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Honda Civic vs Mazda3



  • leavenfish1leavenfish1 Posts: 65
    "But people who buy a car because it is fun to drive will accept more problems - they see it as the price of having a fun car"

    Just what constitues 'fun' about the Mazda 3, say compared to the Civic?
  • richmlrichml Posts: 156
    Just what constitues 'fun' about the Mazda 3, say compared to the Civic?

    The driving experience.
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    "Just what constitues 'fun' about the Mazda 3, say compared to the Civic? "

    This offers a nice description:
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    avoid talking about brands and just talk about the cars themselves.

    Anyway, I could understand if a buyer who is looking to buy a compact car is concerned about the 3's A/C problems and they felt more comfortable purchasing a Civic instead. The Civic has been around for many years and the car itself does have a great reputation.
  • gib11gib11 Posts: 47
    I would wait before buying a first year new gen civic 2006. Go check the 8th gen civic forum site, You'll see what I mean. Very bad reliability for its first year. Recalls, TSB, name it!!!
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    Good point about waiting to get the civic, i forget to mention that. That's also why I didnt get the civic. Right now, I have to tough it out for a few years since the depreciation is the highest in the first few years. Maybe 07 or 08, by then the bugs will likely have been ironed out of the new civic. this is true not just for honda but ALL manufacturers.

    And remember, your honda may not be free of problems, but it's how honda handles them and does what they can to remedy the situation, unlike Mazda. honda wants to keep their reputation, Mazda aka Nippon Ford, just doesn't care.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    unlike Mazda. honda wants to keep their reputation, Mazda aka Nippon Ford, just doesn't care.

    Thats just goofy....if they 'just didn't care' explain why they are selling more cars and making more money than they ever have before?? People don't reward companies that just don't care do they?? Perhaps not caring is a successful business model?!?!? ;)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    If you go to, and go to the news section, you will see Mazda had a monster year in sales and profit for 2005. I would say a lot is due to the Mazda3, and it's popularity. I don't see any decline for Mazda, or it's reliability.

    Also, I know what I am about to say is beating a dead horse,I apologize to the Host, but, if you look at CR you will see Mazda is near the top of reliable cars. CR talks about longevity and durability. JD Powers is initial 90 day quality ratings. Who here buy's a car on it's quality rating's for just 90 days? If there is anyone here who would, I would like to know.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    A lot of people who know how CR works dismiss the CR's findings and go with JD Powers which is the opposite. Just because something is popular or is selling doesn't mean it's good or reliable. It's not about product it's about Marketing.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I don't think so - maybe the reason Mazda is making money is because they are NOT FIXING THE DEFECTS in the cars that they have already sold.

    Don't honor your warranty - don't fix obvious problems - just say they are within spec - in the short run - these are things a company does to increase profit.

    In the long run this type of business philosophy always ends up losing out to the company that actually has happy REPETE customers.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Just because something is popular or is selling doesn't mean it's good or reliable

    I agree, but, I never claimed popularity=reliability. Popularity=Higher sales, which in turn usually equals high profits, like MY 2005 was for Mazda.

    Look at the Pontiac Solstice, that is popular, but, I would say it's to early to think it is reliable. However, the Mazda3 has been reliable overall. I know there are a few in the forum that have had trouble, but, show me the perfect trouble free car, it does not exist. Not even Honda can claim they have never had reliability issues with their Civic, because they have.

    I would go with CR over JD Powers. I own a car for more then 90 days, so, JD Powers means nothing to me. JD Powers is only a 90 day survey of initial quality. CR is longevity. Just as many disagree with CR, same goes for JD Powers. Heck, JD Powers rated the Chevy Malibu top of it's class for 2005. I don't buy it. Everyone is different, that's just my opinion. We are all entitled to one.
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    In the long run this type of business philosophy always ends up losing out to the company that actually has happy REPETE customers

    I think this generally applies to North American manufacturers which tends to be borderline in this area.

    When it comes to the Japanese cars, there will always be some poor unsuspecting consumer who will count on the Japanese brand name to make them feel confident about their purchase and the brand's reliability.

    There is absolutely no incentive for Mazda to change, not at this point anyways.
  • richmlrichml Posts: 156
    unlike Mazda. honda wants to keep their reputation, Mazda aka Nippon Ford, just doesn't care.

    I heard somewhere that this is stated in as yet unpublished chapter of The Da Vinci Code. ;)

    Can you tell us, of all the brands that Ford is involved with, what ones do they choose to support, and what ones they don't?
  • mongoose65mongoose65 Posts: 31
    The postings get more and more bizarre.

    So far the only recurring beef I hear about with the Mazda3 is a problem with the air conditioning (not malfunctioning, just not strong enough). I guess if you live in Arizona, you might have wanted to test that out before making a decision.

    As for the rest of the posts, it appears to me the new Civic has 4+ recalls so far. The Mazda3 ZERO. Resale is dead even and ratings have them 1 and 2 respectively.

    The rest is personal choice. I went with the Mazda and so far am quite happy. When I see a Civic go by I say, "hmmm, I know it's a good car, but I like mine better." Then I tap the gas and merge onto the highway with relative ease. That's the best part. No hesitation, no winding engine, no tach spiking. Just smooth response and plenty of pep. The Mazda keeps amazing me. I never thought a 4 cylinder car could perform like this (at least not one for under $20g).

    Best to all.
  • forbes3forbes3 Posts: 7
    So why is that the Lemon Aide guide has not been recommending Civics and other Hondas for at least 5 years now? I seem to recall their recommending the Mazda 3 though.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Never heard of this Lemon Aide thing...Who is it and where can it be found?
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    If one truly believes the only problem with the 3 is the A/C then needs glasses. For example, the most current posts at Mazda Problems and Solutions thread discuss other issues like the dangerous (life threatening), intermittent unsolved dying or stalling of the car. More posts at various Mazda forums. That definitely should tell you something.

    Equally important and once again an attempt has been made to dismiss or overlook is poor the support of the product. Mazda just doesn't care. Is Mazda the worst car maker out there? NO, that's not the point. In comparison to the other Japanese auto makers, I would say it probably is the worst Japanese auto maker. It's the worst in customer service, service delivery and support when comparing it to Toyota, Honda, and probably Nissan.

    Those that happen to be the lucky ones can never understand what those unfortunate souls have to go through unless they experience it for themselves. And sometimes, people are so blinded that they can't see what may be wrong with their car even if a mechanic told them; while other times, positive comments or posts are actually "plants" or moles from the dealership or car manufacturer.

    For those that have bad experiences or lemons and there are many, we will continue to voice our concerns with the problems with our Mazda. We want others to know so they don't make the same mistake we did. And we're not going to stop voicing our issues despite the hijack attempts of the Mazda reps or those with a personal interest with Mazda North America.

    There is no reason to trust the likes of Mazda. Look at what happened back 6 years ago. Mistubishi was implicated in 2000 in a cover-up scandal that resulted in the belated recall of about 600,000 cars and trucks, but company officials said they had resolved problems and repeatedly blamed poor maintenance by the trucks' owners.

    A raid on Mitsubishi offices in 2004 ago yielded the evidence that exploded into one of the largest corporate scandals ever in Japan. Authorities say seized documents, and subsequent admission of fault by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and a spinoff, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Co., indicate that since the 1980s, the automakers systematically hid defects involving 800,000 vehicles. Among the hidden flaws were defective front axles on the same type of truck as that involved in a death.

    If you like to gamble and be a risk taker then go for the Mazda.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Honda is making a mistake - the should offer the Si engine with an automatic tranny.

    This would solve the lack of power problem - and even things up with the Mazda3 - maybe even pull ahead.

    I just do not understand it - why only offer a manual?

    I would be willing to bet - if the had both auto and manual in the Si they would sell MORE AUTOMATICS. This would be even more the case with the 4 door.

    Just because I want an auto does not mean I don't care about performance - I just do not like to sit in traffic for an hour or two with my foot on the clutch - been there - done that. As long as I live in a heavy traffic area it will be auto only.
  • mcswinemcswine Posts: 30
    I'm not sure how well an automatic would work with the Si. From what I've read, the real power lies between 6000-8000 rpm with a redline shift on the manual putting you in that powerband in the next gear. While it may not necessarily be undrivable, it probably wouldn't be much fun. That said, I can certainly relate to sitting in traffic with my foot on the clutch...I do it every day in my 3, and it gets tiresome.
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    how it it that Mitsubishi's problems make Mazda look bad? To me it's like saying its raining outside because I have coffee in my mug. :confuse:
  • mrblonde49mrblonde49 Posts: 626
    Those that happen to be the lucky ones can never understand what those unfortunate souls have to go through unless they experience it for themselves. And sometimes, people are so blinded that they can't see what may be wrong with their car even if a mechanic told them; while other times, positive comments or posts are "actually "plants" or moles from the dealership or car manufacturer. "

    I'm sure there are negative plants by competitors as well. Or hadn't you thought of that?

    "If you like to gamble and be a risk taker then go for the Mazda. "

    It's a reliable car, according to almost all sources. You got a bad one. All car companies have them
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Good point -

    what I was really asking Honda to do is produce a Civic with an automatic & a little more power under the hood.

    I was looking ahead at the 2007 RSX - but just read that Acura has killed it -

    Too bad Honda can't just put the 2. L from the Accord in the Civic - the extra weight would be a negative - but seems like the extra power would more than make up fit it.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    In comparison to the other Japanese auto makers, I would say it probably is the worst Japanese auto maker.

    So, you would put Isuzu, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, and Nissan ahead of Mazda? I would have to disagree.

    To remain on topic, this is a Mazda3 forum, not the full Mazda line. The Mazda3 is a top ranked vehicle in reliability and customer satisfaction. This is fact. Yes, there will be people to experience problems, as every car has them. Also, I see some have had issues with Mazda customer support. I don't think that EVERY person that has ever delt with Honda customer service has NEVER had a complaint.

    Mazda just doesn't care

    Everyone has a different experience. I have heard great thing's. And like you and zbill, I have heard bad.
  • ncgullncgull Posts: 13
    Here I was, thinking that the Civic Coupe EX was THE car for me, and had put the fondness and excitment I'd had for the Mazda 3 5-door (because it reminded me so much of my '73 Gremlin) right out of the running...and now all THIS discussion!!

    I HAVE to buy a new car in the next two weeks, and this is killin' me. I am so scared of making a big mistake. The info here and on the Honda Civic Coupe board is scaring me to pieces, but then I read about the stalling out problems with the Mazda...I have no $$$ to spare when it comes to buying a car (trading it in after a year or so, etc.), and my boss has no more patience with my "car problems" after constantly being out of work dealing with my '98 Malibu LS.

    How in the WORLD is anyone supposed to make a decision with all this pro-and-con chatter going on? HOW is this really helping people like me who are in a one-(modest)income, no-guys-to-depend-on situation and are looking for REAL advice and guidance on buying a NEW car?

    I'm gonna cry now...excuse me....
    :cry: :confuse:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Take a deep breath, maybe splash some cold water on your face. Feel better?

    First, to make a decision like this you have to keep your wits about you. Crying won't help. You seem to hold reliability above everything else in your car buying decision. Have you done research on the most reliable small cars, e.g. Consumer Reports and/or the J.D. Power long-term reliability studies? If so you know that historically the Civic, Corolla, and Impreza (if you need AWD) have been very reliable, with the Mazda3 and Scions not far behind. One thing to consider is that the Civic is an all-new model, and new models (even Hondas) typically have some first-year glitches. The Corolla, Mazda3, Impreza, and Scions are proven designs. So is the Honda Fit, which just became available in the U.S. but has been sold around the world for five years. If you like hatchbacks, that is another car to check out. Any of those cars have a high probability of being reliable. Of course, there are lemons, and the Civic is in its first year, but the odds are in your favor with those small cars.

    After you have narrowed the list down to 2-3 (which it appears you have), you need to drive the cars and think about all the other aspects of owning them. Are they comfortable for you and passengers? Do you like how they handle, and their performance? How is the ride--is it smooth enough for you? How is the noise level? How easy are the controls to use? How well does the A/C work (if you live in a hot climate)? How important is fuel economy to you--do a few more mpg matter? How's the cargo space, and how easy is it to load/unload cargo? Does the car have features that are important to you, whether it's a high-zoot stereo or moonroof or leather interior?

    Once you've driven the cars and answered these questions, you should have an answer as to which car to buy. Hopefully you'll have more than one option, then you can go to dealers to negotiate and have an alternative if you can't find a good deal (e.g., discounts on Civics seem to be hard to find right now).
  • ncgullncgull Posts: 13
    Thanks, backy...yep, the cold water helped (along with a bottle of Bass...), but won't solve my problem. I'm an online CR subscriber, but the Coupe EX isn't listed... I've done LOTS of homework, and thought I'd settled on the Civic Coupe until reading all the posts in Edmunds -- Honda & Mazda boards.

    I've had the Mazda3 as a rental several times and LOVED it, but at the time, wasn't in the market to buy a new car. So, it was the first car I thought of buying when I found out my Malibu was DOA, but the Ford connection really bothers me. Minor, but irritating, things include the orange dashboard lighting (gross), and there's no iPod connection.

    I tend to be conservative with my purchases these days after some emotional buys that resulted in a :lemon: (i.e, an '83 Firebird). I'll never forget the Pontiac salesmen LAUGHING at me when I brought it back complaining that the front seats were not latched down (you'd come to a stop and the entire back of the seat would move with you), finding a rusted screw driver in the engine compartment, and breaking down on the New Jersey Turnpike over July 4th because the car was wired through the fan which slowly cut the wiring in half...). I sold the car as quickly as I could (having it only about three months.) Buying a new car terrifies me -- and then hearing how Mazda isn't supportive, well, that harkens back to the Firebird disaster....

    Test-driving and saying, "Oh yeah, I love the way this car looks and drives" really doesn't cut it for me. It's the long term dependability and service issues I'm concerned about...and after reading all these posts, I feel like moving into the city and riding the h*ll with a car....

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Well, you can save a ton of money by taking the bus.

    Notice I said do the research first, narrow down your choices, then take the cars for a drive. If you are going to over-analyze this (e.g. the "Ford connection"), it's probably best to get something ultra-reliable like a Corolla. Not as much fun to drive as a Mazda3, or even a Civic coupe, but maybe the most reliable small car out there right now. And there are good deals on Corollas now. Great fuel economy, also, and decent crash test results with the side airbags.

    BTW, keep in mind that you are buying a car that happens has a sound system. Whether a car has a built-in iPod connection should be far down your list of priorities, since you can get a number of low-cost iPod connectors at your local electronics store.

    You say you loved driving the Mazda3. Did you love driving the Civic coupe also? If not, that should tell you something. If so, you have some options--which is a good thing. If a salesperson senses you want only one car, watch out.

    If you think the Mazda3's orange dashboard lighting is gross and you won't be able to get past that, better to steer clear of the Mazda3 then rue the day you bought it every time you look at the gauges.
  • ncgullncgull Posts: 13
    backy..I'm CONFUSED, not STUPID! LOL! Yes, state the obvious, but I truly appreciate your time and effort in addressing my questions and concerns. Wish I had someone like you to go car-shopping with!
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 277
    In this situation, where you aren't sure of the car's reliabilty. There is only one real solution and I have been in your place. I would lease whichever car you prefer. I would go with the Civic. If it turns out to be a dud or lemon, your fine. If it's reliable without many problems, you can always buy it at the end of your lease.

    Personally, I would stay away from Mazda. Customer service is awful and I no longer recommend Mazda. Maybe in a few years they [Mazda] will improve like VW has, kinda. But, in all likelihood, they probably won't.
  • jimmyt2jimmyt2 Posts: 2
    My friend Got a Mazda 3 and it doesn't run. Good job Mazda.
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