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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3

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Comments

  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    Funny how I see the comparison between the Civic, Corolla, and Mazda 3 but no mention of the Chevy Cobalt.
    I assume anyone interested in the Mazda 3 and Civic would be interested in a compact car that is actually fun to drive. Having test drove a Corolla I wouldn't place that car anywhere near the Civic or 3. The Cobalt belongs in the comparison though. Its surprisingly fun to drive and acceleration is much better than the Corolla and rides better, much better.
    Take a look at the Cobalt. In my opinion it ranks just below the 3 and Civic in fun to drive factor. The Corolla I would place dead last.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    There is an "Economy Sedans $16k-$20k" thread that includes many more sedans than just these three. Some people prefer more narrow discussions, and thus this one exists. If you can't find one to suit you, create your own! :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The Mazda 3 was my first choice but I couldn't find any to buy (their ship sunk and lost a few thousand cars). I couldn't get over the new Civic's dash, so it came down to the Cobalt.

    Mazda3's are in slim inventory, depending on where you live. You may want to check out the VW Rabbit, if you have not purchased already. They don't rate as well in reliability, but, I have heard they drive nice and have great fit and finish. Possibly the new Nissan Sentra as well.
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    I decided to get a certified used 2006 Cobalt LT Sedan. So far I am pretty happy with it. Rides well for a compact car and rides nice on the freeway which was important to me.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I have heard good things about the Cobalt also, especially the SS model. If GM produces more of this type of vehicle I think they are well on the way to recovery. Keep us posted on your experience with your used Cobalt.
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    I agree. My mother has a 2006 Impala and its been a good car overall, although she is getting terrible MPG.
    I will keep you posted.
  • colincslcolincsl Posts: 1
    What do you guys think about a last-gen ('04 or '05) Civic versus an '06 Corolla?
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    Go for the Civic. The Corolla is a horrible driving car. I still think the Cobalt is better than the older Civic however. But between the Civic and Corolla, its the Civic easily.
  • dchevdchev Posts: 38
    I do not want to offend anybody; however, to call Corolla "a horrible driving car" is a pure non-sense.
    Toyota Corolla is much more of a car than Chevy Cobalt. I do not know how you came up with the idea that Chevy Cobalt is such a nice vehicle.... Of course the Cobalt will feel more powerful-it has 2.2l and 2.4l engine. If you want to compare it for its power go ahead and do it with Scion tC.... I bet you that nobody will prefer the Cobalt...
    The Corolla is a pretty decent car. The design of the car is 5-6 years old; however, Toyota has made so many improvements on this car since 2005. For example, you can buy a Corolla with side air bags, ABS brakes, Stability Control, auto-dimming mirror, leather seats, moon roof. These options are not standard; however, you can find them in Dealerships. I am pretty sure that 2008 Toyota Corolla (new design) will have many options as standard equipment.
    I bought a 2007 Toyota Corolla 2 months ago, and I can say that I am completely satisfied. It depends what you want. If you want full luxury, then you can buy Toyota Camry or even Lexus...
    I wanted a car that will give me good gas mileage and will have comfortable ride. It gives me 30MPG in 30/70 hwy/city-this is mileage in the winter. I believe it will go up to 34-35 MPG.
    People buy Toyotas because they offer nice comfortable ride for daily commute.

    I do not say that Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Chevy Cobalt....are bad choices. Go and drive all these models and see what you will like most.
    However, Toyota and Honda will last longer in a long run.
    Steve333, enjoy your Cobalt! :)
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    Well, I test drove a 2006 brand new Corolla and this is what I'm basing my opinions on. Either there was something seriously wrong with the car I drove or something else is wrong. Getting it up to freeway speed was a chore with the engine lurking and lurching and sounded like a bad lawn mower. The steering wheel was cantered downward at an angle and made it difficult to find a comfortable driving position. I literally couldn't wait to get out of the car.
    Now, what I'm saying is that folks need to test drive every car they are considering. Don't go by what CR says. The Corolla may be reliable but I would rather enjoy driving my car and have a couple more warranty related problems with it then dread driving every day.
    The Corolla is indeed an old design and nowhere near the top of the class anymore. In my opinion the car does not deserve the sales numbers it gets. There are far better choices out there, and yes I think the Cobalt LT is one of them.
    But you know what they say about opinions........everybodys got 'em!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    It'll be quite interesting when this car comes to the marketplace actually. It will have to be a better driving car than the previous generation. We did rent an '07 LE when we went to St. Louis last September and the car was just...adequete. The car seemed a bit underpowered and loud on the freeway but was comfortable for my spinal imjury. Everything was where it should be and the optitron dash lights were impressive. But the car just felt old with that appliance feeling.
    That's why I'm quite excited to see the '08 restyle. It'll probaly be very Camryeske in its road manners and interior, which is a good thing. I think Toyota finally realized that with the new Civic and Elantra that much is riding on this redesign and they must get it right. The Mazda 3 is at the end of it's present life cycle and is due for it's redesign soon.
    Great time to buy this class of car. I personally think that the '09 models will be the ones to buy.

    The Sandman :)
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I have been renting cars from Hertz Local Edition for at least weekends in the past five months. (The current "fifty" promotion combined with the Spirit Air discounts brings the cost down to $8-10.)

    I have driven several Mazda3s 2006 and 2007 models. There seems to be a slight difference between the two years with the 2007 seeming a bit smaller. Averaged 25-27 mpg which is pretty bad for a car that small. It looks cool but the performance to me is not that great.

    The positive of the Corolla is the gas mileage - been getting between 31-35 mpg. The only drawback that I saw was that it took a while to figure out how to get my legs underneath the steering wheel.

    The Corolla has a dated design but it appeals to people who want a boring car with a track record of reliability and fuel economy.

    I considered and drove both the Nissan Versa and Sentra. They are a lot better styles and a lot "cooler" cars. However, a lot of people aren't getting 30 mpg on the Versa and it is hard to find a Sentra much under $17k with auto trans.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Not considering the Civic then?
  • ezpilzeezpilze Posts: 29
    If you're getting 31-35 mpg on the corolla, then I'm guessing you drive very delicately; you just might be able to pull off 30 on the versa.

    And for a car that gets 25-27mpg I think the performance is about right for the mazda3 isn't it? If the acceleration gets (mazdaspeed3) any better people will probably say the gas is VERY bad right? The mazda3 definitely runs better than the corolla so if the performance on the mazda3 was "not that great" then the corolla's performance should be somewhere near unbearable right? I'd count that as a drawback.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending any car or belittling any car (though I must admit that I dislike the corolla), I just wanted to point out a couple things that weren't addressed.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I would not consider a Honda. My sister bought a new Accord a few years back, followed all the maintenance requirements per the owners manual and had the engine blow at 45k. Received no support from the dealership.

    Also, my few contacts with some of the local dealerships have not been favorable.

    I know that my experiences may NOT be typical.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    The mazda3 definitely runs better than the corolla so if the performance on the mazda3 was "not that great"

    Personally, based on two week-end long rentals of 300 miles each on both models, I liked the Corolla's ride better than the Mazda3's. I also found the Corolla to be more comfortable than the Mazda3. That is my opinion - and why I ALWAYS do extended test rides.

    If I wanted a car that would get 25-27 mpg, I would have purchased a 2004 Chevy Impala off-lease and get a much more comfortable vehicle.

    Everyone has their opinion on what I should buy. My brother thought I shoudl buy a Focus.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    and why I ALWAYS do extended test rides.

    why not give the civic a chance then? You said yourself your experience is more than likely not typical. Maybe you owe it to yourself to try her out, despite what many people on this forum say, i averaged 28 in the city and 38 on the highway which is on par with both the new and old epa ratings.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Why? I don't want to buy a Honda. I have driven a Civic on several occasions and they are not comfortable. Also, I haven't liked the Honda dealerships that I have dealt with
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i was just going by what you said, about always taking a good long test drive first. is it the new civic you've tried out? I've always found it very comfy, honda excels at ergonomics.

    Maybe try a different dealer? Don't let the dealer reflect on the product.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Honda and Toyota dealerships tend to be the worst at customer service, and many of the salesmen are very arrogant and snooty.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    thats not fair avi. Just because some are, doesn't mean that they all tend to be.

    To make a long story short, when i still had my civc (when they had just come out) i drove up to the mazda dealer where i lived just to check out the 3 hatch since i was still within that period they give you where if you hate the car and have to return it, just to see if maybe my choice was too hasty. A few mazda guys pulled up to when they saw me get there and they literally scowled at me and ignored me.

    If they were willing to work with me, i may have found myself in a 3. (well prob not but still.) It seemed they did it just because i was driving a honda. The honda dealer i got my civic from, got along just fine with the lady who traded in her 05 mazda 3s sedan for a new civic and didn't turn her away when she expressed interest in the civic.(i mention this because she was there the day i got mine.)

    Having said that, would it be wrong for me to assume ALL mazda dealers and their employees are like the ones i mentioned? Of course not that would be totally unfair.
    You as a dealer employee should be aware of that avi.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    As a fleet manager, I deal with 10-20 dealerships in the Chicagoland area. In addition, occasionally I help a co-worker buy a vehicle. I deal primarily with Lexus, Chrysler, Ford and GM dealerships depending on what my drivers select.

    In my contacts with three or four Honda dealership, I get an impression that the prices are "take it or leave it."

    Personally, I don't find the Civic to be comfortable (even the "newer" version which I checked out when I was at the North American Auto Show on industry day).

    Since I would have had to pay a premium price to get into a Civic (versus other domestic and import models) and I don't really like the car, it was not a serious factor in my consideration. If there were Hondas in rental fleets that I could drive for an extended time, maybe I would have changed my mind.

    In all fairness, I would not pay much more than $15k for ANY compact on the market - including the Corolla. If I had to pay the $15.6k on a Corolla that I planned to, I would have picked up a off-lease Chevy Impala for about $8k and been perfectly satisfied (and lost about 5-7 mpg) as I generally buy (and have been satisfied with) GM vehicles.

    Personally, I couldn't believe what I paid for the Corolla (and it was a NO-HAGGLE price) and a couple of co-workers are looking at that deal for their kid's car.

    I don't want to start a Toyota vs. Honda rant
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    a premium price? Maybe over a domestic, but the mazda 3 and nissan sentra are no stranger to the near 20k price tag.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I never said "all"...I said they "tend" to be the worst, many consumer studies have shown that as well. In recent years, Toyota and Honda dealers were rated at the bottom by CR.

    I never said Mazda dealers were any better. They don't have a great reputation, either, and I am one.

    Take that as you may...
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    mazda 3 and nissan sentra are no stranger to the near 20k price tag.

    No they are not, however, you get what you pay for. Nissan, Mazda, Honda and Toyota make vehicle far superior to anything we can produce here in America (i.e Ford, Chevy, Chrysler)

    I will pay for quality over a cheap price tag any day...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Could you elaborate on having the engine "blow?" Never in my life have I heard of a Honda engine "blowing" without the living daylights being wrung out of it for a gazillion miles. At 45,000 miles, I can't help but ponder what went wrong. Compared with my family's results over the last decade or more, your results completely contradicts ours.

    1993 Accord - ran 110k miles, SOLD
    1996 Accord - a current daily driver with 172k miles (about one $300 repair a year for the last few years, never been stranded by it)
    2000, 2001 Accords - both driven less than 40k miles and both got wrecked, SOLD
    2002 Accord - My Grandmother's daily driver, 88k miles
    2003 Accord - LCD Display Failure at 50-60k miles or so, wrecked, SOLD
    2005 Accord - Suspension Rattle fixed for free despite being 30k miles past warranty expiration, SOLD
    2006 Accord - a current daily driver with 17k miles, loose rear-view mirror fixed under warranty

    All Automatics, 4-cylinder models. Not ONE ever left us stranded unless a battery was dead.

    That's all the problems my family and I have had in the last 15 years or so with Accords. At 172k miles in my current one, I'm befuddled by a "blown" engine. What model/year was that car, if I may ask?
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    Its good to do an extended ride and it shows just how different everyones taste and comfort level is.
    After I test drive the Corolla I couldnt imagine anyone ever getting comfortable in one thats how much I hated it. The power I thought was atrocious for a modern small car. However, everyone is shaped differently and want different things. The MPG in a Corolla is better than my Cobalts 25MPG but I enjoy driving my car which to me is more important.
    I only took a short drive in the Mazda 3 and found it to be more comfortable than my Cobalt in the seat and handled better but for some reason the side of my leg kept rubbing against the center console.
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    I have always found Honda's seats to be extremely uncomfortable personally. i dont know if it improved with the new model but the new dash is so fugly I wouldnt even consider it. Shame though. otherwise I like Honda as a company. But those seats, ugh.
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    Just curious since you like GM cars, did you ever test drive a Cobalt?
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    Nissan vehicles are less reliable than GM.
    Toyota vehicles may be more reliable but not by much and except for the Camry are amazingly unspectacular in every way. Many people buy a Toyota based on what they read in CR, which is a biased rag. But I digress............
This discussion has been closed.