Last post on Oct 10, 2013 at 7:50 AM
You are in the Honda Civic
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Mazda MAZDA3, Sedan
#703 of 1341 A mazda3 owner who thought about Civic
Apr 30, 2006 (5:48 pm)
OK I will put the short take firts.. 4 months ago I bought a 2004 Mazda3 certified used with 38k miles on it to replace my Focus.
I also drove the Civic and the Si.. Loved the Si but decided against it. .. liked the civic.. and am still completely delighted by the Mazda.
Now let me go through my thought proces.. and evaluate each car.. I do not hate Honda or the Civic (that position is reserved for Toyota/Lexus and Chevy Cobalt).. however as past Focus owner, of course the Mazda3 is very close to my preferences.. after all it is a 2nd generation Focus.
So First let me get the Si out of the way - perfect diriving machine.. loved every second of the testdrive, but could not convince myself to buy another car without rear doors and did not want every 16yo kid honking at me at a stop light to race them... so Si was out ..
Now the Regular Civic and Mazda3 remain.
Let me Start with the Mazda3 as I drove it first.
I love the styling.. inside and out the Mazda gives you the sense you are getting top value for your money.. it does not look cheap anywhere and looks better than most midsizes, let alone compacts.
Then the tech and engineering stuff. For those that do not know Mazda3, 2nd generation Focus, and the small Volvos were co-developed in Germany. Ford provided the awesome Focus supension (which Honda Copied into the Civic and VW into the new Jetta and Rabbit). Mazda provided the 4cylinder MZR/Duratec engine - the original structure comes from Cosworth race engine, but Mazda id the bulk of the work. Finally Volvo was in charge of safety and chasis stiffness. . then they parted and finished their products to their liking.
The Focus supension shines on this car.. the Chasis is nicely stiff and the car carries very well through turns.. it is a little stiff on bumps.. but then.. I am a 20something male.. I do not care.
Then the engine.. it has very nicely flat torque curve that keeps you going no matter where on the rev spectrum you are.. I was impressed with the low end pickup.. plus the car is very quiet, unless you rev it up to over 5k when you will notice the engine. Then the shifter.. I test drove many cars, including Outback etc.. and Mazda's shifter (manual) is just amazingly smooth and precise.. it is not as nice as the MTX75 Ford mounts in the Focus.. but it is a very nice shifter..
overall I had no gripes with the car.. loved the styling, loved the fatures especially top end options like Xenons and TPMS etc.. and because it has been around for a while I could buy used... but I still went and drove the Civic.. it is after all Civic .. the longstanding compact class benchmark.
First of all.. I do not hate hte looks.. it is not as performance looking etc. but it is a very efficient design.. and I like efficiency.. I also do not mind the dash.. I am from Europe and I am used to non-tradiitonal dashes.. also I liked the ergonomics. .where the shifter was in relation to my arm and the steering wheel.. it was a nice snug fit for me.
However.. the engine was somewhat of a dissapointment.. I knew this is honda, so the action will be up top, but there was by far not enough noise insulation from the engine.. and the gearing was off.. the car definitely needs a 6th gear for cruiting (I mean .. the Mazda also has avery low 5th.. I wish for 6th evcery time I am on a HWY, but the civic was much worse) combined with the lack of sound deadening, the high revs would make for a very very annoying hwy cruises (I drive Philly to Cleveland regularly)... however the shifter was very impressive.. I could actually say it was better than Mazda's ... a little shorter throws probably made all the difference, but I still liked it quite a bit...
now it came to the decision... and then, simply the engine noice and improper gearing for my use was the dealbreaker... I just hate noise from the car - and of course the Mazda is not church quiet, but was quieter than the civic.
So in the end.. I am driving a 2004 certicifed Mazda3s sedan with every option except for the leather and navigation (and ATX) for $17k ... I have put 6k miles on it already had no issues at all...
The car holds up great...I just got a couple squeaks as it got warm, but nothing a stop at the dealer won't fix
I have average 27mpg.. mostly city. Driving HWY 85-90mph I get 28-29mpg.. my record is 35mpg. Around city I never fall under 20 usually am about 25mpg.
Now I know there is a poster here talking about 40mpg on his V6 Accord.. may be.. but I know there are plenty of the new Civics with mileage issues... before my decision I read the forums left and right and know both of these cars have a couple of bad apples with bad mileage, and some with longer than expected break in ... so please do not assume that because 2 V6 accords have awesome mileage an 06 civic will have it too..
the Civic will have better mileage than the Mazda3, however.. especially if you would get the 2.3l engine.. that is just simple law of physics.. it is nearly impossible for a 2.3l engine to match a well done 1.8l engine.
This is a very long post so I will end.. but please go drive both.. compare the numbers and options and decide based on your impressions.. both of these are excellent cars (they are not the ones fighting for the title of "class benchmark" by being mediocre).
Mazda does not suffer at all by its relationship with Ford.. one needs to realize that Ford Motor Company produces some of the best and most reliable cars on the roads outside US.. only the North American Ford has quality and reliability issues.. and Ford NA was nowhere near the development of Mazda3.
Also the Civic is more than just another Civic.. I previosly disliked Civics.. when I bought my focus, I drove the previous generation civic and disliked it quite a bit. But this is a much improved generation..
Go drive them and compare them on the facts, not opinions of online posters.. most of them are just trying to further justify their decision.. not directly help you.
#705 of 1341 Re: Mazda 3 tranny... [audia8q]
May 01, 2006 (6:50 am)
Yes I go a digital Gauge in my S2000 and I gues they are targeting old buyers since my age is twice the normal S2000 buyer.
However what I don't like is red guages with fairly small characters that are hard to see!
Just checked with a name like Audia8Q I thought you might have a Audi. I wonce had an Audi and I made a whole lot of new friends: Audi service manager, Audi service Consultants, Audi technicians. They all knew me on a first name basis.
Too each his own, see yah top-down weather,
#706 of 1341 Re: A mazda3 owner who thought about Civic [igor2]
May 01, 2006 (8:34 am)
very interesting post.
From what I have read, the Euro spec Ford Focus is really kick a$$. Great handling, style, and performance. I believe there is a Focus with 300hp out in Europe now?
Glad to hear you are happy with your purchase.
#707 of 1341 Re: A mazda3 owner who thought about Civic [aviboy97]
May 01, 2006 (12:22 pm)
I am actually in the US now and owned a US spec Focus..
but the C1 Focus in Europe is a kicking machine. the ST has a 5cylinder turbo with 250hp and some 265 ft/lb torque.
It is a truly amazing driving machine that I wish we had here..
Really the global (non US) Focus can serve as an example how different Ford NA is from FoMoCo...
May 01, 2006 (3:06 pm)
I DROVE THE MAZDA 3 AND HONDA CIVIC ON A COURSE. IF YOU TAKE A BASE MAZDA 3 S AND COMPARE TO A CIVIC EX. THE CIVIC WILL TAKE IT ANY DAY. I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU EVEN TEST THE GRAND TOURING MODEL AGAINST AN EX CIVIC. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE BIGGER WHEELS WILL GIVE YOU ANY CAR BETTER TRACTION ON A COURSE. YOU SHOULD PUT A HONDA SI ON THE TRACK AND COMPARE TO THE 3 GRAND TOURING. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME PRICE RANGE. AND SPEEKING OF PRICE RANGE. YOU SAID THAT IF YOU TOOK THE MOONROOF AND SOME OTHER THING AWAY IT WOULD ONLY BE A THOUSAND MORE. THAT IS CRAZY, BECAUSE YOU WOULD HAVE A HONDA CIVIC LX. WHICH IS ONLY 18K AND THAT IS WITH THE NEW PRICE INCREASE. THAT WAS NOT IN AFFECT WHEN YOU DID THE TEST. JUST FACE IT MAZDA IS NOT COMPARABLE TO CIVIC PRICE RIDE OR QUALITY. WE KNOW THAT SAFETY MAZDA IS WAY OFF THE CHART IN SAFETY. 4 STAR FRONTAL CRASH TEST AND 3 STAR SIDE IMPACT. THAT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.
#709 of 1341 Re: HONDA VS MAZDA [aleeycattt]
May 01, 2006 (3:57 pm)
Oh boy....where to begin. I don't really see where the base Mazda3 S Vs the Honda Civic EX road challenge goes to the Civic. Every piece of literature out there say's other wise, as well as almost every Honda Civic/Mazda3 owner can say the Mazda3 out performs the Civic.
The Honda Civic has 16" wheels, as does the base Mazda3. Not to mention the 20 more horses that the Mazda3 has. 17" tires are not going to equate to "stomping" the Honda Civic in Edmunds road test. It's the total package. Handling/acceleration all go to Mazda. I don't see how you came up with you conclusion. Must be Honda bias.
Also, if the Civic and Mazda3 are equipped equally, the price is basically the same.
The only somewhat correct thing you mentioned was safety. The ratings are not great. But, they were not tested w/ side airbags..not saying it would have done better in the tests, but, it could not have hurt.
#710 of 1341 Re: HONDA VS MAZDA [aviboy97]
May 01, 2006 (4:10 pm)
SAB have huge impact on side impact rating...
and to the OP ofthis rant.. I love the Si.. but the GT is no comparison to the Si. .the GT is no performance model.. the performance model is the coming Mazdasopeed3 with 260hp... that should be a cake for the Si to take on the the trasck right?
people are silly... Si asside, the Civic has some crucial shortcomings and the engine and suspension are the two bigest ones.
#711 of 1341 Re: HONDA VS MAZDA [aleeycattt]
May 01, 2006 (5:25 pm)
Holy moly, this guy is either really daft, is flat out lying or a Honda dealer!!! I drove them both and none of what you say is true. In fact, you are completely at odds with ALL of the reviews and 90% of the review rags are generally Honda worshippers. The Mazda drives circles around it.
You have a valid point about the safety ratings, but as others have mentioned, Mazda was tested without the side airbags (which doesn't speak well for them). However, I feel pretty good knowing that the suspension is part-Ford design and the chassis is mostly Volvo and I trust their safety reputation more than anyone else.
After seeing so so many slanted reviews about the wonders of Hondas, I don't put it past any of these rags and raters to have Honda in their pockets. Besides, when I commute to work amongst the zillion SUV's and even tractor trailers, I don't think either of these compacts is going to save my ass. I feel better knowing my car has nimble handling, quick response and sharp braking. The Mazda won all of these hands down.
The Honda handled corners like my prior SUV, a little sloppy and swaying and the brakes felt like mashed potatoes. The Mazda was closer to the Si or the Acura TSX but for $4k and $10k cheaper respectively.
I'm not bashing Honda. The Civic is a great car for under $20k and Honda makes great products in general. I am however, bashing your review as it was flat out ridiculous!!!
#712 of 1341 Re: HONDA VS MAZDA [aleeycattt]
May 01, 2006 (6:21 pm)
another troll warning ---- join date May 1st .. this is his/her only post.