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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I think you are both right.

    As manufacturers add components and features they tend to make vehicles heavier resulting in lower fuel efficiency.

    But there has also been controversy about how the EPA rates vehicles. Most drivers don't achieve the EPA ratings because the norms are not developed using real driving conditions. Some have speculated that the EPA is rating vehicles as being more fuel efficient than they are in reality in order to get auto manufacturers off the hook. If the numbers that most vehicles get were shown on the EPA sticker, many drivers would be aghast. Some would even wonder how are vehicles like Armadas, Hummers, Yukons allowed on the road considering the damage they do to the environment. Instead, vehicles are tested in artifical conditions resulting in unrealistic numbers. I have found Consumer Reports projected fuel economy numbers more accurate; they routinely downgrade the EPA ratings by 20% or more. For example, when the EPA rates your vehicle at 30 mpg it's likely closer to 24 mpg.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I've had my 06 ex civic for almost ten months now and i'm loving every minute of it. I too considered mazda and toyotas offerings but to be honest i didn't feel like they were offering anything as interesting or innovative as honda. Honda pushes the envelope, toyota stays bland, mazda does what already has been done, just better. Alot of stuff posted on the internet seems to be very negative about the civic, probably because everyone who owns one is out driving it and loving it. Think about it: it has a very unorthodox dash, not the most power in its class and it is not the cheapest. Does that stop if from being consumer reports top rated sedan? No. Does that stop people from purchasing it? No. A lady was trading in her mazda 3s sedan the day i bought my civic. How ironic. I don't think the 3 is a bad car at all. I just think it isn't amazing. The handling this and the handling that. The handling my nuts. My civic has AWESOME handling and that is no overstatement. Plus it rides on 16 inch wheels and has all season tires on it. The mazda comes off as a little cheesy to me sometimes. Too overly sporty for its own good. My car is sporty too, and it give me 29 miles in the city and 38 on the highway on average! (my fiance lives 2 1/2 miles away from we and we see eachother every weekend so mileage was a very important factor when purchasing my vehicle.) I think more civic owners need to speak about how wonderful their cars are. Everyone i know who has seen my car always compliments me on it. And i just cant justify a 2.3 liter engine that gets v-6 gas mileage. And the corolla? Bland at best. The s is better and although i don't hate it i dont love it. Man it has a loud engine!! Civic all way man. Civic civic civic. Just remember that and you will fare well.
  • Weight is an independent variable, since the EPA tests the same car as the public drives (same weight)... therefore the estimated numbers should be similar to the real-world numbers.

    I'm talking about the actual highway mileage that my 9 year old car got compared to the EPA hwy estimate for THAT CAR, not comparing it with newer cars. I routinely achieved better than EPA numbers with a 180k mile/9 year old car that burned oil, which blew my mind at the time.

    Today, cars rarely achieve their EPA estimates in the real world for whatever reason.
  • funpgfunpg Posts: 3
    As a former 96 Accord owner, I am a great admirer of Honda and the Civic (the style of the coupe knocks my socks off!), but got a great deal on a Mazda3 S hatchback. It is loaded with content, looks great, and is a blast to drive. In a perfect world, I would have bought both and had the daily choice of What-To-Drive? I agree with previous comments that the Mazda is a little edgy, not as refined a ride as a Honda and I wouldn't mind better mileage (or a larger tank - seems like I am always filling it up!). Ain't life great? :)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I think all the car companies have studied the EPA test and do their best to show higher numbers ON THE TEST. Best example of this would be the hybrids. EPA says they get 60 MPH (or whatever) but in the real world they don't even come close.

    The EPA is after all a government agency - what do you expect?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think all the car companies have studied the EPA test and do their best to show higher numbers ON THE TEST. Best example of this would be the hybrids. EPA says they get 60 MPH (or whatever) but in the real world they don't even come close.

    Then Honda sure didn't try very hard... I get well over EPA estimates on trips in my Accord traveling at 75 MPH...I've even gotten 39.96 MPG once and average around 38 MPG at that speed (75)(it stickers at 34 MPG)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    So in your opinion the car companies (at least Honda) sand bag the EPA results so that cars actually get MORE MPG? Or maybe they completely ignore the detailed rules and methods of the EPA and just make cars the best way they can.

    I guess anything is possible -

    I normally get close to the EPA city rating as an overall combined average. I may start out a trip driving close to the speed limit - but after a while end up following traffic which is normally around 80 MPH - that does hurt MPG. I hate it when I am cruising along at 65 MPH (speed limit) and have a steady stream of cars passing me on the left - which would not be that bad - except I am always getting caught behind someone going 55 in the right lane and because of the constant stream of passing cars I can't (safely) get around the guy doing 55. It almost seems safer to go 80 MPH and just stay in the normal flow of traffic.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Nah, i don't think that car companies particularly design a car around or for EPA tests, but that's just my opinion...

    The reason I stay at 75 MPH is that the car is revving high enough to never have to downshift in hills, but low enough that it is still relatively efficient (2,500 RPM).

    I made the same trip at 68 MPH (less than 2,300 RPM) and the car had to downshift on a lot more hills, making my economy actually lower than when I went 75 MPH.
  • FWIW, I got an overall average of 30-31 mpg on my 2005 Mazda3 5 speed hatch. This includes about 50% highway, 50% city driving over the course of an entire year. Sure the Civic gets better mileage, but I feel that the M3 is so much more fun to drive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Honda hater... in fact, I love Hondas. You can't go wrong with them! But for the money, I'm willing to sacrifice a little MPG in return for a more exciting driving experience.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I've driven both and the driving experience isn't so amazing that it blows the civic out of the water...the civic handles very nicely and offers a better balance between comfort. Factor in mileage and your get 2 for the civic AND sporty handling. Were not comparing an elise to a civic you know...
  • I totally agree... If you can't appreciate how much better the 3 handles compared to the civic, you're probably better off with the civic.

    Personally, I would say the 3 is several substantial notches ahead of the civic when it comes to "sportiness". In fact, in my driving, I would say the 3 is very fun to drive while the civic is pretty bland. The civic isnt a mush-mobile, but it's not very entertaining. I also find the 3 gives up little in terms of comfort compared to the civic (eg. I find the seats to be more supportive in the 3 and ride is not overly harsh).

    But yea, the "sportiness" or w/e you want to call it is really the one area where the 3 really shines over the civic. If it's not noticeable, then the only drawbacks to the civic may be a weaker engine and styling (which is subjective).

    Of course, the 3 gives up little to the civic in every other category including fuel consumption, comfort, build quality, reliability, resale value... etc. The civic wins in those, but not by a substantial amount. That's the why the 3 has been getting so much praise here in the States. It has the "fun factor" without losing too much of everything else.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    We happen to have both cars and I couldn't agree more. The 3 is definitely a "drivers car" while the Civic is the "perfect car". The Civic does so many things right and it's a great car for the majority. But the 3 is like a ride and it's fun to thrash it around. We love them both, but for different reasons.

    The Sandman :)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I totally agree... If you can't appreciate how much better the 3 handles compared to the civic, you're probably better off with the civic

    The civic is just as fun to thrash around. I can appreciate a fine handling car trust me. I've driven both vehicles extensively and there was nothing that i could do in the 3 that i couldn't do with the civic. And trust me i thrashed them about quite a bit. Is the 3 marginally better? Yes it is. Marginally. So marginally in fact that after you factor in fuel ecomomy and resale value, getting the 3 (to me) for sporting abilities doesn't make much sense. Get a true enthusiast car. The civic si could eat the 3 for lunch in the handling dept. and thier power and mileage figures are about the same.

    I think the 3 is a very nice car, and i actually considered it very strongly at one point esp. the hatch version. But i personally adore the way the new civic looks, that and its horspower to engine size ratio, silky smooth transmission, outstanding fuel ecomomy and great dash layout made it the winner in my book. Do i bash anyone for having a 3? No but it certainly is not so much sportier that it makes the civic pale. Sandman you should toss your civic me its up to the task. ;)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Marginally. So marginally in fact that after you factor in fuel economy and resale value, getting the 3 (to me) for sporting abilities doesn't make much sense

    The handling is better then "marginal" much better. Edmunds slalom test showed the Mazda3 went through it at 69mph(quicker then the WRX, I know, hard to believe) and the Civic was 64.6. The Mazda3 is also 1 second quicker 0-60 and .8 in the quarter mile. Also, fuel economy, according to CR, is only 29-30mpg highway in the Civic . Resale value is the same.
  • eldaino, is the civic's emergency brake handle against your right leg a problem for you?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Mazda3 is also 1 second quicker 0-60

    How so? The most recent comparison places the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic against each other. While I think the 3 is a very nice car, I think you have overexaggerated some test numbers based on the Motor Trend article I read and have sitting in front of me now.

    Honda Civic LX - $17,555:

    33 MPG
    0-60 in 7.7 seconds
    Quarter Mile in 16.1 @ 87 MPH
    Top Speed 125 MPH
    Lane Change 64.6 MPH

    Mazda 3s Touring - $18,885

    27 MPG
    0-60 in 7.3 seconds
    Quarter Mile in 15.8 @ 88 MPH
    Top Speed 118 MPH
    Lane Change 66.3 MPH

    So, for an extra 6 MPG, you give up .4 seconds to 60 MPH, less than that in the quarter mile, and some extra grip.

    It's not a runaway, aviboy. If fuel economy is at all in consideration, the Civic may just top people's list. If max sport tops your list, then the 3 should be up your alley.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I know the question wasn't directed at me, but at 6'4", the emergency brake in the Civic sedan was no problem.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    not really. I'm only 5'8 and it never 'dug' into my leg like others have said. Your knees usually touch something when you sit a certain way and in the civic, its usually the ebrake handle. It was never ever an issue for me.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i'm not one to go by numbers and like i said, the civic is just as capable. The 3 is shod with 17's in that test, and you can get them as an option, but the civic they tested has 16's. Its low numbers were also attributed to its tires; bridgestone turanza el 400s. Those are all season touring tires. The mazda has all seasons as well, but they were performance all seasons (usually either goodyear eagle rs-a's or toyo proxes.) Again its not mazdas fault the civic is shod like this, but handling is very dependent on tires as well. Even so, i'll take ACTUALLY driving both cars and putting them to thier limits in the REAL world over what some article has said. They are good places to start, but the civic handles just as competently nonetheless.
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