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Mazda Protege5 vs. Honda Civic

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Comments

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    That seems awfully high for either of these cars. Sounds like they were running automatics uphill. C&D clocked the 2003 Protege LX at 9.4 and the 2003 Civic LX at 9.3 0-60. C&D does adjust their numbers for atmospheric conditions while Edmunds may not.

    C&D list the Civic Si at 8.0 seconds 0-60, but those were definitely different testing conditions than the Civic LX and the Protege LX, so YMMV.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Your numbers are rediculous. They apply to one situation only, if they actually apply to that one. You're talking about taking the $1K you don't spend on the Civic and investing it on day 1 to return an additional $1K after 10 years. That just might work if the car isn't totalled; and, even if it does work out that way, you've put an extra $1K into the Pro on the front end and committed to 10 years's ownership just to equalize the costs.

    I agree with the 'buy what you like' point. Just on the 'like' factor alone, I chose the Si. That it costs $2K+ less than the Pro5 to own for 5 years is just gravy.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    I have notice on the P5 boards and the M6 boards that practically no one who owns one of these Mazdas is complaining! P5 & M6 owners seem to have more positive raves than Civic owners owners (based on board posts not a review of Edmunds owner's reviews). Mazda is getting a lot right with the P5.

    I looked very closely at both these cars as I was deciding on my next hatch. The P5 was very appealing, but style a bit too stiff & too bold for me. I have had great experience with Hondas (92 Civic Si & a 97 Del Sol Si)and I really liked driving the 03 Si.

    In the end I bought a worthy, but under appreciated Elantra GT because it had all the right stuff, was more comfortable than P5 or Si (quieter and smoother), has better mileage & warranty and was significantly less expensive with significantly more goodies. With a Tiburon rear sway bar the decent cornering became outstanding! I plan to keep for at least 5 yrs so resale not a big concern. I also think that the Elantras quality is approaching the Japanese cars. You will note that Elantra owners are also very satisfied & I am one of them.

    The P5 and Si all are excellent cars, but give the EGT a try before you buy.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    Really? OK then explain how I did it. AND it applies in ALL cases not just here. It never pays in the long run to by the more expensive car. Never. What you are really paying for is the brand, quality, reliability, performance and so on.

    I looked at the Civic EX and the Protege ES (both auto without the ABS option). Once again they are comparable. Most savy shoppers will cross shop those to see which they like better. My plan was to put $5000 and finance the remainder over 24 months (about $10k). Some facts: When I bought my car the Civic EX auto was selling for $1500 more than the Protege ES auto in the St. Louis area (Lou Fusz was the lowest on the Protege and Leta Honda on the Civic).

    Thats $1500 difference. So what that means is that I could put $3500 down on the Protege instead of $5000 and invest the remainder from day 1 AND make the same payments. I did exactly that. Anyone could. How is this ridiculous? The same would apply if you were going to put $2000 down or $10000 down.

    In case you care I invested it in 2 bond funds. TIAA-CREF High Yeild Bond and Bond Plus. You can go check the returns if you want but the High Yeild fund is up over 15% year to date and the Bond Plus about 10%. These are not best funds either....I just like the low fees associated with TIAA-CREF. If that keeps up (which I doubt) I will double my money every 5 years. So the investment I made instead of the higher money down on the Civic will have grown to $3000 or more easily by the time I get my new car. Oh but wait I only paid 0.9% for 24 months on my Mazda loan which Honda would not match AND I paid off the car in 12 months so I did not pay much interest either. I could do that partially because of the investments I made 3 years ago when we got my wifes Subaru Outback Ltd. instead of the $6000 more expensive VW Passat.

    So in summary:
    $1500 difference in down payment + 0.9% interest rate. The $1500 invested at (5-15%) until I get my new car.

    If I had taken home the Elantra and invested the $3000 difference......whhoooo, thats a lot of money. But I like my car so its fine.

    So where exactly was my math wrong?
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    I don't think the new Si has a timing belt, I remember seeing somewhere in the manual that it had a timing chain.

    As far as the price difference, I got the Si for $14,500 for the left over 2002 in January 2003. Similarly loaded Protege5 with the sunroof, and ABS was more like $17,000. I also looked at Matix XRS/Vibe GT, but when similarly packaged it was more like $19,000.

    According to Edmunds, if I were to trade-in the Si right now, I can get $14,600 for it. Not bad!!!! It is given that real world trade in may be in the high $13K's, still not bad. And I got it all financed at 1.9%
    From edmunds:
    2002 Honda Civic 2 Dr Si Hatchback
                Trade-In Private Party Dealer Retail
    National Base Price $13,471 $14,542 $16,328
    Optional Equipment $0 $0 $0
    Color Adjustment
    Black $18 $19 $22
    Regional Adjustment
    for Zip Code 07470 $58 $62 $70
    Mileage Adjustment
    7,000 miles $665 $665 $665
    Condition Adjustment
    Outstanding $394 $405 $466
    Total $14,606 $15,693 $17,551
     
        
    Certified Used Vehicle $18,101

    Mazda Protege5

    2002 Mazda Protege5 4 Dr STD Wagon
    Trade-In Private Party Dealer Retail
    National Base Price $9,313 $10,298 $11,940
    Optional Equipment $523 $568 $716
    Antilock Brakes $218 $237 $298
    Power Moonroof $305 $331 $418
    Color Adjustment
    Black $-30 $-33 $-38
    Regional Adjustment
    for Zip Code 07470 $-21 $-24 $-27
    Mileage Adjustment
    7,000 miles $636 $636 $636
    Condition Adjustment
    Outstanding $0 $0 $0
    Total $10,421 $11,445 $13,227
     
        
    Certified Used Vehicle $13,777

    I entered same mileage and vehicle condition.
    Even if the Si was bought at the same price as the P5 was selling at the time ($17K), Si would have only lost $3000 (from $17K to $14K) Protege5 on the other hand would have lost $7000 on the trade-in. Pretty sad. I understand that current resale of P5 is hindered by the $2250 rebate from Mazda. But even if you factor in the $2250, Mazda still lost $5000. In reality, I may even make money if i trade in now

    I hope I have made my point.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Who sells their car after 8 months? Personally, I wait at least 18. That gives me just enough time to get the car how I like it, and I have just spent money for new tires, aluminum pedals, speaker upgrades, etc., so I will never get any of that back. ;-)

    I suppose the moral is, if you routinely make bad purchase decisions, then the Honda is the way to go, so you don't loose too much money when you have to get rid of it.

    I luckily made this same mistake with a VW Jetta which, at the time (2001), still had a pretty good resale value like Hondas and Toyotas. I see that is has slipped some in the last 2 years. I can only assume this is due to the horribly unreliable products they have been selling in the interim.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I couldn't find any information one way or the other about a timing chain. If it does have one, then you should get it checked for adjustment every 60k or so. That should be a $10 service charge unless it needs adjustment.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    ...and these two (Pro5, Civic) are the options that I am considering. I have a Civic (98 LX) already which has given flawless service so far - not even a down battery (touch wood).

    Took a test drive of Pro5 the other day - engine makes more noise than speed, ride is downright punishing and one definitely needs an extra set of tires for (Canadian) winters. On the plus side, maneuverability is better than Civic (not Miata like though), body roll is minimized and the shifter is fun. Also, the interior space appears to be more than that in Civic.

    On the whole, Pro5 is the best return on the money in that class, with incentives and all. I am actually pondering whether to go whole hog and buy a Mazda6 or stick with Pro5.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    You compared a brand new model current year P5 to a left over Civic Si? Do you really think thats fair? You also get side-airbags and a nice 6CD changer with a P5 equipment package thats not on your list.

    How about right now?
    Right now you can get a 2003 P5 for $15k even here in St. Louis. I bet the best deal you could get on a 2003 Civic Si is $17-17.5 range. Thats at least $2000 difference. If you add ABS, side airbags, moonroof, and 6CD changer to the P5 the difference is STILL at least $1000. Once again long term resale is reflected in the intial price.

    Now if you are worried about resale in 8 months then you should get a Honda for sure. In fact it would be better to get a 1 year lease on a Honda. On the other hand if you are going to keep it 5-10 year range resale really does not matter very much. In 10 years, 15k miles a year, the Honda will be worth about $3000. The P5 will probably be worth about $1500 on the low end. BUT since you borrowed less initially, paid less interest, paid off higher interest loans, and/or invested the difference, the real difference is not significant.

    Both the Si and P5 are nice cars. The Si costs more now and is worth more later. The P5 costs less now and worth less later. Take your pick because after 5 years or so it really does not matter.

    All my information is from carsdirect or msn.
  • smashersmasher Posts: 31
    > ...and these two (Pro5, Civic) are the options that I am considering.

    Are you considering a regular Civic (coupe or sedan) or the Si?

    > Took a test drive of Pro5 the other day - engine makes more noise than speed, ride is downright punishing and one definitely needs an extra set of tires for (Canadian) winters. On the plus side, maneuverability is better than Civic (not Miata like though), body roll is minimized and the shifter is fun. Also, the interior space appears to be more than that in Civic.

    The only Civic I test drove was the Si. It is a sweet drivetrain, but a little peaky. I've got about 1800 miles on my P5 now, and it's breaking in nicely. It seems to rev more smoothly and develop more power than it did when it was brand new.

    I find I'm driving the P5 differently than my old Integra (an '87 1.6L). (Most Honda engines I've driven felt peaky to me; you need to keep rowing the gears.) The Integra had a very fun, windy engine, with a flat torque curve; all the power was in the top end. The P5 has a lot more torque and better mid-range power, so I find I'm not revving it as high, and not shifting as much. Keeping it in the midrange seems to do the trick.

    The P5 makes engine noise, but it's nice engine noise, especially once it loosens up after initial break-in.

    I can't really compare the P5 with the Civic EX (or any other coupe/sedan model) because I didn't drive any other Civics. My primary need was for a hatch and the Si was the only Honda to fit the bill. So I don't know how the other Civics drive.

    I've blathered on about the P5's handling in other posts, so I won't waste everybody's time again with that. It's Good. If you're looking for a cushy ride, the P5 may be the wrong car. If you're looking for great handling, though....

    Interior is all a matter of taste. I'm not totally geeked on the P5's interior (VW still has the design edge, IMO), but I like it better than the Si's. With the exception of a few minor ergonomic quirks it's an easy car to live with. The seats are great, the driving position is great (for me), and the boot space is great.

    > On the whole, Pro5 is the best return on the money in that class, with incentives and all. I am actually pondering whether to go whole hog and buy a Mazda6 or stick with Pro5.

    Can't answer that one, but the Mazda6 hatch looks very enticing. The upcoming Mazda6 wagon looks really nice, but only if they offer it in a stick.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I'm sorry, I did overstate it. Your numbers do work out if one puts the difference between purchase prices into a good investment and keep the car and the investment long enough.

    I do think that's reaching, though. Seems like a very long was 'round the mulberry bush to neutralize the resale price difference. The strategy fails if the car is totalled. And requires commitment to driving an old, high milage car, which is counter productive if 'fun to drive' is the original priority.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    The only way to get ABS on P5 is to get a package with side airbags. The side air is a $200 option in the Si, as ABS is standard. Sunroof is also standard on the Si, while to get the sunroof on P5 you have to get it as a package with 6 cd changer. What if I am not into changers? I like my MP3 stereo better than any changer. It holds 10-15 cd's worth of music, and reads out the name of the song and artist. Either way I replaced the stereo in my Si with the MP3 unit and steering wheel mounted remote control.

    The current price on the P5 packaged similarly to the Si is $17,585 (-$2250 rebate OR 0% financing)
    The current price on the Si with optional side air bags (to match P5) is $17,299 with 1.9% financing.

    If both cars start out at the same price, (the difference between $17585 (let's say you go for 0% and forego the rebate) and $17,299 is negligible) and after 1 year the Si is worth $14,000 while P5 is worth $10,421 you tell me which has better resale value.

    Even if you do take the rebate and birng the price of P5 down to $15335 (at 6% APR, or pay cash), after 1 year you still lose over $5000, while the Si has only lost $3000. $2000 is pretty big chink of change. The only advantage P5 has over Si is the 5 door configuration, that is if you really need 5 doors. I am not going to mention Si's HP advantage over P5, as well as Recarro seats with suede, and really neat shifter with really really really smooth engagement. If there were a 5 door Honda Civic available in the US (available elsewhere), it would have decimated Matrix/Vibe, Protege5, and Focus ZX5 sales.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    "after 1 year the Si is worth $14,000 while P5 is worth $10,421 you tell me which has better resale value."

    Yes, its true. If you only keep your car 1 year (or even 3) the Honda is better to buy. BUT it also lost $3000 so you could have almost leased a BMW for the same time and then got a new one at lease end. Its relative. All cars, short of exotics, lose value. Under 3-5 years its just better to lease so you really cannot compare that to buying both. In particular when cars have good resale like Hondas. If you like having new cars all the time (3 years or so) over saving money Hondas make sense to lease, not buy. The lease plans for Hondas are almost too good to be true.

    So if you want to talk short run then I will make the arguement that its really silly to buy either (the Mazda in particular) when you can lease them for less in the span of 1 year. The "buy" new does not factor in for me unless I plan on at least 5 years.

    Also, the Si is indeed different than the P5. It does a lot of things BETTER. Better engine, better performance, more aftermarket stuff, etc. The P5 on the other hand can actually carry 5 people in relative comfort, and cargo, and still appeals to the over 30 crowd. It really depends on what you want.

    If I was going to get a P5 to only keep it for a year I would not get a new one, I would get a used one and let someone else to take the loss. If I were going to get a Si to keep for only a year I would have to lease.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,210
    "If there were a 5 door Honda Civic available in the US (available elsewhere), it would have decimated Matrix/Vibe, Protege5, and Focus ZX5 sales."

    What? The Si is here now, priced about the same, and I don't see it tearing into ZX3 sales.

    The fact is, Honda dropped the ball on this one. If they suddenly decide to enter this market by bringing a 5-door Civic over here they WILL have to play catch-up. The hatch market is growing evidenced by larger cars getting 3/5-door variants a la the Malibu and M6. Those who don't get in early will be left behind.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    In the real world, leasing is a loser financially. The main benefit is convenience in claiming a business expense.

    We keep coming back to the Pro5 being the best choice IF it's unique benefits are one's highest priority. Well, duh. Need rear seat doors in deciding Pro5 vs. Si? It's gotta be the Pro5.
  • smashersmasher Posts: 31
    > The fact is, Honda dropped the ball on this one. If they suddenly decide to enter this market by bringing a 5-door Civic over here they WILL have to play catch-up. The hatch market is growing evidenced by larger cars getting 3/5-door variants a la the Malibu and M6. Those who don't get in early will be left behind.

    Why would they have to play catch-up? Lord knows they have the name recognition, and the reputation. Believe it or not, Honda's American market is the only thing keeping the company afloat at this point. If they brought a 5-door over here with the Civic name, it'd do great. But it would probably also cut into their CR-V sales.

    You forget that by the time these cars get here (to the North American market), they're already mature products. They're not unproven at all; they've been around as long as the sedan variants have, just not in the US. The P5, the Civic 5-door--these are all proven models. Hatches are big business in other markets, especially in Europe, where sedans are seen as an impractical body style, especially as an only family car. In the UK market, the sales figures are reversed: the hatches are the primary market, the sedans the niche. (The Jetta wagon is known as the Golf wagon in the UK. The Golf brand name is more marketable than the sedan version (known as the Bora) and enjoys more name recognition.) Either they're just marketed poorly here, or SUVs are overhyped here, or a bit of both. (I still think SUVs make terrible everyday vehicles except for a small minority of buyers. The only reason they're pushed here is because of the huge profit margin for automakers. IMO the worst trends in the 1990s US auto market was the proliferation of SUVs and the sedanification of small cars. But that's a subject for a different thread.)

    I'm interested to see if VW brings over its Touran MPV; that'd be a great alternative to the Matrix/Vibe/PT Cruiser. And a subject for a different thread....
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    Leasing is not an option for me. It may work for people who base their life on monthly payments. I can understand losing money on depreciation alone, but to add extra profit for the leasing company is an insult to the injury. Like said before, leasing works if you can wirte it off, I can't.
    Leasing: You have to have some sort pf downpayment, usually $2000, security, and such. After paying payments for 3 years, you have nothing to show for it. A 12-24 month lease rates are ridiculously high. Money factors, when converted to APR are much higher than Finance rates.

    Financing: All I paid out of pocket was sales taxes and registration, everything else was financed at 1.9%. After 8 months I have a $12.8K payoff and $14K trade in value. I am already $1200 on the positive. That number is for trade in, if I were to sell it privately, I can possibly fetch $15K, putting me at $2200 in the positive.

    I am anxious to see what I can get in 3 years. I will owe $5500 (according to payment schdule at honda owners link).
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Edmunds 2003 slalom numbers are bogus (opinion here). How on earth could the Corolla come out on top with 63.3 seconds. Was the same person driving both cars (or all the cars for that matter)? From what I remember, in the auto mags, the P5 could always pull more G's and had the maximum cornering speed. I'm guessing they were using a protege ES, but that should handle about the same as the P5.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Don't forget the 'lease acquisition fee', usually $300 - $500 on the front end. Money down the terlet. You'd have to have an incredible marginal tax rate to get past the costs, even if you can write off the lease.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    A Corolla cannot pull more Gs or out-slalom a PRO ES - I have the ES and drove a friend's 2003 Corolla many times - that car feels like it's ready to tip over when you put it on a ramp at above the posted limit. Neve had this issue with the PRO. So much for that comparo...

    Dinu
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