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2006 Civic LX or 2006 Mazda3 i Touring

dinh1976dinh1976 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Honda
I am having a difficult time to decide between a civic and mazda3. I have to purchase a vehicle in the next three days. I have done a lot of research about the two vehicles. The Civic engine is 1.8L rated at 140HP and the Mazda3 engine is 2.0L rated at 150HP. The civic is about $18,200 for drive out price (Include fee and sales tax), and the mazda 3 is $16,600 for drive out price. The two vehicles are nice cars, but there are good and bad things about the two.

2006 Honda Civic: (1) cost 1,600 more than the Mazda3, (2) vey high resale value and reliable, (3) higher insurane, (4) Lower maintenance cost, this based on discussions at CR.

2006 Mazda3: (1) Cheaper, (2) good handling and more power engine, (3) high maintenace cost, but cheaper in insurance, (4) less reliable than the Civic.

Please give me an advice. Shoud I go with the Honda Civic or the Mazda3?



  • claudius753claudius753 Member Posts: 138
    How long do you plan on keeping the car? I doubt that the maintenance cost is very different between the two. Maybe in higher mileage, like 150-200K miles, but not in lower mileage.

    Also, the Mazda has a 4 yr warrantee compared to the Civic's 3 yr bumper to bumper.

    Do you want superb fuel economy or more power? Soft comfy ride, or better cornering/fun to drive?

    I also don't see reliability as much of an issue anymore. Most any car today is more reliable than the best cars 10 years ago.

    I see it as this:

    Civic has higher mpg's, higher resale value.

    MZ3 has more power (still decent economy), lower resale.

    I don't think maintenance or reliability will be significantly different between the two, not to mention the fact of the $1600 savings on the 3 and a longer warrantee.

    Also, the Civic is a new model with a new engine and transmission, where the Mazda has been out for a few years now, and a lot of the bugs will have been worked out. Honda has first year bugs like everyone else, like the Accord's transmission problem.

    I'm leaning toward the Mazda 3, due to better warrantee, more fun to drive, and not being a first year model. Of course, I am comparing Civic EX sedan with Navigation to Mazda 3 5 door GT myself, but I see the 3i to be superior to Civic LX.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    I agree with many of the points raised by claudius753.

    In my opinion there is no wrong answer; they are both reliable vehicles that represent excellent values for basic commuting.

    The 2006 Civic being a new model has the "first year" risk that the mature Mazda3 does not. However, being a Honda means that these problems will likely be covered quickly. Also, the Civic will keep its looks longer whereas the current Mazda3 may have a facelift in a year or two.

    If both cars are kept for a long time (10 years) the difference in resale value is diminished. However, if the vehicles will be sold in 5 years or less, the Honda's will likely be more valued.

    Pricewise, it will likely be easier to get a better discount on the Mazda3 than the Civic. You may want to investigate after sales service also for pricing and convenience.

    My advice: drive them both for as long as you can to compare their performance, comfort, noise, and suitability for your lifestyle.
  • reichowjrreichowjr Member Posts: 86
    I purchased a Honda Pilot when they first came out and was quite frustrated with the number trips back to the dealer for repair. This was my first experience with a Honda. Dealer service was great but became to familiar with the service department. I sold it after two years and yes resale was good.

    I plan to purchase a 3 when my dealer can get the right color. Also, you get a much better warranty with Mazda.
  • robl1robl1 Member Posts: 25
    Cross posting from the corolla/honda/mazda thread:
    On the 2006 Civic, you'll either love or hate the new "space-age" dashboard with digital speedometer (I didn't care for it). I drove to the dealer in my 1997 Civic. Surprisingly the 2006 did not feel more powerful than the 1997 despite the extra horsepower. LX model has rear drum brakes not disc brakes. Pluses of the new Civic inlude standard ABS and side airbags on all Lx and ex models, standard combo cd/mp3 cd player, and clearly the best gas mileage with an epa rated 40 mpg highway. However the dealer had no LX models with AT on the lot and would order one only at full msrp.
    Finally I test drove a Mazda3i touring. The salesman had me drive it on a winding country road with lots of hills. Smart move. No hesitation of the engine in uphill driving. Curves are taken almost like you were in a BMW. Its not a sports car but close to it. Its fun to drive. Driver's seat has adjustable lumbar support (not present in either of the other cars). Steering column is completely adjustable. 4 wheel disc brakes. 205/55 16 inch tires really grip the road. ABS and SAB or optional but they had a large selection of cars equipped that way on the lot. Gas mileage is clearly the worst of the group. Figure on $800-1000 off msrp.
    I settled on a red Mazda3 because it looked great and did not drive like an economy car.
  • claudius753claudius753 Member Posts: 138

    Is the Mazda3 to which you refer an automatic transmission model? I am torn between 3 GT 5 door (2.3l, 5AT) and Civic EX (1.8l, 5AT). No where near the dealer is hilly for a test, but where I typically drive is part hilly mountain, part flat highway. If the 2.0l 4AT 3i does well, then I am sure the 2.3l 5AT 3s will do as well or better.

    A MZ3 GT 5 door is close to a entry lux car (Xenons, Leather, Climate control), while the Civic is, at heart, an economy car.

    Both are great, its just hard to choose! (BTW Corolla should just be branded "2006 Toyota Compact CAR" it is so boring! Smaller than the "2006 Toyota Midsize CAR" aka Camry.)
  • robl1robl1 Member Posts: 25
    Yes mine is with automatic transmission and 2.0 engine. I'm sure yours would be even more powerful. However, again, the gas mileage of a civic would be much better.
  • hondasalesmanhondasalesman Member Posts: 3
    Reliability is the most important thing in a vehicle and gas mileage should be close to the second most important. Comfort and convenience should also be at the top of the list and the civic provides all three and most dealerships like ours will give a very fair price over the internet very close to invoice. Civic has better acceleratiion even though the mazda has more horsepower. The braking system in the civic is also more sophisticated. Consider this when buying a car.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Civic has better acceleratiion even though the mazda has more horsepower. The braking system in the civic is also more sophisticated.
    What independent sources/tests are you using to make these statements?
  • dinh1976dinh1976 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks all of you for the advices. Today, I just bought the Mazda3 2.0 Touring with Auto Trans and an AntiLock Brakes/SAB/SAC Package. The MSRP for this vehicle is $17,945 and the invoice is $16,999. I only paid $15,540, which are $1,500 below the invoice and $2,400 below the MSRP price. A dealer charged $500 for document fees that is one thing that I didn’t like, so a total drive out the door included 6% sales tax and document fees is $17,000.

    I plan to keep this vehicle for at least 7 years or more, so I bought extended warranty for this vehicle for 7 years / 100,000 miles at $870 more. I know the manufacture warranty is 4 years / 50,000 miles. I believed I made a good decision on this because I read some discussions at CR about people have brake problem for some Mazda models. If anyone replaces 4 rotors, it will come them at least $800 and my extended warranty also cover the brake rotors.

    For Honda Civic LX with Auto Trans, I have tried to contact the salesman at the dealer that I have visited and he told me that he has to sell at MSRP, which is $17,860. I was tried to negotiate with him on the phone about the price and he told me that he will call me back later, but he never did. I believe the Civic is hot in the compact cars market today because of everyone had to pay over $3 per gallons last September.

    Thank you again for all advices that helped me had more confidence to choose the Mazda3 over the Honda Civic. Few people recommended me to add the AntiLock Brakes/SAB/SAC Package and I did add this on the Mazda3, but I did not get the color that I wanted. Too bad!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    What independent sources/tests are you using to make these statements?

    I think his Edmunds ID tells us all we need to know about what car he recommends.

    Note how he listed reliability, gas mileage and comfort as the things that should be at "the top of the list" for all car buyers. Of course he didn't mention handling and fun-to-drive, since the Mazda3 walks all over the Civic in that department.


    Hmmm, I don't think stuck throttles are at the "top of the list" for any car buyer! Better get a reliable, fun-to-drive Mazda3 just to stay safe out there!

  • bfyerxabfyerxa Member Posts: 78
    As someone else mentioned, it is generally not wise to buy first year models, even Hondas. We leased a 02 CR-V (freshly redesigned) and although we generally loved the vehicle, it had numerous issues that were annoying. I would have to imagine they have subsequently buttoned down. I was cross shopping the exact vehicles you were looking at, and I liked the Honda more (felt better to me and the safety features were a big issue). However, I will not buy a first year model. In the end I decided to buy out my 02 Accord SE lease and wait a couple of years. But if I had to buy something right now, I'd probably by the Mazda because it is currently proven and definitely not a bad vehicle.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    we can continue this here: Honda Civic vs Mazda3 ... see ya there. ;)
This discussion has been closed.