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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'd like some opinions on my predicament here: I'd greatly appreciate it.

As many of you know, my Civic Si has given me next to nothing but headache since it hit 10,000 miles. My transmission regularly pops out of third gear, grinds into 3rd, or refuses to engage third. It jolts and bucks when you take it above a few thousand RPM until it is warmed up, effectively making it impossible to drive. The seats and arm rests are worn and discolored white despite constant care and I've had over a dozen rattles fixed and they just keep coming. The windshield cowl and windshield wiper arm were both replaced under warranty due to peeling/chipping, respectievly, as was the subwoofer, for a tinny rattle.

Last week, I went to start the car, and got an electrical buzzing sound in place of my motor turning over. That was all she wrote, as far as I'm concerned. The car has 20,000 miles on it and they've been utterly babied.

While I was at the Honda dealer for 6 hours on Friday, I went down and looked at the Mazda dealership. They had a brand new (>50 miles) 2008 Madza3 s GT sedan in Aurora Blue Metallic. It was the top of the line Grand Touring model, and comes with xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, aux. jack, moonroof, Bose sound system, electroluminescent gauges, 17" rims, black heated leather, and LED taillights.

They only want $19,300 for it, as they're making way for the 2008.5 models, which replaced the silver interior trim with piano black trim, and put lit vanity mirrors in place of non-lit ones. They also discontinued Aurora Blue Metallic.

I test drove it. It was a five speed manual. Didn't really want another stick, but the car itself sold me. I'm ready to get my Si appraised for a trade and dumping it. It's a damn shame. I love how my car looks and drives, but if I've had this many issues with it now, and had such a bitter customer service battle with Honda dealers and Honda Corporate, how is it going to be at 36,000 miles when my warranty runs out (oh wait, 38 something: the odometer class action recall added it...).

What do you guys know about the Mazda3. I know it has been recommended by Edmunds for years. I figured it being a 2008 is good, as they've had 4 years to work out the kinks. The gas mileage leaves something to be desired, but that's life. Any thoughts, opinions, experiences with the car?
 

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Over the winter, the gas mileage in my car was absolutely sucking. So I flirted with the idea of getting a new car. After crunching the numbers, I would have lost money, but the bug kept biting me. I looked at a bunch of cars online and looked at a few in person (these were used cars, by the way). My first choice was a Mazda 3. They are great little cars. They look great, drive great, and are built well.

Mileage wise, they are not best in class. Actually, when I was mulling over cars, I considered a Civic because they get very good mileage, but your post reminded me it was good for me to do nothing more than to sit in a Civic ;). Mazda 3's do not get the best mileage in their class, but the car has many other positives.

Lucky for me my car's mileage improved significantly since it has been above 40 degrees. Though, I still keep a wandering eye with how high gas prices have risen.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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Don't trade the Civic, unless the dealer will give you the private party value of the car, sell it yourself. No point in giving up money like that.
 

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Mazda3s are really, really reliable. Most 3 owners seem to be very satisfied with their cars.

On a similar note, there hasn't been a single thing wrong with my Mazda5 so far. My 5 has 42k on the odo.

Thumbs up for new-gen Mazdas.


Browse around http://www.Mazda3forums.com and do some research before you spend your hard-earned money on a new car.

P.S. There's a way to activate trip computer for free if your new Mazda3 doesn't have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the support and comments guys, keep them coming.

I'll see if I can't sell the Si outright. It's kinda hard here, I think. The market isn't really there. The car isn't all that fantastic in the winter and it drives even worse in the winter, what with the cold start issues (jerking and lurching and heaving, as well as a problematic tranny when it is cold).

What do people seem to think about the price of that Mazda 3s GT? It was $19,300 sticker. That's considerably under MSRP!

I know it's still not a domestic guys, and I feel bad, but the new Cobalt isn't out yet, and the Astra's lack of a few features I'm not willing to give up put it out for me.
 

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The 3 is a fantastic car. If you dump the Civic, i bet you (almost) never look back. They are solid, reliable, and fun to drive. If I was in the market for a new car, i'd be hard pressed to consider anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 3 is a fantastic car. If you dump the Civic, i bet you (almost) never look back. They are solid, reliable, and fun to drive. If I was in the market for a new car, i'd be hard pressed to consider anything else.
I feel the exact same way. There is only one thing holding me back from the Mazda3, and that is my ego. I think the Mazda3 is a beautiful car, but I doubt I'll be getting looks on the car like I did with my Fiji Blue Pearl Si. It had two doors, and I still get compliments from almost every single person I meet at a red light or at the gas station. I truly love the look and feel of the car, but I can't seem to shake the problems.

I know sometimes you have to sacrifice something for the better, but damn it, they never tell you it's so hard!

Sounds like a solid choice. But are you looking for a chick magnet?
Well, maybe not chick magnet, but...haha.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the sex appeal of my Firebird, and I can already feel I'm going to sorely miss it with the Si.
 

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The Mazda is great, the people I know that have them love them, and they are definitely good cars. If I was looking at the Civic and the Mazda, there would be no way I'd buy the Honda.
 

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Well, maybe not chick magnet, but...haha.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the sex appeal of my Firebird, and I can already feel I'm going to sorely miss it with the Si.
Oh right. It's so hard to track everyone's preferences on this board. Then yeah, Mazda3. Though, I've heard the current GTI is fairly stellar and the boards seem to indicate a quantum leap in quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Right, but you also have to take into consideration that I'm not swapping the Civic Si for a MazdaSpeed 3. I'm moving down the horsepower and performance to something that is supposed to be competing with the R18, 140 horsepower Civic.

And I can't begin to wonder why I would get an Astra, when, even fully equipped, has far less than the Mazda3 I'm looking at, which is actually cheaper than a decked out Astra.

I'd be getting Xenon, heated leather, a sunroof, premium sound, LED tailights, an aux jack, the option for satellite radio, and rain sensing wipers. The Astra has some of those, but not the ones I'm looking for. Oh yeah, and cupholders. And a center armrest. Looking for those too.
 

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Then the regular Rabbit. I'd drive one just for comparison. No one is going to say that the car you're looking at isn't a killer of a deal. But buying a new car is more than just the dollars and cents. Just poke around some and see what's out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Then the regular Rabbit. I'd drive one just for comparison. No one is going to say that the car you're looking at isn't a killer of a deal. But buying a new car is more than just the dollars and cents. Just poke around some and see what's out there.
I think the Rabbit looks really cheap on the outside. The inside is pretty nice, but I've heard a lot of bad things about VWs. I know not to believe everything you hear (look at my exp. with Honda), but I can't afford, metaphorically or actually, to buy another lemon.
 

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Then the regular Rabbit. I'd drive one just for comparison. No one is going to say that the car you're looking at isn't a killer of a deal. But buying a new car is more than just the dollars and cents. Just poke around some and see what's out there.
I don't own (and have never owned) a VW because I actually hang out at VWVortex way too much.

If you see VW owners constantly make fun of how unreliable their cars are and how poorly their dealerships treat them, then it's pretty much a subtle sign to stay far, far away from VW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have you actually test driven anything yet, MIN?
I have. I test drove a Mazda 3s GT in both a stick and an autobox. I thought both were acceptable. The one I am looking at is the 5 speed manual, though. I really love the Aurora Blue Mica, and there are no automatic s GT models around here left and the color is discontinued.

I test drove a Civic EX-L coupe, but I got a queasy feeling in my stomach and though, "Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on ME." I'm very upset with the way Honda of America has treated me and my friends on the quality issues of the Civic, and the level of disdain they showed for us.

Customer service and manners are paramount when it comes to dealing with me. I'd pay more at a local co-op if I knew I would be treated well there. Never in my life haev I dealt with such horrid customer service. I finally got a good Honda dealer, but they're running out of energy fixing my car, and I'm sick and tired of having TO fix my new car.

I was very, very impressed with the Mazda3, even coming from an Si. It handled exceptionally well, the visibility wasn't bad, and it was fun as hell to drive. The build seemed exceptional as well. The only thing that I wasn't impressed with was the Bose sound system. It left much to be desired.

For what it is worth, I test drove a Cobalt base model sedan back in 2005 and felt it was a very competent car. It was plenty zippy with an auto, drove very nicely, and had plenty of room. However, being so close to the remodel, I'd rather not get it, as I do like the Mazda3 more. The new Cobalt is sure to be very impressive, so we'll see when that time comes.
 

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For what it is worth, I test drove a Cobalt base model sedan back in 2005 and felt it was a very competent car. It was plenty zippy with an auto, drove very nicely, and had plenty of room. However, being so close to the remodel, I'd rather not get it, as I do like the Mazda3 more. The new Cobalt is sure to be very impressive, so we'll see when that time comes.
But...isn't the Mazda3 also close to a remodel?
 
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