in center console), had a three-month waiting list, and a limited service network. In addition, it was a complete unknown as far as reliability/servicability was concerned. The P5 was as much fun to drive (brilliant chassis dynamics), not as cute, but far more practical and easier to live with than the Mini. And about $4500 cheaper. Sold.

    But anyway, we were talking about the P5 and the Si. ;-].
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I agree with you 100%.

    I looked at the Golf.

    I looked at the Civic Si and EX.

    I looked at the Vibe/Matrix.

    I bought the P5 and I haven't regretted it at all. Every time I see its reflection in the plate glass windows of business as I drive to work I smile.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Great post.

    I did try to make a post along the line of your post, but after seeing yours I delete mine. No need to add one more word.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    For most of us, it's true that depreciation comes only after finding the right (read fun, reliable and practical) car, because we tend then to keep the car longer.

    However, this argument risk to collapse if the car get stolen, or total because of the reason X shortly after the purchase. In this case depreciation can play a great role. This has happened to me, my civic get the water inside during Allison storm in summer 2001, and I'm glad that the value of this car hold so well.
This discussion has been closed.