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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3



  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,088
    One more problem that the Civic and 3 share. IN both cars, you can't get the front edge tilted up for thigh support (the way I like it). If you crank the seat all the way down (so you feel like you are sitting in a hole), the cushion angle is almost OK. But, as soon as you raise the seat up for visibility, the abck end comes up higher and "pitches" you forward.

    This drives me nuts, to the extent that if I bought either car, i would have to take it to a custom interior shop and have them add spacers under the front seat bolts to change the overall seat angle.

    The Corolla seats are just a lumpy uncomfortable mess. I cna't even single out any one problem area they are that bad. Too small too.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    I didn't have any problem with the Civic's lumbar but read a recent review where they complained a lot about it. I did want to raise the front edge of the seat cushion a little more--that's why I like cars that let you raise the front and rear of the cushion independently.

    The Corolla's driving position is so uncomfortable for me, I can't even consider that car.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,088
    agreed. Power seats are a real help, but that requirement eliminates most small cars, which I actually would prefer to drive.

    The biggest culprit is the single lever "ratchet" height adjustment that Honda and Mazda use. That causes the forward pitch problem.

    The protege had a great set up: individual knobs that raised the front or rear independently. Functioned just like an 8 way power seat, but wasn't quite as convenient as a single lever.

    With the side air bags now, you can't even go aftermarket for real sport seats!

    Someday I will stop at a shop and ask about having them add spacers, to see if it is even feasible, and if so, how much of a lift they can do.

    The overall feel of a seat can change quite a bit if you can change the pitch angle (that is, tilt it back).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Actually I wasn't talking only about power seats. The Protege has two height adjustments, as you noted, as do most Hyundais and Kias. I'd like to see that kind of feature on the Mazda3, Civic, and Corolla.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    A couple people have responded to you about seat comfort, and it is correct to assume that seat comfort is a choice only you can make for yourself. I am 6'5", and the seat was comfortable enough to me, but not as cozy as the new Accord I just got. I was not uncomfortable in the Civic, and actually had plenty of room due to plenty of adjustment capability in the seat. Someone sitting behind me would have to be short though. Firm and supportive (in my opinion, not everyone's though) is a perfect way to sum up Honda's seats in every car they offer. No saggy foam to be found (as in many GM cars). The seats seem designed to offer long-haul firm comfort, not ten-minute plushness to be followed by the saggy support bringing pain. My girlfriend's father was hit by a car (as a pedestrian, not a wreck) and has chronic back problems), and was very comfortable on a trip from Birmingham to Huntsville (120 miles).

    My best advice, is go and "try it on", you should try it for longer than 60 seconds though; sit in it for the duration of an average commute and see how you feel. Best of luck car shopping!

  • stickguy- how tall are you? I haven't noticed the seat problem in either car, but I like the seat all the down to the floor. Maybe all those years in my old Civics and Accords got me comfortable sitting so low. Then again, I am close to 6'3", so usually all the way down was the best way to keep my head from hitting the headliner/sunroof. Thank God the '80s are over...that spiked hair made it hard for me to fit into any car!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,088
    6', with a long torso relative to my height (guess that's s nice way of saying dumpy legs?)

    I just prefuer to sit up a bit (for the view), but like to have the front edge of the seat tilted up a lot, probably more so than most people. WHen I drive my wifes Ody, tilting the front edge of the seat up is the first thing I do.

    I hate the pitching forward feeling you get in some cars, and that's what happens when you raise the seat in the Civic or 3. I also don't like to sit all the way down on the floor.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • At least with power seats you can usually lower the back and raise the front a little. My parents drive an Explorer and a Grand Cherokee and I can get more comfortable in those than in any car I've ever owned. You would really think cars like Civic EX and Mazda3 Grand Touring would offer power adjustment.

    The two knob thing sounds pretty good. I test drove a Spectra and seem to recall that the driving position was very comfy. I haven't driven a Corolla in a couple of years, but I do remember the seats sucked.
  • Well, if you would simply drive uphill all the time it wouldn't be an issue, would it? :P

    Just kidding. I've always hated that feeling of being pitched forward in the seat. I've noticed that a lot of people drive with the seat reclined back a notch or two, probably for that exact reason. But I keep the seatback very upright...I can't stand to lay down to drive.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Funny thing is, the Spectra went from a dual-knob setup to a single lever (one adjustment) in '04--a move backwards if you ask me. Similar thing happened from the Protege to the Mazda3. I don't think Civic and Corolla ever had dual height adjustments on the driver's seat.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,088
    I may be wrong, but I think this might be the first Civic with a height adjuster. If not, it is still a firly recent development for Honda.

    Not sure about the COrolla, but if it has one it must be pretty simple.

    I almost bought a Pro5, largely because of how comfy the seats were, and how easy it was to get a good angle with the dual adjusters. Not quite as quick/easy as the ratchet, but once I get it right, I don't change it much. THe 3 was a step backward for sure.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • The high-end Accords started getting the height adjustment around '95 or '96. It was just a toggle switch that moved it up and down. My '97 Accord EX had it and I don't think I ever used it once I had it where I wanted it.

    I don't think the previous generation Civic had it, though. In their defense, Honda has always had some of the best seats in the business. Even my old '92 Accord EX (totalled last week, god rest her soul) was comfy on 500 mile drives, although the lumbar adjustment was basically useless (felt like a wood log behind your back). I never used it.

    In the Mazda3, are the leather seats any different at all than the cloth? Or the Grand Touring? I got the cloth, didn't even try a leather one.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    I am pretty sure the last-gen Civic added a height adjuster to at least the EX trim level mid-generation. It was the single-adjustment type, not dual adjustment as we have been discussing. I remember that was a major factor in my buying an Elantra in October 2000 vs. the '01 Civic EX, the driving position was not as adjustable (and comfortable) as on the Elantra.

    Even the Accord has a single height adjustment until you get to the full power seat.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,088
    at least in the 3, it makes the seats a little cushier than the rather firm cloth. If you get it aftermarket, I assume you have options with the padding (more or less), and could probably reshape the foam a bit.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Did Mazda change the leather they are using?

    I looked at a 2005 and it had the same stiff - hard - cheap leather that was being used in the 2004 model. It was like sitting on thick plastic. This was the main reason we went with the cloth.
  • The Honda civic but it just didn't have enough performance. The Mazda 3 2.3L had the same horsepower as the 2005 Civic Si.

    Then came the 2006 Civics, especially the Si.

    Not contest, I have a Rallye Red Si on order. I hope it is a much fun as my CRX Si and my GSR were.

    double 6 cruis'n,

  • I drove both of these cars yesterday (Hartford, CT area). Though I still may end up buying a larger car, I don't know how anyone could drive these two back to back and walk away prefering the Corolla.

    The Corolla had slightly larger trunk and better room in the back seat I'd say. The driver seat also goes back further to accomodate those of use with long legs. However, when I put the seat back to a comfortable distance, the steering wheel was much to far away. I knew the driving position was unacceptable for me before I made it off the dealer lot. I don't know what posessed them to give it such a stumpy steering wheel. The drive feel was about what I expected from a Corolla, not quite enough kick going 0-45 as I would prefer, but okay. The one I drove lacked ABS and side air bags, so sticker was ~17k.

    I had to sit in the Civic for a couple minutes to just absorb the interior. I honestly still don't know if I like it, but the dash layout grew on me as I drove. I still found myself lookign down at the tachometer where my eyes are trained to look for the speed display. The engine and power are a significant step up from the current Corolla. Didn't get to take them onto the highway this time though. The 140 hp engine was pretty good but still felt like nothing compared to the 2005 i4 Camry LE (10k miles) I also drove at the same time. That may end up being my choice for about $500 more than the Civic.

    Happy holidays to all!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The 140 hp engine was pretty good but still felt like nothing compared to the 2005 i4 Camry LE (10k miles) I also drove at the same time.

    This probably has less to do with the horsepower difference (14, I think, by the new standards)and more to do with the torque (32 lb-ft). The Camry does have 33% more displacement than the Civic does, so it's understandable. The Civic gets 6mpg better, so its a trade-off if you don't mind buying used. Let us know what you pick, and good luck! Either car would likely be a good choice (assuming the Camry was treated nicely by owner number 1).
  • I too test drove both of these models and actually did walk away with a preference for the corolla. The civic seat was uncomfortable. The neck part sits forward far enough to strain my neck (I'm 5'2'') and the seat part was a bit hard. Plus, I absolutely hate the large dash and the set up. I don't need added distractions right at the viewing of the road. The frame around the front part of the window is inconvenient for viewing pedestrians and cars during left turns. I found myself having to do a lot of double checking.

    The corolla drove smoother, but the civic had a bit more pick up and a go (for a 4cyl). This was so dissapointing because I had my heart set on the civic. It has all of the safety features i want as standard (esp side airbags) and I could more easily purchase it. The corolla will take longer for me to find with these options. However, my view was not obstructed and the seats were more comfy.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Your experience confirms what I have read and experienced with the Corolla--its driving position is optimized for shorter people. I found the driving position of the Corolla to be intolerable (I'm 5'10"). If the Corolla is more comfortable, that is a big deal--you will probably regret it later if you get a car that doesn't "fit" you. If you have trouble finding a Corolla with ABS and SABs, ask your dealer to locate one for you from another dealer.
  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    This is interesting. My wife complained that the headrest on my new '06 Civic was pushing her head forward. She's about 5'4". I'm about 5'10" and have no problem with it.
  • Thanks Backy. I've been debating if I should just put up with the discomfort and get a civic. I think I will go with the corolla. Now its just a matter of getting through the negotiation process.
  • I think what Backy said is true. Shorter people have a difficult time with the seat position in the civic. I just found this as well.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Has anyone seen or heard if there is a new Corolla comming out soon? I'm really currious to see if it will be a big change, kind of like how the 2007 Camry is a vast improvement from the 2006.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Actually, what I said was that taller people have found the Corolla's seat uncomfortable. I found the Civic's seat to be OK, but not great.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    The next Corolla should be out as a 2008 model, sometime in 2007, if Toyota follows its traditional 5-year cycle. I think the 2003 Corolla came out early in 2002, so that could mean an early 2007 launch for the next Corolla. All this is supposition, based on history.
  • Where did you see that? I saw something on that too, but it was a discussion forum like this one with a photoshopped picture of a "2007 Civic Si sedan"--in other words, it was someone's fantasy. Is there a press release from Honda or something else official?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,879
    Which proves that sometimes wishes do come true!
  • I am also 5'10" and was unable to sit comfortably in the drivers seat of the Corolla...steering wheel is to far away and the angle of the seat is weird. I also found the brakes a bit weaker on the Corolla. Its also was hard to find one with the right options, ABS, airbags, upgraded stereo.(standard radio is poor). The 2006 Civic LX handled better, had better braking and was basically more impressive/fun to drive than the Corolla.
  • The Civic Si Sedan is more than a photoshop rumor it was announced as a concept car at 2006 Chicago Auto Show:
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