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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3



  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    >So, after some thought, I've decided to go for the Mazda3i with
    >loaded options (ABS, Power, A/C, 4speed AT).

    Congrats on making a decision! I think you were right to decide on the 3i instead of the 3s, based on your stated preferences. If you don't care for more horsepower and prefer the higher fuel efficiency of the 3i, then it's most likely not worth it (to you) to pay more for the 3s, even if it is "only" $800 more.

    >The invoice price for my loaded Mazda3i is $16,794, including
    >destination charge but excluding taxes and associated fees. If I
    >can knock the price down to the invoice or below, and take
    >advantage of known rebates (a recent grad rebate and a Gerber
    >cash rebate are supposedly available), then I think I can get an
    >out-the-door price of $18000 or below.

    The Gerber rebate's still available, but the grad rebate has been discontinued..sorry! Even without the grad rebate, you're talking ~$16500 for the 3i, not the 18k MSRP. So, when comparing the prices of cars, you should make sure to think "what would I actually pay for each of these cars", not "what is the MSRP of each of these cars", because the 2 questions have very different answers. If unsure, use Edmunds TMV as a rough guide of the "what would I actually pay" prices.
  • modockmodock Posts: 55
    I don't know where you live but here in Denver you can get any mazda at the dealer I bought from for 2% over invoice + $350 Doc fees. I know the doc fees are not necessary but I was not looking to get the best possible price. I wanted to best price with little to no hassle and that is what I got.

    That would make your 3i with Power Package, AC, AT, and ABS have invoice of 16,794. So the price before tax and license would be 17,480 less any applicable rebates. If you do better than this you would be getting a decent deal. They can be had for less but then most of the time you have to do a lot of haggling with the sales people.

    Let us know how you did.
  • pmc255pmc255 Posts: 15
    I've been corresponding with some dealers in the Seattle area (I'm moving up there in mid-August) just to get an idea of the prices. For my specific vehicle (3i with Power, AC, AT, ABS) invoiced at $16,794, two dealers have responded with the same exact initial quote of $17,074, exactly $300 above invoice.

    I think that is already quite a good deal, considering that it's below both the TMV price on Edmunds ($17,524) and the CarsDirect price ($17,144, albeit not available in the Seattle area). I'm a first-time buyer, but I do want to make an attempt at haggling with the dealers to try to get a good deal. My goal is of course invoice, if not a little below, perhaps $16,500. I'll try to use my "I'm going to buy a Corolla if you don't give me a good price" mentality as a leverage point. :P

    I am a little wary about the "extra stuff" the dealers will throw at me unexpectedly, however. I've heard people getting decent prices, but end up shelling out a lot more money because of doc fees, warranties, extra accessories (ie. lojack), etc. Hopefully I'll be able to turn those down if they offer them. I can do fine with just the Mazda warranty, and will add extra security to my car in the future when I find it necessary.
  • earlthomearlthom Posts: 16
    My wife drove all three cars today. Her job includes a lot of work in ergonomics - so she is an expert. Here is her evaluation. (For reference - she is about 5' 8" and "normal" build). She has also worked for an automobile seat manufacturer.

    Seating: Honda's seats have the longest "pan" and are the only ones to almost reach to behind the knee. Materials are soft but supportive and position is comfortable. Mazda comes in second with a firm, supportive seat - but may be too firm for some on long trips. The telescoping steering wheel Toyota has the shortest seat and an awkward position, especially for a driver with long legs. Lack of a telescoping steering wheel makes for an uncomfortable reach.

    Instrumentation: All three scored well here, but Mazda had an edge on variety of lighting options for conditions.

    Noise: Mazda was the quietest on the road and had the least noise during acceleration and braking. Honda was almost as quiet on the road, but had more engine noise. Toyota had a lot of initial acceleration noise.

    All three lacked decent arm rests for the driver's right arm.

    Rear room was cramped in all three with Honda seeming the tightest and Mazda the most roomy - if a compact can ever seem roomy.

    Toyota's trunk impressed as did Mazda's glove box.

    Steering wheel mounted audio and cruise on the Mazda was a huge plus for ergonomics and safety.

    Overall driving impressions: She like the Honda the best, but confesses to being somewhat biased as she's driven Hondas for the last 15 years. Mazda was the most fun to drive, but gas mileage wasn't as good as Honda. No love for the Corolla - even though the second car for the past 12 years has been a Corolla.

    Don't know if that helps anyone out there - but there it is!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Some responses from an owner ...

    All three lacked decent arm rests for the driver's right arm.

    I can see this comment coming from a person with a smaller frame. Being tall, I tend to keep the seat back quite a ways, which gives me plenty of center-armrest real estate. No complaints here -- but I can see how there'd be less armrest if I slid the seat way forward.

    Toyota's trunk impressed as did Mazda's glove box.

    Actually there are times that I hate my 3's glovebox! I'll put something in there (like an extra beverage bottle), and when I reach over to retrieve it, I find it has slid all the way to the back of the glovebox and wayyyy out of reach from the driver's seat!

    Thank God for the 3's brisk acceleration -- most of the time it's the only way I can get that bottle to come back to me! :)

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    OK, let's all take a deep breath and say, "YAWNNNNNN!!!"

    Can we say "Neon" front end glued to a "Pontiac Fiero" rear, complete with Bayliner-inspired reverse transom?

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Far from a yawner. It actually looks pretty darn good... from the photo.
  • witmanwitman Posts: 11
    To be honest, the new Coupe Civic looks like the new Mitsubushi Eclipse 2006. The front bumper (well view) looks very similar. Of course the old Civic coupe looks way better. Cars these days are too round like the 350z. In my opinion, this is a quite a bit "yawner" .. but aren't most cars nowadays like that? Very round to achieve maximum aerodynamics? :confuse:
  • pmc255pmc255 Posts: 15
    Anyone think it's worth waiting for the '06 Mazda3 or '06 Civic? The '06 Civic is supposedly a new-generation Civic, and much of the details are unknown. The '06 Mazda3 is a continuation, but has different trims with different options and may be a better deal for the same price as the '05 models.

    From what I heard, the '06 Civic is coming out around November, and I don't think I can go car-less for that long. At best, I will wait for the '06 Mazda3 to come out and see if it's worth getting, or maybe try to get an '05 Mazda3 for a bargain.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    2006 Civics will be in dealer showrooms in September. Probably the sedans first, the coupes slightly later.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    2006 Civic buyers are buying a car in its first year on the market. Baaaaad move if you ask me ... which you didn't. So there.

    But let's just say I told you so now, OK?

  • earlthomearlthom Posts: 16
    From one look at that picture of the 06 Civic, I'm leaning way over toward Mazda 3.

    Does anyone have details on trim options on the '06 Mazda 3? It was mentioned above.
  • sporty05sporty05 Posts: 3
    I bought a Mazda3 last week. I drove the Corolla but not the Civic as my parents have had Civics since 1984 so I already knew what they were like. The Mazda3 drove like a sports car compared to the Corolla. I thought I was going thru a wind tunnel when I drove the Corolla. Can you tell I really like the Mazda3? Enough said, either one of the three is an excellent car, just depends on what your looking for.
  • herrkaleuherrkaleu Posts: 62
    since I'm looking into those 3 cars, I noticed the Mazda is the most expensive and the thirstiest. but when you consider that the 5-door Mazda has a 17 cft cargo space, you could compare it more to an Accord (14 cft) or a Camry (16.7 cft.) then, the Mazda 3 is cheaper and has good mileage.
    In addition, I look into ABS and curtain airbags. local Toyota dealers (Madison/WI) say the ones I look for (just LE/S with cruise control and the safety features) are not really available. On the other hand, Mazda dealers have Mazda 3 with ABS/airbags available. Well, you just should take into account what is actually available. And not having safety features is a huge drawback to me (tells you about the attitude of a manufacturer).
    I heard, 2006 5-door Mazda have ABS standard. Airbags (side&curtain) standard on the touring and grand touring models. toyota delaer told me there is no change in 2006 models regarding to what i want. Only special order would do it.. this, and the hatchback&larger trunk favor the Mazda.
  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    In addition, I look into ABS and curtain airbags. local Toyota dealers (Madison/WI) say the ones I look for (just LE/S with cruise control and the safety features) are not really available.

    Somewhat off topic, but this was the same reason that my wife and I first started looking at Mazdas. We're about to have our first child, so a full list of safety features (including side curtain airbags) were a requirement for our new car. To get that in a Toyota Camry or a Toyota Matrix, the dealer told us that we'd need to special order it and add lots of other required/bundled packages that we didn't need or want (sunroof, 6-disc CD changer, etc.). The ABS + side curtain airbags package on the Mazda3, and the fact that it was readily available, made our decision easy for us.

    We basically decided that we'd rather pay $18000 for a Mazda3 with side curtain airbags (just paying for the car and options that we wanted) than $18000 for a Toyota Matrix (a cheaper base car, with the price "artifically" increased by a whole lot of options we didn't want). We ended up "up-sizing" and got a Mazda5 instead for about the same price, but the Mazda3 hatch was our 2nd choice.
  • joshscarjoshscar Posts: 4
    I test drove the Corolla and Mazda3, and ended up buying the Corolla. First of all, the reliability and fit/finish of the toyota's was superior. Yes, the Mazda3 was sportier, and was availible with much more features- but at a much higher price. I got my Corolla LE with almost everything besides sunroof for $15k after rebate. I would have paid $17-$18k for the Mazda3. The civic EX has everything my car has + the sunroof for $18k+. Also, there are almost never rebates for hondas. The Corolla also seemed roomier in the inside to me, which has come in handy in the long road trips. The Corolla also seemed a little more elegant on the inside.

    All three are great cars are great, I just saw more pros with the Corolla.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    ... test drove the Corolla and Mazda3 ... reliability and fit/finish of the toyota's was superior. Yes, the Mazda3 was sportier, and was availible with much more features- but at a much higher price. I got my Corolla LE with almost everything besides sunroof for $15k after rebate. I would have paid $17-$18k for the Mazda3.

    Which Mazda3 model are you comparing to the Corolla LE? The i (2.0L with 148 hp) or the s (2.3L with 160 hp)? I believe the 1.8 L Corolla LE is rated at 130 hp.
    What reference are you using for reliability? Consumer Reports shows both with excellent reliability for many years.
    What rebates have you calculated for the Corolla and the Mazda3?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    STILL glad I didn't wait for the Civic!

    Check out the pics in this review ...

    Pic No. 1 -- Can you say Camry Solara?
    Pic No. 2 -- Ummm, Prius?
    Pic No. 3 -- Who stepped on my Civic? (Looks like the front end got caught under the car-squasher at the salvage yard!)

    Also note that a hatch version isn't forecast until 2007.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    (Just keep clicking "next photo" at the top -- 3 pages it appears)

    I can't find a classy line anywhere on this car. Looks too "modified" from the get-go.

  • chidorochidoro Posts: 125
    I actually like it quite a bit and I am sure I am not alone. To each his/her own I guess.

    The civic EX has everything my car has + the sunroof for $18k+. Also, there are almost never rebates for hondas.

    Honda provides factory to dealer incentives instead of rebates. Carsdirect had a 2005 EX w/ auto and side airbags for $17,075. They are going to be pushing out the '05s pretty hard to make room for the '06s so I'm not sure why you would anticipate a $18k+ price. Just some food for thought.
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