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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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  • 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
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    very interesting post.

    From what I have read, the Euro spec Ford Focus is really kick a$$. Great handling, style, and performance. I believe there is a Focus with 300hp out in Europe now?

    Glad to hear you are happy with your purchase.
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    I am actually in the US now and owned a US spec Focus..

    but the C1 Focus in Europe is a kicking machine. the ST has a 5cylinder turbo with 250hp and some 265 ft/lb torque.
    It is a truly amazing driving machine that I wish we had here..

    Really the global (non US) Focus can serve as an example how different Ford NA is from FoMoCo...

    Igor
  • aleeycatttaleeycattt Posts: 1
    I DROVE THE MAZDA 3 AND HONDA CIVIC ON A COURSE. IF YOU TAKE A BASE MAZDA 3 S AND COMPARE TO A CIVIC EX. THE CIVIC WILL TAKE IT ANY DAY. I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU EVEN TEST THE GRAND TOURING MODEL AGAINST AN EX CIVIC. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE BIGGER WHEELS WILL GIVE YOU ANY CAR BETTER TRACTION ON A COURSE. YOU SHOULD PUT A HONDA SI ON THE TRACK AND COMPARE TO THE 3 GRAND TOURING. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME PRICE RANGE. AND SPEEKING OF PRICE RANGE. YOU SAID THAT IF YOU TOOK THE MOONROOF AND SOME OTHER THING AWAY IT WOULD ONLY BE A THOUSAND MORE. THAT IS CRAZY, BECAUSE YOU WOULD HAVE A HONDA CIVIC LX. WHICH IS ONLY 18K AND THAT IS WITH THE NEW PRICE INCREASE. THAT WAS NOT IN AFFECT WHEN YOU DID THE TEST. JUST FACE IT MAZDA IS NOT COMPARABLE TO CIVIC PRICE RIDE OR QUALITY. WE KNOW THAT SAFETY MAZDA IS WAY OFF THE CHART IN SAFETY. 4 STAR FRONTAL CRASH TEST AND 3 STAR SIDE IMPACT. THAT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Oh boy....where to begin. I don't really see where the base Mazda3 S Vs the Honda Civic EX road challenge goes to the Civic. Every piece of literature out there say's other wise, as well as almost every Honda Civic/Mazda3 owner can say the Mazda3 out performs the Civic.

    The Honda Civic has 16" wheels, as does the base Mazda3. Not to mention the 20 more horses that the Mazda3 has. 17" tires are not going to equate to "stomping" the Honda Civic in Edmunds road test. It's the total package. Handling/acceleration all go to Mazda. I don't see how you came up with you conclusion. Must be Honda bias.

    Also, if the Civic and Mazda3 are equipped equally, the price is basically the same.

    The only somewhat correct thing you mentioned was safety. The ratings are not great. But, they were not tested w/ side airbags..not saying it would have done better in the tests, but, it could not have hurt.
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    SAB have huge impact on side impact rating...

    and to the OP ofthis rant.. I love the Si.. but the GT is no comparison to the Si. .the GT is no performance model.. the performance model is the coming Mazdasopeed3 with 260hp... that should be a cake for the Si to take on the the trasck right?

    people are silly... Si asside, the Civic has some crucial shortcomings and the engine and suspension are the two bigest ones.

    Igor
  • mongoose65mongoose65 Posts: 31
    Holy moly, this guy is either really daft, is flat out lying or a Honda dealer!!! I drove them both and none of what you say is true. In fact, you are completely at odds with ALL of the reviews and 90% of the review rags are generally Honda worshippers. The Mazda drives circles around it.

    You have a valid point about the safety ratings, but as others have mentioned, Mazda was tested without the side airbags (which doesn't speak well for them). However, I feel pretty good knowing that the suspension is part-Ford design and the chassis is mostly Volvo and I trust their safety reputation more than anyone else.

    After seeing so so many slanted reviews about the wonders of Hondas, I don't put it past any of these rags and raters to have Honda in their pockets. Besides, when I commute to work amongst the zillion SUV's and even tractor trailers, I don't think either of these compacts is going to save my [non-permissible content removed]. I feel better knowing my car has nimble handling, quick response and sharp braking. The Mazda won all of these hands down.

    The Honda handled corners like my prior SUV, a little sloppy and swaying and the brakes felt like mashed potatoes. The Mazda was closer to the Si or the Acura TSX but for $4k and $10k cheaper respectively.

    I'm not bashing Honda. The Civic is a great car for under $20k and Honda makes great products in general. I am however, bashing your review as it was flat out ridiculous!!!
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    another troll warning ---- join date May 1st .. this is his/her only post.

    Igor
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    EVERYBODY makes a post on the day they join. The fact that a person only finds one subject to comment on doesn't make them a troll and name-calling is inappropriate.

    There are lots of lurkers here and sometimes they finally have something they want to post - obviously, they have to join to do that.

    Now, please I don't want posts explaining to me anything further about trolls - email me if you want to discuss it.

    The only reason I'm replying here is because I keep seeing more and more accusations that someone is a troll because they joined and made one post. It's just incorrect to make that assumption.

    Apologies for the interruption - again, email me with any responses, don't allow any further disruption here. Thanks!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Is anyone awake in here? ANYONE?
  • jme99jme99 Posts: 4
    I've had my 3 for over 2 years now, which is the real point where you know if you like your car or not. You'd have to pry it from my cold dead hands to get it from me. I absolutely love it. No A/C problems and no engine problems either. I will say I think the electronic throttle has a slight delayed reaction that can be a little annoying at times, driving a 5-speed. It seems to make take off on hills kind of limp. After this much time with the car, it's easy to adjust to this issue though. At 30k miles now, this car is still a joy to drive to and from work daily. I feel like I own one of the 'smartest' buys on the road today. On the highway, this thing is absolutely zippy. It accelerates very well at cruising speed. It's sporty, practical, well built, and well equipped in all areas. The small car $20 grand market is definitely chasing the 3 for now. The Civic has been the traditional bench mark in this category for many years, but Mazda definitely raised it's game with this car and made Honda take note. For those of you looking to buy in this market segment, you can't ignore this car; even if you have been a traditional Honda loyalist. I brought a 7' bookcase home once in this car...all doors closed. It leaves me with nothing to be desired in a car. :)
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