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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3

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Comments

  • Okay you said :

    "An economy car is an automobile that is designed for low-cost operation. "

    Low cost operation, the key word being operation, in an economic sense is gas cost and maintenance cost. There are also factors such as reliability, tire cost,repair costs, insurance cost ,but these are not the major differentiating metrics.

    Operation has nothing to do with sticker price according to your defintion.

    My choice for economy car is the Mercedes 320CDi ; low operation cost.

    The point is that mpg should be a significant factor in an economic car evaluation and it was not in the Edmunds economic car comparison.

    If it were considered then Honda Civic would have been the winner. But hey, Honda Civic continues to win year after year and after all the Mazda 3 is a fun ,sporty car just not economical.

    I tend to side with LegalPenguin, I think the Honda Civic is the best choice out of the 3: Best relability, Best mileage, good layout of controls, and the smoothest manual shift.

    Cheers,

    MidCow
  • These days it is a fashion to say that this or that car is 'plain vanilla', 'for the masses', 'run of the mill' etc etc. The latest Civic is by no stretch of imagination a plain vanilla car, any more than a Mazda 3. The 3 is a great little car, but by no means unique.

    Coming back to what Honda stamps out to the 'masses', well they make what people want to buy, not something that will sit in dealer lots and have to be discounted 4-5 thousand dollars. And what exactly do you think american masses are, idiots??? People talk and talk about different cars, but when time comes to vote with their wallets, everyone takes a more realistic look at things. This is the sole reason that the 05 Civic was handily outselling the 3 even with the 3 being considered a sportier car. This will continue, I have no doubt on that, and not because Mazda can't make more 3s.

    Anyway, Honda does make some pretty exciting cars (IMHO) some of which are listed below:

    S2000
    New Civic Si
    2006 Accord V6 Stick
    Acuras - TSX, TL, RSX

    Even the Odyssey is considered a sporty minivan. Apart from this, Honda itself is an exciting car/motor company, as demonstrated by their race presence. In F-1, they are considered at the top of the heap in power, pulling in around 900 HP from a 3.0L engine.

    In the market place, Hondas are usually a the top of the heap in their respective classes, both in HP as well as Gas Mileage. That is the reason most of the cars/SUVs they make sell well, in fact are best sellers.
  • Where is that in Mars? Give me me data please.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,683
    i'm guessing from comments that the new civic is way better than the old one. drove the last generation and hated the lack of feel. i bought an '04 focus. other than the cheap interior, it's a pretty good, fun car to drive. some cars are great on paper, but not so great to live with. i have never been able to get comfortable in toyota seats. the drivers seat in a sport package focus is way better than the standard setup.
  • Here are my subjective views of the pros and cons of both cars-

    Mazda3-
    PRO- exterior styling, interior styling, acceleration, handling, black interior available
    CON- lower gas mileage than some competitors (s model), driver seat a little cramped for bigger folks, harsh ride on imperfect surfaces

    Honda Civic-
    PRO- looks great from side and back, innovative and spacious interior, fuel economy, comfortable big-car ride
    CON- front is unattractive, interior color choices are bland, no higher performance sedan option

    Both really are fantastic cars. I think 3 sales will continue to increase with rising gas prices and Honda will have no problems selling their 300,000 planned units this year.

    For me, it comes down to whether I want sportiness/handling (Mazda) or comfort and economy (Honda). I'm leaning toward the sportiness and handling.

    If only Honda would offer an Si Sedan....
  • The 3 i does get significantly better fuel economy than the s.

    Here are the figures-

    i - MT- 28/35
    AT- 26/34

    s- MT- 25/32
    AT- 24/29

    Mazda doesn't have the '06 specs listed on their site yet, so the AT figures are for '05 models. The i had some engine modifications that might affect mileage and the s has the 5-speed automatic this year which may increase economy.
  • ezpilzeezpilze Posts: 29
    I just realized this, why isn't the nissan sentra in this compar anyways? The SE-R is within or around the price range of the mazda 3 as well, while the 1.8S is definintely within the corollas price range... Same with the Mitsubishi ralliart... wait, why were these 3 cars the ONLY econo-cars to be compared anyways?

    Oh well whatever, and in regards to mdaffron, I'm glad your experiences with mazdas were enjoyable, but from the amount of mileage I see on your mazdas and based on their years, I'm guessing you did alot of city and freeway driving only(sorry if I'm wrong). In my case the cars were driven under more severe conditions both from the driver and the environment(Hills, snow, desert heat, etc). I'm not saying that Hondas and Toyotas were impervious to all the abuse, but on average they tended to last longer before needing any maintainence.
  • Can't remember the source, but the '06 s 5AT gets 25/31
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The latest Civic is by no stretch of imagination a plain vanilla car, any more than a Mazda 3.
    I could not agree with you more. And as allfiredup noted they both have their audiences. What I find useful in these forums is the expression of what's important to various audiences. For example, I love cars that provide taut, precise moves and would be prepared to give up the comfort found in other cars that give me the feeling of "floating" over the road. There is nothing wrong with being in one or the other group. Also, as 03accordman rightly writes, Honda can make exciting cars. Did you know that Soichiro Honda, the firebrand founder, who was called the "Latin" of Japanese automaking, was a racer of his own creations and once sustained a serious injury taking two years of recovery (all this from a wonderful book by Wanda James called Driving from Japan).

    The 3 is a great little car
    Among the names Mazda used for its compact cars besides 3 was 323 and GLC; when asked what GLC meant, the response was "great little car".
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I'm guessing you did alot of city and freeway driving only(sorry if I'm wrong). In my case the cars were driven under more severe conditions both from the driver and the environment(Hills, snow, desert heat, etc).

    I would think 4,000 miles a month (for 28 months) of stop-and-go Pizza Hut delivery driving in all manners of weather, from 100-degree, high-humidity mid-Atlantic summers to winter ice storms, sleet and snow, would just about beat any snow or desert weather you could throw at a car. And my second '92 weathered (sorry) that kind of environment from the day it left the lot until the day I traded it in 83,000 miles later, and never had one problem.

    No, I'm not saying the 3 is for everyone. Nor am I saying I expect all Mazdas to perform the way mine did. (But ya gotta admit, after five nearly flawless cars, the odds are in favor of my experiences.) I'm glad Pat came in and set a few things straight here. It seems that some people here don't understand that our opposing opinions are healthy and they balance out the comparison. None of the three cars in question is a "bad" car, any more than any of us being more "right" than the other. My reasons for liking my car are just as important to me as your reasons for liking your car are to you, and the Town Hall (and more specifically, this comparo discussion) exists so we can yack it out -- in a civil manner, hopefully while still having a little fun jabbing each other -- so prospective buyers can tap into what's important to them and make a decision based upon our experiences. In other words, this discussion exists so I can say the Civic is "plain vanilla" as much as that person can say the Civic is the best thing since vanilla pudding in a take-along six-pack. :P

    You state your opinion, I'll state mine. Each of us is correct for our own reasons. But don't think you're going to change my opinion -- or, more importantly, my demeanor -- by calling me overly personal, insensitive or overreactive. This is a forum about cars -- and cars are a highly opinionated, overly subjective, and explosively passionate subject for many. Especially those of us who prefer not to drive what everybody else is driving, and who base our choice of car on more than just what some publication told us we should be driving.

    BTW, regarding that "economy" definition, I'd like you to consider my "cost of ownership" against the Civic even with its 8-mpg highway lead. Since Mazda has paid for all my oil changes for the first three years (value $240 @ $20 per change), plus all my tires for life (assuming two more sets @ $450 -- that's lowballing it, btw -- which comes to $900), plus it has a timing chain which will not cost me $400 to replace in the fourth or fifth year of ownership, buying my Mazda3 has already saved me $1,540. The Civic gets 8 more mpg, which at $3.00 a gallon and the 11 gallons it takes to fill up my Mazda3, equates to about $7.50 more per fillup of my 3 than if I had a Civic (assuming all we do is highway driviing -- but again, I'll lowball myself for the sake of this argument). I fill my tank about every 10 days. I keep my cars for about five years. That's 183 fillups. 183 x $7.50 = $1,372.50 the Civic would be saving me over five years, compared to the $1,540 I'm saving in Mazda-supplied oil changes and tires, and the fact that I won't need a timing belt and the Civic will. So I actually save more than $167 by driving the 3 instead of the Civic.

    One more thing -- somebody listed the Mazda3's seats as a "con" because they could be uncomfortable for larger drivers. Well boys and girls, I'm 6-1 and weigh 280 pounds, and I shop in the "big and tall" stores. Unlike some of you, I DID go and look at the competition, and I still do regularly -- I came damn near buying a Sentra SE-R back in 2000 over the Protege -- even had signed some papers and agreed on a payment at Dominion Nissan here in Richmond -- thank God I didn't now! -- anyway, one, er, "big" reason for buying the Mazda3 over the Civic and Corolla was that my hip dug into the seat-belt connector in the Civic, and my head was hitting the ceiling in it and the Corolla!

    Meade

    P.S. If you really want to know why I'm so passionate about Mazda, it's because Mazda is passionate about building cars that aren't plain-vanilla and catered to the masses. Read this before you respond: http://www.mazda.com/product/mazda3/4a/2w/story1_1.html
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    autonomous wrote: "The 3 is a great little car Among the names Mazda used for its compact cars besides 3 was 323 and GLC; when asked what GLC meant, the response was "great little car".

    I bought a new 1978 Mazda GLC in September 1977. I believe it was the first model year for the GLC. It was a very nice car, and given the size of the Civic at that time, Mazda actually marketed the GLC against the Accord. I drove it for 3 years, put over 75,000 miles on it without the hint of trouble. The only real problem I had was the dealer. They were basically clueless, and I ended up performing most of the maintenance on the car - which was nil except for normal routine preventive maintenance.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    All this discussion about the Civic's fantastic gas mileage got my curiosity up, and I went over and looked at the "Civic: Real-World MPG Numbers" discussion. What I read there -- especially the last half-dozen or so posts which are from owners of 2004 and 2005 Civics -- made me start wondering if it was really fair to grant the Civic an 8-mpg lead over the Mazda3 on the highway. It appears, in the real world, that maybe 4 or 5 mpg would be a fairer comparison based on the way people drive their cars.

    Meade
  • Meade, did you compare these real world figures to the 3s real world figures or EPA numbers?

    I like the 3, my only concern is the gas mileage, which, even on the i, is no better than my 4 cyl Accord. For some reason, Mazda of late has been lagging on gas mileage, I wonder why. Earlier they used to be righ up there with Honda/Toyota.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Meade, did you compare these real world figures to the 3s real world figures or EPA numbers?

    Yep. Sho' did. It appears that the actual owners of Mazda3's are getting 32-33 on the highway with a few exceptions ... even admitting they drive the cars pretty hard. Actual owners of 2004 and 2005 Civics are saying they get "34-35 mpg" or "high 30s" for the most part.

    For some reason, Mazda of late has been lagging on gas mileage, I wonder why.

    Could it be that Mazda has gone with a larger engine (2.3-liter in the Mazda3s, 2.0-liter in the Mazda3i) and Honda has stayed with a 1.8-liter engine? And look at the difference in horsepower. That's gotta come from somewhere!

    Meade
  • "I'm waiting to see how long it takes the other guys to bring out their copies of the Mazda5. They'll come -- just watch. "
    Oh so ou think Mazda was the innovator for this type of vehicle? There were vehicles of this type in Japan from Japan's Big3 even before mazda release it there in January . Theyre the last to have this type of vehicle.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Q: For some reason, Mazda of late has been lagging on gas mileage, I wonder why.
    A: Could it be that Mazda has gone with a larger engine (2.3-liter in the Mazda3s, 2.0-liter in the Mazda3i) and Honda has stayed with a 1.8-liter engine? And look at the difference in horsepower. That's gotta come from somewhere!


    The other conspicuous reason is the increased weight of the Mazda3 when compared to its predecessor, the Protege. Several hundred pounds in fact. I'll have to check the Civic and Corolla but I wouldn't be surprised if they're getting heavier, also. This is an area of which the auto designers need to be more mindful; fuel prices are one reason but general sportiness including agility, braking, etc. suffer with the addition of superfluous weight. Imagine the upcoming MazdaSpeed3 shaving off instead of adding on several hundred pounds - that would be an astonishing achievement. Do I think it'll happen? No. Sorry to say, the direction for most cars seems to be going the other way. Judging from some of the incredible concept cars, I doubt this is due to technical/material problems; it's a question of consumer demand. If we demanded that instead of adding 10% to the hp our next car shed 10% of it's weight, the cars would be there and they wouldn't be wimpier but rather more powerful. After all, that's what happened in the seventies during the oil crisis when the bloated domestic behemoths were being trounced by those raptor-like imports. Here's hoping the raptors rule again.
  • Most people I know who drive Civics get close or even more than EPA. If you go back far enough in teh forums, you will see owners getting higher MPGs

    As for engine size, yeah sure size does matter, but if you look at competting engines, they are getting better figures. For example, the Accord 2.4 gets more than the 3s 2.3, as well as the 6s four cyl. Going to V6s, both the Accord as well as the Camry's V6s get better than the 6s V6 ( I am not sure about the Altima's V6 even that one may be getting better than the 6). All of the above engines, except the Camry V6 also have higher HP ratings than Mazda
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,452
    gearing plays a big part IMO. The Accord is geared much higher than the 6/3 (and probably the Fusion), at least in the 5 speed sticks that I was looking at. The Accord is much more relaxed at highway speeds, and that translates into improved MPG. In theory, the Mazda will accelerate quicker without downshifting.

    THis is actually one of my pet peeves. I think recent MT cars have been geared way to short. No way a fairly torquey 2.3-2.4l 4 cyl needs to be turning 3K plus at 70 mph. Syre, maybe a low torque/high RPM screamer 1.8l needs to be turning faster, but not a big displacement 4.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • mpg60mpg60 Posts: 71
    Meade,

    Thanks for the link to the information on the M3 - Good reading. All I can say is I am glad Mazda made something different for those of us who want different.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    All I can say is I am glad Mazda made something different for those of us who want different.

    I couldn't agree more. You know, back in September 1991 I had compared the Corolla (a '78 was my first car), the Civic, the Sentra and a few others. I had settled on the Civic EX. But then, almost by chance, I thought (like a lot of people), "I wonder what Mazda sells in this price range?" I went over to a Mazda dealer and could not believe what I "discovered." I felt as if I'd just uncovered the "best-kept secret" in the small-car world! I never looked back. They let me drive a Protege LX home that night, and I came back the next day and bought it.

    Guys (and gal), I used to drive a Saab. I know Mazda isn't the end-all to the automotive world. But I'll tell you this -- I'll take another reliable, fun-to-drive, comfortable, family-friendly Mazda3 over another Saab at any price any day.

    Meade
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Late '80s, right? Where were the AWD Corollas and Civics? AWD is a proven safety feature, right? I won't even ask about turbos, since I'm a guy and we know guy are only interested in zoom-zoom! :P

    Meade
  • And just for the record, the 2006 Civic has a timing chain, not a belt, so it will not be a maintainence item as it was on past Civics.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The 2006 Civic now offers a timing chain.

    But the Mazda3 had it in 2004.

    Mazda comes out with the innovation, its competition plays catchup -- that's what I'm talking about.

    Meade
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    some off-topic posts.

    We are talking about the Civic, the Corolla and the Mazda3 here. Regardless of some folks' efforts to involve a bunch of off-topic material, that's not going to fly.

    Please keep future posts to the subject if you'd like to see them remain on the board.

    Thanks.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,452
    just curious, but does the Corolla compete here on anything but price, MPG and the toyota nameplate? Most of the discussion seems to centered on the Mazda and Honda. Having driven all 3, the Toyota is (IMHO) totally outclassed, in comfort and driving dynamics/comfort/excitement.

    I heard there is a new Camry due for 2007? Anyone know when the next Rola is due out?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • As a matter of fact its not. Sales figures as of September shows that it is the best selling compact for 2005.
  • The Corolla had the timing chain starting from its 2003-present model. Who's the innovator now?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,452
    the majority of sales are to people that couldn't care less about cars, and probably hate driving to start with.

    Most of the regulars at Edmunds are outliers on the car lovers scale I think.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • majority of car buyers are not bias to a particular car. Look, we have the information and we all have access to all the information were giving them here so dont think theyre not smart buyers.
    Just because your driving it and you like it doest mean that I have to like it too. I have my own priorities and needs and basically thats what it says when you look at the sales figures.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Sales figures do not tell which car is the best, then the Cavalier and Impala will be on the 'best car' list.

    The Corolla is an excellent choice, its hard to find anything bad about it (like the Camry)
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