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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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Comments

  • socal2006socal2006 Posts: 44
    I know looks are purely subjective, but I can't understand why you might think the Civic looks less conventional than the 3. Neither are far out there in the sheetmetal department, but the Civic is one of the blandest cars out there. The only distinguishing feature is the cab forward design (which I personally dislike). There's nothing earthshattering about cab foward design. It's done before in other cars (Chrysler cars of the 90s). The rest of the Civic is just a typical back end.

    But, maybe you are focusing on the interior, which def is less conventional.

    As for the original article: Edmunds used the title of economy because that's the traditional name for cars branded with the Civic/corolla nameplate. But, neither the Civic or 3 are really 'economy' cars anymore. Their quality and size are comparable or exceed those of midsize cars from less than a decade ago. Their price also is closer to 20,000 than 15,000.

    If you want true economy these days, there's a whole new B segment of cars.

    Also, I believe when the comparo was done, there was no Civic Si sedan (only coupe). So, it wouldn't have been a apples to apples comparison. As you mentioned, soon after the Si sedan was introduced to the states, Mazda introduced the Speed3. So, there wasn't really a time when the top 4 door vehicles from either company in this segment was the Si sedan and 3s.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    And agree with some of the comments...but not all. Funny though, I drive the Civic and the wife drive the 3s. She likes the "zoom zoom" and I prefer the economy and the split dash. We've been Toyota and Nissan folks before this, but we're both quite happy with our current rides.

    The Sandman :)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    cab forward designs may have been done before but not in the same vein as the civic. While the back looks more traditional, it has VERY strong hues of audi a4 and bimmer's 3. THe mazda is just a nice looking sedan.

    Sometimes people associate bland with seeing a car often, and you probably do see slightly more civics than 3's...but that still doesn't change the civics unorthodox design.

    true, there was only an si coupe, but there was probably enough time to do a comparo before the speed 3 came along. I just knew it wasn't going to happen. Just like testing the civic type r sedan wont happen, a car that while maybe not as quick 0-60 would pretty much obliterate the mazda with regards to driving purity and handling. (a civic that laps faster than an s2k? yeah, amazing.)

    if there is a whole slew of b-segment cars that are the new 'economy' cars, then the title was still a bit on the tricky side. And REGARDLESS of the title, the civic DOES pack more 'economy' and frugality than the 3.
  • sonnyrockersonnyrocker Posts: 127
    I've been driving Honda for many years, but now I am ready to trade in my Accord and I want to go with a sporty compact sedan with some power and on budget....
    I test drove the Mazda 3 and its nice. It has a European feel to it, almost like a BMA 3 Series but $10-$15 cheaper.
    I do like the Mazda look better than the Civic, but as a long time Honda fan, I still have the love for a Honda. What do you think? Please to convince me which one to get!
    Thanks in advance
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    The Civic from a purely mpg standpoint. But it is fun to drive. The slower power from the 1.8 engine is a tradeoff I can live with. For pure driving excitement, the 3s is fantastic in this regard. Lower mpg's, but that's the trade off. For fit & finish, I'll have to give the nod to Honda. Too much black in our 3s and the seats aren't as comfortable.
    Both great cars, as evidenced by our garage. Will be quite interested in the next generation Corolla though. I think Toyota needs to hit a grand slam with it, as the competition has gotten that good. Hopefully they'll get the driving position just right. The Corolla we rented last year had an awkward feel when driving...just couldn't get a comfortable fit with the steering wheel...something just wasn't right. I've read others have felt the same thing.
    Great time to buy this class of car though. Endless choices at different price levels.

    The Sandman :)
  • sonnyrockersonnyrocker Posts: 127
    I had a Corolla for 10 years, sold it to a friend and his family still has it!! Total 16 years!!!
    No doubt that they are long lasting cars, but Corolla never had the design to handle the roads well. It doesn't hang curves well and it just looks really boring.
    If I consider a Honda, it has to be the Si Sedan with 2.0L and 197HP. But as for torque, Mazda has honda beat. Its even better if you move up to Mazdaspeed3, 1-60 in 5.8 sec.
    The problem with Mazdaspeed3 is that, the hatchback is just not my style....I am 6'1 and 210 (I am not fat, just a big guy physically fit) and I would look really funny in a wagon/hatchback...
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    while the base civic is fun, it seems you want something a bit sporiter; the 2.3 and civic si sedan get roughly the same mpg, maybe slightly in hondas favor.

    Despite the torque advantage the mazda 3 has, the civic si IS faster still. and it handles better. (i'm not talking about the mazdaspeed though.)

    The si sedan sounds like your sporty ride; plus you still get to keep your honda loyalty going!
  • sonnyrockersonnyrocker Posts: 127
    Thanks, eldaino.
    I look forward to test drive the Si out. I am a manual shift guy (I haven't own an automatic in over 15 years)so it will be great.
    Now back to Mazda3. I have read that maintenance on that car can be expensive. I read somewhere too that its hard to find the 17" tires that fit. Normal 17" tires don't fit well with the Mazda3, is that true?
    Sandman, any problems with your Mazda at all?
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i don't think that its so much hard to find as it is they are an...'interesting' size. 205/50 R17 i think. most 17's pack AT LEAST 215's (like the si) and a lot have 225's (like newer vee dubs.)

    My mother in laws maintanence on her mazda 6 has been expensive, but we have some pretty crappy mazda dealers around here. But then again, i know some people who do it themselves and have no issues. Honda service is usually easy and not expensive when compared to other automakers. at least you run less of a chance of going in for unscheduled maintanence!
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Tires for the Mazda3s are very easy to find, as there are other popular models that use the same size tire.

    Unfortunately, most of those models are made by BMW, so the tires are expensive. ;)
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    i don't think that its so much hard to find as it is they are an...'interesting' size. 205/50 R17 i think. most 17's pack AT LEAST 215's (like the si) and a lot have 225's (like newer vee dubs.) "

    You can also use 215's with no issue. I will be ordering that size at the end of the summer because I want the Falken Ziex 512 and they don't sell 205's
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sandman, any problems with your Mazda at all?

    The last thing I remember sandman saying about the Mazda3 was that it wasn't aging that well. It had squeaks/rattles and just seemed older than it was, in general.

    Sandman will step-in and fill us in, I'm sure, but I didn't know when he'd be back!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    There are some rattles that the dealer just can't locate which is a bit irritating. They had to re-swap out the rear pads and now that bad brake dust is back, worse than before. The car just feels old before its time and the wife doesn't really push it that much. She even said this will be our last Mazda. We just hit 30k on Tuesday and if we wouldn't take such a big hit on the trade and what's left of our prepaid maintainance(?), the car would be gone.
    Maybe it's just our particular car, it's just not aging well. But since we owe nothing on it, we'll just keep it until something really major goes wrong. This is by no means a slam on Mazda products...it's just that our experience has not been as good as we had hoped.
    Buy what you really like, that's the bottom line. I really think most folks do love their Mazda 3's. Just wanted to give another point of view to keep in mind. But honestly, any car can have many little problems that just ruin the owner experience.
    Good luck with whatever you choose and please let us know. I'd be very curious on what you end up with.

    The Sandman :(
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    my wife and my mother in law both had these same exact problems with their mazdas.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    There are some rattles that the dealer just can't locate which is a bit irritating. They had to re-swap out the rear pads and now that bad brake dust is back, worse than before. The car just feels old before its time and the wife doesn't really push it that much. She even said this will be our last Mazda. We just hit 30k on Tuesday and if we wouldn't take such a big hit on the trade and what's left of our prepaid maintainance(?), the car would be gone. "

    Why do you think you'd take a hit on the trade? The resale value is very strong. As an example, my 2006 3s Touring (stick) with 28K miles has a Kbb trade in value of $13,235 for good and $14,175 for Excellent (mine is probably in between). Edmunds is a little lower. I paid $16,700 in October of 05. I think that's very good

    I understand the prepaid maintenance being an issue, though
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 23
    Considering both the Civic EX manual coupe and the Mazda 3s GT hatch manual. I drive about 25,000 miles/year and I am looking for a fun car that is economical. I expect to own the one I buy about 5 years. Here's my feedback after test driving both on several occassions.

    Civic EX coupe manual

    -handling is fun
    -acceleration is good
    -reliability is likely better than M3
    -resale will probably be better
    -interior is nice for the money except seats look cheap but comfortable
    -better tires based on forum discussion
    -better trunk configuration (can easily drop to golf bags in)

    Mazda3s GT manual

    -handling is more fun
    -did not feel a big difference in acceleration
    -interior is much nicer than civic (leather, Bose, etc)
    -did not find the pedals too close although they are close enough that I know what everyone is talking about
    -exterior is better looking
    -stability and traction control is a big plus (NH resident)
    -two sets of clubs requires the back seat in down position

    Other things I am wondering about:
    interior noise in the M3 hatch vs sedan
    do not like reading some of the things in the Mazda discussion like tranny problems, lousy tires, etc. Maybe someone can put me at ease.

    I would appreciate any feedback since I am very close to puchasing. Thx.
  • dairyshickdairyshick Posts: 129
    I really don't think you can go wrong with either car and you highlighted most of the biggest differences already. Here are my two cents...

    The biggest upside for the Honda is that it's a Honda, so you have a bit of an edge with reliability. Gas mileage is also going to be a bit better in the Civic.

    The upside for the Mazda3 is the features that come with the GT. There are definitely more toys (especially for the money compared to the Civic EX) on the GT like the leather and Bose that you stated, but also the auto xenon headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, auto climate control, and sportier 17" wheels (just my opinion, though). The only complaint we have is that the A/C isn't all that strong, which is more noticeable since we're in FL. I would imagine that downside weighs very little on your decision since you're not battling 90 degree weather on a regular basis in NH.

    I know how hard this decision is because there isn't a clear-cut winner. My wife has an '06 Mazda3 GT automatic with the sunroof/bose package and I have an Accord, so I'm a fan of both Honda and Mazda. We looked at the same two cars for my wife that you're looking at, and we made the choice for the Mazda3 based on the reasons I mentioned. The reliability has been excellent so far after 20K miles (knock on wood). We also had a friend who hooked us up with the employee pricing so the deal we got on it made a difference; although, I think we could have received the same deal without the employee plan.

    As you may have already assumed, my vote is slightly in favor of the Mazda3, but either car would have made us happy.
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 23
    Thanks for the input. My emotional side wants the Mazda3 but I don't want buyer's remorse when I experience the first major problem. Currently an owner of an Accord and CRV, it's like change the oil and forget about it. Also a previous owner of Saabs, I don't want to be at the dealer every couple of months dealing with the small stuff. Based on your first 20K, would you say that it has gone as smoothly as your Honda ownership?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    My emotional side wants the Mazda3 but I don't want buyer's remorse when I experience the first major problem

    So far, there really has not been any major problems with the Mazda3, small stuff, sure, like every vehicle. Even the new Civic has had a bunch of little issues. Just look at the 2006-present Civic problem board...

    As for resale, I seem to laugh every time I see that mentioned. It is very hard to sell one privately!! Even if you own the vehicle out right. If you have a lien on it, forget it! Who is going to pay you thousands for a car if you don't even own it! If you own it long enough to buy it out right, and sell it when you have 70-80K on the clock, you are talking maybe a dollar difference in the 100's. Not thousands. So, would the extra hundreds in savings over 5,6,7 years of ownership be enough to sway your decision? Maybe. Maybe not. That;s for you to decide. Every publication recommends the Mazda3, as well as the Civic. You will be fine, reliability wise, with either.

    From a dealer's prospective, both are worth about the same from 2004-present, if you were to trade. One cannot go by KBB or Edmunds. No dealer in my neck of the woods (North East) uses them.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Go with the Civic!

    The Sandman :) :)
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 23
    Is your experience with the Mazda that bad. Mazda seems like more car for the money. I noticed that your 3 has had rattles but the 07s are more rigid this year. This likely gives the car a quieter ride. Multiple reviews praise the 3. Are they wrong? Why?
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    Thanks for the input. My emotional side wants the Mazda3 but I don't want buyer's remorse when I experience the first major problem. Currently an owner of an Accord and CRV, it's like change the oil and forget about it. Also a previous owner of Saabs, I don't want to be at the dealer every couple of months dealing with the small stuff. Based on your first 20K, would you say that it has gone as smoothly as your Honda ownership? "

    Not sure why you are under the impression tha tthere will be a major problem. Most issues have been ironed out. Teh A/C is not the strongest, but it gets the job done for me and it can get very hot here in NJ.

    The reason I have Mazda 3 is that my Saab 9-3 was brought in roughly a dozen times in 2 1/2 years, the final straw being a completely blown auto tranny at 37K miles. Thank God it was warrantied until 50, but I had to sell before I was out of warranty. I bought the Mazda and have had zero issues besides oil changes with it in 30K miles (aside from getting rear ended). My tires have held up, too and only now are looking at replacement

    One other thing I noticed in your comparison. If fitting golf bags with the seat up is an issue, why wouldn't you consider the sedan for both?
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    you've owned hondas in the past,ecofun, and i think that that feeling of 'change the oil and forget it' will def carry over into your civic. (remember, just like the 3, most of the problems have been ironed out too and the civic JUST came out, whereas the 3 has been around longer.)

    one thing that dairyshick seemed to play down a bit in his post; your mileage will not be 'a bit better' in the civic. its going to be amazingly better, especially if the mazda you are comparing it to is the 2.3.
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 23
    Good input all. So good that I went with the M3. Made my deal last night and signed the paperwork today. Good news for those in the market...financing dropped to 0.0% for 3 yrs effective today. That's right, free money. Bought the car at invoice:

    Invoice $20,609 (inc/regional adjustment for the Boston district-advertising, etc.)

    Only option was moonroof/Bose.
    Documentation fees were $169.

    Out the door for $20,778.

    I don't know if there was money left on the table but thought it was a good price. The regional adj was $249 (probably goes back to the dealer.

    Nevertheless, it was the only S GT manual in galaxy gray within 100 miles and didn't want to lose it for a few extra bucks. There is restricted allocation of manuals as many of you may know and sticks are much harder to come across. I went with the Hatch out of personal preference. You are right- the clubs do go into the sedan trunk without getting into the back seat but I'm sure there will be a day when the hatch comes in handy. I found the appearance unique and fewer on the road, perception anyway. Will pick up the car by the weekend and will report back on first impression. Feel pretty good about the decision anyway.

    Regarding mileage, that was one of the trade offs compared to the civic coupe. Assuming 5 mpg difference based on EPA ratings, 25,000 miles/year, it's about $400 in gas cost annually. I figured that $7.69 a week was worth the extra "entertainment value" that the Mazda3 offered over the Civic. Heck, a movie is $9.00 now!

    By the way, I mentioned the reliability issue I had in my decision to the sales mgr and he showed me a new survey put out by Cars Direct just today indicating that Mazda nosed out Honda in fewest mechanical problems among 3-9 year old vehicles. I was a little surprised but pleased to hear. Hope the data is credible.
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 23
    this is what the dealer showed me...didn't remember the exact source I guess. thx.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    No problem, it was posted for a while on Mazda's website as well
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    congrats on your purchase man and enjoy! :)
  • cchicagocchicago Posts: 8
    Congratulations on your purchase. I have the exact same car in Black Mica. Although the Civic is a very nice car I didn't even consider purchasing a car without stability control. Since I keep my cars for a long time I didn't want to be without that important safety feature for the next decade.

    So far I haven't had any issues with the A/C. We've had a few 90+ days so far in Chicago and even if the car has been sitting in the sun it cools off in 10min or so.
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 23
    Just for kicks, I decided to run out at lunch and do one last test drive before picking mine up. With all the A/C debate, it's 98 degrees in Boston today so I figured no better day to test out the A/C. The car had been sitting in the sun all day and it was like an oven inside when the salesman opened the door. We took off a minute later and I was thrilled to see how quickly the car cooled down...pretty comfortable within 5 minutes. We blasted the A/C and no substantial loss in power either.
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