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Mazda MAZDA3, Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic, Car Comparisons, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan
#1300 of 1379 Re: Consumer Reports said [eldaino]
Aug 15, 2007 (9:18 am)
"i've read that the regular euro civic rides great, if not as uber comfy as the mkV. Its when it comes to bumps that its nothing to write home about. same as the type r, but to a more noticable extent."
the regular euro civic rides great? That was my point -- no way! Regular versions don't have lowered suspension, & the dyamics of this Euro-spec will be handicapped badly by its low-tech suspension.
OK, take a look at this interesting Autoexpress 4-car comparison.
Low-tech suspension made it trumped in trunk space, which also made it trumped in...:
"The precise pedals and steering are light enough to be easy to use around town, but also prove impressively responsive. That bodes well for the carís driver appeal, and on the whole the Honda lives up to expectations. Itís grippy and well balanced, although it doesnít tackle corners with the same panache as the Focus.
Ride comfort is entirely acceptable, but all three rivals excel in that area, and the Civic comes across as rather sporting in comparison, with the dampers failing to fully isolate rough road surfaces."
Best driver's car in the 61-hatch comparison test:
"The suspension is so well oiled, gliding over surfaces where its rivals, even the Auris (new Corolla), fidget and fight. It takes the sting out of rough roads,
is never caught off-balance and carves through corners cleanly and effortlessly.
In terms of driver appeal, the Focus is by far the most polished and involving car in this test Ė and thatís true of every single model in the 61-strong hatchback range."
Comfort is priority:
"The Golf doesnít relish being hurried. It has a more laid back character than the zesty Civic, and is at its best when cruising at high speed. On motorways, very little wind noise penetrates the cabin. But on bumpy roads, the softer suspension means thereís more roll and wallow.
In short, the VW isnít as well controlled as its rivals here, and feels slightly lethargic. It turns in accurately enough, and the speed-sensitive steering is well weighted, but compared to the Ford itís not a particularly engaging car to drive."
Redesigned but still behind in "driving technology":
"The stiff bodyshell has enabled the company to make the most of the new suspension set-up. Initially, it seems firm Ė roll is minimal through corners and the whole car is tightly controlled.
As a result, the Auris is rarely caught out, and that means itís reassuring to drive. It canít match the Focusís sparkling chassis and soothing road manners, despite being equipped with Toyotaís most positive gearshift since the Celica and offering very well weighted steering. But the new hatch is a big step forward nevertheless.
Yet although the Auris will be welcomed by undemanding drivers, itís flawed. The steering is uninformative, the A-pillars are intrusive and it weaves under hard braking, with the pedal soon becoming mushy underfoot."
Looks like this Brit magazine thinks that buyers of econo boxes are cheapskates & should pick the Civic as 1st place due to the biggest engine's max pwr but w/ best fuel economy & interior/trunk room. Since we care about driving experience more, you should do your own ranking:
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/grouptests/204819/family_hatchbacks.html- - - - - - - - - - -
"Each rival here tested the newcomer in a particular area Ė the Honda Civic has unrivalled design and packaging, the Ford Focus the best ride and handling, while no other hatch is as well built or classy as the VW Golf. The Auris was found wanting in each department."
So these Control Blades in the (C-1) Focus can easily "slice up" Euro Civic's (& the new Euro Corolla's) cheap suspension in both the ride AND the handling departments. Why would you tolerate a worse ride while the handling is not exactly better?
Aug 15, 2007 (9:24 pm)
That "61-strong hatchback range" actually means that there are 61 different Focus hatch, not 61 different kinds of cars. My bad.
#1302 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [blueguydotcom]
Aug 16, 2007 (10:54 am)
Drive the cars on your own and totally ignore the mags. They offer nothing of value.
Thank you!!! My sentiments exactly...
#1303 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [600kgolfgt]
Aug 16, 2007 (10:25 pm)
Drive the cars on your own and totally ignore the mags. They offer nothing of value.
Thank you!!! My sentiments exactly...
I dunno that I'd completely ignore them. They can point out some things you might not notice on a test drive; little details that would annoy you later (or delight you later). Things the average buyer might not think about such as gooseneck trunk hinges versus struts, how much available cubby space there is, how a car handles in certain conditions that you won't experience in a test drive, etc...
These reviews offer some value, but should not be the end-all.
#1304 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [thegraduate]
Aug 16, 2007 (10:46 pm)
I disagree completely. The car mags always focus on silly, superfluous things and overlook details. Furthermore, they flat our shill for carmakers. Go back to the launch of the original CTS and try to find one scathing review. I drove one after the car launched and at that moment swore off all magazines. They flat out lied about the CTS and its drive/handling.
The cars in this segment, try to find them mentioning negatives of the Civic, GTI and MS3. They don't. 99% of car reviews now are fluff designed to hit the highpoints of vehicles and avoid saying anything too negative as it might have an LA-Times-effect (GM pulled advertising because the reviewer eviscerated GM). Even Edmunds delivers total fluff pieces now (and more often than not reviews silly vehicles like Lambos and Ferraris). Furthermore, what's a negative for some, is a positive for others. Read a CR review of a 3 series and they call the car rough riding with a sport package...strange, I'd call it sponge-cake soft.
The only way to know if a car is right for you - drive it. The rest of it you can learn on your own without a bought and sold auto "journalist" whitewashing glaring deficiencies.
#1305 of 1379 Car&Driver isn't too bad
Aug 17, 2007 (12:20 am)
They really criticized the right things VERY OFTEN? So do many British magazines. I was a sucker when I bought the Twin Cam '90 Protege, b/c Road&Track said it's so quiet on the fwy you better watch out for speeding tickets. Since when have heard of a quiet Protege?
It was after I bought the car did C$D finally had a complete road test & pointed out the car fishtails on the fwy ramp & gave'em a "heart-in-the-mouth moment"! Of course, I already discovered this characteristic myself.
#1306 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [blueguydotcom]
Aug 17, 2007 (7:13 am)
i agree with grad, they DO have something to offer, while this SHOULD be coupled with an actual test drive.
the mazdaspeed3 has been called out on its less than perfect shifter and occasinal cheesines (not in build quality but in appearance) of its interior.
the gti has been called out on its excess body roll and its not so great manual, and much higher than the competition price.
the si has been called out on its lack of torque, its dash design, and sometimes its dbw lag.
these are all things i've read in various magazines, not just limited to one.
you don't like the boy racer thing...well aside from the exhaust note (which may not be to your taste and thats ok), the si does not look tremendously different than a regular civic, especially when clad in a color available on other trim levls of civic. Honda's interiors have always been praised for their build quality, and nice materials (even if its not as nice as the gti's), so this is just a personal vendetta you have against the si that few have a problem with.
you seem to think that the ms3 is riddled with the same 'image' of boy racer, and you obviously didn't like the gti enough to buy it over your mini.
what exactly do you want!?
#1307 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [eldaino]
Aug 17, 2007 (8:39 am)
el, A personal vendetta? Good grief. It comes down to this: I don't trust anyone I don't know to tell me something is good or bad. Heck, I don't even trust 95% of the people I know when it comes to cars, food or movies. When it comes to a car, which is a pretty heft investment, I can't see abiding by the words written by a paid-for-shill.
To each his own. You guys can trust people with an agenda - an agenda to avoid expressing an honest opinion.
Did you ever read my review of the Mini I bought ( http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216664 )? I tore it apart for its myriad of failings; seriously ripped it down for many of the car's poor interior design elements, it's wrong wheel drive layout and its soft suspension. Car criticism does not equal 90% effusive, prostrated praise with 10% equating to "I wish this were somewhat, sorta different." No car is that perfect. And a car review shouldn't sell a car, it should expose the cars warts, just a restaurant review or a movie review should shine a light on what doesn't work.
BTW, I passed on the GTI for many reasons:
1. The car wasn't as much fun as a Cooper S
2. I figured whatever I got I'd replace in 09/10 when my fiancee has a kid.
3. *My fiancee has an A3 and thus we already have a Mrk V VW in our garage. I'm not going to own two of the same car. Variety is the spice of life.
4. I'd rather buy a used 4 door GTI and let some other poor sucker suffer the 25-30% first year depreciation hit (unlike the cooper which probably won't see that hit for 3 years).
5. Fuel economy - compared to the Cooper S, the GTI's mileage isn't that great.
6. Size and weight - I wanted something small and fun for once, not another huge car.
*Our ownership of an A3 is the most important part of my decision to bypass the GTI. It's because of that car I'll look at a 335i sedan, a 328i wagon, 135i (if a sedan/hatch ever shows up), WRX wagon, Mazda6. The GTI is rumored to be getting some bumps for 08 (more power, other changes). We'll see by 2010 how things are shaping up with the Mrk VI GTI.
#1308 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [blueguydotcom]
Aug 17, 2007 (11:50 am)
dont worry blue guy, i didn't mean to sound harsh, i just think you have always had it out for the civics interiro, which is normally praised as nice.
I know understand your reasons for bypassing the gti, i had forgotten your finace had an a3.
i do expect the gti mkVi to be out sooner than 2010 though, at least by a year, i think 08 is the last year for all mkV's.
i'd bypass a 135i though, ther is no backseat room, literally. at least not for anyone bigger than 5 feet. and for the price it will probably be, i'd rather have an r32, which seats people comfortably.
now the 3 series wagon would be FANTASTIC.
#1309 of 1379 Re: Strange idea... [eldaino]
Aug 17, 2007 (12:08 pm)
R32 is a two door - stupid VW won't release the 4 door R32 here. If that were out now, I'd be driving it. Alas only the FWD GTI 4 door is available, with AWD reserved for the 2 door.
I will probably buy a 135i if it comes as a sedan or hatch by 09/10. I don't care about the space, so much as the ability to get into the back. As long as it's as big in the back as a BMW e30/Mazda Protege, it's big enough for my needs. The reality though - BMW probably won't release a 135i sedan or hatch here. Bummer. That cuts the field to the 335i sedan (alas no wagon), the underpowered 328 wagon and the WRX. Let's hope the Mrk VI gets to US shores soon. I don't expect it though as the Mrk V took forever to get here and it's only been on sale for a couple model years. I expect 2011 it will be replaced at the earliest.
Sorry about the Civic interior but I've driven one frequently for 12-14 months - mother-in-law had an 06 Civic Hybrid (she lemoned it). I found the interior to feel exceedingly cheap and all around to be poorly designed and assembled. The side door panels feel like felt-lined cardboard. The controls all feel flimsy. The lighting's bad. And that two-tier design leaves me feeling like someone made a mistake and added the top pod later to make up for missing the speedo originally. It's not at the level of the Mazda or VW, in my experience.