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Honda Civic, Mazda Protege5, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan
#91 of 130 Lets be fair now.
Aug 20, 2003 (6:45 am)
You compared a brand new model current year P5 to a left over Civic Si? Do you really think thats fair? You also get side-airbags and a nice 6CD changer with a P5 equipment package thats not on your list.
How about right now?
Right now you can get a 2003 P5 for $15k even here in St. Louis. I bet the best deal you could get on a 2003 Civic Si is $17-17.5 range. Thats at least $2000 difference. If you add ABS, side airbags, moonroof, and 6CD changer to the P5 the difference is STILL at least $1000. Once again long term resale is reflected in the intial price.
Now if you are worried about resale in 8 months then you should get a Honda for sure. In fact it would be better to get a 1 year lease on a Honda. On the other hand if you are going to keep it 5-10 year range resale really does not matter very much. In 10 years, 15k miles a year, the Honda will be worth about $3000. The P5 will probably be worth about $1500 on the low end. BUT since you borrowed less initially, paid less interest, paid off higher interest loans, and/or invested the difference, the real difference is not significant.
Both the Si and P5 are nice cars. The Si costs more now and is worth more later. The P5 costs less now and worth less later. Take your pick because after 5 years or so it really does not matter.
All my information is from carsdirect or msn.
Aug 20, 2003 (7:26 am)
> ...and these two (Pro5, Civic) are the options that I am considering.
Are you considering a regular Civic (coupe or sedan) or the Si?
> Took a test drive of Pro5 the other day - engine makes more noise than speed, ride is downright punishing and one definitely needs an extra set of tires for (Canadian) winters. On the plus side, maneuverability is better than Civic (not Miata like though), body roll is minimized and the shifter is fun. Also, the interior space appears to be more than that in Civic.
The only Civic I test drove was the Si. It is a sweet drivetrain, but a little peaky. I've got about 1800 miles on my P5 now, and it's breaking in nicely. It seems to rev more smoothly and develop more power than it did when it was brand new.
I find I'm driving the P5 differently than my old Integra (an '87 1.6L). (Most Honda engines I've driven felt peaky to me; you need to keep rowing the gears.) The Integra had a very fun, windy engine, with a flat torque curve; all the power was in the top end. The P5 has a lot more torque and better mid-range power, so I find I'm not revving it as high, and not shifting as much. Keeping it in the midrange seems to do the trick.
The P5 makes engine noise, but it's nice engine noise, especially once it loosens up after initial break-in.
I can't really compare the P5 with the Civic EX (or any other coupe/sedan model) because I didn't drive any other Civics. My primary need was for a hatch and the Si was the only Honda to fit the bill. So I don't know how the other Civics drive.
I've blathered on about the P5's handling in other posts, so I won't waste everybody's time again with that. It's Good. If you're looking for a cushy ride, the P5 may be the wrong car. If you're looking for great handling, though....
Interior is all a matter of taste. I'm not totally geeked on the P5's interior (VW still has the design edge, IMO), but I like it better than the Si's. With the exception of a few minor ergonomic quirks it's an easy car to live with. The seats are great, the driving position is great (for me), and the boot space is great.
> On the whole, Pro5 is the best return on the money in that class, with incentives and all. I am actually pondering whether to go whole hog and buy a Mazda6 or stick with Pro5.
Can't answer that one, but the Mazda6 hatch looks very enticing. The upcoming Mazda6 wagon looks really nice, but only if they offer it in a stick.
Aug 20, 2003 (7:57 am)
I'm sorry, I did overstate it. Your numbers do work out if one puts the difference between purchase prices into a good investment and keep the car and the investment long enough.
I do think that's reaching, though. Seems like a very long was 'round the mulberry bush to neutralize the resale price difference. The strategy fails if the car is totalled. And requires commitment to driving an old, high milage car, which is counter productive if 'fun to drive' is the original priority.
Aug 20, 2003 (7:59 am)
The only way to get ABS on P5 is to get a package with side airbags. The side air is a $200 option in the Si, as ABS is standard. Sunroof is also standard on the Si, while to get the sunroof on P5 you have to get it as a package with 6 cd changer. What if I am not into changers? I like my MP3 stereo better than any changer. It holds 10-15 cd's worth of music, and reads out the name of the song and artist. Either way I replaced the stereo in my Si with the MP3 unit and steering wheel mounted remote control.
The current price on the P5 packaged similarly to the Si is $17,585 (-$2250 rebate OR 0% financing)
The current price on the Si with optional side air bags (to match P5) is $17,299 with 1.9% financing.
If both cars start out at the same price, (the difference between $17585 (let's say you go for 0% and forego the rebate) and $17,299 is negligible) and after 1 year the Si is worth $14,000 while P5 is worth $10,421 you tell me which has better resale value.
Even if you do take the rebate and birng the price of P5 down to $15335 (at 6% APR, or pay cash), after 1 year you still lose over $5000, while the Si has only lost $3000. $2000 is pretty big chink of change. The only advantage P5 has over Si is the 5 door configuration, that is if you really need 5 doors. I am not going to mention Si's HP advantage over P5, as well as Recarro seats with suede, and really neat shifter with really really really smooth engagement. If there were a 5 door Honda Civic available in the US (available elsewhere), it would have decimated Matrix/Vibe, Protege5, and Focus ZX5 sales.
Aug 20, 2003 (8:37 am)
"after 1 year the Si is worth $14,000 while P5 is worth $10,421 you tell me which has better resale value."
Yes, its true. If you only keep your car 1 year (or even 3) the Honda is better to buy. BUT it also lost $3000 so you could have almost leased a BMW for the same time and then got a new one at lease end. Its relative. All cars, short of exotics, lose value. Under 3-5 years its just better to lease so you really cannot compare that to buying both. In particular when cars have good resale like Hondas. If you like having new cars all the time (3 years or so) over saving money Hondas make sense to lease, not buy. The lease plans for Hondas are almost too good to be true.
So if you want to talk short run then I will make the arguement that its really silly to buy either (the Mazda in particular) when you can lease them for less in the span of 1 year. The "buy" new does not factor in for me unless I plan on at least 5 years.
Also, the Si is indeed different than the P5. It does a lot of things BETTER. Better engine, better performance, more aftermarket stuff, etc. The P5 on the other hand can actually carry 5 people in relative comfort, and cargo, and still appeals to the over 30 crowd. It really depends on what you want.
If I was going to get a P5 to only keep it for a year I would not get a new one, I would get a used one and let someone else to take the loss. If I were going to get a Si to keep for only a year I would have to lease.
Aug 20, 2003 (9:28 am)
"If there were a 5 door Honda Civic available in the US (available elsewhere), it would have decimated Matrix/Vibe, Protege5, and Focus ZX5 sales."
What? The Si is here now, priced about the same, and I don't see it tearing into ZX3 sales.
The fact is, Honda dropped the ball on this one. If they suddenly decide to enter this market by bringing a 5-door Civic over here they WILL have to play catch-up. The hatch market is growing evidenced by larger cars getting 3/5-door variants a la the Malibu and M6. Those who don't get in early will be left behind.
#97 of 130 Work the numbers, once again
Aug 20, 2003 (9:45 am)
In the real world, leasing is a loser financially. The main benefit is convenience in claiming a business expense.
We keep coming back to the Pro5 being the best choice IF it's unique benefits are one's highest priority. Well, duh. Need rear seat doors in deciding Pro5 vs. Si? It's gotta be the Pro5.
Aug 20, 2003 (11:04 am)
> The fact is, Honda dropped the ball on this one. If they suddenly decide to enter this market by bringing a 5-door Civic over here they WILL have to play catch-up. The hatch market is growing evidenced by larger cars getting 3/5-door variants a la the Malibu and M6. Those who don't get in early will be left behind.
Why would they have to play catch-up? Lord knows they have the name recognition, and the reputation. Believe it or not, Honda's American market is the only thing keeping the company afloat at this point. If they brought a 5-door over here with the Civic name, it'd do great. But it would probably also cut into their CR-V sales.
You forget that by the time these cars get here (to the North American market), they're already mature products. They're not unproven at all; they've been around as long as the sedan variants have, just not in the US. The P5, the Civic 5-door--these are all proven models. Hatches are big business in other markets, especially in Europe, where sedans are seen as an impractical body style, especially as an only family car. In the UK market, the sales figures are reversed: the hatches are the primary market, the sedans the niche. (The Jetta wagon is known as the Golf wagon in the UK. The Golf brand name is more marketable than the sedan version (known as the Bora) and enjoys more name recognition.) Either they're just marketed poorly here, or SUVs are overhyped here, or a bit of both. (I still think SUVs make terrible everyday vehicles except for a small minority of buyers. The only reason they're pushed here is because of the huge profit margin for automakers. IMO the worst trends in the 1990s US auto market was the proliferation of SUVs and the sedanification of small cars. But that's a subject for a different thread.)
I'm interested to see if VW brings over its Touran MPV; that'd be a great alternative to the Matrix/Vibe/PT Cruiser. And a subject for a different thread....
#99 of 130 Leasing and ZX3
Aug 20, 2003 (11:17 am)
Leasing is not an option for me. It may work for people who base their life on monthly payments. I can understand losing money on depreciation alone, but to add extra profit for the leasing company is an insult to the injury. Like said before, leasing works if you can wirte it off, I can't.
Leasing: You have to have some sort pf downpayment, usually $2000, security, and such. After paying payments for 3 years, you have nothing to show for it. A 12-24 month lease rates are ridiculously high. Money factors, when converted to APR are much higher than Finance rates.
Financing: All I paid out of pocket was sales taxes and registration, everything else was financed at 1.9%. After 8 months I have a $12.8K payoff and $14K trade in value. I am already $1200 on the positive. That number is for trade in, if I were to sell it privately, I can possibly fetch $15K, putting me at $2200 in the positive.
I am anxious to see what I can get in 3 years. I will owe $5500 (according to payment schdule at honda owners link).
#100 of 130 slalom
Aug 20, 2003 (11:20 am)
Edmunds 2003 slalom numbers are bogus (opinion here). How on earth could the Corolla come out on top with 63.3 seconds. Was the same person driving both cars (or all the cars for that matter)? From what I remember, in the auto mags, the P5 could always pull more G's and had the maximum cornering speed. I'm guessing they were using a protege ES, but that should handle about the same as the P5.