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Honda Civic vs Mazda3



  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    Before buying my Civic I was concerned the digital speedo would be distracting. It is not for me. Seems to far enough from your line of sight. Also, you can dim the display to the point where it just doesn't draw the eye. I'm honestly not sure whether I might prefer a guage, but this does work. I'd also suspect new Civic drivers will be getting fewer speeding tickets because of the digital speedo.
  • Actually this forumm is "Honda Civic vs Mazda 3" I thought this included both the Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe and the Mazda 3i and Mazda 3s sedans and the Mazda 3s wagon.

    Is this discussion only limited to sedans? If so maybe the title needs to be adjusted.

    Otherwise I contend that if Mazda 3s performance is touted, then Honda folks must be allowed defend with the Si.

    Two Honda Coupe 6-speeds ( Accord and Civic),

  • d_hyperd_hyper Posts: 130
    On the top..."What is this discussion about? Honda Civic, Mazda MAZDA3, Sedan" No problem, I'm open-minded like most people on this forum.

    You can always step down to Mazda 3i to get comparable fuel economy to Civic, but still have a driver's car (better braking, handling, feel etc). But you can't step up performance-wise to Si sedan, because it doesn't exist. People comparing sedans (like Edmunds) usually are 'stuck' with sedans. You know, utility, family, friends etc. I remember, there was a 'driver-only' (ie 1 person) sports car called 'Egoist' in Europe, but I wouldn't own one.
  • I would think that buyers who can't spend more than $20k on a car (or just won't in many cases) will appreciate an advantage in fuel economy, maybe more so than an advantage at the drag strip.

    It really isn't about the drag strip though, I hope you were just exaggerating. Strait-line acceleration is certainly not the performance trait that sets the 3 apart from the Civic.

    I think majority of Americans would prefer a larger car over a small one regardless. When you equate compact car = economy car, I think that is the assumption. i.e. A compact car is for people that cannot (or will not) afford a larger car, and therefore its primary purpose is to be economical.

    This is quite possibly why you don't see the appeal of the 3. Even though it is priced similar to the Civic, it has the distinct taste of a "premium small car", a segment that hardly exists in this country.

    It is not difficult to equip a 3 that will be more expensive than its bigger brother 6. This kind of thing would never happen in the Toyota or Honda pricing structure, but it works well for Mazda. Why? Because there are people like me that like small cars BECAUSE of the fact that they are small, not in spite of.

    I agree the Civic is the best economy car. It just isn't the best compact car in my book. The 3 is.
  • I think that we are all hung up on differences that are not that great. The Mazda is universally hailed as the performance car, but I doubt that it would beat the Civic by more than a car length or two if both were wrung out to redline to 60, which coincidentally will NEVER happen with 99% of the drivers of either car. The handling advantage is also negligible unless measured with advanced equipment on a slalom course.

    Likewise, the fuel savings of the Civic are likely a hundred or two a year, hardly a decision maker for the vast majority.

    This is not 'Vette vs. Civic' nor is it 'Mazda vs Prius'. Both are great vehicles as near as I can tell, and it, like everything else in life, will come down to preference.

    I love my new Civic, and would probably have loved the Mazda as well.

  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    TSB step2: Go to nearest CARMAX dealer, get estimate and sell Mazda 3.

    TSB step3: Go to Honda dealer of choice and purchase Civic

    TSB Expected Results: Dramatically improved air conditioning.

    TSB Temporary/Permanent Resolution: Permanent, no expected problem return,

    TSB step4: Please make sure you get enough sleep before getting in the Civic(SI excluded), becuase driving one will usually put you to it.

    PS: NHTSA is currently investigating high number crashes involving Civics driven by former Mz3 owners, most of the drivers were found half-asleep at the wheel.
  • immdn,

    LOL, My advice never buy a Lexus. A Lexus is so quiet and the road feel is so isolated that even a 5-speed 2002 Absolute Red IS300 almost puts you to sleep! My son put a Tanabe exhaust on it which adds back some character. It is quick and goes fast and handles well, but it is so isolated that you don't really enjoy the speed or the performance.

    Soon to be double sixes,

  • "I agree the Civic is the best economy car. It just isn't the best compact car in my book. The 3 is."

    Ditto. For economy car, the Civic wins. It was cheaper, and got better mpg. I'm sure it handled fairly well too.

    Now for best compact car, Mazda 3 wins. Great handling, good power, fun to drive. You can get leather and hids. and it still gets decent mpgs.

    I still think that the 3 should get better economy than it does, at least in the 2.3. Accord and Camry's 2.4 does better in a bigger heavier car. 25/35 on the 2.3 would be superb. I would have no problem deciding between the two as I am having now. Oh well.
  • noognoog Posts: 2
    My hunt for a used 3- to 4-year-old Civic (for which people are asking high prices) has led me to look at new cars and to this forum. After a few days of reading, test driving and thinking, here’s what I’ve found:

    2006 Civic LX sedan with 5-speed AT, negotiated to $17,100 (in SF Bay area)
    2006 Mazda 3i with these options to make it equivalent: 4-speed AT, A/C, ABS/side-airbag package and touring package (power windows & locks and 16” wheels), offered at $16,600

    Honda Civic LX advantages:
    Better safety ratings (in multiple areas, tho’ Mazda is untested with side airbags)
    Better fuel efficiency (EPA ratings 5 mpg higher, slightly closer with stick shift in Mazda)
    5- instead of 4-speed automatic transmission
    No consistent complaints online about weak A/C
    Better company track record on reliability and resale, tho’ not necessarily true for this model.
    Environmentally conscious design (attention to recyclability of parts), which may be true but unpublicized for Mazda as well.

    Mazda 3i advantages:
    Better performance (steering, handling, braking, accel.) reviews, tho’ in some cases based on sportier “S” model/engine
    Better emissions rating on “i” 2.0L engine (PZEV/SULEV vs. Civic’s ULEV—as far as I could find, that means the Mazda pollutes 40-50% less per gallon of gas, and all cars with a PZEV rating carry a 10-year/120,000 warranty on emissions reduction equipment)
    4 disc brakes (vs. 2 in Civic)
    Auto transmission has quasi-manual mode for more control
    No consistent complaints online about mysterious engine noise (with auto transmission)
    No consistent complaints (online and in my experience) about uncomfortable headrests
    More established reliability record on this particular model, since it’s a bit older
    Deals easier to find

    My priorities are safety (clear winner), reliability (long-term reputation vs. short-term data?) and environmental impact (efficiency vs. emissions?) which leaves me leaning toward the Honda… and then back toward the Mazda… and then back to the Honda… (Interesting to see the “US vs. THEM” high school football rivalry mentality in some online debates about these two cars; I don’t see how anyone can be confident that one car is really superior to the other or why it arouses such emotion.)

    My questionable solution: finding a really cheap used car to get me through the next few years until hybrids have become more efficient and affordable.
  • Get a new Toyota Corolla $12.5K
  • noognoog Posts: 2
    Really? The Corolla similarly equipped has a $17K+ MSRP, and used ones are almost as pricey as Civics around here.
  • Between the Civc EX/LX and Mazda 3 I would get the Mazda 3
    Between the Civic Si and Mazda 3 I would get the Civic Si
    Both the Civic and Mazda 3 are excellent choices, however they are not that inexpensive, $16-20K. Sometime in the Houston area you can find a basic Mazda 3i sedan for around $13-14K, which is a very good budget choice.

    However, If I were looking for a low cost reliable car, I would get a new 5-speed manual shift Toyota Corolla CE for about $12.5K You were looking at used Honda Civics and Used Mazda 3s. I would get a new Corolla until the Hybrid you want is available.

    Civics and Toyotas are the most reliable with Mazda very close behind. The are some other brands that have a 10year power train warranty whose relaiblity is still questionable, but improving.

    Good Luck,

  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I don't think any Corolla's come with any standard ABS(if thats really a major buying point for the compact car shoppers.) The Civic has standard ABS all across its model line while the 3 has standard ABS on the S model for 06 I think.
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    Yes, I think you're right about the ABS. It looks like the Civic only has drum brakes on the rear unless you get the top model. Is that correct? Can you get rear discs as an option on the Civic? The Mazda web site is showing 4 wheel disk brakes are standard across the board.
  • Civic ABS standard on all. Rear disc on Civic EX and Si. It is not an upgrade option on DX and LX and Hybrid.

    Corolla you can get ABS, 4 wheel disc only available with XRS.

    Mazda 3i ABS option, standard on 3s. 4 wheel disc standard on all.

    Maybe a Scion ?? xB=ABS and 4 wheel disc traction and skid control $14K; xA=ABS and 4 wheel disc $12.5K

    Honda Civic Si= ABS , 4 wheel disc and 6-speed manual YEAH BABY! and performance!!!


  • No consistent complaints online about weak A/C"

    While I doubt that the Civic AC is an issue, since it came out in October/November, there wouldn't have been much time to complain.
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    I have the previous generation Civic and the A/C is very weak. I put aftermarket tinted glass on hoping that would help, but the A/C still isn't worth much if the temps are in the 90s, I have to run it on full and it takes forever to cool down, but the Civic never gets as cold as other cars I have owned.
  • vix4vix4 Posts: 52
    As for safety rating, make sure you also explore the European NCAP ratings. Their tests seems to be more respected than what occurs in the US. The Feds test is too easy and the IIHS is too limited since they only test something like a 10 percentile female dummy, which is too far our of the median to really make it worthwhile, unless you are a very petite female

    In Europe, the Mazda platform (shared with the Volvo and new Euro Focus) received the highest score ever tested for that size of car in both frontal offset and side impact testing. Not too much of a surprise since Volvo was in charge of the safety design.
  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    We have a '99 Civic (also an '06) and it's A/C is very effective, and we have many days in the 90's. Have you had the Freon level checked recently. It will slowly leak out in an older car.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,860
    i think they are over rated. the fronts do most of the braking anyway.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Reading some of these postings, just wanted to add my 2 cents. I have a 2004 Mazda 3 S model. ABS is not standard for this year, it was a option. I told my mechanic this and he could not believe it. He had to look around for himself. I have been told, that it's advantages are not worth it. If you have any problems. Real expensive to fix. Next, I was talking to the Asst. Service manager at my local Mazda dealer. And he informed me that a Mazdaspeed version of the 3 will be coming by the end of year. And that it will have the Turbo 2.3 engine, bump it up just a little bit and it would be in the WRX STI class. But even with the 275 HP engine, it will eat a Civic SI for breakfast.
  • mazda3_tom said:

    "Mazdaspeed version of the 3 will be coming by the end of year. .. And that it will have the Turbo 2.3 engine, bump it up just a little bit and it would be in the WRX STI class. But even with the 275 HP engine, it will eat a Civic SI for breakfast. "

    I'm waiting bring it on!! Assuming you are correct, it will be the only Mazda 3 that will beat the Civic Si and it will probably not be distinguish from the cartoonish regular Mazda 3.

    I really like turbos! The lag is an awesome feeling. You push on the accelerator an in 0.5 seconds you get that manly turbo whine and then the Whoosh of power! Then with turbo you get to enjoy your car another 60 seconds as you let your turbo cool down. An best of all you don't have to worry about small oil leaks because you get to change your oil more often and minor oil burn/leaks no longer mattter. And best of all turbos allow you to trade you cars more often, because of the shorter turbo engine life, without having to overly justify to you new car purchase management. I LOVE TURBOs

    H'mm a 2.3 turbo what do you think the mileage rating will drop too ? I am guessing 20/29 Does that still qualify it as a economy car? Look out SRT-4 you have company!

    Double sixes,

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    But even with the 275 HP engine, it will eat a Civic SI for breakfast.

    Will it be available for $20k as is the Civic Si? If it costs much more and doesen't have lots more features, it SHOULD be that powerful. Since the MazdaSpeed 6 starts around $29k, I'm guessing the 3 will be starting at $25k or so. Anyone's thoughts on pricing?

    PS: I'd like to mention, that despite being the fastest car in test by a large margin, the MazdaSpeed 6 got beaten by a Jetta, Acura TSX, Honda Accord EXV6 6-speed, and missed last because one car was worse...a Pontiac.

    Engine isn't everything; remember that.
  • "PS: I'd like to mention, that despite being the fastest car in test by a large margin, the MazdaSpeed 6 got beaten by a Jetta, Acura TSX, Honda Accord EXV6 6-speed, and missed last because one car was worse...a Pontiac.

    Engine isn't everything; remember that."

    u're right...the engine isn't everything. however in the case of the the C&D comparo, the MS6 was at the top in nearly all the measured tests and it wasn't just the straight line stuff. where the C&D writers felt the MS6 fell short was in luxury and refinement. they specifically felt the exhaust note was annoying and docked the MS6 for lacking leather upholstery and a moonroof.

    of course those options are available options at additional cost, but would've put the MS6 over the $30K ceiling. then again, the Acura and Honda don't come w/ AWD and as performance oriented suspension tuning either. so as some folks like to say, reviews need be considered w/ enormous mounds of salt. ;)
  • "...a Mazdaspeed version of the 3 will be coming by the end of year. And that it will have the Turbo 2.3 engine..."

    we can only wait to see, but if and when it arrives, it should be a pretty sweet ride!
  • "I really like turbos! The lag is an awesome feeling."

    the MS3 is rumored to come w/ a slightly detuned MS6 engine. if this is true, then the MS3 shouldn't have any lag either since those who have driven the MS6 say that turbo lag is not an issue.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    My 81 T/A had a turbo - also a 4 barrel carb - when you floored it the turbo and the 4 barrel would kick in at the same time - right before the tranny (auto) down shifted - even if you were going 45 mph the rear wheels would break loose - if you were not careful you would end up sideways - it was lots of fun - that is what turbos are for (in cars anyway) they give you a burst of power - but the only way to keep the turbo boost on high was to keep the gad pedal almost all the way to the floor - in a short time I would be well past 100 mph - as soon as you let up on the gas the boost drops.

    If you drive one for a while you know exactly what to do to kick it in and it becomes as easy as - say downshifting a manual tranny from 4th to 3rd.

    My turbo needed an overhaul at 40K - speed comes at a price - about $600 if I recall - and I had it rebuilt - replacement was close to $1,500.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Should sacrifices be made when spending 30k?

    I'm left wondering who will buy the Mazdaspeed 6, in all fairness/seriousness. Most of the tuner/subielovers/speedracers are going to be pining for the Subaru WRX STI and Lancer Evo. Will the Mazda garner a second look from these guys?

    I would think that maybe the Altima SE-R would be a direct competitor to the MazdaSpeed 6, but in that case, I'd have to pick Altima hands down for interior/great exhaust/larger interior/no humped up front end.

    of course those options are available options at additional cost, but would've put the MS6 over the $30K ceiling. then again, the Acura and Honda don't come w/ AWD and as performance oriented suspension tuning either.

    The Acura TSX is cited for its "gazelle moves" and "snick-snick" shifter, and "sweet engine" above all. The Mazda garnered praise for "good control layout, eager responses, and power to burn." Not exactly raving over its powertrain/chassis handling. I agree that the Accord really isn't a competitor in the truest sense, as it was awarded with praise for its seats, room, and WONDERFUL engine. It is a bit soft for the "sport-sedan" crowd, but perfect for families after a sporty-handling sedan.

    Sorry for the sidebar, folks! :blush:

    Back to the compact cars!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I said...BACK TO THE COMPACT CARS! haha, Did everyone get bored with this subject, or are you just waiting on someone ELSE to post first?
  • I'll post... Curious as to what people think about the M3 vs the '07 Camry Hybrid. I know that's not a fair comparison on many levels, but it might be competition (for me) for the M3. The civic si isn't (because I want a sedan, and I don't want another civic).

    In my mind, I like the 3, but it would be nice if it had just a touch more power and/or it would be awesome if the gas mileage was better. With those 2 things in mind, the Camry hybrid looks perfect.... except that I have no idea how it might drive; the 3 is lots of fun with great handling, any guesses as to how the camry might be? And would it be worth the (likely $8k +) price premium? That may be my deciding factor anyway...
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