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Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla vs Mazda3



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The pursuit of perfection? Hmm, sounds like it could be the slogan for... a car company?
  • i'm struggling with this decision...06 civic ex sedan vs 06 mazda3 5-door GT

    i've test driven the civic three times and the mazda3 twice. in each case the mazda won for 'fun to drive'. the civic isn't bad...but it feels disconnected and unresponsive in comparison to the 3.

    i need to make my decision soon...but it's tough. here is my current listing of points each vehicle wins on and some negative points for each. please feel free to respond.

    civic wins:
    refined / simple interior
    fuel efficiency
    dealer / service network
    reputation for quality
    ability to replace stock stereo & retain some stock appearance (with dx dash piece)

    mazda3 wins
    acceleration / power
    crisp / responsive handling
    hatch flexibility
    fog lights standard
    longer standard warranty
    leather (albeit not great leather)
    heated seats w/lumbar adjustment
    xenon / hid lighting
    auto climate control
    lower insurance premium
    no dealer haggling (s plan)

    civic negatives
    high insurance premium
    new / redesign 'kinks' need worked out
    TIGHT engine bay
    light color interior only (for sedans)

    mazda3 negatives
    console impedes leg room
    busy integrated dash/console (difficult to replace stock hu)
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    I think I saw this post on temple of vtec. Was that you? In any case, you can read my response there. Again, I think they are both great cars - I agree with your impressions. Some things to consider:

    -I thought the Honda was a bit disconected also but after driving mine for a day, it isn't. It has a good amount of road feel. A bit less than the 3 but not much.
    -Civic will have much better resale. I had my car for about 2 years prior to trade and it only lost about 25% of it's value. Unheard of for other economy cars.
    -Civic has better visibility
    -Althought the interiors on the Mazda are dark (some are hideous ivory though), you may be regretting that when you need A/C. Apparently it isn't up to the job with a black interior.
    -My galaxy grey sedan has a very nice, not too light, grey interior.
    -Civic could possibly be rated as the safest car in it's class once the crash test ratings come out (Jetta is up there though).
    -There are problems reported with the Mazda3 rear rotors. Apparently they are wearing out a lot faster than they should.

    There are issues with the Civic also. I prefer the Mazda seats and this is a first model year for Honda. Could be an issue although other first year hondas have done very well. Great car either way!!!

    Take care,
  • thanks for the response marc...good feedback. i wish the civic crash ratings were out already.

    i did post this over on tov as well. figured that i'd pasted it here since i already had written it out. (though i don't see a response there yet)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The IIHS crash test scores for the Civic are supposed to be released tomorrow.

    You need to prioritize your criteria. For example, is the driving experience more or less important to you than things like resale value? Also, you didn't mention the versatility of the 5-door Mazda3 compared to the Civic with its smallish trunk. If that is not important to you, couldn't you save some money and get a Mazda3i Touring, which is closer to the Civic sedan (cloth interior, 16" wheels etc.) than the loaded Mazda3s you are looking at?
  • i'll check out the crash test scores...thanks for the udpate on that.

    actually i did mention 'hatch flexibility' in my mazda3 wins.

    the pricing of the civic ex and mazda gt are pretty neck and neck. speaking from a pure 'features' pov, the mazda wins.

    the points i'm most focused on right now are driving experience, efficiency, maintenance, comfort, insurance cost.

    the mazda wins two, the civic wins one...and they tie in the comfort and maintenance categories (both have some minor quirks)

    i'm going to go take another look today. i'm hoping to make my decision in the next few days. then i'll have to deal with current low stock levels for both
  • mcap56mcap56 Posts: 48
    If you can afford to wait and shop around, don't let the dealers play the "inventory" game with you. I found decent supplies of both cars. I got my civic for 1,000 below msrp. A lot of people are paying full price. I found dealers willing to haggle on the Mazda3 and give me decent value for my trade.

    Best of luck,,,,,,,,,Marc
  • mbt1mbt1 Posts: 33
    I am considering buying a mazda3i touring and would like to know if it will likely match the long-term reliability of a Civic or Corolla. I have often read or heard that Civics and Corollas can easily surpass 200,000 miles without major repairs. Can a Mazda product be similarly reliable? I would appreciate everyone's input.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    It is the IIHS' "Top Pick" in the small car class, because it is the only small car to have achieved "Good" scores on the IIHS' front, side, and rear crash tests:

    It would be good if Mazda would pay for a test of the Mazda3 with side air bags/curtains. Perhaps the fact that it has chosen not to do so means it knows the result would not be that great. Just like Honda asked the IIHS to hold off testing the Civic until the redesigned '06 model was available. I wonder if there is any bias here. The IIHS delayed its testing at Honda's request, and they also released their test of the '06 Civic just a few weeks after the car went on sale. Meanwhile, other new designs like the '06 Sonata have been selling for months and have not yet been tested. Seems a bit odd to me.
  • gib11gib11 Posts: 47
    IMO, all those reviews cant be wrong.
    link title
  • I've been struggling for a few months with my decision of which car to buy- Mazda3 or Honda Civic. I finally made my decision today. I'm going with the Mazda3 s Touring 5-door.

    The new Civic is a fantastic car, but the fun to drive factor, 160hp engine, black interior and available hatchback versatility won me over. I particularly had a problem with the Civic's color combinations/options. I hate almost all ivory/beige/tan interiors, there is just something very unappealing about them to me. The Civic's other option of gray isn't bad, but there was only one exterior color I liked with it (Atomic Blue). They couldn't find that color in a manual transmission. Ugh!

    Anyway, the Mazda is great. I bought it out of state (best deal, about two hours away), so I'm going to get it Thursday afternoon. I can't wait!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I know you will love it. zoom zoom!
  • You needed to get the Civic Si. Black interior and great external colors and plenty of fun-to-drive factor.
  • I don't remember ever hearing of an stereo auxiliary input on the MZ3, but am I wrong??
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Not a whole lot of people and cargo room in that there Si though, compared to the Mazda3s, is there?
  • Not a lot fun to drive in that Mz3 though, compared to the Si, is there? No comparison!

    People & Cargo room, Go PT Cruiser!
  • jaym2jaym2 Posts: 4
    I like the looks of the 2006 Civic. Like the EX. Can anyone tell me if the seats are uncomfortable. I have gotten used to my power seats on my Camry. Am concerned about going back to plain old manual seats. I have slight back problems and find myself making small adjustments to the seat position 8 - 10 times in a 30 mile commute.

    I want to get better gas mileage with the Civic or Civiv Hybrid, but will be real unhappy if my back hurts each time I drive it. I wanted to buy a Prius, but after driving a dealer's loaner car for one day, my back and butt were aching.
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    I can tell you that the seats on the 2006 are firm and supportive. I have not taken a long trip with it yet so I can't give you that report yet. However, on the 2004 Civic that I traded in on this one, I remember thinking about how firm the seats felt and wondered if they'd be comfortable on a long trip. Well, I found out....I drove 1300 miles straight through, with a 2 hour stop half way through. I also own a conversion van with captains seats, etc. On a trip of that length in the van, my lower back would have been hurting me. With the Civic, my back was FINE. I'm hoping for the same experience on the new Civic. I have no reason to believe that it would be different, but can't say 100% before I try it out.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You really don't think the Mazda3s is fun to drive? Well, to each his own.
  • Its all relative. Fun to drive compared to a Corolla, yes, fun to drive compared to an Si, no (at least from the reviews, I haven't driven it yet myself yet).

    Similarly for people and cargo room. Relative.
  • mcapmcap Posts: 49
    I would go to the dealer and sit in the seats for a good long while. Ask them if you can rent a loaner car. I am a huge Honda fan but for me, their achilles heel has been their seats. Honda is alway sticking curves where they think people should have them. Often they don't!! The manual adjustments are fine, but there is no changing the lumbar support. In addition, the seats are very hard. Perhaps they will break in. I don't find them comfortable. Other people however, have found them to be excellent, among the best in the class. So, it really is an individual preference.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You really should drive a Mazda3s, you might just have fun!

    I haven't yet seen a review of the Mazda3s vs. the Si. But the reviews I've seen of the 3s are quite positive in the "fun to drive" area.
  • Backy, I regularly rent cars for business; have rented a Mz3 on many an occassion. While it has very good handling for the money, it is nowhere near the hype built around it (IMO). Most people on this forum liken it to a 3 series; to them I say please drive a 3 series once and then comment.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Most people on this forum liken it to a 3 series; to them I say please drive a 3 series once and then comment.

    I don't think anyone is saying the MZ3 is a BMW but at half the price the car stands very tall. Probably closer to a BMW in handling/feel than anything else in it's price class...BMW has been the benchmark for great handling sedans and the MZ3 fits right into the concept at half the cost...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You are lucky to have found 3s'es for rental. I've only seen the 3i's, which don't have the same handling as the 3s.
  • I have rented both i's as well as s's, couldn't find any discernable difference in handling (could be just me)
  • Pesonally I like the Mz6's ride and handling better than an Mz3
  • I suspect by now your decision is made. Yet the point i would like to make is that test driving a model off the dealers lot is not satisfactory--- if you are putting your money down to buy.Please go rent that model for a weekend from a rental company---and then drive it as you intend to drive your purchased auto. That methods seems to furnish answers and raise question for you about what you will be putting your money down on.
  • No AUX input for the stereo, although there are a couple of options.

    The easiest and cheapest is an FM transmitter. Not an option for me because you lose too much sound quality.

    Another way, though kinda clunky, would be to add a cassette player to the car. It's about $160 and would allow me to use a cassette adapter to hook up my iPod. It may sound crazy, but I've actually gotten very good sound quality from it in the past.

    The most complex, but best way, is to add an AUX adapter. Apparently, there is a way to "hack" into the stereo and hook up something to the back of it. It would create a line out to plug into an iPod. I've only read about it on a Mazda enthusiast website, I'd have to pay someone to do it. I'm not very technical.

    The lack of an AUX input jack is the biggest fault of the MZ3. At least there are ways around it, though.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,380
    The driver's seat is the one thing that scared me away from the new Civic sedan. I just couldn't seem to get comfortable in it. Can't quite rememebr if it was the lumbar support (too pronounced), but the bottom cushion wasn't quite shaped right, and I had trouble mvoing around on it to get comfortable.

    Actually, the best option might be aftermarket leather (and a re-work of the cushions), but that can get pricey.

    We also have an '05 Odyssey. Some people complained about those seats, but once I get settled in, they are very comfortable, especially on a long haul.

    I also have some back issues, and am very picky about seats, so it isn't that uncommon for me to not like seats that most people consider good.

    So, try them out is all I can say. And if you want real nice seats, try a Jetta, especially one with 12 way power!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

This discussion has been closed.