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#14 of 43 Only the 1.6 sold in Europe, S America, etc.
Oct 01, 2004 (11:39 pm)
The 2.0 & 2.3 get electro hydraulic, which is still better than the pure electric found in the Z4, Golf/Jetta V & Civic Si.
But BMW realized the importance of pure hydraulic. So after the "Z4 mistake", they decided to keep the upcoming 1, 2 & 3 series w/ the pure-hydraulic tradition.
#15 of 43 Re: which means Mazda's road-noise problem is worse than Honda's [sschaffer]
Oct 03, 2004 (3:16 pm)
"I've owned high strung cars like the Civic SI, very tiring to drive on long trips and don't perform any better than base models at normal rpms--no thanks."
Had an 87 Corolla FX-16 for 5 years--hp peak was at 7k rpm, didn't start to make power until you hit 4300 which made still made it more flexible than the current crop of high-winding Hondas, Acuras, and even Toyota's own "180hp" Corolla. The latter don't do anything the "cooking versions" won't do until you hit 6k+ rpm--totally useless in normal driving and the constant need to shift to keep the things in that high rpm power band is not only a chore but a dangerous distraction in traffic.
I've taken my MZ3 up into the nearby mountains for some fun drives several times--climbs longish grades in 4th that would have the screamers in 3rd or 2nd and still straining to keep up.
The interesting thing I've found is that the MZ3's engine is so smooth and quiet even at relatively high rpms that if desired for responsiveness one can leave it in lower gears in the mountains for extended periods of time without the mechanical thrashing one would encounter in most other cars. The rotarys had a reputation for being so smooth and quiet at high rpms that people would forget to upshift, the MZ3 2.3 is much the same. Even on freeways I often find myself cruising at 70 in 4th instead of 5th--no engine thrash to remind me to upshift to overdrive.
Oct 03, 2004 (3:45 pm)
"The rotarys had a reputation for being so smooth and quiet at high rpms that people would forget to upshift, the MZ3 2.3 is much the same."
This is what I have discovered to be the case in my RSX, same engine as the Civic SI but with taller gearing. In fact, these are not merely words: on Memorial Day I took a trip with some people and one of my friends drove my car part of the way with me in the back. Well, lo and behold, I awoke from a nap to see him driving the car on I-10 out in the desert at 85 mph in third gear! Despite revving at 6K rpm, he hadn't noticed that he had forgotten to shift up because the engine was so smooth and quiet, even at those sustained rpms.
#17 of 43 Been there done that.. time for something different
Oct 26, 2004 (11:01 am)
I've owned the Civic Si Hatchback since 02. I've put 30k miles on it and I'm done with it. Don't get me wrong, this is a very sporty car in many ways but practically no matter what you do to it you've still got a mini minivan.
- You can blow through 30mph in each gear. Up to 90mph by the top of 3rd. It has a very clean acceleration with no apparent flat spots and hums nicely even at very high rpms.
- Oddly placed shifter feels great. It is totally comfortable in the dash location and does not force me to jar my arm backward to reach it like the Civic sedan and many other floor shifters.
- Many compliments on comfort. The comments about long road trips not being comfortable are not warranted. This car is very easy to drive on road trips and cruises without effort.
- The steering on my 02 is not good. There is a lot of body lean into corners and although it is tight and sporty it can be stiff and unforgiving at slow speeds.
- Some trouble with gears. The gearbox is stiff and sometimes does not want to readily drop back into first if I idle to a stop. It was a problem right off the dealership lot.
- THE most pathetic stereo system available. I've never seen speakers without magnets until I removed them from this car. These pieces of paper crap should be left out altogether. They may sound alright for about 6 months but they literally have no magnets... unreal.
- The moonroof closes halfway and forces you to close it again for the other half. This is the most obnoxious "safety feature" i've ever seen. It just forces me to have my arm off the steering wheel longer and it closes so slowly you'd have to be brain dead to catch your arm in it.
- It's a mini minivan.... good luck turning into something sporty. If you want a minivan go get the Oddessy... it's faster anyway.
I've test driven the Mazda 3 and was quite impressed. The steering is significantly better although it seems the Si has a slightly peppier acceleration. It may just be the whine of the Si that is deceiving me because I couldn't feel a big difference.. mostly sound. And for the price I paid for the Civic Si, I am going to get a fully loaded Mazda 3. When it comes down to bang for the buck you can't win with the Civic Si. They are asking a premium price for a mediocre ride. Been there, done that.
#18 of 43 Re: Been there done that.. time for something different [tb4204me]
Oct 26, 2004 (9:54 pm)
Stiff gearbox? Stiff and unforgiving suspension? Bad stereo? Two presses on the moonroof button?
"good luck turning into something sporty."
The Mazda 3 is not any sportier than the Si, but it doesn't sound like sportier is what you want anyway. That said, the Si (at MSRP) is NOT a good deal.
#19 of 43 having driven both
Oct 27, 2004 (10:28 am)
I would say there is less body roll in hard cornering in the Mazda3. Apart from that, both are decently sporty cars. The SI feels more peppy around town - not surprising since the 3 is heavier.
I wish all cars in this class had auto-close moonroofs like my old Celica had - one push and it closes hafway, one more and it closes the rest of the way, no having to hold the button down.
The SI's stereo is kind of flimsy, but oh! Those seats! WAY better than the seats in the 3.
The SI's suspension over rough pavement and bumps is a little more bouncy and bobs up and down more, which is why I went with the similarly priced RSX base, which damps out the rough stuff in a much more fluid and composed fashion, while still having great handling. The 3 is a little better in that respect too, although I would suspect the 3 is a car with a longer wheelbase, so that is to be expected.
Oct 27, 2004 (3:22 pm)
How was the Si more fun than the Mazda? I'll be making the same decision in several months to a year, and anything you could say would help me while I think entirely too much about these cars that I can't afford yet =].
And yeah, I'd say the RSX is in a slightly different class. More of a sports coupe, the kind that might as well be two seaters.
Oct 27, 2004 (9:02 pm)
feels bigger (it is) and is less zippy when you hit the gas from a roll - this is partly because the SI's gearing keeps its engine on the boil, but also because the SI is lighter.
On the flip side, the 3 would make a more pleasant long-distance cruiser, I would think. Tire rumble was pronounced in the 3 I drove, but others here have reported that is not the case with their cars, so maybe it was a one-off kind of thing. I drove the cars back to back though, and the SI definitely let less road noise intrude. The 3 feels much more enclosed, while the SI feels more open - it has more glass (lower belt line).
carlisimo: if that back seat is important, you should probably go with the 3. It has a three inch longer wheelbase than the SI (I just looked it up), also four more inches of head room and a whopping seven inches more of leg room in the back seat. Not to mention four doors to load the back seat through...
Oct 27, 2004 (9:36 pm)
My friends are used to riding in my 2-door Tercel and I guess if they really minded the getting-in process, someone else would be driving. The Si's backseats felt better than the Tercel's, but I couldn't subject friends to the RSX's.
The thing is... I've only tested the Si, and my initial thoughts were "feels too heavy" and "feels too enclosed."
It was only after reading these threads that I realized that the Si might be the best I can get, as far as those complaints go. (I guess there's the Focus and Spectra5, but the Focus isn't doing great in safety tests and it's hard to work on, and I don't like the Spectra5's looks.)