Last post on Jul 16, 2009 at 5:31 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Fit, Mazda MAZDA3, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Sentra, Sedan
#219 of 1205 Using the centre lane ... [gandalf17]
Sep 09, 2005 (8:17 am)
the new Civic kind of fits in nicely in the middle of the road segment in terms of grunt with most of its competitors ... These days, Mazda has redefined themselves and is clearly the leader in the econo segment of cars that are sporty and a total blast to drive ... With Mazda, you feel the road and become a part of the road and driving experience. Honda used to be that way, but has now taken a middle of the road path and have moved more to the concept of isolating drivers from the driving experience. This is the path that Toyota has chosen many years ago to great financial success, but uninspiring vehicles.
You're right Honda, by offering reliable, fuel-efficient, safe and not unattractive cars, is aiming for the middle because they, like Toyota and many other manufacturers, see the profits there. Since both Honda and Toyota also offer racing versions of their econo-boxes and have prestige brands (Acura and Lexus) they cover a wide spectrum of the market. So, where does that leave Mazda? They have no racing version available yet (Mazdaspeed3 is due in 2006 or later) and have no prestige brand. My sense is that Mazda would love to have Honda/Toyota's problems; their situation is trickier, being owned by Ford and having to fit into a global strategy not of their making. In this reading, Ford is offering the car for the masses, the Focus, and Mazda is offering a niche vehicle. Auto manufacturers do not work in a vacuum; depending on where the competition, fuel prices and national pressures go, they survive or not. Mazda has faced the brink several times since the 1970s. Being a happy Mazda vehicle owner, I hope they make the right decisions. Driving in the middle of the road is usually the safest course.
#220 of 1205 Spectra in Civic's rear view mirror
Sep 10, 2005 (8:49 pm)
I saw something interesting when I stopped at my local Honda dealer today to drive the new Civic. Since I was being ignored by the sales staff , I mosied over to a rack of brochures to see if I could find one on the '06 Civic. No luck. But on top of the rack I saw something that caught my eye: a stand-up, full-color, direct comparison of the Civic to the Kia Spectra. It was spiral-bound. The title was something like "Why Civic is better than Spectra". This was professionally done, on card stock. I had limited time so I went off in search of a sales rep to get a test drive (which I did, and he was quite knowledgable and helpful). But I thought it was interesting that for a company that, to the outside world, does not acknowledge the competitive threat by Kia (and Hyundai, based on Edmunds' recent report on the importance of the new Civic to Honda in which they noted Honda didn't mention any Korean cars as competitors to the Civic), they clearly have some people in Competitive Marketing who are paying close attention to Kia, and who are sending weapons like this one to Honda dealers.
BTW, the '06 Civic LX is a nice piece of work, and will win over its share of small-car buyers. But for about the same money I'll take the Mazda3i Touring with the Safety package, please. Or maybe I'll just wait for the Honda Fit and get even better economy and utility than the Civic, for much less money.
#221 of 1205 Civic vs. Mazda3 vs. Elantra.
Sep 11, 2005 (4:11 am)
I recently test drove all 3 cars before purchasing. Mazda was the car I wanted. Best ride and accelleration. Elantra had more zip than the Honda. My decision came down to $$$. Mazda was not offering any incentives. To equip the other 2 cars with all the standard features that the Elantra's have, would inflate the price 3-4K more than the Elantra.
I not saying the Hyundai is a better car. Just a better deal.
If money was no concern, I would have picked the Mazda.
#222 of 1205 Civic vs. Mazda3 vs. Elantra. by banjoec
Sep 11, 2005 (7:15 am)
Are you sure about that last statement? "If money was no concern, I would have picked the Mazda"
Why not pick an LX 430 or a MB S class? Or go for the Porsche 911?
My point is for 99.9% of buyers - money is always a major part of the equation.
I know a few people who have more money than they can spend - but they still drive "normal" cars - they still care about value for their money. One very well off guy refuses to buy a new car - he says that the best deal is a 1-2 year old car that still has a few years left on the warranty. Most people that end up with piles of cash did not get there by spending loads on new cars.
That is one reason I went with the Mazdsa3 - it is 1/2 the price of some of the cars I looked at but still has 95% of the features & performance.
#223 of 1205 Re: Civic vs. Mazda3 vs. Elantra. by banjoec [z71bill]
Sep 11, 2005 (7:20 am)
I'm sure banjoec meant if money was no concern among the three vehicles he test drove - and among the vehicles that are the subject of this discussion.
#224 of 1205 Re: Spectra in Civic's rear view mirror [backy]
Sep 11, 2005 (9:33 am)
Thought this post was really interesting as I am a Current 05 spectra sx owner, and a former driver of a current gen 01-05 civic coupe.
The civic sedan always struck me as really small and bland, despite its engine and build quaility, although I do really like the updated gauges in the Special Edition.
My Kia seemed to be roomier, quicker and at least as well built as the current civic. Im sure this will change with the release of the 06 civic, but I have my car in the driveway today and love it.
The pricing incentives and warranty made it a no brainer when I compared all factors with the competition. Unlike the model tested in this comparo, I purchased the spectra sx manual with every option. This model is undoubtedly more fun to drive than an auto that has substantially less content. For another interesting read check out Motor trend from June's 'City Lites' comparo of small cars that picked the Kia over both american competitors, but also picked the 3 as the top in its class.
To sum up this ramble, the new Spectra is a competent, fun and very well built sedan, and a strong competitor to the 05 civic.
#225 of 1205 Re: Spectra in Civic's rear view mirror [mudude26]
Sep 11, 2005 (10:28 am)
Have you looked at the '06 Civic? It is really a classy car--but $17k for a stick-shift sedan with decent equipment (a/c, power package, ABS, side bags/curtains). Spectra EX will undercut that by at least a couple thousand, plus discounts and incentives. I think the new Civic is a nicer ride than the Spectra, but as was expressed in an earlier post, is it $4000 better? That is big money for most buyers in this class (except those who are also shopping $30k cars). Those who "gotta have a Honda" or who trade cars every 2-3 years will probably go for the Civic. And if the Civic earns top crash-test scores, which I expect it will, that will be another reason to ante up for it compared to cars like the Spectra.
#226 of 1205 Re: Spectra in Civic's rear view mirror [backy]
Sep 11, 2005 (11:41 am)
I would think they would think Elantra would be a bigger threat since it has higher sales than Spectra and more penetration in NA.
Anway, its good that Honda is taking notice of the Spectra since I think it is definitetly a formidable competitor. It was for my girlfriend who bought a Spectra instead of a Civic.
#227 of 1205 Re: Spectra in Civic's rear view mirror [spmrebel]
Sep 11, 2005 (12:17 pm)
Maybe people who shop for a Civic will consider an Elantra, but since there is now a major disparity between the two cars in safety equipment (less so with the Spectra), fuel economy (Civic is 25% better than Elantra with automatics), and interior accoutrements, I think the real competition between Civic and Elantra will come when the next-gen Elantra debuts next year. Still, there are those people (like me) who will still consider the Elantra because of its value for the dollar, and the availability of a 5-door which Civic doesn't offer in the U.S.
#228 of 1205 2006 NHTSA Crash Ratings
Sep 11, 2005 (1:58 pm)
Here's the NHTSA crash and rollover test ratings for the 2006 model cars in this group. The Civic hasn't been tested yet. The ratings are the number of stars in this order: driver front, passenger front, side (front), side (rear), and rollover. "SAB" indicates the tests were done with side bags and/or curtains installed. "N" means Not Tested.
Elantra (SAB): 5/4/5/4/4
Forenza (SAB): 4/4/N/N/4
Spectra (SAB): 4/4/4/3/4
Note that the Corolla and Elantra have the highest overall scores, even though the Corolla was tested without SABs. Note also there is a "safety concern" flagged for the Focus 2-door (ratings above are for the 4-door).
On IIHS tests (for 2005 models only), the Cobalt came out best overall on front, side, and rear impacts (when equipped with SABs). The Corolla was 2nd, again with SABs. No other small cars have received better than "Poor" on the IIHS side impact test. All cars listed above except the Forenza and Spectra received a "Good" score on the IIHS frontal offset crash test.
It will be interesting to see what the new Civic gets on crash tests, since it's the only car in its class to offer standard SABs, SACs, and active front head restraints.