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Mazda3 vs Honda Accord



  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Very interesting. I am looking at an Accord 4-cyl 5-speed. Was comparing it to Camry, but they don't make any stick shift Camry's with the VSC and that was the only real advantage the Camry had over the Accord. Now I am trying to decide between the slightly larger, smoother, and more efficient Accord vs the smaller, better handling VSC equiped Mazda 3.

    I really like the hatch on the 3 - wish Honda still made one (the Fit is too small).

    If the Mazda 3 hatch had the 2.0 liter engine that gets better mpg than the Accord I would be all over it.

    Tough to compare safety because there are so many factors. VSC could prevent an accident, but the Accord has better protection if you are in an accident.

    The strange thing to me is that nobody make the car I want (out of the millions sold every year). My perfect vehicle would be an efficient 4-cyl station wagon with good handling and a stick shift.

    A Corolla wagon that handles like a Mazda 3 would be about perfect. SUV like utility and hybrid like economy, with sporty handling. I find it hard to believe that nobody else wants something like this, and it is not being made - except in Europe where they are everywhere.

    I absolutely drool over the Acoord wagon with a 50 mpg (highway) diesel engine.
  • d_hyperd_hyper Posts: 130
    There are still manual Focus wagons left for sale. New US Focus will drop wagon & hatchback.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The Focus comes pretty close, but it is not very efficient (I know it recently got better mpg for the '07 year) and it seems crude inside. Specifically the seats were way too soft, and there were no rear headrests at all. Love the size of it though and it does handle well. If it got Mazda3 2.0l mpg and had a Mazda3 (or Accord) interior it would be great - assuming the reliability is there. I was still very tempted.

    CR got 42 mpg hwy for the stick shift 2.0 Mazda3 and 35 mpg hwy for the stick shift Focus 2.0. Quite a big difference especially since the EPA numbers are about the same and the engines should be very similar.

    Wish Ford treated the Focus like a real car and not a throw away. It deserves better - needs to be updated to the new chassis.
  • d_hyperd_hyper Posts: 130
    I agree, but for the price difference, you can sacrifice some mileage, I'd imagine.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    If the rest was up to snuff, the mileage would be less of a problem.

    The other problem is that the mileage is not only about money. I have a thing about inefficiency, the whole greenhouse gas issue, and depending on foreign oil does not help either.
  • neteng101neteng101 Posts: 176
    My perfect vehicle would be an efficient 4-cyl station wagon with good handling and a stick shift.

    The WRX comes to my mind as a possibility for you? :confuse:
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The WRX would be close if it used about half as much fuel. As it is, it uses more fuel than my minivan, so not too much point as a second more efficient vehicle.

    The Matrix would be close if it handled better and had a telescoping wheel (the wheel is so far away).
  • i realize that this is somewhat off topic, but my father is interested in the mazda 3, and was wondering whether or not purchasing a new mazda would be more advantageous than purchasing a used volvo or acura (2005 or 6)

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    used volvo or acura (2005 or 6)
    Which models?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Go new. Then you have the warranty and not somebody else's problem.
  • Mazda 3 are very good vehicles if a little lacking in interior materials. GT&Mazdaspeed trims are ok for the price level, I think.

    TSX is not worth it, IMO, and TL holds its value quite good so 2005-2006 are not exactly "deals" - again, IMO. Are you thinking about volvo s40/v50? I would wait until c30 gets here - I expect it to be between MZ3s and Mazdaspeed 3 performance-wise and much better appointed.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Still comparing these two vehicles.

    Tough choice between the better handling 3 and the larger more comfortable Accord.

    If it were just me I would ge the 3, but need to haul the kids around too, and they fit better in the back of the Accord. Of course we will usually drive the minivan when we have the whole family in the car, so there will very rarely be three kids in the back.

    I have noticed that even though the 3 does not have much knee room there is a fair amount of foot room, and the slightly higher seats make the most out of the space. I can actually comfortably sit behind myself. Of course in the Accord I can actually cross my legs sitting behind myself.

    It keeps coming back to stability control though. The 3 has it standard on the Touring S and the Honda does not have it at all on the 4 cyl Accords.
  • starhuskerstarhusker Posts: 26
    Hi dudleyr, I have the exact same problem you are describing here. What did you end up getting? or still looking? Thanks.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I bought the Accord. My wife did not think the back seat was large enough for the kids in the 3.

    Happy so far. Gas mileage is quite good.

    I would have liked a hatch, and the 3 had better seats, but I don't regret getting the Accord. We were able to take it on a 400 mile trip with the 3 kids and I don't think it would have worked as well with the 3.

    If it was just me though, I would have the 3.
  • savvyboysavvyboy Posts: 10
    Let's take this item by item...

    Weak A/C - BS
    Hesitation and Stalling - only if you don't know how to shift
    Auto tran harsh shift from 1 - 2 - BS
    Excessive rear brake dust - I've seen some, but I can't call it "excessive"
    Cheap Interior - Obviously this guy has never been in a Cobalt
    Bad stock tires - I'll go along with that, but how is Mazda to blame? They're GoodYear tires.
    Had my 17s for three rust
    No chipped paint (sans the roof which had a sizable rock land on it at highway speed, and the chip is EXTREMELY small)
    MPG problem was improved with the introduction of the 5 speed auto. Don't misunderstand, the fuel efficiency could be better, but not much for the power the 2.3 wields. This engine is designed to compete with V6s, it's designed to perform.

    I'm on a Mazda 3 Forum and these complaints are very few and from a very the same amount of people that you would find abusing a car.

    The Accord V6 is a sweet ride. The V6 provides a great balance between power and performance. It would cream a Mazda3S off the line, but doesn't handle quite as well. It obviously has more interior space and more peripheral "stuff". But the bottom line is that these are two different kinds of cars for two different purposes aimed at two different segments.

    If you want performance, and still insist on being a Honda yes man by taking cheap, unfounded shots at other vehicles, then go with an Acura TL S-Type. It handles every bit as well as the 3 and has power to spare.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Don't misunderstand, the fuel efficiency could be better, but not much for the power the 2.3 wields. This engine is designed to compete with V6s, it's designed to perform.

    Eh, I'm gonna raise a question (respectfully) here. How do you gather that the 2.3L 4-cyl is designed to compete with V6s?
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    So what V6 is the 2.3 competing with? The 3.0 vulcan from Ford? Apart from that, I really don't see it anywhere near today's V6s, most of which put our in the 225-300hp range.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The hp is not the main issue, since the Mazda3 weighs about 500 lbs less than most V-6 cars. It is the liveliness of the vehicle that matters. The 2.3 is also the larger optional engine, like the V-6 is optional on larger cars.

    The 2.3 is a nice engine, but the 2.4 in the Accord is nicer (more power and better mpg - even in a larger vehicle). I would love to see the Accord engine in the 3.

    BTW the Lotus Elise does not have too much power from its 4-cyl, but it will dust most V-6 and many V-8 cars.
  • 03accordman03accordman Posts: 671
    Agree, the 2.4 in the Accord is a gem. Wonder if the 08 Accords will stick with the same engine or get the AVTEC equipped one?

    The discussion in the earlier post was about engines, not cars, that why I pointed out the power difference. Also, have noted some 0-60 figures, they seem to be identical for stick equipped 3 and Accord.

    Coming back to the car as a whole, most people seem to think that the 3 has better handling than an Accord.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    ha ha this post is great!

    why would a honda fan have to move all the way up to a tl-type s, (which by the way would not handle just as good or comparably to the 3, it would pretty much cream it.), when they could just buy an si, which handles the same if not better?

    there is no way the 2.3 is made to compete with v-6's; if that were the case, there would be no use for anything but a 4 cyl mazda6!

    The performance of the 2.3 (well, more like the torque) is nice, but it has pretty bad fuel economy; i average the same in my rabbit, but i'm dragging an iron block, and extra cylinder and .02 litres of displacement more!

    the 4cyl in the accord is awesome, but i doubt its going to be this exact version in the new accord; it will more than likely be about 170-180 hp and have advanced vtec.
  • psypsy Posts: 122
    As a owner of a 05 Accord EX, I4, 5at..... The wifes car. Dont dish this ride. and if I could have purchased a Accord LXse 5mt in Oklahoma I would have bought it over my MZ3. And seeing its out there for 600 under invoice if you can find one.... its a hell of a car.
  • I recently test drove both the Mazda3 and Accord.

    I drove an M3 s Touring (2.3 engine) sedan in both automatic and manual. There is a noticeable performance improvement with the manual. I would not consider purchase of the automatic. The manual had surprising acceleration. This is a great car. Truly a poor man’s sport sedan. It is fun to drive with crisp handling and small turning circle.

    Nice interior for the money, but the dash instruments were extremely difficult to read with sunglasses on.

    The notoriously weak A/C was disappointing. The salesman had the air going strong when he brought the car around. The outside temperature was a comfortable 80 degrees with low humidity and full sun. We never lowered the fan speed to the lowest setting during our drive. It was barely comfortable. Even my old Saturn would have been frosty after 15 minutes of strong A/C. Black is the only interior color option for most of the s Touring exterior colors, so cooling could be a problem in some climates.

    I had read about the pedals being too close and right knee space being at a premium. The pedals were fine for me, but my shoes are only size 9.5. My knee (and I am thin) had only about 1.5 inches free on either side. However, I both raised and telescoped the steering wheel to a comfortable setting and my knee had plenty of room.

    The back seat is comparable in size to other cars in this class. The trunk seemed a bit small. It seemed rather narrow and short, but deeper than my 2000 Saturn S.

    I don't like the Side Sill Extensions on the s Touring, but it's not available without them. They lower the already low ground clearance. Not good for snow.

    I then checked out the Honda. I insist on stability control, but the 4 cylinder Accord doesn’t have ESC in 2007, so I looked at V6 models. I realize the V6 Accord and Mazda3 aren’t in the same class, but that’s the comparison I made. The lack of ESC in non-Si Civics eliminated them from consideration also.

    I don’t need leather and the other options on the expensive EX-V6, so looked at the LX, even though it’s available in automatic only.

    The LX-V6 sedan is smooth and comfortable, but with decent handling. Not too cushy as with Toyotas. I’ve driven four cylinder cars for decades, so the V6 seemed overpowered. I punched it on the interstate entrance ramp and it downshifted TWICE. I saw cars disappear in my rear view mirror. I don’t need this much power – it seems overkill. And as an empty nester, I don’t need this much space either. But it didn’t feel big as I drove, so I could probably live with the extra space. And I’d probably learn to love the power.

    The Accord has better crash test results than the Mazda and has DRL, something I’ve grown to enjoy on my existing car. So the Accord gets the nod in safety. None of the Mazda3’s other faults are show stoppers, but safety could be a deciding factor. One could argue that the M3’s sharper handling is better in avoiding accidents.

    Bottom line: the M3 is fun to drive, great handling, and gets better gas mileage (though not a night and day difference). Accord is smooth and powerful with better safety. And thousands of dollars more. I just need to decide if the Accord is worth the extra money. The Honda dealers around me are swimming in Accords. With the close-out sales going on, I think I could hook a decent price.

    I also checked out manual and auto Acura TSXs. Very, very nice. I went to the dealership with the idea that I wouldn’t even consider an automatic, but driving the automatic made a believer out of me. And the buttery smooth manual is awesome. I could live with either. The two dealers in my city are each over 12 miles away from my house, compared to less than 3 miles for both Honda and Mazda. Could be inconvenient for Acura warranty work, but not a big deal. Although price isn’t much higher than the Accord EX-V6, it’s thousands above the LX-V6. And Acura dealers don’t seem as willing to cut prices. So I don’t think I can justify $27k for a non-navi TSX. Maybe for my next car when I’m no longer helping my kids with their car insurance.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I realize the V6 Accord and Mazda3 aren’t in the same class, but that’s the comparison I made.
    I suppose any two cars can be compared. A Yaris could then best a Porsche in terms of weight and cost.

    Accord is smooth and powerful
    I suppose a V6 would be more powerful than a 4 cylinder.

    I don't like the Side Sill Extensions on the s Touring, but it's not available without them. They lower the already low ground clearance. Not good for snow.
    That's curious: my side sill extensions can be removed quite easily. I live in the snowbelt and have not found side sill extensions to be a problem. Now snow collecting in the wheel wells, that is a problem, but that's another story.

    Good luck with your purchase.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    your answer is the si.

    it comes with a manual, is not super expensive, has the right amount of power, has the right amount of space for you and handles better than the 3.
  • Without a doubt, the Si is sweet. But I've heard (I have not driven one) that the high-revving engine begs the driver to routinely push it above 5000 rpm. I'm afraid I would collect tickets and/or kill myself.

    Other concerns include a possibly too-firm ride, premium fuel (although mileage is good), and insurance.

    I guess the bottom line is it might be sportier than I want. But I have salivated over them in the Honda dealer's lot.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you aren't a driver who likes to push a car very often, you may be better suited to the EX with a manual transmission. In around-town driving they are similar to the Si (the Si doesn't really shine until 6,000 RPM), much better fuel economy on regular unleaded, lower price, and cheaper insurance premiums. You could add the Si wheels (I love 'em, personally, and I drive an Accord!) and the wing and get the exterior effect if you wanted to (I'd just do the wheels, not the wing).

    I'd drive both EX MT and Si, and see which suits you better.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    understood, but bear in mind that the engine was made to rev that high, and it loves it.

    but i do understand the 3's appeal with a solid middlepoint..even a 3 2.3 with an auto is quicker/punchier than even an ex with a stick.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    even a 3 2.3 with an auto is quicker/punchier than even an ex with a stick.

    I wouldn't be so sure. The 3s 2.3 stick is only .4 seconds faster to 60 than a Civic LX with a stick (C&D comparo - Civic 7.7 0-60, 3s 7.3 0-60).

    It's still faster, but I'd guess a Civic stick could outrun a 3s Auto.

    I've even driven my dad's 2007 EX Auto Civic isn't "fast" but it is a hoot to zip around town and run to 6800 RPM once in a while!
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i agree grad, that 6800 redline is nice and the r18 sounds great reaching it.

    i would imagine though, that the ex would be a bit slower, granted that it weighs a bit more. (perhaps the reason why c/d opted for the lx, as opposed to the ex?)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    i would imagine though, that the ex would be a bit slower, granted that it weighs a bit more. (perhaps the reason why c/d opted for the lx, as opposed to the ex?)

    The EX would be marginally slower (sunroof adds weight), but I wonder if it would equal more than a tenth of a second (the difference is roughly 50 pounds between LX and EX).

    Also, I think the price point goal was $18,000 Sedans. I'd have to go back and double-check though. I know the Corolla they tested was only $16k and change (a top-level LE model, but with few options), so to go out of their way to get a $20k Civic wouldn't make much sense.

    We're splitting hairs, but I appreciate the ability to actually split hairs with someone that doesn't get defensive (that happens way too often on Edmunds). Thanks!

This discussion has been closed.