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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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  • "In short, an Si is not the kind of car my wife can drive everyday. (although I would love to) But she sure enjoys her 3s. "

    Does that mena your wife only drives automatics? I would teach her to drive a manual.

    You are really limited to pretty dull cars (except for maybe an M5 or a E55) if all you ever buy is automatics.

    Your car comparsion analogy appears to have some incorrect models. The BMW 330i is sportier than an Audi S4 ( or even better a RS4) Maybe the BMW M3, but the BMW 330i is not considered more sporty than an Audi S4.

    By the way the Civic Si has the same mileage specs as Mazda 3 2.3L.

    double sixes,

    MidCow
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    There were some posts the other day in another discussion about cases where spouses (in this case wives, but it can work either way) either could not learn how to drive a stick (some physical issues) or would not learn how to drive a stick (attitude issues). Either way, the stick is a no-op. So don't assume that everyone has the option of teaching his/her spouse to drive a manual.

    Adding a responsive automatic to a good-handling car (like the Mazda3 for instance) doesn't make it dull. It is still possible to manually shift a car like the Mazda3, for example (but not the automatic Civic). I would say you are more "limited" driving a car like the Civic Si (room for only 2 adults, no cargo room to speak of) than driving a car like the Mazda3 with an automatic.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I say - if you want to compare 0-60 times or any performance item - then you should use the model that has the MOST power. When someone says - you need to compare (performance)of the 2.0 L -Mazda3 i model to the Civic sedan because - it is more FAIR - I always think - what is this Kindergarten! No such thing as fair in a race.

    But I think it is better to compare cars that have the same number of doors - and the same tranny (auto or manual) - and are close in selling price (not MSRP)- not because of some fairness issue - but because if you want/need a 4 door, or auto or only have $xx,xxx to spend then to start comparing coupes with a manual tranny just does not seem valid.
  • If you bring a knife (1.8L / 140 HP) to a gun fight (2.3L 160 HP) you end up dead. "

    So then if I bring and atomic grenade launcher ( 2.0L 197 HP) then the person with only a gun is dead and I can drive the guy with the knife safely back home.

    Honda Civic Si rules!


    If buy the Si, you are basically joining the boy-racer tuner crowd. You're imediate competion will not be the 3, it will be cars like the Cobalt SS, SRT-4's, WRX etc. in which case you will suffer in humiliation. Oh, I also forgot the 17 year old kid in his mommy's new RAV 4, better watch for those too.

    It would make more sense to Compare an Si to a 6 cyl Mustang which is about it's level of practicality.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    The big problem with the comparison test is that they compared two cars that are supposed to be economy cars while being very dismissive and giving little weight to economy aspects of the cars.

    There is a big cost penalty for the added performance of the Mazda. Very substantial difference in fuel economy and MSRPs. You cannot ignore this and call it an economy sedan comparison.
    This is like comparing sports cars and giving the most weight in scoring to gas mileage and luggage space.
  • Consumer Reports and every other reliability ranking I've seen rates the Mazda3 as better than average to much better than average. If the Civic gets a 10 for reliability, the Mazda3 gets at least a 9.5.

    Also, comparing the low volume Si to the Mazda3 s doesn't really make much sense, it just hands a win to Honda. The Si will be limited in production, the 3 s is actually the higher volume model of the Mazda3 line. As someone said earlier, it isn't Mazda's fault that their top Civic Sedan only has 140hp.
  • When the Si Sedan comes out and has had a year or so for the initial hoopla and price gouging to die down, I'll definitely be considering it.

    I really do wish Honda would give us a 5-door Civic, but that just ain't gonna happen. Americans just don't like them enough to justify it. I'm amazed Mazda went to the trouble of offering one on the Mazda6 and Mazda3, but the wagon-like utility of the 3 5-door is a huge selling point.
  • Does that mena your wife only drives automatics? I would teach her to drive a manual.

    Nope, thankfully she drives manual. That's not to say that she's into performance driving, but she enjoys a good manual gearbox. Otherwise she wouldn't be able to drive my WRX at all. Which is GREAT for me, since I really don't like automatics of any kind.

    Your car comparison analogy appears to have some incorrect models. The BMW 330i is sportier than an Audi S4 ( or even better a RS4) Maybe the BMW M3, but the BMW 330i is not considered more sporty than an Audi S4.

    I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying that 330i is SPORTIER than an S4? If that's the case I'll have to disagree, the current V8 powered S4 is a very quick car, and certainly more track worthy than a 330i.

    What I was trying to say is, just because E90 M3 hasn't come out yet, I would not compare a 330i to an S4. 330i should be compared to an A4 3.0 quattro, and the M3 to the S4. Likewise, the Mazda 3s should be compared to the EX, (top of the line pedestrian models) and the Mazdaspeed3 (whenever it comes out) to the Si. ("tuner" focused performance models.) If we were to put the Si up against the 3s, then what Honda would you compare to the Mazdaspeed3?

    I really think majority of the people that look at the 3s would cross-shop with the EX, not the Si. The 3s is a bread and butter, and the Si is a low volume car.
  • "There is a big cost penalty for the added performance of the Mazda. Very substantial difference in fuel economy and MSRPs."

    Comparably equipped, you can get a 3s cheaper than a Civic. Don't use the prices in this comparo - the Mazda has thousands of dollars in extras that aren't available in the Civic (leather, xenon, ACC, etc). The true comparison is 3 touring w/ moonroof package vs the EX. Real life prices are a few hundred less for the Mazda
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Or how about the 3i Touring with ABS and side bags vs. the Civic LX? There's only a few bucks difference in the list prices of those cars. I think that would have made a much more interesting comparo because the cars would have been closer in price, equipment, and fuel economy, making the differences in performance, driver and passenger comfort, controls/displays etc. more telling.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    No, they tried to justify the added cost by saying you could take the moonroof/CD changer package and "only" cost $1000 more than the Civic. They also said they liked the interior of the Mazda and it was the interior with the leather and extra luxuries.
    Is leather, ACC, xenons things that are important in an economy car test?
    Why try to justify the extra cost by saying you get leather, xenons, automatic climate control and bad gas mileage in the Mazda when it is supposed to be an economy car comparison?

    Maybe it's true that the 3 touring with the moonroof package would have been a better comparison (for an economy sedan test), but that is not what they chose to compare with the Civic, so that only confirms that it was a poorly thought out test.

    They chose the 2.3 engined model leather, xenons and automatic climate control for an economy sedan test without regard for fuel economy or any other economy.
  • Just to reiterate how closely priced comparably equipped Civic and Mazda3 models are, here are the numbers. Edmunds TMV price is showing full sticker on the Civic, but some folks in forums have gotten some discounts on them. The Mazda3 can be had for a lot less than Edmunds TMV. Two weeks ago, I bought my s 5-door Touring with a sticker of $18,175 for $16,500 OTD (not including tax because I bought out of state).

    Here are the prices-

    Civic LX 4-door AT- MSRP- $17,860, Edmunds TMV- $17,860
    Mazda3 i Touring AT- MSRP- $17,845, Edmunds TMV- $17,152

    Civic EX 4-door AT- MSRP- $19,610, Edmunds TMV- $19,610
    Mazda3 s Touring AT- MSRP- $20,015, Edmunds TMV- $19,226
    *Mazda has 6CD changer which is required with sunroof

    The cars sticker very close to each other, but the Mazda can definitely be bought for less similarly equipped. A lot of folks in the "Mazda3: Prices Paid/Buying Experience" forum have gotten their 3 for close to or even under invoice. So, despite Edmunds illogical use of the Grand Touring model, the Mazda3 actually costs less than Civic.

    I suppose the upside for Honda is that they are able to get full sticker for the Civic, at least for now.
  • They chose the 2.3 engined model leather, xenons and automatic climate control for an economy sedan test without regard for fuel economy or any other economy.

    FYI- the 3 s Touring is identical mechanically to the Grand Touring model. They have the same 160hp 2.3L.

    Also, something that I don't think has been mentioned, is that the Mazda offers leather interior as an option ($590 on s Touring or standard on Grand Touring) while Civic doesn't offer it at all. I'm not a fan of leather, so I didn't get it, but for some people buying in this price/size range, it's a nice option to have.

    I'll give the Civic some credit for features, too. I'd kill for my Mazda to have the AUX jack for my iPod like the Civic has. It also has some small features that are very cool like they keyless entry integrated into the key, auto-up driver's window. I'd like to see all those on my Mazda.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Civics are normally well discounted. They aren't discounted much right now only because they were recently redesigned and supply has not caught up to demand yet in this short period of time. It probably won't be much longer before supply increases along with discounting.
  • Civics are normally well discounted. They aren't discounted much right now only because they were recently redesigned and supply has not caught up to demand yet in this short period of time. It probably won't be much longer before supply increases along with discounting.

    Yep, I think the Civic will be much cheaper to buy next year than it is right now.

    But Mazda always has much higher level of discounts and rebates than Honda. (not that it's a good thing) As the 3 is going into its 3rd model year, I would expect more discount, and even some rebates as well.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    I wouldn't count on rebates on the Mazda3, except maybe some financing rebates. Mazda seems content to sell the Mazda3 at low volume but high profit. Maybe they have learned from Honda that holding off on rebates helps prop up resale values. A scan of prices on 2004 Mazda3's in my area shows they are holding their value very well, e.g. $16k for a '04 3i.
  • Backy,

    People can't drive sticks, Horse Pucky. To those very few that are trully handicapped, I applogize. But to the majority that have an attitude there is no excuse.

    I have driven many simulated manual shift cars and the only that comes close to the reality of actually shifting is a BMW.

    Civc Si , only two adults. Well actaully most of the time that is what I fgot the car for. But The Si and EX coupe can accomodate adults in the backseat. However, I wouldn't go on long trips. The backseat is actaully more roomy thatn the GSR and/ot BMW M3 sedan I had.

    I have other cars for hauling cargo and more adults, but most of the time that is not needed. I guess you don't think 2-seat sports cars have any purpose at all, I guess you are right since all car vendors have quite selling them.

    The Civic Si is awesome and exciting. The automatic Mazda3 may not be dull, but it is not awesome and exciting.

    Your Opinion May Vary,

    MidCow
  • Rumors are that a 6-speed Si sedan might show up in 18 months. Hey, the 6-speed Accord sedan showed up this year! However, there is still some doubt about the sedan version because the normal Si looks for performance and styling and Honda is not sure what demographics a Si Sedan would attract. They would probably have to add a push-button simulated manual shift automatic to satisfy the sedate sedan owners. And for sure they would have to remove the cool colors: Rallye Red, Habanero Red Pearl, Fiji Blue Pearl and Royal Blue Pearl.

    Cheers Go Coupe! Go 6-speed!

    MidCow
  • gosteelerz said :

    If buy the Si, you are basically joining the boy-racer tuner crowd. You're imediate(sic) competion will not be the 3, it will be cars like the Cobalt SS, SRT-4's, WRX etc. in which case you will suffer in humiliation. Oh, I also forgot the 17 year old kid in his mommy's new RAV 4, better watch for those too.

    It would make more sense to Compare an Si to a 6 cyl Mustang which is about it's level of practicality. "


    LOL, you immedaitely join the tuner crowd.

    Actually , I look at the Civic Si as a fun upscale commuter car, similar to Integra GSR and CRX Si that I had in the past. The Cobalt SS and SRT-4 ( no longer made) are fast, but cheap and unrealiable cars. The WRX is another $10,000 more and is turbo based; turbo lag etc.

    You assume humliation, but maybe a person doesn't have racing in mind at all, maybe just the fun of driving. But compared to low powered cars such as a 92 Civic or a 2003 Protege the performance of a 2006 Civic or a 2006 Mazda 3 would be phenomenal. Much less the awesome, Civic Si.

    The last statement is the most ridiculous comparing a Mustange V6 to an Si. I had my last Ford (Taurus SHO)in 1990 and it was a great car for 2 1/2 years until it turned into a Ford. Ford service and Frod Customer support for out-of-state (no vaction) out-of-warranty cars is very bad. I will never have another Ford. and to compare a v6 Mustang to a Honda Civic Si was a JOKE right.

    Bottom line, I like the Honda Civic Si and you don't! So be it. But just because the Si is better than the Mazda 3 2.3L is no reason to diss it!

    Happy New Year,

    MidCow
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Its not that people can't learn how to drive a manual - People buy cars with automatic transmissions because that is what they WANT. If you want a manual GREAT for you - but trying to tell people what they should drive makes you look like a complete jerk.

    I spend hours every week stuck in bumper to bumper traffic - that alone is reason enough (for me) to get an auto.

    IMO - Many of the people who drive manuals because they think they have better performance would actually be able to go from 0-60 faster with an auto tranny. Can't convince then that they are wrong - because they really do believe they are great drivers - think they must be REALLY MOVING FAST because you are REVVVVING the engine and POWER SHIFTING like crazy.
  • earthearth Posts: 76
    Drove LA freeways ( What a Joke ) to and from work, mostly stop, and go with a stick at 23 years of age, again at age 30. Stopped buying Stick shifts at that point. Not fun to drive in stop and go traffic using a stick. Never will buy a stick again, NEVER !! Some of you think shifting constently is called fun, ya right ....
  • mcapmcap Posts: 49
    Agreed. Everyone gets soo preachy about driving manuals. I have only owned manual cars. I never had an auto. However, after a couple of years in NYC traffic with a 5 spd I was ready for the change. And guess what, it has been much better.

    There are a lot of people who drive through light traffic and then tell us you can just stay in 1st or second gear. And how exactly does that work? The traffic hear starts at a dead stop, speads to 10 mph and then comes to a dead stop again. If you keep enough distance infront of you, cars will just change over and fill the space. Sometimes my commute took 2 hours of non-stop shifting.

    There is no comparision in terms of control, sportiness and fun. Stick wins. The manumatics are no subsitute either. But having an auto in traffic has been a good, good thing.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,728
    Everyone gets soo preachy about driving manuals.

    Amen to that. I think we'd be a little better off if we tried to walk in others' shoes once in awhile, rather than assuming that "what's OK for me must be OK for everyone else."

    Another reason these days to choose an automatic is that they are starting to get better fuel economy than stick shifs. The '06 Civic is a good example of that trend. I've noticed it on a few other newer cars too.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you want a manual GREAT for you - but trying to tell people what they should drive makes you look like a complete jerk.
    That's a little strong. If I had to guess, he's just trying to get people to try it out. If I had never driven a manual (upon request of my grandfather who told me I should learn) I would have just thought it another chore to add to driving. Instead, I found it to be fun. Do I drive a manual? No, I have two automatic equipped cars, from the company that makes the best manuals in the business (Honda). I had the option of getting a stick, but I also drive in rush hour daily so manual driving wouldn't be fun most of the time.

    IMO - Many of the people who drive manuals because they think they have better performance would actually be able to go from 0-60 faster with an auto tranny. Can't convince then that they are wrong - because they really do believe they are great drivers - think they must be REALLY MOVING FAST because you are REVVVVING the engine and POWER SHIFTING like crazy.


    A friend of mine drives like she's afraid to pass a bicycle, but she loves driving a stick. She currently has a manual explorer, and hates driving automatics. She doesen't power shift (or know what that term means), or rev the engine like crazy, she just likes the fin of a manual.
  • She doesen't power shift (or know what that term means), or rev the engine like crazy, she just likes the fin of a manual.

    There you described my wife. :) Although she drives fast enough to pass people in their Buicks.
  • Actually , I look at the Civic Si as a fun upscale commuter car, similar to Integra GSR and CRX Si that I had in the past. The Cobalt SS and SRT-4 ( no longer made) are fast, but cheap and unreliable cars. The WRX is another $10,000 more and is turbo based; turbo lag etc.

    You assume humiliation, but maybe a person doesn't have racing in mind at all, maybe just the fun of driving. But compared to low powered cars such as a 92 Civic or a 2003 Protege the performance of a 2006 Civic or a 2006 Mazda 3 would be phenomenal. Much less the awesome, Civic Si.


    It's because Honda made amazing cars like the Integra GSR that has made me a bit jaded about it's current offerings. And yes it is about driving fun, that's why I got the Protege. There was no fun to be had in a 7th gen Civic at the time.

    The last statement is the most ridiculous comparing a Mustang V6 to an Si. I had my last Ford (Taurus SHO)in 1990 and it was a great car for 2 1/2 years until it turned into a Ford. Ford service and Frod Customer support for out-of-state (no vaction) out-of-warranty cars is very bad. I will never have another Ford. and to compare a v6 Mustang to a Honda Civic Si was a JOKE right.

    Bottom line, I like the Honda Civic Si and you don't! So be it. But just because the Si is better than the Mazda 3 2.3L is no reason to diss it!


    I drew the comparison between the Mustang and the Si because the SI would be as useful at carrying a family around as a Mustang. Sure most Fords are notorious for reliability but the Mustang is not too bad.

    Bottom line is the Si is a couple of tenths quicker in a straight line than the 3, but gives up that advantage in handling and braking. As someone who obviously likes Hondas doesn't it sadden you to have to compare th SI coupe against the run-of-the mill Mazda.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "I wouldn't count on rebates on the Mazda3, except maybe some financing rebates. Mazda seems content to sell the Mazda3 at low volume but high profit. Maybe they have learned from Honda that holding off on rebates helps prop up resale values. A scan of prices on 2004 Mazda3's in my area shows they are holding their value very well, e.g. $16k for a '04 3i."

    Well thats because Mazda has a strong demand for the 3. Thry same can;t be said for other models in their line-up which have hefty rebates. Mazda builds good cars but with the exception of the 3 they can't sway the Honda and Nissan buyer away. Its all about supply and demand in regards to how many rebates a manufacturer offers on cars.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "They are also glossing over many complaints commonly heard on this board. They rave about the leather which, here on edmunds has been referred to as hard, cheap plastic. I have also read complaints in the Mazda forum about the non maintenance free battery, grooving on the rear rotors, shift problems between 1st and 2nd, the center console that really cuts into leg/knee room, a large rear blindspot, the uncessary funkly orange lights on the dash, and above all, consistent complaints about an A/C system that on some cars, is poor at best."

    I'm sure Honda owners have their complaints about their cars too. Not every car is trouble free. I like both Honda amd Mazda. I think both the Civic Coupe and Mazda 3 are some of the best cars that both Honda and Mazda have ever styled as a admirer of both companies.

    "Finally, you have to look at cars in the long term. The 6 was apparently very reliable until it was downgraded recently."

    In Consumer Reports CR reccomended the Mazda 6 Sedan 4 cyl(average reliability and the Mazda 6 wagon(above average reliability.) Cr didn't reccomend the 6 cyl 6 sedan(under average reliability and 6 hatch(below average reliability as well.)

    "Who knows what the long term viability of the 3 will be (although the civic is unproven for 06 as well)."

    The 3 has been reliable according to CR scoring above average reliability for 04 and 05. 05 models only had 3,000 miles on them of CR's survey however. Yeah the last generation(01-05)Civic did have first year bugs with the suspension for the couple of years of bodystyle but the last generation Civic did still have good reliability.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "IMO the '06 Civic is Honda's first move off the bland scale for the Civic in quite some time. For instance, notice how some people love the new exterior and interior and some people hate it. That is a sure sign of non-blandness."

    Backy, I'm with you 100% on this one because I even as a hard-core Honda fan I was shocked Honda went this bold with the styling. I;m talking about the Coupe models's styling. I think it looks pretty sharp. It may look unusual but at least its more sporty than the past 2 generation Civic's on the exterior.
  • Hey backy-

    Although some folks on here refuse to accept it, the Mazda3 is holding its value quite well. I compared the '04 Civic and '04 Mazda3 and found that after two years, the Honda retained 83% of its original value and the Mazda3 retained 82%. Considering that Honda always has been (and probably always will be) the benchmark of residual value, I think that's a great showing for the Mazda. Unfortunately, the Mazda6 doesn't fare nearly as well. Interestingly, Mazda has offered a lot of rebates on the 6 and haven't on the 3, which supports your statement that not offering rebates does help prop up resale values.
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