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Honda Civic vs Mazda3

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  • According to Consumer Reports, the real world MPG difference between the Civic and the 3 i is only 1 MPG. For the 3 s I would imagine 5-7 MPG to be the average real world difference. Of course individual cars will vary.
  • I am a 3 owner with the 2.0 automatic, and on my very first tank I got 26 mpg.. A friend of mine who has an 06 Civic coupe says he's getting about 28, and he's had his for almost a year, so it's all broken in. I don't usually drive as hard as I did for the first few trips in the 3, but it just makes you want to go fast. For me, the styling and fun-factor of the 3 did it, and the price of the 3 i touring I got compared to the offer I got on the Civic LX (almost $1000 in favor of the 3) more than makes up for the little difference in mpg. Those two things sealed the deal. It's easy to find a 3 with side airbags too
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Biggest reason i would not go with a Honda has very litte to do with the vehical itself (even thought i think its ugly). Every time i have dealt with a Honda salesperson they have come off as arrogant and rather uppity, as if its a waste of there time to talk to me since i dont already own a honda. Mazda sales people have been very nice and straight forward, and i like that.
  • Biggest reason i would not go with a Honda has very litte to do with the vehical itself (even thought i think its ugly). Every time i have dealt with a Honda salesperson they have come off as arrogant and rather uppity, as if its a waste of there time to talk to me since i dont already own a honda. Mazda sales people have been very nice and straight forward, and i like that.

    That's not a fair assumption to push on someone however...each and every dealer will be different. Different sales tactics, and simply, different people. We chose Honda BECAUSE of its wonderful dealer service at our local store. They always let us test drive on our own, mutltiple times, and don't seem discouraged when you tell them you are cross shopping, and may still like the competitor better. Not pushy/needy like salespeople around here can easily be (as seen at a local Ford dealer we've dealt with).

    Experiences with just your dealer or a few sales people is not a fair sample, and certainly not worth giving up a test drive of a car for.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    It's unfortunate that dealers can turn potential customers away from a brand. I do not agree with not buying a brand because of a bad apple among the bunch, unless it seems to happen every time you shop that brand at different locations, and continue to get bad service.

    Toyota and Honda statistically do not have great customer satisfaction at their dealers overall, you can throw Mazda in that mix as well. But, that does not mean there are not dealers that reputable, honest, and actually care about you..like my store!! :shades:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That's not a fair assumption to push on someone however...each and every dealer will be different.Different sales tactics, and simply, different people.

    I could not agree more. The salesman who ended up selling me my current vehicle could not have been more slimey (it's a long story, I did the real negotiating over the phone with the manager after a horrible experience with said slime). OTOH, every single experience I have had in the service department has been outstanding.

    You only have to deal with a salesperson long enough to acquire the vehicle. Then you'll never have to see him again. I noticed in my first routine maintenance trips that the jerk was no longer there. And the experience with the manager was perfect. That told me that the salesman's attitude wasn't coming from his management.

    Anyway, to exclude a brand in general due to a bad experience with a salesman at a dealership could well be cutting off your nose to spite your face. IF, of course, you were genuinely interested in the brand in the first place.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    The salesman who ended up selling me my current vehicle could not have been more slimey (it's a long story, I did the real negotiating over the phone with the manager after a horrible experience with said slime).

    So you rewarded him/them with a sale???
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I knew I'd have to tell this story. ;)

    The short version:

    It was a vehicle that was really hot and it was the only dealership I could purchase it from without having to go 100 miles away.

    I waited a couple of days until I calmed down and then I called and asked for the sales manager. He couldn't have been nicer nor more concerned about what had happened to me (it was bad, right down to the hide-my-keys trick). We went back and forth on the price (not much room for an in-demand vehicle from the only local dealer), and I really got a great deal. He said to me he'd like to hire me to sell cars! (Hah, not me!!)

    So yeah, I did. :blush:
  • i have had a 3 for 2 months now and love it! i did not test drive a civic beofre my purchase, and i felt left out, so when i was getting my oil changed I went across the street and drove a 4 dr civic ex, the top of the line. There must be something about the honda that is apealing because they sell so many of them, but to me it felt like an economy car, there was no comparison, I prefere the sporty solid feeling of the mazda. It just goes to show, everyone has different expectations, so, be sure to test drive before you buy, I got lucky, i have no regrets. And the dash set up for the honda, put me in the not like catagorie.
  • Well, after a very long time of researching and test driving both of these cars, I finally decided to buy the Mazda 3.

    I have many reasons why. It all started with the test drive. I first drove a blue automatic civic coupe Ex. Sticker price was $20,100. It drove very nicely. I was very very impressed. It was EXTREMELY quiet, solid, smooth, and a lot faster than I expected. The dashboard was strange, but I could get use to it. The controls worked very well, EVERYTHING worked well. I was very satisfied when I stepped out of the car.

    Then I went over to the Mazda dealer which was right across the street. It was all over after that.

    I test drove a True Red Mazda 3s automatic. As soon as I started it up I knew I was going to like it. The engine was more refined than the civics. Not by much, but it was smoother when accelerating. You couldn't tell either of these engines were on at idle. It was as quiet as the civic at idle and when cruising. They both get loud when accelerating hard, but the Civics engine seems to whine unlike the 3's engine, which sounds sporty. Get up and go is the main difference between the two cars. Off the line, the mazda felt twice as fast as the civic. (which felt fast itself) Going up hills, the mazda easily held the hill at high speeds, not something I could say about the civic. I also managed to take both cars up a mountain road which is near both dealerships. The mazda 3 held 70 up the hill and it didn't seem like I was pushing it too hard. The civic struggled to hold 60. I had the throttle mashed to the floor the entire hill. I never floored the mazda once. So thats impressive. There are alot of hills around here, so that power will come in handy. I also noticed the civic didn't like to downshift. When pulling out onto the highway, I would floor the car and would wait for quite a while for a downshift. It seemed confused. Doing the same thing in the 3, the transmission quickly downshifted and got to up to speed much faster than the civic ever could. And handling is no comparison. I took the mazda 3 around the same corners I took the civic on, and trust me, the 3 kills the civic in handling. Not saying the civic can't handle, it took those corners just fine. But the 3 took them A LOT better. This might be a good thing or a bad thing to some, but the 3 has REALLY fast steering. Its very light at parking lot speeds, much lighter than the civics which was surprisingly heavy. But up at highway speeds, the slightest touch of the wheel will put the car over in the other lane. Some might call it twitchy, but I like it. Especially when going around corners. :shades:

    Of course, the 3 wont get as good fuel economy. But, I can live with that. So far I've been really impressed with my figures. First tank I got 27.6. Second tank I got 29.2. Third tank I got 28.7. And I'm working on my fourth tank now. :P They both are really good cars. They are quiet, refined, high quality, and they both feel like much more than their price would suggest they are. It just seems that the 3 matches the civic on everything, yet beats it in a lot of others things. I really haven't found anything wrong with the 3 yet.

    On a side note, I really didn't like the view out of the civic. I could not see the hood. Which I could get use to, but it just seemed like that dash went on forever and made it hard to see. The A pillars are HUGE! When I was pulling out onto the main road, the A pillar actually blocked an entire Ford Explorer that was heading towards me. Thats scary. You sit up much higher in the 3 and have great visibility. (the 3 had better seats too) Both cars are hard to see out of the back. They both have high trunks and my 3 has a spoiler that makes it even harder. To give some credit to the civic, I did really like the civics sliding armrest feature, and its MANY storages spots. Its cupholders are pretty good too.

    So, I'm happy with my decision. The 3 is truly a much better car for me. I wanted something fun. It provides a whole lot of that and more. I got a fairly good deal on it too. Sticker price was $19,900. The got the dealer to give it to me for $19,300 before taxes and all of that. The Honda dealer wasn't budging on the sticker. They were selling it for full sticker price, or they weren't selling it to me at all. So whatever Honda, someone else can buy that car. I'm happy with my 3! :)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Maybe you should change your screen name to jarrod06mazda3.

    I felt the same way when we first bought the Mazda3 - and even after 33 months of ownership - its still fun to drive.

    Since my daugher has taken over the Mazda3 as her car - I don't get to drive it as much - so when I do get my hands on it - its even more fun than before.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    We're lucky that we have both a '05 3s and an '06 Civic LX. I drive the LX 90% of the time and love the car. But when I get to drive the wife's 3s, it's driving but on a different dimension. The car's lightning fast when it needs to be and shifts much smoother than the Civic. And after putting on 4 new BF Goodrich Traction T/A's this afternoon, it rides like it's on rails. Just enhances the experience for me. The wife ran over a 4" piece of metal this afternoon & since I had already decided to replace her worn tires next week, we just did it a week earlier. Glad I did.
    Both cars are very satisfying economy cars, which fit her need for a more powerful engine and mine for excellent fuel economy. We've found both with our 3s and LX, so we're a very happy family. The wife did let me know recently that her next ride will be of a more luxury small car i.e., a Lexus I350 or a BMW 328. But time will tell!

    The Sandman :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    We've found both with our 3s and LX, so we're a very happy family. The wife did let me know recently that her next ride will be of a more luxury small car i.e., a Lexus I350 or a BMW 328. But time will tell!

    Whoa! Those vehicles are double the prices of the cars you drive! Should be a hoot though!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    new BF Goodrich Traction T/A's ... rides like it's on rails

    Agreed. After their first year, I still find them to be an excellent choice in terms of handling. They are a bit noisy. I also use BF Goodrich Winter Slaloms and swear by them for our Canadian climate. Both offer excellent value.
  • I agree that the B F Goodrich Traction T/A tires do excellent in handling qualities, however after having them on my Honda for a few months, I was not at all happy with the noise they produced. They really growled at all speeds and the rolling resistance was not good. I should have read the rating in Consumer Reports before buying them. At any rate, I returned to Costco and they replaced them with what originally came on the car, Michellin tires. What a difference. No more B F Goodrich tires for me. Maybe the B F's have an edge on handling, but the noise and harsh ride they produce are not worth it, for me.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    ... Maybe the B F's have an edge on handling, but the noise and harsh ride they produce are not worth it ...

    Which Michelin's did you end up getting?

    Regarding the harshness, did you try adjusting the tire pressure? I like a firm ride so I routinely add a few more psi; 32 psi is the regular setting, 35 is what I use. This transforms the tires; I liken it to moving from soft slippers to tight track shoes.
  • Yes, I tried different air pressure, still no help. I usually put a couple more pounds than whats called for, mainly for better gas mileage and rolling resistance. The Michlins that came on the car when new were MXV4. Great tires; I got 55,000 miles on them with no complaints. I put the same kind back on, and there really is a big difference. I think the Touring T/A would have been OK, but Costco only carries the Traction T/A. Not for me.
  • I just test drove a Honda Civic EX Coupe and a Mazda 3i Touring, both with manual transmissions, and found them to be pretty good cars. However, I think the Mazda has a couple clear advantages over the Honda:

    1. The smallest engine you can get in the Mazda is bigger and more powerful than the only engine you can get in the Civic. Granted, the Civic gets better gas mileage, but the difference is less noticeable when you compare manual transmission cars. Besides, fuel economy isn't that high of a priority for me, so any car in this class would be good enough.

    2. The Mazda 3 had sharp-looking cloth seats, while the ones in the Civic EX looked cheap. I don't expect Lexus quality in a 17-18K car, but the Civic EX is the highest trim level. It should look better inside than an entry-level 3i. Sure, the space-cockpit dashboard looked nice, but it made me feel like Honda dressed up the dash for Internet and magazine photos while neglecting the seats to cut costs.

    The Honda is still a good car, but I think the Mazda is a better value. It had everything I wanted (power windows/locks, side airbags, ABS, 4-wheel discs) for $17,145, plus more power and sharper reflexes than the Honda. The only MT Civics I could find were coupe EX models, which had extra "frills" like a fancy audio system and a moonroof but lacked four doors and good seats.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The only MT Civics I could find were coupe EX models, which had extra "frills" like a fancy audio system and a moonroof but lacked four doors and good seats.

    Must depend on where you live? At our local dealership, there were 4 manuals on the lot at the first of Decemeber(this is a small dealership off the beaten path) - I think two were coupes and two were sedans. This is out of the total of maybe 20 Civics on the lot.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome! Nice post, thanks!
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