Last post on Nov 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM
You are in the Honda Civic
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda MAZDA3, Sedan
#644 of 879 Re: Interior [sandman46]
Jul 10, 2007 (12:16 am)
It's just a matter of personal taste, I suppose. When I shopping back in 12/05, I narrowed my choices down to the '06 (new) Civic EX and the Mazda3 s Touring. I didn't care for the Civic's unconventional interior design, but it did have the quality materials and near-perfect assembly quality I'd expect from Honda. My biggest gripe was the lack of color combinations! Honda's rigid, limited color combos is the one thing (maybe the only thing) about them that drives me insane. I owned nothing but Hondas prior to my '06 Mazda3 (had seven Hondas over the prior 15 years). They've never been flexible with color choices. Want the Civic EX in White? Hope you like Ivory interior! Want it in Black? Better like the Gray interior!
I know it simplifies things for them, but every other major manufacturer offers some choices. Mazda, Nissan and Toyota offer at least two interior colors with most exterior colors. An exception to that would be the Mazda3, which is somewhat limited in the same respect. Until 2007, the s model's interior was much like the Ford Model T- you can have it in any color as long as the color is black! =) They have a choice between black and gray on some exterior colors for '07.
I think the Mazda3 interior is great in most respects. I wouldn't mind a little less red lighting (reminds me of 90's Pontiacs gaudy red backlighting). Otherwise, I think it looks as good or better than any of its competitors. The seats are more comfortable on long drives than any of my previous Hondas, the switchgear feels solid, no rattles, great gauges and the leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob are icing on the cake.
In retrospect, I'm glad I got the Mazda3. I might have went with the Civic because Hondas are all I had owned and had great experiences with them. The two main reasons I didn't get the Civic were- 1) I hated the ivory interior but didn't like any of the exterior colors that came with the gray interior and 2) the 15-inch wheels on the EX look dorky compared to the 17's on the Mazda3. The EX deserves at least a 16-inch.
I've had the Mazda for over 18 months and 35k miles and have only been back to the dealership once for a minor issue with the clock. It feels as solid as it did the day I bought it.
I do miss one thing about the Hondas- the fuel economy! It is without a doubt the Mazda's worst feature (and the only negative, in my opinion). Even my Accord V6 automatic got better MPG than my Mazda3 s manual. The Accord averaged about 27mpg and the Mazda is at 23.5mpg to date.
#645 of 879 Re: Interior [igozoomzoom]
Jul 10, 2007 (6:37 am)
you made a good choice regardless, you have a bit more of sporty character, in sacrifice for your fuel economy.
i used to hate the color combos on hondas; but you can now get black on black without it being an si, but it has to be the coupe. the black is now available with the grey interior; mine had the ivory one, which they have thankfully done away with. They finally have allowed the grey with the royal blue pearl.
don't know where the gripes from the wheels comes from; the civic DOES come with 16's, not 15's, on ex trim. They actually fill the wheel wells amazingly well, no real upleasant gaps of any kind, and certainly not wimpy!
#646 of 879 Re: Interior [igozoomzoom]
Jul 10, 2007 (7:19 am)
2) the 15-inch wheels on the EX look dorky compared to the 17's on the Mazda3. The EX deserves at least a 16-inch.
As my buddy eldaino has already mentioned, the EX has 16" wheels. Even the plain "LX" model has 16" wheels.
One thing I noticed riding in my friend's '04 Mazda 3s (in bright blue it is a good looking car!) was the excessive tire noise/rumble. I felt like I could predict what the tread pattern looked like by the end of our 60 mile ride. In that regard, having "mere" 16 inch wheels is a bonus. They should also be cheaper to replace than 17 inchers - important to remember when the Civic's mission has typically been "economy" first.
#647 of 879 Re: Interior [thegraduate]
Jul 11, 2007 (5:53 am)
very true; i still don't think that the civic competes with the 2.3 version, as the mazda 2.3 to me is the kind of car that competes with the base sentra se-r.
we'll have to wait for that k20 powered se trim level civic forever i guess!
but yes, economy is the mission, and 16 inch wheels (very nice alloy ones at that, i prefered them to the 16's on my rabbit now) allow for a better ride, and less money when it comes time to replace.
#648 of 879 Re: Interior [thegraduate]
Jul 11, 2007 (7:55 pm)
I apologize for my error, the EX does have 16-inch alloys not 15. I must have been thinking of the '05 model. But I do stand my statement that the wheel design is unappealing to me. I'd just like to see something a little more aggressive looking and the proportions to the body of the car still seems odd to me. The '05 EX wheel design was nicer looking.
In the Civic's defense, the Si's 17-inchers are both a great looking design and look fantastic on the car. In all fairness, the 16-inch wheels on the Mazda3 i Touring and s Sport Sedans are dinky looking in relation to the proportions of the car's sides, too. The 17-inch on the s Touring and Grand Touring Sedan and on all 5-doors totally change the look of the car, in my opinion.
As far as noise, yes the Mazda3 isn't as quiet as the Civic. The performance-oriented tires are largely to blame. The only negative in choosing a 5-door over the sedan is that the 5-doors open cargo area makes the noise slightly worse. The sedan's trunk absorbs some of it.
All Mazda3s with 17-inch wheels are delivered with a high performance tire that impacts ride quality, makes more noise and wear sooner than normal tires. Their traction is seriously reduced in rain also, something I found out the hard way. In return for all that, you get a subcompact that handles like an RX-8. A cloverleaf on-ramp near my home has a 20mph limit and I managed to hold 60mph all the way thru it when my car was new.
The OEM tires were worn out at 31k miles. I decided to go with a slightly less aggressive all-season Michelin and they're much quieter and the ride is smoother also. The handling isn't scalpel-sharp anymore, but it still handles better than any vehicle I've owned before.
Jul 11, 2007 (8:06 pm)
I plan on replacing the 16 inch Pirelli's on my Cobalt with Michelin also when they wear out. I may get another year out of my 2006 tires and I think the Michelins will also improve the ride.
Which model Michelin's did you get?
#650 of 879 Re: Interior [eldaino]
Jul 11, 2007 (8:06 pm)
I miss the good ole days when an EX model got more power than the LX and got a size-up wheel/tire than the LX as well. It's only cosmetic and convenience features now. An EX with 160-170 hp would be nice.
I've always wondered why the base Mazda3's 2.0L puts out 150hp (75hp per litre), but the 2.3L is only 160hp (69.5hp per litre)? It seems like it should have at least 173hp just to match the 2.0L output.
I can't discern much difference in the 2.0L I've driven compared to my 2.3L manual. The sole reason I went with the 2.3L is because I wanted the 5-door which does not offer the 2.0L.
In all honesty, had the Si Sedan been available when I was in the market, it most likely would be in my driveway now instead of the Mazda3. Then again, if the Mazdaspeed3 had been available at that point, it might be out there.....what might have been......
#651 of 879 Re: Interior [igozoomzoom]
Jul 12, 2007 (5:05 am)
Count me as one of those EX owners who is happier the way it is now. I wanted the "cosmetic and convenience features". I didn't want more horse power or bigger wheels. I think Honda feels their demographic for the Civic is still the person who wants economy and reliability over performance.
#652 of 879 performance, wheels, hp per litre, etc
Jul 12, 2007 (7:41 am)
and the proportions to the body of the car still seems odd to me.
do you mean in porportion to the wheel size? because the wheel to body gap in the civic ex is just as tight if not tighter than that of the mazda 3 with 17's and looks much better than the 3 with the 16's. ( i know a family who has a 3 2.3 with 16's and i remember when i parked my civic next to theirs, the lines with regards to the wheel gaps was so much better looking on my car, it didn't look awkward at all.)
All Mazda3s with 17-inch wheels are delivered with a high performance tire that impacts ride quality, makes more noise and wear sooner than normal tires
Really? the last 3 2.3 hatch that i was looking at at a dealer had goodyear eagle rs-a's; i've never seen ANY 2.3 with actual summer performance tires (which fits your description) aside from the mazda speed 3. Heck you can even find Gti's with all seasons, and those cars have more sporting intentions than base hatchback 3's.
the civics interior isn't exaclty known to be quiet; and in fact one of its bad points. (when i had mine, it was worlds better than the 01 i had traded in, but i hadn't really done any other comparisons. My rabbit on the other hand is like a museum compared to either!) But tires can transmit road noise greatly without ever being performance tires.
In fact, the good year eagle rs-a's are commonly seen on civic lx's and on ex's! They are a performance (not high or very high) all-season tire, but nothing more.
While i was hoping for at least 155 hp for the ex ( i still think that the ex should have been the 'se' trim that does not exist, with the k20 and standard 17's and sportier interior) but it would have had to been with a different engine and i doubt honda would have offered all the extra goodies on the 140hp lx to compensate for those who wanted better fuel economy than a civic with a more powerful engine, but still wanted the extras the ex offers.
The ex is not simply cosmetic feature upgrades; it has 4 wheel disc brakes, something alone that made some people opt for the ex.
me? i think they should have been standard across the line, made 2 versions of the ex (ex and ex-s (for the bigger engine version, but able to keep a 140hp ex as well)) and made the dx more of a value with regards to content instead of making it as bare bones as it is. (imagine getting a dx priced civic with the content of an lx plus 4 wheel disc breaks. honda would have had a hit within a hit!)
#653 of 879 Interior and Tires
Jul 12, 2007 (4:11 pm)
hhmmm... I have a different experience on the interior noise though. Car and driver actually shows the Civic a a little bit noisier than the 3, which is my personal experience when I'm driving my 3 and my sister's Civic. And that's with the OEM Goodyear Tires on my 3. It's not that much difference though, but still noticeable.
At first, tires were slipping now and then when it rains or snows. But as time goes by and drove my 3 more and more, I got used to driving it in the rain or snow with a lot less tire slippage. Once I hit more than 25K on this vehicle, I'll replace my OEM tires with either the Avon M550 A/S or the Michelin Pilot Exalto's. Tirerack users are giving good reviews on these 2 tires with the Michelin's are lot more expensive and wears faster. Anyone have experiences with either tire?