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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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Comments

  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    When comparing the Civic and the 3, one should keep in mind that the Civic is designed for a much broader audience. They are trying to take mazda customers away but have a much bigger eye on Toyota. So, the sedan is more tame but the coupe is more tightly sprung. Everyone here compares sedan.

    Have you considered the new Civic Si sedan? May have some of the attributes you like about the Civic and would outperform either the 3i or the 3s.

    Marc
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 275
    Perhaps everyone should wait a year or two before actually buying a Civic. Anytime there is a model redsign, there are bound to be bugs (more so than if the same model/design has been around for a while)...I now look at it this way, people who buy the new models are actually beta testers.
  • I went with the Mazda3 Hatch. The Si is a 2 door coupe so it was out of the question for me. After driving both, I'd probably go with the Acura RSX over the Honda Si, both for resale value and luxury. Word is, Honda will release an Si sedan in the fall which I bet will sell like hotcakes. I couldn't afford to wait it out. The Si sedan will likely be more like the Acura TSX but with a lower pricetag (and fewer creature comforts). So far, I really like my 3s touring hatchback, but it's only 200 miles so we'll wait and see.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Have you considered the new Civic Si sedan? May have some of the attributes you like about the Civic and would outperform either the 3i or the 3s.

    The Si sedan will definalty out perform the Mazda3 s in a sprint, but, I'm not so sure about handling. If you are going to go that route, there is also the Mazdaspeed3 due out in the fall as well. But, it is only a 5-door, no sedan, and it will be a couple G's more then the Civic Si, but, it will smoke it...badly.
  • Mcap56:
    I would've jumped at the Civic Si, except I need a 4-door. I cart my elderly parents around on occasion, so the 2-door coupe is out of the question.

    If there is a MazdaSpeed3 coming out this fall, that's awfully tempting to wait for. But will the crapshoot AC problems show up there, too?

    I am really spooked over this "every fifth Mazda3 has terrible AC performance" issue. I live in a place where it can top 100 degrees about 30 or 40 days each summer. I.e., an excellent AC unit is absolutely critical. Unacceptable AC performance would be a deal-killer all by itself. So I'm paralyzed at the moment, trying to figure out what to do. From this discussion, I'm now tempted to wait on the Si sedan, but then you've got the 1st-model-year problems. Aarghh.
  • slate1slate1 Posts: 84
    I am really spooked over this "every fifth Mazda3 has terrible AC performance" issue.

    Interestingly, I've not seen one post from a Grand Touring owner (the A/C in the GT has automatic climate control) on any of the Mazda forums that has had problems with the A/C.

    We've well topped 90°F here in South Carolina already and the A/C in my '06 3sGT Sedan has had no problems at all keeping the car cool. Even after the black interior has baked in the sun for several hours.

    I drove the Civic EX but there was no way I could drive that car every day - it was very nice, very well put together, but a complete snooze-fest to drive.

    I, too, thought about waiting for the Si Sedan this fall as I need 4 doors as well (two young kids). I've owned 1st-year vehicles in the past though and they've typically been nightmares. The Mazda 3sGT is a GREAT car though - after 2,000 miles I have absolutely no regrets at all.
  • d_hyperd_hyper Posts: 130
    Pick a car you like. Park it in the sun. Take it for a test-drive. Turn A/C on. If it works as expected - you eliminated your worries. ;)
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Well, the V6 Mazda6 is a Ford engine, that's what happened. The Mazda3 i (4-cyl) is Recommended by CR."

    Uh no, for 03 and 04 model years for the 6 V6 CR gave the engine an above average rating for reliability. For the 05 model year(cars that CR surveyed with just 3,000 miles on them) the 6 finshed with an excellent reliability for the trouble spot of engine.

    Problems for the 03 6 were Cooling, Transmission, Fuel, A/C, and brakes. For the 04 6 V6 the transmission, Cooling, Fuel, and A/C problems were solved. However the brake problems still remained. The 05 6 V6 had a low(average reliability rating) for the trouble spot of "exhaust". The brakes still remain a problem for the 6 V6 with 03,04, and 05 Sedans.
  • "PS: A 3 year Mazda 3i owner at the dealership (he was getting a 2nd one for his wife) told me he uses the shiftronic on the highway and is averaging 34mpg! I'm not sure whether to believe him, but he seemed like an honest guy and had no reason to lie. I may test that out when I get mine."

    i don't think that manually shifting the automatic would yield improved gas mileage, however i do believe he claim in getting 34 mpg. my wife drives a Mazda 3S 5 dr w/ auto trans and manages to consistently get between 29-31 mpg on the hwy.

    w/ the smaller engine, i think it's definitely possible to get around 34 mpg.
  • ss555ss555 Posts: 1
    I would definitely not pay $3000 more for buying a MAZDA. i guess the author has gone a little off track here comparing the 2 cars.

    The only thing postive mentioned about the mazda here is the looks and the drive quality, which wont be of importance a couple of year down the line

    he has failed to mention RELIABILITY, especially the tranny,

    Economy 38 mpg civic VS 32 mpg 3, at highway speeds the 2.3l erngine in a 3 wont do more than 24-25 MPG as compared to 33-34 by the civic,

    The history behind the names HONDA vs MAZDA,

    3 has a more conventional looking interior, civic is above the imagination of the 3. I think the civic looks more futuristic than the 3.

    Overall the civic is ahead of the 3 by leaps and bounds. You dont have to think to buy a HONDA. :)
    Thanks
  • True, when you drive them both, you don't have to think, you instinctively buy the Mazda. As for the interior, the "futuristic" look of the Honda is silly and annoying. The digital speedometer reminded me of a late 80's "K"-car concept and the whopping choice of "grey or tan" cloth interior is sad (and you don't even get that choice, it's based on exterior color selection). The ride was mushy and flat. From ALL the research I've done the reliability factor is a toss-up. Both are considered great however the 3 recalls of the new Civics doesn't bode well when compared to none for the Mazda. I checked resale values of 2004 models of each (I just purchased a 2006 Mazda 3SH after serious consideration of the Civic) and they were nearly identical. The only ones that stood out ahead for resale were the Mini Cooper (too small, odd and expensive) and the Acura TSX (too expensive but a way better vehicle than both the Civic and the Mazda3).

    The only area the Honda won was fuel economy and the side airbags were standard. I could have gone either way but I definitely believe the Mazda drove and looked MUCH better (getting lots of compliments on it) and the Mazda dealers gave me more for my trade-in. Honda dealers wouldn't budge because the Civic is a new model.

    To each his own. I feel like a got a great car and a really good deal.

    Also, Honda bundles XM satellite radio while Mazda has Sirius. That's reason enough to buy a Mazda. XM is gawd-awful!!!! lol
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    when honda starts building dealerships without service departments I might agree with your thoughts....do you have anything that backs up what your saying? (remember to stay on topic) Consumer Reports seems to like the Mazda3 compared to the Civic.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Typical Honda owner response.

    Mazda has a great reliability, in the Mazda3 as well as it's predesessor, Protege. I fail to see where the Mazda3 has had tranny problems. Consumer's give it a half red circle.

    Honda has had great reliability history as well, however, first year bugs in the Honda Civic are unHonda like. As well as the few recall's. Possibly showing a decline in quality control, or maybe they rushed the production since the Mazda3 was eating the previous Civic for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. :P IMO

    Since you were on the topic of tranny's, you might want to go to an Accord/Odyssey forum and check out their tranny history. Not so good.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,733
    CR likes both the Civic and the Mazda3, but they seem to like the Civic a little bit more, as they ranked the Civic ahead of the Mazda3 for both stick and automatic models.
  • "...The only thing postive mentioned about the mazda here is the looks and the drive quality..."

    in addition to better driving dynamics (more precise steering, minimal body roll, and tighter sprung suspension), the mazda outhandles, outbrakes, and outaccelerates the civic (civic si excluded)...actually comparing the slalom speed and 60-0 braking between the si and 3S (from the civic vs mazda 3 comparo to the latest gti vs civic si comparo), the mazda still slices thru the slalom at a higher speed and requires considerably less real estate to screech to a halt so the only performance spec where the si does better than the 3 is acceleration.

    "...Economy 38 mpg civic VS 32 mpg 3, at highway speeds the 2.3l erngine in a 3 wont do more than 24-25 MPG as compared to 33-34 by the civic..."

    i get nearly 33 MPG in my 3S 5 door w/ MT in highway driving and approx 27-29 MPG in mixed city/highway driving. the best my 99 civic ex w/ MT did in highway driving was a bit over 33 MPG. the new civic does have higher EPA ratings than my old one, but it wasn't enough to make me want to buy it. when test drove it before i purchased my 3, i thought it was a woefully boring car to drive. while smooth revving and quiet, the car felt sluggish even when i spun it up to redline. brakes were weak. steering felt overboosted, vague and lacking feedback.

    "...Overall the civic is ahead of the 3 by leaps and bounds..."

    as a former civic owner who has driven the new civic and now owns a 3, i feel the 3 is ahead by leaps and bounds actually.

    "...You dont have to think to buy a HONDA..."

    it's never smart to stop thinking. ;)
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I don't see any complaints about the tranny.

    As both a Honda and a Mazda fan I'm sure Honda will fix the bugs in the Civic. Honda had problems with the 01 Civic in its first model year too but they got them worked out for the 02 Civic. As for the 3 eating the previous Civic's breakfast well Mazda did a good job with the 3. You have to give them credit where its due.

    As for the new Civic it has to dump the digital gauge though. I sat in a the new Civic at the Jersey Auto Expo. The interior plastics were good and the exterior styling on the coupe was good but the digital gauge and the tech-y interior I didn't care for it. I prefer the 96-00 Civic's dash layout because the gauges were clear and easy to read.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    As for the new Civic it has to dump the digital gauge though.

    I agree.. I didn't realize that anyone besides Buick and Gran Marquis buyers liked the digital gauges..Maybe they are targeting older buyers. Somebody start a Gran Marquis vs Civic thread. LOL
  • rx7doodrx7dood Posts: 3
    I too like many of you on here are faced with this decision.

    I really like both cars but there are a few concerns holding me back maybe some of you can address.

    civic: i am concerned with all of this new model stuff, exactly how terrible is the new civic? also it says 100k mile with no major service what exactly does this entail?

    M3: Is the reliability of the engine good? I know its the same engine the focus uses I just don't want to have a POS ford engine. Also how bad are is the $$ spent on services is it 100k miles till the first one like on the civic? Does it have a timing chain or belt?

    Or should i say screw it all and spend some extra cash and get an Accord? lol
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    "You dont have to think to buy a HONDA. "

    Hey, you finally got something right.

    No thinking, just line up behind the rest of the lemmings.... ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    i get nearly 33 MPG in my 3S 5 door w/ MT in highway driving and approx 27-29 MPG in mixed city/highway driving.

    Sad. My more powerful, larger, heavier Accord gets better MPG than that on the highway (36MPG at 75MPH cruise). And that's an auto.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    M3: Is the reliability of the engine good? I know its the same engine the focus uses I just don't want to have a POS ford engine. Also how bad are is the $$ spent on services is it 100k miles till the first one like on the civic? Does it have a timing chain or belt?

    Reliability has been very good. The engine has been great. It is not the same engine that is found in the Focus. It is a similar engine, designed by Mazda. The Focus engine is built in Chihuahua, Mexico and the Mazda3 engine is built in Japan. They also have different intake systems, and the bore and stroke are different. To sum it up, not the same engine, not made by Ford. (The new Focus engine is actually pretty good)

    Mazda uses a timing chain...no replacement necessary.

    Money spent on service depends upon what each dealership charges. Same goes for the Honda.
  • "Sad. My more powerful, larger, heavier Accord gets better MPG than that on the highway (36MPG at 75MPH cruise). And that's an auto."

    didn't you admit that you were able to attain fuel economy only one time as part of an experiment where you used cruise, didn't exceed 65 mph, didn't accelerate on uphill slopes to maintain the same speed? basically driving like no one would normally drive?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Um, no...read my post, man. I got 40MPG(39..96 if you want to get REALLY specific) driving at 75-80 MPH, with no AC on in the hills of alabama...allowing my speed to vary w/in 10MPH with hills (faster down, slower up). I get 36 MPG driving with the cruise set and A/C on/Sunroof open.

    Check out the Accord mileage boards; I'm not the only one getting this kind of mileage. A few are in the mid 30s with their V-6s in the flats of Arizona (ezshift5 for one). Let's take this discussion to the mileage board if you'd like a little more detail...For now, let's let this board get back to the cars themselves, and leave out the nitty gritty details on my car.

    Here is my post about my Honda's mileage; for reference.

    #258 of 330 600 mile trip: 40MPG @ 80mph [EX I-4 AT 2005 Accord] by thegraduate Mar 05, 2006 (8:44 pm)
    Bookmark | Reply | E-mail Msg
    Tank of gas going TO the beach I got 40 MPG even (243 miles, 6.08 gallons = 39.97, but close enough). I drove approx 80 MPH, I filled up right along the highway and didn't stop for the entire 243 miles. I realize it is a small amount of fuel used before filling up, so we'll say 40MPG is an estimate, with room for a MPG either way, kapeesh?

    On the return trip, my dad was sick to his stomach, and I drove 90 most of the way (too fast, i know). I got 323 miles on 9.9 gallons which equates to 32.6 mpg. On the whole trip I managed exactly 35.375 mpgs. 566 miles/16 gallons.

    PS, the second tank includes putting around Gulf Shores at 30-40 mph for about 50 miles worth.
  • akenatenakenaten Posts: 122
    Has Honda finally discovered the wonders of sound insulation or is there still a lot of road noise ?
  • dans5dans5 Posts: 2
    I recently bought a new Civic and am generally pleased. The following are things I don't like about it: problems already like Passenger Airbag Off light not coming on when no one is in the passenger seat, rattle around the moonroof, remote entry key button to lock doors doesn't work. This is with only 4,400 miles on the odometer and I'm considering buying the extended warranty due to the rate of issues so far.

    In addition, there were things where it seems that the changes were made without having consumers test the vehicle first like location of emergency brake to bump against your right knee, poor view when looking out back over right shoulder due to high head restraints, and on left shoulder due to wide pillar in back of car, and no standard way to tie down any contents you put in your trunk.

    People brag about how great their fuel economy is. Well, I'm not bragging because the fuel economy on my first full tank was just over 22 mpg combined. Right then, I knew there was no way I'll be close to averaging 35 mpg which would be EPA City/Hwy combined. My economy after several tanks of gas is now approx. 32 mpg combined and I drive 70% hwy.

    Why did I buy this car? Nobody had the right combo of highest weight, most safety features, best EPA mileage, and a nice new style. The Toyota Corolla does not have a pleasant style in my opinion or else I would have bought that. The Mazda 3 did not seem to have the fuel economy of the new Civic according to EPA stats. My other complaint is that the Civic is not made in Japan like the Mazda 3 as I personally believe that that provides an extra value to the car and results in better reliability. I am not loyal to any one brand, just the best car with the best overall features for the $.

    Folks, stop talking about the good things about your cars. Let's talk about the bad things so we all really learn something and so it's more believable.
  • Excellent post. I agree with all of your points. I went with the Mazda3 (now have 1000miles on it) for the same reasons and am generally pleased. It was such a close toss-up for me and I still think about the Civic from time to time. I got @22mpg on my first tank and am now at about 26+/- but I commute INTO NYC (manhattan) every day and traffic snarls are a daily occurence. I doubt I will ever see the 31mpg that was advertised.

    Getting my kid's child seat in and out of the back seat of the Mazda is tough and sometimes I feel the Honda's more sedan-like features (as opposed to Mazda's sporty features) would be a help. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

    I think they are both great cars (for the money). Could have gone either way and been happy. Mazda gave me more for my trade-in and I liked driving it more. The Honda dash and digital gauge just REALLY annoyed me and was almost a dealbreaker in itself.

    It's sad that these days for $20 grand, being "generally pleased" is the best we can hope for. I'm very pleased that I made the move since my previous SUV got 13-14mpg!! At 26mpg, I'm pretty thrilled! In hindsight I'm saying the hell with looks and drivability, I should have gotten a Prius!!!

    Best of luck to you.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "In addition, there were things where it seems that the changes were made without having consumers test the vehicle first like location of emergency brake to bump against your right knee, poor view when looking out back over right shoulder due to high head restraints, and on left shoulder due to wide pillar in back of car,"

    Doesn;t a test drive provide you of you could see clearly out the back or if your knee bumps against the emergency brake?

    "My other complaint is that the Civic is not made in Japan like the Mazda 3 as I personally believe that that provides an extra value to the car and results in better reliability."

    Its takes the American plants more time to get the bugs worked of a vehicle than their Japanese counterparts. I would rather not buy any first year models anymore because of all these horror stories that I have heard on Edmunds about them.

    "Folks, stop talking about the good things about your cars. Let's talk about the bad things so we all really learn something and so it's more believable."

    There are bad things about cars on Edmunds on the "problems & solutions board".
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I don't think "bad things" necessarily fit into the Problems & Solutions discussions. Sometimes it's good to discuss what we'd like to be different about the cars we own. Certainly no car is perfect and we'd all like one or more things to be re-thought in our cars, no matter how much we love them. I think that's what the poster meant.

    And I think that posting some constructive criticism about our own vehicles gives us way more credibililty than relentless childish bashing of competing vehicles does. Just a thought ...
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    OK I will put the short take firts.. 4 months ago I bought a 2004 Mazda3 certified used with 38k miles on it to replace my Focus.

    I also drove the Civic and the Si.. Loved the Si but decided against it. .. liked the civic.. and am still completely delighted by the Mazda.

    Now let me go through my thought proces.. and evaluate each car.. I do not hate Honda or the Civic (that position is reserved for Toyota/Lexus and Chevy Cobalt).. however as past Focus owner, of course the Mazda3 is very close to my preferences.. after all it is a 2nd generation Focus.

    So First let me get the Si out of the way - perfect diriving machine.. loved every second of the testdrive, but could not convince myself to buy another car without rear doors and did not want every 16yo kid honking at me at a stop light to race them... so Si was out ..

    Now the Regular Civic and Mazda3 remain.

    Let me Start with the Mazda3 as I drove it first.
    I love the styling.. inside and out the Mazda gives you the sense you are getting top value for your money.. it does not look cheap anywhere and looks better than most midsizes, let alone compacts.

    Then the tech and engineering stuff. For those that do not know Mazda3, 2nd generation Focus, and the small Volvos were co-developed in Germany. Ford provided the awesome Focus supension (which Honda Copied into the Civic and VW into the new Jetta and Rabbit). Mazda provided the 4cylinder MZR/Duratec engine - the original structure comes from Cosworth race engine, but Mazda id the bulk of the work. Finally Volvo was in charge of safety and chasis stiffness. . then they parted and finished their products to their liking.

    The Focus supension shines on this car.. the Chasis is nicely stiff and the car carries very well through turns.. it is a little stiff on bumps.. but then.. I am a 20something male.. I do not care.

    Then the engine.. it has very nicely flat torque curve that keeps you going no matter where on the rev spectrum you are.. I was impressed with the low end pickup.. plus the car is very quiet, unless you rev it up to over 5k when you will notice the engine. Then the shifter.. I test drove many cars, including Outback etc.. and Mazda's shifter (manual) is just amazingly smooth and precise.. it is not as nice as the MTX75 Ford mounts in the Focus.. but it is a very nice shifter..

    overall I had no gripes with the car.. loved the styling, loved the fatures especially top end options like Xenons and TPMS etc.. and because it has been around for a while I could buy used... but I still went and drove the Civic.. it is after all Civic .. the longstanding compact class benchmark.

    First of all.. I do not hate hte looks.. it is not as performance looking etc. but it is a very efficient design.. and I like efficiency.. I also do not mind the dash.. I am from Europe and I am used to non-tradiitonal dashes.. also I liked the ergonomics. .where the shifter was in relation to my arm and the steering wheel.. it was a nice snug fit for me.

    However.. the engine was somewhat of a dissapointment.. I knew this is honda, so the action will be up top, but there was by far not enough noise insulation from the engine.. and the gearing was off.. the car definitely needs a 6th gear for cruiting (I mean .. the Mazda also has avery low 5th.. I wish for 6th evcery time I am on a HWY, but the civic was much worse) combined with the lack of sound deadening, the high revs would make for a very very annoying hwy cruises (I drive Philly to Cleveland regularly)... however the shifter was very impressive.. I could actually say it was better than Mazda's ... a little shorter throws probably made all the difference, but I still liked it quite a bit...

    now it came to the decision... and then, simply the engine noice and improper gearing for my use was the dealbreaker... I just hate noise from the car - and of course the Mazda is not church quiet, but was quieter than the civic.

    So in the end.. I am driving a 2004 certicifed Mazda3s sedan with every option except for the leather and navigation (and ATX) for $17k ... I have put 6k miles on it already had no issues at all...

    The car holds up great...I just got a couple squeaks as it got warm, but nothing a stop at the dealer won't fix

    I have average 27mpg.. mostly city. Driving HWY 85-90mph I get 28-29mpg.. my record is 35mpg. Around city I never fall under 20 usually am about 25mpg.

    Now I know there is a poster here talking about 40mpg on his V6 Accord.. may be.. but I know there are plenty of the new Civics with mileage issues... before my decision I read the forums left and right and know both of these cars have a couple of bad apples with bad mileage, and some with longer than expected break in ... so please do not assume that because 2 V6 accords have awesome mileage an 06 civic will have it too..

    the Civic will have better mileage than the Mazda3, however.. especially if you would get the 2.3l engine.. that is just simple law of physics.. it is nearly impossible for a 2.3l engine to match a well done 1.8l engine.

    This is a very long post so I will end.. but please go drive both.. compare the numbers and options and decide based on your impressions.. both of these are excellent cars (they are not the ones fighting for the title of "class benchmark" by being mediocre).

    Mazda does not suffer at all by its relationship with Ford.. one needs to realize that Ford Motor Company produces some of the best and most reliable cars on the roads outside US.. only the North American Ford has quality and reliability issues.. and Ford NA was nowhere near the development of Mazda3.

    Also the Civic is more than just another Civic.. I previosly disliked Civics.. when I bought my focus, I drove the previous generation civic and disliked it quite a bit. But this is a much improved generation..

    Go drive them and compare them on the facts, not opinions of online posters.. most of them are just trying to further justify their decision.. not directly help you.

    Igor
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Yes I go a digital Gauge in my S2000 and I gues they are targeting old buyers since my age is twice the normal S2000 buyer.

    However what I don't like is red guages with fairly small characters that are hard to see!

    Just checked with a name like Audia8Q I thought you might have a Audi. I wonce had an Audi and I made a whole lot of new friends: Audi service manager, Audi service Consultants, Audi technicians. They all knew me on a first name basis.

    Too each his own, see yah top-down weather,

    MidCow
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