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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Insightful commentary.

    The only thing that can make a car truly safe however, is the driver, and all modern cars are at least acceptably decent at protecting safe drivers from the unsafe ones. That's what legislation is for - remember, most car companies complained about having to fit cars with seatbelts.
    Yes, ultimately, cars are in the hands of drivers but driving is more of a social than an individual activity. Social as in "involving others". So, we buckle up and don't drink, we agonize about the emissions our machines expel into the air, we try sharing our patch of road with others who either plod or boogie, and we say a prayer for those fixing a flat in the dark. Furthermore, your comments about private car companies and government legislation confirm your understanding of the involvement of other players. Happy trails in 06. :)
  • and buy a Scion tC! we test drove the 05? mazda 3 in Sept of 05.... then drove the Scion. base engine for the 3...No Comparison.
    Madza with the Escort engine was nearly 20K loaded for almost same things we got on our tC for 17,199! Same goes for the currently new civic!
    Sunroof,cd player, 6 way seats, (reclining rear seats!), hatchback(new civic got rid of the coupes 3 door versatility... what a waste of good usable space to haul stuff, when you have a coupe/trunk combo, to me, anyways...may as well get the sedan, then, if you are getting a trunk).
    We saved nearly 2,700 on 3 vs tC in 05, not to mention the taxes on that extra 2,700,about another 140 dollars=3,840, plus financing..... around 3,500 more?

    Not bashing the cars, just saying, unless you must have a certain style, or "mpg"(gimme fun... we get 34mpg after 30K miles on tC, automatic) 160HP, and do not have to pay a premium to get "the best engine".
    Civic with sunroof,etc, nearly 20K msrp, and last I checked, same for mazda3....are they good? Yes? Are they 2-4K better? depends on if 3-5 mpg makes the deal or breaks it for you all.
    The 3 looks best , i will admit, but test drive all 3...you'll see(all 3 at the tC's price level, w/o extras. you get more with the Scion , for the price).
    take Care/Not Offense.

    PS: Civic 140HP, and 40 mpg. Mazda 3 has what now, 150 and 160 hp engines to choose from? Both over 19K loaded like a tC at 17,499(now)?

    All 3 are good. we just thought the tC was less NVH than the (old?) base mazda 3, and the new civic was not out yet(and even if it were, we would not pay nearly 20K for one, just to get cruise and sunroof).
  • is true, on 05 tC, if you mainly drive hwy(ours is 70% hwy, 30% city mix).
    Just to clarify.
    worst we got was 29MPG first 5000 miles.... after that, it improved over the miles.

    Again, not bashing Mazda 3 or Civic: Just saying, for the amount of cash, buying a car "as is"(without modifying it with aftermarket parts, either through th dealerships, or on your own), the tC is the price champ, and a good vehicle.
    TC/NO
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    There is obviously no point in continuing to debate resale value if you refuse to believe the actual trade publications that quote said values. Edmunds TMV in particular is complied from "real world" pricing.

    Agreed. I do not believe in "book" pricing. It doesn't hold water in any type of medium that I've ever dealt in, and I've seen it not hold water in particular with cars. I've seen it firsthand with my Hyundai and my Honda, working in opposite directions. If you trust the books, I've got some Hummels to sell you......book prices on them are easily 4 times what you could expect to get for them if you tried to sell them. Show me some auction prices from actual auto auctions....THOSE numbers actually mean something. In fact, eBay is not a bad place to get an idea of what market value is for any given item. How do the eBay numbers stack up when you compare the two vehicles? (I haven't checked, so maybe the 3's are bringing MORE than the Civics...and if this is the case, I WILL believe those numbers, because they actually mean something.).

    Warner
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    I agree with you that the likelyhood of 12 ft saving your bacon is remote. By the same token, the odds of you getting into accident where a SAB would make a difference is remote as well. You could get into a fairly minor impact where you escape unhurt in either vehicle or you could be t-boned by an Escalade do 55 mph and end up in a pine box no matter what. Only something in between those 2 scenarios will SAB's be of any value.
    My biggest safety concern is when my kids get to that age when they or their friends get a driver's license. That is something truly to be afraid of.


    I'll respond by asking two questions.

    1 - If you found yourself in a situation where you HAD to be in one of the cars while an Escalade hit you at 55mph, which one would you pick?

    2 - Which one would you want your kids or your wife to be driving?

    We both drive the predecessor the respective vehicles in this comparo. IMO they did not make any significant improvements to yours, save for the SAB's and possibly handling. I think yours is better looking and it definitely has a nicer interior. Mazda improved greatly on my car in every respect and raised the bar in this segment. Honda used to be the cutting edge in technology now they seem to content to minimally improve on the status-quo.

    Actually, I'm driving a 2006 Civic EX so either you misunderstood what I'm driving or I did a poor job of explaining it. That aside, I beg to differ that the new Civic does not have any significant improvements. It's probably the MOST improved vehicle for 2006. I'm rather surprised that you feel it hasn't had any significant improvements. Comparing it to the 2004 that I traded in on it, it's a different (read BETTER) car completely. It's quieter, nicer inside and out, wider, longer (read Rides much nicer, like a larger car because it IS a larger car), and has several added safety features. I opted for the EX model, but all the way down to the lowest optioned model, they ALL have anti-lock brakes, passive head restraint, and more airbags than you can shake a stick at. How are these "not significant"?

    Warner
  • xquxqu Posts: 55
    As much as I respect edmunds' test results, I just can't say it's fair. Appearantly, the performance weights much more than economy in this ECONOMY SEDAN comparison. They should really use the Mazda 3i with the 2.0L engine to compare with the Civic, they are closer match in price and performance.

    Or better yet, wait for the Civic Si sedan comes out next year then compare it with the Mazda 3S.
  • The Scion is an undeniably good value, but your figures don't represent the actual pricing differences compared to the Mazda3.

    Scion prices are NOT negotiable, much like Saturn. You have to pay sticker price. Currently, most Mazda3's can be had for $1000-1500 off sticker. Also, the number you're using to compare prices is the fully loaded GT model tested which includes many features not available on the Scion.

    Here's a more realistic view-

    Scion tC- MSRP-$17,390, TMV-$17,390
    Mazda3 i Touring- MSRP-$17,835, TMV-$17,121
    Mazda3 s- MSRP-$18,575, TMV-$17,617
    *added moonroof/6CD and ABS/side airbags to Mazdas

    The Edmunds TMV values are often very conservative, as evidenced in the Mazda3: Prices Paid forum. I bought a 3 s 5-door two weeks ago for almost $1500 under sticker. It is reasonable to expect that the 3 s could be had for under $17,000.

    Also, the Scion is only available as a two door, which significantly reduces its potential audience. I remember reading that under 1/3 of '06 Civics sold will be Coupes.
  • "Or better yet, wait for the Civic Si sedan comes out next year then compare it with the Mazda 3S."

    Actually Edmunds tested it over a month ago, so it's been available for testing. If this comparo was primarily about which car has better performance, which it seemed to be, testing the Si would have been a much better comparison. If you skip the NAV option, it would be very comparably priced to the Mazda, and would have handily won the acceleration tests, and braking and handling would have been close.
  • And it lost its first major American comparo.

    My wife and I recently test drove an 06 Civic EX coupe with 5MT, and an 06 Mazda 3s with 5MT and Moonroof package. We also took a new Jetta and a Scion tC out for a spin last week, although with tC we had to settle with an automatic tranny.

    Let me just say that I am biased towards Mazda, as today we just got a delivery of the 3s that we test drove. We got it down to $40 over the Edmunds invoice, and we used the Mazda Zoom Zoom live coupon which made it about $500 below invoice. But even without the coupon, you can definetely have a comparably equipped 3 for the same or less money than the new Civic. (which means worse resale, I know)

    For those of you that seemed rather disturbed by the result of the comparo, I don't think you need to. You guys are right in that what MOST people look for in an economy car are not performance numbers, but things like standard safety features, fuel economy, and resale values. In fact, you can be rest assured that the Civic will sell as well as it always has, easily outselling the 3.

    But I don't think that car magazines need to abandon the perspective of car enthusiasts and cater to the taste of general public. If you want to know what "everyone" thinks is good, you don't have to read a car mag or log onto a car website. Just ask your friends and neighbors. Or better yet, read CR.

    I think it's important to note that the new Civic is not only a new design, but a new design focused specifically on the people that look for something fun in an economy car. I can't remember how many times Honda USA talked about getting back the young/tuner crowd with the new Civic before they released the new gen.

    And I think they did a great job. We were quite impressed with the 5MT EX coupe that we drove. Quick, feelsome steering, revvy engine, (although not THAT revvy in Honda standard) floor hinged gas pedal, and nice body control. (I'm guessing the sedan may not be as good) I think its hip design in and out will play a big roll in getting back its tuner appeal.

    But in the end, the Civic still felt to us like an economy car, albeit a very good one at that. It was very fun and lively, and I really enjoyed driving it. But to me, it was fun in the typical small, light car way. It just didn't feel like a car that's asking to be driven hard, and it wasn't particularly confidence-inspiring.

    On the other hand, after taking a few corners in the 3, I felt that it had the chassis not of an economy car, but of a genuinely well tuned sports sedan. Now I'm not claiming to be a performance guru, but the car definitely wowed me with the body control that I was NOT expecting in this segment. And frankly, pulling 0.87G repeatedly on those mediocre Goodyear (edit: not Toyo) all seasons is very difficult for ANY car. It's important not because of the number itself, but because it tells me about the supreme suspension tuning.

    But it wasn't only that. The whole package just felt above the class. In fact, after testdriving the nice but un-memorable new Jetta a week after, I couldn't agree more with the Edmunds' comment on 3. "it's the new Jetta VW should've built"

    All this made me feel quite threatened, since that meant my wife may get a car that's not only nicer, but in fact handles better than my WRX wagon. (Time for some REAL good summer tires!) But sometimes a man needs to except his fate, given that he will have ample opportunities to steal his wife's car for late night drives. :P

    So, yes, I don't think my wife and I represent the most typical demographics of economy car buyers, even though we ARE in our late 20-s with no kids and stable but not spectacular income. We are willing to sacrifice some fuel economy for fun, and we own our cars for over 6~7 years so resale is not that big of a factor. And apparently there are still enough of people like us, judging by how well the 3 has been selling. And I'm glad that Edmunds decided to represent the point of view that many young enthusiasts like me have.

    P.S. besides, all you honda fans have nothing to complain about, the Civic got the M/T car of the year. You greedy Honda fanboys! :)
  • Actually Si is a very different story. I get a feeling that Honda is losing money on the Si, just to get back the tuner crowd. Look at the price difference between EX and Si. It's less than $2K I think, and that gets you what, 60 more HP, world class 6-spd tranny, much better tuned suspension, LSD, thousand times sexier seats, and many more. I don't know what kind of sweat shop Honda runs to make that happen, but that's certainly not normal. It's either one of these cars is overpriced, or the other one's a bleeder.
  • There is obviously no point in continuing to debate resale value if you refuse to believe the actual trade publications that quote said values. Edmunds TMV in particular is complied from "real world" pricing.

    Agreed. I do not believe in "book" pricing. It doesn't hold water in any type of medium that I've ever dealt in, and I've seen it not hold water in particular with cars. I've seen it firsthand with my Hyundai and my Honda, working in opposite directions. If you trust the books, I've got some Hummels to sell you......book prices on them are easily 4 times what you could expect to get for them if you tried to sell them. Show me some auction prices from actual auto auctions....THOSE numbers actually mean something. In fact, eBay is not a bad place to get an idea of what market value is for any given item. How do the eBay numbers stack up when you compare the two vehicles? (I haven't checked, so maybe the 3's are bringing MORE than the Civics...and if this is the case, I WILL believe those numbers, because they actually mean something).


    Ebay wouldn't be a fair representation of the market prices because it represents such a small number of sales. The same goes for auto auctions- nothing goes to auction if it can be sold in another way. Auto auctions are a way to unload undesirable or otherwise difficult to sell vehicles. Any dealer can tell you that you won't get anywhere near a decent price at auction.

    Also, comparing car pricing to antique/art pricing is not accurate. Antiques/art appeals to a limited number of people. I do watch Antiques Roadshow sometimes and hear them qualify some appraisals by saying it would be worth XXX to XXX if you can find the right buyer. Car values for Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds or most any other auto pricing guide are established based on THOUSANDS or even TENS OF THOUSANDS of transactions.

    Car values are much like real estate in that they can fairly easily established based on past performance. The fact that the pricing guides place the Mazda3 and Civic within one percentage point of each other proves that they have almost identical depreciation, even if you don't agree with the dollar amounts of either!

    We're obviously not going to agree on this, so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I just think if pricing guides were/are so unreliable, the entire auto sales industry would have collapsed by now.
  • As much as I respect edmunds' test results, I just can't say it's fair. Appearantly, the performance weights much more than economy in this ECONOMY SEDAN comparison. They should really use the Mazda 3i with the 2.0L engine to compare with the Civic, they are closer match in price and performance.

    Or better yet, wait for the Civic Si sedan comes out next year then compare it with the Mazda 3S.


    It appears they were comparing the highest trim level each offered. I think the 3 s Touring model which would have had a sticker of $20,015 ($405 more than Civic EX). Though, according to Edmunds TMV and virtually every other car pricing website, the Mazda would cost at least $500 less than Civic so equipped.

    The 3 i Touring would have beaten Honda's pricing by even more. Also, according to a Consumer Reports test, the 150hp version of the 3 would still outperform the Civic EX by over .5 second 0-60. Of course, the Honda would still win in fuel economy.
  • see , tC should hit 75,000 units sold this year(3 door).
    I bet Hyundai or Mitsu would like those numbers for their 3 door sporty coupes(Tiburon and Eclipse). ;)

    Anyhow, sounds like Mazda did some price lowering, versus 15 months ago.

    Civic is ok. Just in my area, the dealerships like to say" they are flying off of the lots; pay MSRP". Said it last year, said it this year.
    If they are like that when they try to make a conquest sale(trying? More like not trying at all, seemed to us) what would they be like if you had a warranty issue?

    Someone said to use one of those quote request things.

    Maybe next time.

    Anyhow, all 3 are good.
    if we talk prices only, you can now get some V6's, for 15,999-17,999, like Sonata on sale, Pontiac G6 sedan/V6,
    coupe is also, or was, on sale, for about 20K v6(200hp version, 32 MPG hwy, they claim),
    Fusion? Can get a Tibby V6 loaded up, for 18K or so, MSRP(and argue about 1000 off of that, for 17K V6)
    As for rear seat room on tC?
    had 5 adults(6 ft tall to as short as 5'7") in the car . No one complained, Tiny bit cramped, but you use the reclining back seat(like the front seats back part reclines some).... it all seems to be good. ;) Maybe not good for a 300 mile trip, lol.
    60 minutes? No problems.
    just depends on what you want, or if one is buying "what is the most vehicle I can get for my money, bar-none"?

    Take Care-Not Offense.
  • dwlingdwling Posts: 11
    In Asia and many countries I know, car or motorcycle buyers/owners give a premier to those actually manufactured in Japan due to a perceived better quality control/workmanship. This premier factor affects the product prices and/or decision of buyers.

    Civics are manufactured in North America and Mazda3 in Japan.

    This point has not been mentioned in the comparison discussion. Would this factor, especially in the borderline cases, affect the decision of some buyers here?
  • 1 - If you found yourself in a situation where you HAD to be in one of the cars while an Escalade hit you at 55mph, which one would you pick?

    If you put it that way probably I guess the Civic. You would probably be dead either way. If I thought this kind of scenario was anything but I minute possibility I would not be looking a compact car in the first place. Again prefer to take measures to avoid the situation than to deal with the consequences.
    I think my eating habits are likely to have have more of an impact on when I cash in my chips then what we are discussing here.

    As for my wife and kids well, see above comments. They should eat better too. My wife drives a 92' Civic (with no SRS) and she will not part with it. I offered to let her have the next new car but she declined.

    BTW Congrats on your new car, glad you like it which is all that matters at the end of the day.
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    There is obviously no point in continuing to debate resale value if you refuse to believe the actual trade publications that quote said values. Edmunds TMV in particular is complied from "real world" pricing.

    Agreed. I do not believe in "book" pricing. It doesn't hold water in any type of medium that I've ever dealt in, and I've seen it not hold water in particular with cars. I've seen it firsthand with my Hyundai and my Honda, working in opposite directions. If you trust the books, I've got some Hummels to sell you......book prices on them are easily 4 times what you could expect to get for them if you tried to sell them. Show me some auction prices from actual auto auctions....THOSE numbers actually mean something. In fact, eBay is not a bad place to get an idea of what market value is for any given item. How do the eBay numbers stack up when you compare the two vehicles? (I haven't checked, so maybe the 3's are bringing MORE than the Civics...and if this is the case, I WILL believe those numbers, because they actually mean something).

    Ebay wouldn't be a fair representation of the market prices because it represents such a small number of sales. The same goes for auto auctions- nothing goes to auction if it can be sold in another way. Auto auctions are a way to unload undesirable or otherwise difficult to sell vehicles. Any dealer can tell you that you won't get anywhere near a decent price at auction.

    My point wasn't to take the actual dollar numbers from either of these venues, it was to compare what the Civic brings at them vs what the Mazda brings at them. Which one sells for how much? It wasn't meant to represent what they are actually selling for on dealer lots. Auction prices DO mean a lot. Since it's mostly dealers buying the cars at auction, THEY know what they can sell a car for, and they are bidding against other dealers who also know what a particular car will sell for.


    Also, comparing car pricing to antique/art pricing is not accurate. Antiques/art appeals to a limited number of people. I do watch Antiques Roadshow sometimes and hear them qualify some appraisals by saying it would be worth XXX to XXX if you can find the right buyer.

    Agreed. Just as used cars appeal to a limited number of people. I don't understand your point. Believe me when I tell you that art dealers are every BIT as agressive as auto dealers, and then some. There are far more resources for fine art (that are based on actual auction results, that give where, when, and how much it sold for) than there are for used auto sales.

    Car values for Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds or most any other auto pricing guide are established based on THOUSANDS or even TENS OF THOUSANDS of transactions.

    Really? Where do they publish how they arrive at those numbers?

    Car values are much like real estate in that they can fairly easily established based on past performance. The fact that the pricing guides place the Mazda3 and Civic within one percentage point of each other proves that they have almost identical depreciation, even if you don't agree with the dollar amounts of either!

    I'm sorry, but I cannot accept that as true until someone can point me to some actual sales. I know what KBB and Edmunds said the value of my Hyundai should have been, and I FINALLY sold it for a little more than HALF of what they said it should be. How do you explain that? I tried multiple venues (including getting an offer from Carmax) but the real-world numbers fell WELL short of any of those publications estimates.


    We're obviously not going to agree on this, so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I just think if pricing guides were/are so unreliable, the entire auto sales industry would have collapsed by now.

    We already established that we don't agree about this. I've been trying to explain WHY I don't agree with it. Why would the entire auto industry be affected at all if the pricing guides were unreliable? I don't follow your logic.

    Warner
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    1 - If you found yourself in a situation where you HAD to be in one of the cars while an Escalade hit you at 55mph, which one would you pick?

    If you put it that way probably I guess the Civic. You would probably be dead either way. If I thought this kind of scenario was anything but I minute possibility I would not be looking a compact car in the first place. Again prefer to take measures to avoid the situation than to deal with the consequences.
    I think my eating habits are likely to have have more of an impact on when I cash in my chips then what we are discussing here.

    As for my wife and kids well, see above comments. They should eat better too. My wife drives a 92' Civic (with no SRS) and she will not part with it. I offered to let her have the next new car but she declined.

    BTW Congrats on your new car, glad you like it which is all that matters at the end of the day.


    Thanks. And though these debates may seem heated, they are all in good fun and I don't get upset and hope you aren't either. Hey, I've been wrong before and I may be now, too. But in this case I'd really like to be proven wrong...and which point (if it happens) I'll actually ADMIT that I was wrong.

    Warner

    PS - I like your wife already! Can't pry that old Civic steering wheel from her hands, huh? Hahaha....
  • Maybe I missed something reading through these 40 posts, but it seems as if people are saying that the 3 doesn't have good safety. With the ABS/SAB/SAC package, the 3 offers 8 total airbags (2 dash, 2 front seat, 2 A-Pillar, and 2 Rear pillar). I did see that the Civic was named a best pick by one of the agencies which is very commendable, but the 3 isn't a death trap ;) I own an 04 Mazda3 sedan, and it hasn't had any major issues in almost 26,000 miles. The ABS w/ EBD has saved me a least 4 times already.

    I do agree that Edmunds should have probably used either the I touring or S Touring model to compare to the Civic. The one thing all of us could probably agree on is that the 3 and Civic are the best economy/small cars out now.

    P.S. Hi Allfiredup! See you on the other Mazda3 Forum ;)
  • robl1robl1 Posts: 25
    OK, I test drove both and bought the Mazda 3 (2.0 engine). Even the 2.0 feels much snappier than the Honda. And I purchased mine with side airbags so no advantage for the Honda for safety. In real world driving you can feel how good the handling and cornering are on the Mazda. It simply doesn't drive like an economy car.
    However, I agree with all those above about the mileage issue. In mixed city/highway (with a lot of the highway in rush hour) the my Mazda only gets 23-24 mpg with the 2.0 engine. I'm sure the new Honda would do a lot better. So you can say that Honda is a better "economy" car.
  • My work commute is 20 miles each way, travelling at 25-55 mph on country/one-lane roads. I have a few stop lights, but not 'rush-hour' traffic. From spring to fall I average about 30 mpg (2.3 engine). With the winter (and different formula of gas, I have been averaging around 28 mpg. I am very happy with my mileage. When I did live in an apt. with a 4 mile stop and go commute, I averaged 23 mpg.
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