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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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  • dwlingdwling Posts: 11
    None of C&D numbers or Edmunds' evaluation tells clearly how each car performs (ride comfort and quietness) for long distance driving. ConsumerGuide puts 2006 Civic's 'ride quality' 1 point above and 'quietness' 2 points above Mazda3 s-hatch. (1 the lowest and 10 the best).

    I wonder whether Edmunds in putting Mazda3 s-hatch as No. 1 (vs 2006 Civic) has taken into adequate consideration of the long distance driving. Many owners of cars do drive quite long distances?
  • I just looked at the Consumer Reports in the store today and then checked out the full test on their website. The Civic EX manual rated highest of all small cars, with the Civic EX auto and Mazda3 i only one rating point lower. EX manual was a 78 on their overall rating scale, EX auto and 3 i manual were 77.

    CR has never tested a Mazda3 s, so it very well could rate as high or ever higher than the Civic. The 3 s with side airbags could outscore all of them. Too bad they didn't include one in this test. But they did include an Impreza...just about the lowest volume car in the class except for the Suzuki Aerio. A good car, but not the car I'd think would be in a comparo with the Civic and Jetta.
  • I've read several comments even from Civic owners in the Civic forum that the seats aren't the most comfortable, particularly considering the comfy ones Honda has made in the past. I took an extended (over an hour and about 40 miles) test drive in a Civic EX when I was shopping and my lower back was uncomfortable afterward. I was expecting the Mazda3's seats to be too small for me (I'm 6'3" 250#), but they fit like a glove, well bolstered (but not overly) and have been great for the frequent 200-mile trips I make between Atlanta and Birmingham.

    The Honda was quieter on the highway than the 3 hatch, but the 3 sedan was a little quieter than the hatch. The sedan's trunk isolates some of the noise the hatch design lets in. A sacrifice I made for the space of the hatch bodystyle. I had the seats folded down a few days ago hauling some stuff from Ikea and, with them folded down, there is a lot of road noise. The Mazda's 17" 50-series tires are more performance oriented (and therefore noisier) than the Civic's 16".
  • "the DEAL BREAKER for the 3 - its Ford affiliation"

    Ford owns 33% of Mazda. The 2 companies share some resources and some vehicles, but not all. For example, it is common knowledge that the Mazda truck is a rebadged Ranger and the Tribute is a rebadged Escape. While the Mazda 6 is a shared platform, the Mazda 3 is a Mazda creation and product. Volvo and Ford are "borrowing" this platform from Mazda and not the other way around. That's why the 3 has a very good reliability rating.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    The Dark side may not be all that bad...you get cool shiny black costumes, a different color light saber, and....get to sound like James Earl Jones ;)

    For me if Mazda had a history of reliable (such as Honda) trouble free vehicles where the brakes didn't squeak on 50% of the cars and the AC could cool you down....sign me up.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Did you read the intro to the article? If not, you should do so, I think you'll find it insightful as to why CR chose that group of vehicles.

    I must say that I'm a big fan of CR's approach to auto testing lately. In the past, they would only buy one example of a model line at time. But now, when different powertrains or suspensions or drive systems are available, its not uncommon to see several models of the same line tested at once. For example, the test and full report of 3 different Civics. Thats something the car mags dont do....

    People also forget that CR actually keeps these cars for 5 to 6 thousand miles, much more than a typical Edmunds.com test, for instance.

    Allfiredup- I believe it was you who posted the CR analysis of fuel economy on another thread. Thanks, it was very long and technical, but I skimmed it and found it useful. Could you post it here as well?

    ~alpha
  • Here's the "real world" economy figures that Consumer Reports got from their test cars compared with EPA ratings. The reading is a bit cumbersome, but if you scroll down several pages the chart of test cars begins.

    http://www.consumersunion.org/pdf/MPG-90205.pdf
  • "And in the real world Honda makes their EPA estimates and The Mazda 3i ZOOMs below!!!"

    i own a 99 civic ex MT. their EPA estimates show the manual getting 29 mpg (city) / 35 mpg (hwy). having driven it nearly 130K now, i've NEVER gotten 35 mpg regardless of condition or speed. i've tried driving at 65 mph on the hwy and the best i could achieve was 33 mpg. normal mixed driving 30/70 city/highway driving yields between 31-33 mpg. my worst highway mileage ever was 28 mpg when i drove to LA from San Fran cruising at approx 85 mph. my worst combined mileage ever was 26 mpg when i got stuck in a ton of stop-n-go rush hr traffic (60% stop-n-go / 40% freeway) which is below Honda's EPA city only estimates.

    i'll be getting a Mazda 3 5dr soon so i'll be able to see how close or how far off the 3 is to their EPA claims.

    from my experience so far, my honda has not achieved the EPA estimates...
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    I have roughly the same car, but I have a DX. I bought the car used on Feb. 2002 with 36,000 kms (22,000 mi)on it. Since then I've put 165,000 kms (100,000 mi) on it, tracking the mileage the entire time. I would say my driving is split between 30% city/70% hwy and I've averaged about 35 mpg. My highest tank being about 42mpg, lowest being about 24 mpg. I typically commute at 55mph, highway at 70-80mph. I'm fairly aggressive.

    I would expect the new Civic to be in the same ballpark, but there are so many factors that affect mileage.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    You can go to the EPA's website to see how they test vehicles. I believe they test at 45mph. Your observed MPG of 33 @ 65MPH is about right, I'd bet if you drive the same stretch of road @45MPH you'll get what the EPA reported. The EPA are in the process of revising their testing to reflect what a user should typically expect in real world driving.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I've read several comments even from Civic owners in the Civic forum that the seats aren't the most comfortable, particularly considering the comfy ones Honda has made in the past. I took an extended (over an hour and about 40 miles) test drive in a Civic EX when I was shopping and my lower back was uncomfortable afterward. I was expecting the Mazda3's seats to be too small for me (I'm 6'3" 250#), but they fit like a glove, well bolstered (but not overly) and have been great for the frequent 200-mile trips I make between Atlanta and Birmingham.

    It must be partly due to seat width, b/c I am 6'5" and the Civic seat was perfectly fine to me. I weigh about 185 though, so I don't mind firm bolstering in the middle back, etc...

    Side note: I live in Birmingham, and the longest Atlanta trip I've ever managed was 150 miles.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Ford owns 33% of Mazda. The 2 companies share some resources and some vehicles, but not all. For example, it is common knowledge that the Mazda truck is a rebadged Ranger and the Tribute is a rebadged Escape."

    Yeah the Mazda truck is a rebadged Ranger but the Tribute Mazda did develop some of that car. Mazda just didn't take the Ford emblem off the Tribute and slap their own emblem on it. Actually I think the 3 is based off the Ford Focus platform but Mazda did tweak the platform for the 3. The 3 is built in Japan and Mazda cars usually have good or equal relianility ratings to Honda and Toyota when Mazda'a are built in Japan. I would just avoid buying any Mazda car in its first year of bodystyle: The RX-8 and 5 have had their problems even though they are built in Japan. I do have faith that the Mazda's plant in Hiroshima have worked out the bugs on the RX-8 and will work out the bugs on the 5.

    I don't get why people eliminate Mazda from their search of cars just because of their affiliation with Ford. Wouldn't you do your research before eliminating a car from your search? I do own a Honda product currently and did own a Mazda before so I am being honest with my post here.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "My point is just that over time, the Honda economy car has held better value than the Mazda economy car entry.
    2003 models, 4-cyl, good condition, 45,000 miles
    Mazda 6i - $9,960 (very good)
    Honda Accord LX - $11,835(even better!)
    Chevy Malibu - $5,405 (yikes)"

    I think the 6 in 03 had a 2000-2500 dollar factory rebate still that is still a pretty good showing for the 6. I think the 6 sells good as a used car(1 or 2 years old.) The Malibu you would have to keep that car 10 years in order not to lose any money from the looks of your numbers. I wonder if dealer discounts factor into the resale value of a car. Then again in the case of the Malibu that was the last year of that bodystyle for that generation of Malibu and I think GM dumped alot of 03 Malibu's to fleets.
  • razorxrazorx Posts: 12
    Reviewing "performance" around these cars is ok but to make it the major factor in the overall rating is ridiculous. Performance is a joke in both of these cars. But so what. The only review should be how well do these cars address the needs of their target market. That's it.

    Other factors are more key. Like, how about mpg? That actually should have more weight that performance instead it was treated little more than as a footnote.

    You can't use the same weighting for rating corvettes/porsche/whatever as for economy cars and expect the conclusions to be meaningful to the majority of consumers that are in the market for this type of vehicle.

    If ed is going to pretend that performance is such a vital element for an economy car, at least make up something about how performance ties into "safety"...

    Jesse
    '01 Honda S2000 (performance great, mpg... not so much)
    '06 Honda Hybrid (mpg great, performance... not so much)
  • razorxrazorx Posts: 12
    Yup and double yup.

    Ed needs to get a clue...
  • Side note: I live in Birmingham, and the longest Atlanta trip I've ever managed was 150 miles.

    I'm actually going from about 20 miles north of Atlanta to Calera, AL which is about 25 miles south, total one way is 198 miles.
  • Why do so many people who think Edmunds "needs to get a clue" or doesn't conduct reviews to their liking even bother to read and comment on it? I personally don't waste my time reading magazines or websites whose techniques and writing I don't agree with.

    My suggestion would be, if you don't like what you read, go elsewhere. Just a thought...
  • "Actually I think the 3 is based off the Ford Focus platform but Mazda did tweak the platform for the 3."

    Actually no. The Mazda 3 uses the same platform as the Volvo S40. This platform is also used by the European built version of the Focus. The American Ford Focus is a different car platform altogether.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm actually going from about 20 miles north of Atlanta to Calera, AL which is about 25 miles south, total one way is 198 miles.

    I don't doubt that. I live in Pleasant Grove, about 10 miles west of B'ham. Calera is a good little drive to B'ham, especially to Pleasant Grove!

    I agree with your next post saying that if you don't like someone's (Edmunds, for example), it doesen't mean they are wrong or stupid. It just means they value certain things more than you might (if you disagree, that is).
  • calhoncalhon Posts: 87
    "While the Mazda 6 is a shared platform, the Mazda 3 is a Mazda creation and product. Volvo and Ford are "borrowing" this platform from Mazda and not the other way around."

    The Mazda 3 is built on Ford's global C1 platform developed jointly by Ford, Volvo and Mazda. Volvo led on structural design and safety, Ford led on suspension and Mazda provided drive train expertise.

    The platform is loosely based on the Ford C170 platform (that underpins the previous generation European Focus and current US Focus) and the Mazda BJ platform. In fact, the suspension is the famous "control-blade" suspension from the Focus. The first car to appear on the platform was the European Ford Focus C-Max MPV.

    The Mazda 6 platform is being used by Ford (Fusion/Zephyr/Milan), but it is not a global platform. It was rejected by Volvo and Ford Europe.
  • razorxrazorx Posts: 12
    Effervescent optimism that our opinions can change the world. Or at least provide constructive criticisms such that improvements in "techniques and writing" can be made. Continuous process improvement can't happen without feedback.

    There is no magazine or website in existence that I agree with COMPLETELY in terms of writing. I am quite sure if I owned a magazine, the prior statement would still be true. From your position, I should not read any magazines or websites or to even generalize it further, include any sources of input that have opinions different from mine. While I am rather confident in my opinions, I am not THAT confident.

    Ed writes good articles in general, this one was mis-directed.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Hey, for those of you who just LOVE to show the difference in trade-in prices between 2000 Proteges and Civics, just keep in mind that the comparable 2000 Civic also cost a couple thou more to BUY when it was new. So that $2,400 diff five years later comes out in the wash. Just as $2,400 is a lotta bux in the small-car market, it's also a lotta bux for some folks when they go to buy a car. As for me, Honda couldn't touch the deal I got (or the standard warranty I got, by the way) when I bought my brand-new 2000 Protege ES back in May 2000.

    Look at the trade-in value of a 2002 Protege5 or a recent Mazda3 if you want to see how much better Mazda's doing lately in the trade-in world. CarMax is selling 2002 Protege5's for $12,995 -- not too shabby for a 4-year-old car. My wife drives one that we bought brand-new in January 2002 for about $18K. 72% retention in four years ain't too shabby!

    Oh, and if you wanna compare the 3s to the Si ... well, let's just wait until the MazdaSpeed 3 comes out in about a year or so.

    And do keep this in mind ... In the last decade, Mazda has always stuck its neck out first in the economy sedan market, leaving Honda and Toyota playing catch-up with a car that equals or comes close performancewise and featurewise within a year or two. Likewise here: The Mazda3 came out in 2004; it took Honda two years to come out with anything close. (Toyota's still back in the dust.) By the time the new Civic is just winning loyalists, Mazda will bring out a redesigned 3 with even more performance and features, leaving this new Civic even farther behind. In any case, Honda's definitely playing follow-the-leader in the small car race, continually lagging two years behind Mazda.

    Meade
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    What difference does it make if the Mazda3 platform was designed by Mazda - and Ford & Volvo are using it - or designed by Volvo - or designed by all three? WHO CARES!

    It still is what it is - no matter who designed it. Its good because its good.

    If it was designed by Mazda and had sloppy handling would anyone say - its designed by Mazda so I don't care if the handling is poor - or if was designed by Volvo - but has a poor side crash test rating - will anyone say - Volvo builds safe cars so it must be good.

    IMO - sharing between companies is a good thing - it lowers the cost and improves the quality (most of the time anyway)

    But a pure rebadge is different - like if they slap a blue oval on a Mazda3 and call it a Ford - then you need to ask WHY? How does that fit the brand strategy of each company? You see this happen (GM is a good example) when the company has no overall business plan - other than LETS SELL MORE CARS! 95% of the time it does not work.
  • For me if Mazda had a history of reliable (such as Honda) trouble free vehicles where the brakes didn't squeak on 50% of the cars and the AC could cool you down....sign me up. "

    I have my 3s for over 4000 miles now (since mid October). Brakes have never squeaked. Haven't needed A/C much, but from reading other comments, it seems lik ethe AC is no longer an issue for teh 06 model. I guess I'll know for sure in August. ;)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I have a 2004 Mazda3 with a weak AC system - so I have been following this problem since early 2004. Not claiming to be an expert - but I do have much experience dealing with this defect.

    Mazda has made no changes to the AC system between 2004 (when new) and the 2006 model. By no changes I mean - they are using the same compressor - the same evaperator - the same condenser - the same air box - the same size fan & motor. They have also not made any changes to the programing (per Mazda technical rep).

    So if they have made no changes - why would anyone think the problem is solved?

    I recall seeing comments back in the first part of 2005 - that Mazda had solved the problem - only to see people with "issues" later in the year.

    Even my defective - worthless AC did a good job when the outside temp was 80 degrees or less - but when the temp hit 95 (plus some sunshine) - it would turn my car into a sweat box.

    I am not saying 100% of the Mazda3's have defective AC - seems to be a BIGGER issue in the sedan - but there is one thing I do know - if you do get a Mazda3 with a weak AC then Mazda will not fix it. Its just a simple FACT - Mazda has made a decision to walk away from this issue.

    I would love to have someone prove me wrong on this one - by posting a TSB or actual procedure that was used to repair the defect. I am not talking about the $.99 diffusser - but a real fix.
  • "What difference does it make if the Mazda3 platform was designed by Mazda - and Ford & Volvo are using it - or designed by Volvo - or designed by all three? WHO CARES!

    It still is what it is - no matter who designed it. Its good because its good."


    yeah, you're right. :D
  • TSB- 100127 For Mazda 3 Weak Air Conditioner:

    TSB Step1: Gather all Mazda 3 documentation: license, insurance, loan, annualk tests, etc.

    TSB step2: Go to nearest CARMAX dealer, get estimate and sell Mazda 3.

    TSB step3: Go to Honda dealer of choice and purchase Civic

    TSB Expected Results: Dramatically improved air conditioning.

    TSB Temporary/Permanent Resolution: Permanent, no expected problem return,
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    And do keep this in mind ... In the last decade, Mazda has always stuck its neck out first in the economy sedan market, leaving Honda and Toyota playing catch-up with a car that equals or comes close performancewise and featurewise within a year or two. Likewise here: The Mazda3 came out in 2004; it took Honda two years to come out with anything close. (Toyota's still back in the dust.)

    It took 2 years because the last generation Civic was still on its 5 year model cycle. I'll say this though Honda didn't put their "all" into the 01 Civic thus leaving way it behind the Mazda 3 when the Mazda 3 first came out. Keep in mind when the 2000 Civic and 2000 Protege were out in the market 5-6 years ago alot of people would have bought a 2000 Civic despite being in its last year of bodystyle for that generation of Civic over the last generation Protege. The same can't be said for buying a 2005 Civic over a 2005 Mazda 3. I'm with you the Toyota is behind the competition right now.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Consumer Reports gives the 04 and 05 Mazda 3 a good reliability mark(above average reliability)for the the the "trouble spot" of A/C. The 05 3 only had 3,000 miles on it as did all 05 models that CR had reliability ratings for in their last big issue.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Not sure - that is why I am asking -

    Does CR define reliability as - it does not break? Like the compressor going out?

    Or

    Is reliability how well something works? AC blows ICE COLD AIR even if the outside temp is 105 degrees.

    I am thinking to CR - reliability = does not break.

    Cr could rate the reliability of the engine very HIGH - but that does not mean the engine has a lot of power.
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