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Honda Civic vs Mazda3



  • ecofunecofun Posts: 22
    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: 22
    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: 22
    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: 22
    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.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    thats good man. its seems that the a/c bug is FINALLY out. enjoy the car! :)
  • zzoomp09zzoomp09 Posts: 30
    I got the same in Sunlight Silver with the Moonroof/Bose option. As well as rear bumper step plates, a larger air dam, wheel locks, door edge guards, cargo mat, all-weather floor mats, window tints, compass/auto-dimming mirror and 3 free oil changes. $22500 including the destination charge.

    I know I didn't get a huge discount for this one because the dealer I went to wasn't the best dealer you want to buy a car if you want deep discounts. But, they were the only one who had a manual tranny at that time with the color that I want. Wayne Mazda had one but in red and black. I'm only looking for either the Sunlight Silver or the Aurora Blue Mica.

    I'm glad you chose the 3, you really won't regret your decision. I was worried about the A/C too when I bought my car, and I couldn't test it because I bought it in Feb this year, in the middle of winter. But we've been experiencicng in past 3 days, temperatures in the mid-90's with humidity in the NY Metro Area, and the A/C is superb! Used the A/C at fan speed level 3 (GT models have 7 fan speed levels) in the coldest setting. My eyeglasses will frost as soon as I get out of the car. That's how cold the A/C was! They've surely fixed the issue on past models.

    Fuel economy is fine. I'm getting 24 city/32 hwy (23 or less if driving mostly in NYC traffic) and it's not that far with my sister's 2006 Civic EX which she gets 25 city/34 hwy (24 or less if driving mostly in NYC traffic). Really close to 2008 EPA estimates.

    By the way, I just had an oil change with synthetic oil Friday morning. Performance is a lot better. Also putting in Premium Grade (93 octane) gas most of the time now. I've put in 87 for a while and noticed a different sound on the engine. Love the sound better in higher octane gas.

    So far, I'm really enjoying and loving the car. It's been performing well above my expectations for a premium econo-box.
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 22
    All good news. Glad to hear the mileage numbers In all the 3 vs civic mileage figures, people are getting, I have to believe the Mazda3 driver push a car harder than the civic driver does, so a lot of the numbers may not be apples to apples. Just a thought.

    By the way I'm picking my car up in 2 hours and thinking of adding the rear bumper step plates. Do you find them to be more fashion than function or do you think they really do protect the bumper?
  • zzoomp09zzoomp09 Posts: 30
    If you're putting in a lot of things in your trunk, yes. Plus, it adds a little bit on the looks. It won't make the back of the 5dr look like being pushed down or stretched from the sides.
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 22
    First Impression:

    In a word...SMOOTH.
    This car just purrs. I can't believe how quiet the ride is in this 4-cyl. Throwing gears is like going through butter. The one thing I was surprised about when I was test driving the civic coupe ex was that the stick was a little notchy, tougher to find gears than some of the Accord sticks that I experienced. After 200 miles on the new GT 5 door, finding gears is effortless. If I have a "complaint", in the past I've always listened to the engine to get my cue when to shift. This engine is so quiet (although I'm wondering if I've been playing the Bose too loud), that I'm watching the tach more than ever (but I'm really not complaining). This car seems like a perfect blend of fun and economy which is exactly what I was hoping for.

    My only concern right now is dealing with the NH winter driving. From all accounts, it's sounds like I don't want to be on these Goodyear Eagles when the snow starts flying. In time, I will probably switch to a high performance all season tire. But I won't be ready by Dec when I'll probably have 10-12K miles on the car. I'd rather not sink $500 into a set of winter tires plus the cost of another set of wheels, not the mention the pain of changing tires twice a year. What I may try to do is rough it for this winter and have new all seasons for next.

    Among you snowbelt drivers, any thought which way to go?
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    don't get too optimistic; i used to floor it in my civic.(and still average over 30 mpg.)

    to mr zzoom: are you just posting your sisters epa sticker numbers? becasue the civic gets 36 mpg; the mazda 3 2.3 barely manages 29 on the highway; you must be driving VERY conserviately to get those numbers; thus negating any need to put in premium gas for its 'performance' benefits. :blush:
  • ecofunecofun Posts: 22
    For what it's worth, these numbers are from CR's April 2007 issue:

    Overall MPG
    Civic ex sedan manual 31
    Mazda3 5-door hatchback manual 28
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    You beat me too it! I was just going to mention that.
  • zzoomp09zzoomp09 Posts: 30
    I'm posting a real-world experience for me and my sister. I was on a trip from Montreal to NYC through the highways of the Adirondacks and the Catskills with speeds from 70 to sometimes 85mph, and believe it or not, my trip computer hit 33.4mpg. Plus the weather is really springlike and most of the time, I was using the cruise control.

    Keep in mind that the numbers I posted has a bit more percentage for both... Meaning if it's the city, more percentage driving in the city than the highway, I'm getting around 24, 23 if mostly in NYC traffic. If it's mostly highway, I'm getting around 32. You apply the same measurements with my post regarding my sister's Civic EX.

    The numbers I should have posted also are the MPG of a mix (let's say 40/60, 50/50, or 60/40 percetages) city/highway driving...

    My sister's Civic EX - 30.8 mpg
    My 3 GT 5dr - 29.9 mpg

    All in all, it really depends on how each and every one of us drives. :)

    One more thing, when I was driving from Toronto to Montreal, I've only achieved 29.7mph as I was following this Mazda6 running at around 80 to 110mph. I was following that car for about 45 mins and my MPG went down 3mpg. Oh boy, this 3 GT 5dr just hits 110mph easily!!!
  • zzoomp09zzoomp09 Posts: 30
    It is really SMOOTH... :shades:

    I was worried about the engine noise when I was buying this car too. My corolla was quiet and the RPM is at 3000 on 80mph. The 3 that I bought is purring at 3000RPMs on 65mph. But, it is really smooth and you'll notice how they've insulated the cabin from the engine noise, even when hitting 4500RPMs. 3000RPM's on my previous Corolla and the 3 are world's apart.

    The stick is superb! My friends from all over the Northeast when I've met them the past few months, LOVED this new baby of mine. The stick is just smooth and easy. You won't find it hard to shift the car. And you'll really have that shifting "problem" when you're listening to the BOSE we've got on our cars. I was running at 4th gear merging to the NJ Turnpike and continued to do so at around 70-72mph. I forgot to change gears as I used to have an automatic and I never really heard the engine that much to give the cue to change.

    Winter driving is bad at first. But once you get used to driving a stick in 10 inches of snow on the ground, the Goodyear Eagles are fine. I'm planning on changing the tires next winter season as I would probably have more than 20,000 miles on it. And from reviews I've read on, these Eagles are not good after a few wear and tear. From reviews on tirerack too, the best options for our GT's with the same dimensions are the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, Pilot Sport A/S, and the Avon Tech M550 A/S.
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