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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3

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  • 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?

    Meade
  • 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 ...

    http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=102866

    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.

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

    http://www.autoweek.com/files/specials/galleries/newcivics/pages/01.htm

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

    Meade
  • 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.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The coupe looks a little like a cross between the Acura RSX and the Scion TC - I like the looks of both - but its hard to tell by a spy photo - I am sure many Civic owners will say the current car looks better - but others will love it.

    Just like the Mazda3 when it first came out. I can recall Protegee owners saying how much better their "PRO" was than the new Mazda.

    I wonder what HP the smaller engine will have - I am pretty sure the 200 HP will only come with a manual tranny.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I actually like it quite a bit and I am sure I am not alone.

    I agree. This is going to be quite a contender with its multiple models (hybrid, regular, SI coupe, CRX!), Honda history of reliability, and costing structure (any know what the prices will be?). A host of wannabe Acura Integra RSX type S drivers will certainly take notice of this line-up.

    Mazda (and others) will need to stay on their toes and keep on innovating; that's good news for all us drivers!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    This is going to be quite a contender with its ... history of reliability

    Well, there doesn't seem to be much difference anymore:

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/11/08/pf/autos/cr_auto_reliability/

    Meade
  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    I agree...I hate the pictures I've seen of the new Civic. Glad I've got an '02 model :D

    Some people will love the looks of the new Civic while others will hate it, because "style" is of course a subjective thing.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You're right, Meade, the Mazda3 is one of the most reliable vehicles.

    What Toyota and Honda have going for them is a brand name that is synonymous with reliability for many consumers . Unfortunately, Mazda has some work to do in that department, especially with its Mazda6. Rebuilding a reputation is more difficult than building one as Hyundai knows.

    Of the 32 car models with the highest reliability ratings, 29 were from Japan-based manufacturers. Toyota, with 16, and Honda, with 7, had the most vehicles with top reliability ratings.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    This type of recall is actually good news in my books, Meade. Rather than wait for the problem to escalate or force owners to discover it down the road, Honda did the right thing with its "voluntary" recall. The problem, in this case, seems insignificant (i.e. a poorly sealed sensor triggers a warning light) but as the spokesperson notes, safety is paramount.

    Sara Pines, a Honda spokeswoman, said there have been no reports of the frontal air bags improperly deploying or failing to deploy and there have been no injuries associated with the sensors. Anything that's related to safety is important to us. We feel that the best thing to do is simply to have this voluntary recall," Pines said. ... Owners will be notified ... and dealers will replace the sensors at no additional cost to the consumers."

    No one is perfect and exaggerated claims about reliability eventually backfire. On the other hand, a manufacturer should admit to defects, especially when safety is at issue, and act expeditiously to correct them. Honda may not be perfect but they are right. Then again, I wouldn't want Honda to be right too often. ;)
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The problem, in this case, seems insignificant (i.e. a poorly sealed sensor triggers a warning light)

    I see you too believed Honda's "kinder, gentler" version of its recall notice, and actually took their word that the sensor only controls an idiot light.

    You were unknowingly sucked in by Honda's sweet, reassuring language (here's a quote): "The Honda Motor Co. will recall thousands of its Odyssey minivans amid concerns that potentially faulty sensors for the frontal air bag system could make a warning lamp on the instrument panel remain illuminated, the company said Wednesday."

    Now read the way NHTSA worded it:

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/AUTOS/08/03/bc.autos.honda.recall.reut/index.html?section=cnn_late- - - -

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about reliability and recalls. But until recently, Honda wasn't known for recalling its vehicles -- recently it seems they've had a slew of them. And I'm not a big fan of Honda downplaying the severity of the recall in this case. Some may read Honda's version of the notice and say, "Well, it's just a light. I'll get it done whenever," not knowing that their air bags could fail in a frontal collision.

    Meade
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Interesting omission on Honda's part. Thanks Inspector Meade. You're one of the main reasons I visit this forum regularly.
  • pmc255pmc255 Posts: 15
    Oh boy, 2006 Mazda3 info is out. Should I wait? Or should I try to catch the deal on '05 clearances? For the packages/options I want, the '06 would actually be almost $2000 cheaper than the '05 I want. Plus, I doubt I will be able to find an '05 that matches exactly what I'm looking for...

    Ah, what a dilemma!!
  • Where do you find the information on the 06 automatic hatchback mazda 3?
    Why is this car less $$ in 06 ; if I read correctly??
    Does this include 05 rebates, incentives.....
    SS Seafolk
  • Check edmund mazda 3 here, it already has price and options of 06 but i dont know how accurate that info. Nothing from official mazda site though.
  • I've read over past posts and am in the process of deciding which car to buy. I ruled out the corolla early on because I really don't like the exterior look of it, so I'm choosing between the Mazda 3s and the Honda Civic. I definitely DON'T like the new '06 Civic that's coming out, it looks too much like the accord and is too big and futuristic for my taste. I've test driven the civic several times and was pretty decided until I found the Mazda 3, which I test drove today. I love the interior of the 3 but the Civic's reputation of reliability and mileage is hard to ignore, although my mom has a Mazda Tribute and has been completely satisfied by it. I'm just not sure how long a 3 will last when I've heard of civic's often going up to 200, 300, and even 400 thousand miles. We'll see! :shades:
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Well, maybe this will help. Here's my experience with the Mazda3 and its predecessors to date (all were purchased new and traded at the stated mileage unless otherwise noted):

    1992 Protege LX: 28,000 miles, totaled in hydroplaning accident :cry:
    1992 Protege LX no. 2: 83,000 miles, zero problems
    2000 Protege ES: 91,100 miles, front strut bushings replaced at 85,000 miles
    2002 Protege5: 52,000 miles, wife's current car, zero problems
    2005 Mazda3s hatch: 7,600 miles, my current car, zero problems

    Granted, I haven't kept one of these cars past 100,000 miles, but my 2000 Protege really took a beating over the five years I owned it, and it never had one problem other than the bushings -- which I caused by my, um, "spirited" driving around 25-mph off-ramps at 50 mph, "slaloming" down our street to entertain our 4-year-old, etc. I also had the Protege up past 90 mph more times than I can count, and once to 105. (I guess I'll defend myself here by saying NO, I'm not a college-aged kid -- I'm 40! But Mazdas are just too damned fun.) I guess it pays to be related to two of the judges in my county; I got let off with a warning twice in the last four years -- the most recent time I was stopped for going 70 in a 35 -- and yep, he let me off with a warning!

    :P

    Meade
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    tomzpri, please drop me an email as soon as you see this - pat AT edmunds.com - thanks!
  • earlthomearlthom Posts: 16
    IF you can find the '05 you want and IF the dealer is offering incentives - then I'd probably grab it. In my area (upper midwest) the inventory of 05's is pretty much gone and dealers are still almost at MSRP. I'm waiting for the '06.
  • Honda has released some new pictures and stats on all models of the 06 Civic. Production looks of the sedan seem much less extreme the the pre-production pics of the Si. Features look good with ABS with EBD standard on the sedan and an available 5-speed automatic. No official word on the 1.8L 140HP sedan engine's mileage - but at $3/gallon it is going to be interesting to a lot of shoppers out there. I can't find info on prices yet, either. Still, Mazda and Toyota may need to up their game.
  • The Corolla isn't on my shopping list, but the Civic and Mazda3 are. I've also been thinking about a Mazda6 i, but it would have to be slightly used or demo model to get into my price range (prefer under $17k).

    I've got offers from one dealer today on the Civic EX SE 5-speed for $16,400. A Mazda dealer quoted me $16,600 for a 3 i 5-speed with CD/Moonroof. That dealer doesn't have any 3 s 5-speeds left.

    I'm wondering if I should keep trying to find a 3 s or would a 3 i suffice? I kinda think I'd rather have the 2.3L, but with gas prices the 2.0L might be a good thing.

    The looming '06 changes and the all new Civic also make me question whether to buy now. The new Civic isn't very pretty, but I do like the specs and equipment (particularly the AUX jack for the stereo).

    Decisions, decisions....
  • What area are you in? I assume both of those quotes, for the Civic and the 3, are both for 2005, right?
  • I'm in Atlanta and yes, those are quotes for '05 models. I'd rather have a stripped 3 s than the loaded 3 i I'm being quoted on, but I'll have to wait for an '06 to get that.

    My gut feeling is to hold out for a few more weeks. If the '06 Civic drives great, I might can get over the looks of it. If I decide to go with a Mazda3, it appears that the '06 pricing has gone down in some cases.
This discussion has been closed.