Last post on Nov 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM
You are in the Mazda3
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda MAZDA3, Sedan
#1 of 879 Civic vs. Corolla vs. Mazda3
Jul 10, 2005 (5:03 pm)
I just graduated from college and will be moving from California up to Seattle, Washington to work full-time. Although I've had my license for a few years, I did not drive much during college as I didn't have a car. Now, I'm looking to buy a new car.
The basic attributes I'm looking for are along the lines of a small to mid-sized 4-door sedan with good mileage and an out-the-door price tag of less than $17,500. After a lot of research, I've boiled it down to the Civic, the Corolla, and the Mazda3.
Since I haven't been driving much, I'm not sure how important a car with good performance and "exciting" drivability like the Mazda3 would be. To me, it seems like the Corolla is the safest bet, with good fuel economy, decent power, good safety ratings, and high resale value. I'm just hesistant that if I decide on a Corolla or a Civic, I will look back a few months from now, while driving my "boring" car, that I had chosen a Mazda3 instead.
Do any of you have any suggestions, opinions, or insights for my particular situation? Also, are there any good, authoritative resources online that can help me compare these cars? So far, I've been using sites like Yahoo and Vehix to compare the vehicles. It would really be great to find some road test results for mileage, safety tests, etc. for each of the cars.
For reference, the cars and the respective trims that I've been looking at is here: http://autos.yahoo.com/newcars/comparison/results.html?pagetitle=overview&carid0=16358&car- id1=14972&carid2=16114
Thanks for the help!
#2 of 879 Re: Civic vs. Corolla vs. Mazda3 [pmc255]
Jul 10, 2005 (5:23 pm)
If you dont mind pay at MSRP and wait for another 2 months, the best bet would be 2006 Civic (DX)! It is gonna has the best fuel economy in class, decent engine, many standard features like ABS, SAB, VSC...
#3 of 879 an idea
Jul 10, 2005 (7:48 pm)
I was looking at both the Mazda 3s and Honda Civic EX (Wife really wanted the moonroof-and it's the only one with the moonroof)--
Personally I really liked the Mazda 3s (160HP) pick up speed, which the Civic lacks (8-*(. The seats are more sport on the Mazda (So in other words--it's not as comfortable as the Civic>)--I 'm used to that since I'm currently driving a Bimmer. The wife liked the Civic better due to the seat comfort, gas mileage and it was roughly $2000 less.
Honda Civic EX (Has everything you need)_-Around $15,700-$16000 + Taxes..etc
Mazda 3s(AUTO)_-around $ 18,000 + Taxes--also there is a rebate of $500 out there if you search for it..
At the end we got the Civic--Great resale value, gas mileage, safe--a all around winner.
Jul 13, 2005 (7:11 am)
You need to go test drive all three cars -
I tested all three of the cars on your short list - and went with the Mazda3.
But the Civic was a close second. My wife really liked the looks of the Corolla S - but we knew 50 feet into the test drive the Corolla was out - the sound it makes when you first take off - BRRrrrBRRrrrBRRrrr - it does quiet down once you get going - and since it is the top seller it must not bother most people - but that is why you need to go see for yourself.
If I were you I would also go take a look at the Cobalt & Focus - you can get very good deals on these cars right now - and even if you don't want one it will give you a better point of reference.
#5 of 879 Funny you should recommend the Cobalt Bill ...
Jul 13, 2005 (7:14 am)
If you go over to that discussion right now you'll see a bunch of Cobalt A/C complaints!!!
#6 of 879 mdaffron
Jul 13, 2005 (8:57 am)
Not really recommending the Cobalt - I have never driven one - just saying it is a good idea to test drive a few cars before you buy - this would be the case for any buyer - but maybe even more so if the person has limited driving experience.
Although talking with car sales people may not be on the top of many peoples list of fun things to do - if you understand they are just trying to do their job its not really that bad - and it would be good practice saying NO THANKS a few times - before you really get serious about buying.
I also know from experience - you can negotiate a better deal (lower price) when you can get a car from another company for a lower price - if you happen to say to the Mazda sales person - "Just drove a Focus ZX5 / nice car / think it fits my needs - thought I would give the Mazda3 Hatch a quick test before I make my final decision" and then before you start talking about pricing say "did you know I can get a new Focus ZX5 with an MSRP of $15,325 for only $11,437 - (which is actually true)" - not that Mazda will just roll over and agree to the same price - but they will move quicker to give you a lower price than if they think you are set on only buying a Mazda3. Is the Mazda3 really worth $5-$6K more than a Focus? Hard to tell if you don't drive one before you buy.
Maybe I am a little bit of a FREAK - I kind of like test driving different cars - even if I know that the chance of buying it is small - its still kind of nice to know what the other companies are selling.
I don't follow the Cobalt board - how many Cobalt owners are complaining about AC problems? Is it MORE or LESS than the Mazda3? Is GM doing anything to solve the issue or are they pulling a "Mazda" (you know tell the customer its normal for the AC to not cool the car)
#7 of 879 Re: pmc255 [z71bill]
Jul 13, 2005 (10:12 am)
Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. I'm actually going test-driving today.
Are the Cobalt and Focus on par with these Japanese cars though? Since it's my first car, I'm leaning toward a Japanese brand just for their reputations of being more reliable. But aside from that, the Cobalt and Focus seem to have similarly powerful engines and fuel efficiency as the Mazda3. And it also helps that there's the whole employee discount deal going on right now.
By the way, is it advisable to wait for the '06 model of a car to come out before buying an '05 model? I've heard that once the '06 comes out, the dealerships will start slashing prices on '05 models. Not sure if that's true in all cases. And I only know that the '06 Civic is coming out in November, and I'm not sure about the Corolla or the Mazda3.
#8 of 879 Topic ...
Jul 13, 2005 (10:16 am)
Let's be mindful of the topic here please, which does not include the Cobalt. I'm sure any questions about what is being discussed there can be answered by visiting it.
In any case, trying to use any internet discussion to judge what car statistically has more problems in one or more areas than another is an exercise in complete futility. There are no statistical controls over the sample, obviously. Do some research on what sort of statistical input is needed to produce a reliable statistical outcome if you want to understand what kinds of surveys are reliable and what are not.
Let's stick to comparing your personal thoughts and opinions about the Civic and the Corolla and the Mazda3 here - thanks.
#9 of 879 My thoughts
Jul 13, 2005 (11:13 am)
First off, if you are comparing these you have to be looking at similar models. The ones I was looking at are the Mazda 3s, Civic EX and the Corolla XRS. All of these come base with most of the conveniences that you would be looking for. If you want to even out the price as the Mazda is cheaper just add the moon roof package.
Your comparison at Yahoo was not quite fare as the Civic you chose was $2k more than the Mazda 3i and Corolla. The only real suggestion I can make is to go to all the car web sites (Car & Driver, Automobile Mag, Road & Track) and do a search for each one of the vehicles and read their reviews and see which sounds best to you then go test drive them and see if you agree with the experts assessment.
I was coming from a Nissan 240SX so the choice was clear for me once I drove the cars. It had to be the Mazda. The other two were just too bland and they did not respond when you tried to push them a little bit. Though I was buying before the XRS came out and the Corolla S just did not compare.
Another note on engine power. The Corolla XRS has more horse power than the Mazda 3s but much less torque. This means that you have to be up at 4-5000 RPM before you will see the power. Thus (I love that word) the Mazda will have a lot more low end grunt. But this is typical of Toyota engines.
My final thoughts are that if you want something to just get you around town and get great gas mileage get the Civic and think about the LX. If you want something that will be a blast to drive get the Mazda 3s. And if you want something in between think about the Mazda 3i.
PS I just feel that Toyota is too proud of their cars and thus (there is that word again) they are over priced.
PPS While I love my 04 Mazda 3s, my wife is very happy with her 01 Civic LX. It is just a difference of driving style and feel. (Though my wife with her lead foot would have way too many speeding tickets in my car)
#10 of 879 Not enough head-room in Corolla
Jul 13, 2005 (11:16 am)
We've been trying to decide between the Corolla LE, Mazda3i Sedan and the Civic EX (all equipped with a moonroof), and we ruled out the Corolla very early on because it does not have enough head-room. I'm 6 feet tall, and my head touches the ceiling in the Corolla even with the seat adjusted all the way down. In addition to that, the steering wheel is too far away when I adjust the seet for adequate leg-room.
In deciding between the Mazda3i Sedan and Civic EX Sedan, it came down to our test drive impressions. The Mazda was the clear winner in handling, quiet ride and overall driving feel. The one thing my wife did not like about it was the "rough ride" in city driving. The Civic did everything well but was not outstanding in any one area except for fuel economy. The other big advantage for the Civic was reliability and resale value.
The deciding factor turned out to be the weak air conditioning in the Mazda. We test drove it on a 93 degree day for about 30 minutes, and the car never totally cooled down. By the way, the build date on this particular car was May, 2005. Since this was the only Mazda3i in the Cincinnati area that was equipped with ABS and moonroof, we decided to get the Civic EX. We pick it up Friday. By the way, the Civic's air conditioning cooled the car down in less than five minues.