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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I haven't owned a Honda in a LOOOONG time. Last was a 91 Accord LX. Never owned a Mazda or Mitsu. Here's how I see it, I should be able to get any of these 3 into the low to mid 30s on the highway without even trying. Even the Mazdaspeed3 can do low 30s on the freeway. The Honda has the most HP but you have to get on it to get it. Not really a big deal since that will help with in town mileage. The Mitsu is brand new and I'm not 100% sold on the nose. The Mazda has been wiping it's ass with the Civic well, Si vs Mazdaspeed3 anyway. The Mazda3 is only about a grand less than the Civic and the Mitsu is about $3K less than the Civic but only makes 143HP with CA emissions. :thumbdown .

So basically:
Civic - Most expensive, most horsepower
Mazda3 - less expensive, less power, more "goodies" like HIDs, rain sensing wipers, etc
Lancer - least expensive, least power, biggest, lots of "goodies"

I haven't driven any of them yet but am looking for observations from those that have.

Oh, and I'm looking at the sedan version of all 3 of these.

Thanks all.
 

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It all depends what you want...

If you want Reliability and performance: Get the civic.

If you want Looks: Get the Mazda.

If you want less reliability and something Ugly: get the Lancer...

Thats just my opinion...

I work at my dads shop and I can deffinitly vouch for Honda.

We have had over 10 Honda's in our family and so far the most reliable ones we have ever had...

There hard to break and easy to fix.

Mazda's get annoying and expensive to work on.

And Mits~ Are not that reliable from personal experience.

Just my $0.03

Also a coworker of mine has a Mazda 3.. Its definatly nice looking but he regret's buying it... He said that the car got old fast and he wants to get rid of it asap.

I have never heard much negative feedback on the civic's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can afford the Mazdaspeed3, but like I said, I don't really want another hatchback right now. Plus it's got MAD tourque steer. The Civic is really looking like where I want to go but now I just have to decide between 2 or 4 doors. The sedan would be easier to get the girls in and out of since the "entry" option is only on the pass side seat in the coupe.
 

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I've driven the latest Si and a Mazda 3 2.3.

A few minor interior trim pieces that seem cheap aside, I'd pick the Mazda in a heartbeat. The Honda still drives like a Honda with the quick reflexes and all that jazz, and I like the power after the VTEC changeover, but the Mazda is more of a "grownup's" car and is no dog in its own right. The controls of the Mazda are smoother, the shifter is good (but not quite as good as the Honda's) and the car is also quieter. The road noise in the Honda is a real turnoff.

I do not care for the Spaceman Spiff interior of the Honda, either, although it works just fine.
 

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If you are transporting more than one passenger definitely get the 4 door. Two doors can be really annoying.
 

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Punches Dubs. True Story
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If I had my druthers, I'd own a 4dr Civic Si as my commuter. (That would be hauling me, the wife and the baby 50mi round trip, daily.) Hell, even with the Passat and a brand new minivan, I still bring up the idea of the Si to the wifey now and again.

I've driven the Mazda3 and, honestly, seriously, I just wasn't impressed.

I've got no opinion/experience with the Mitsu.

...

I think the point was made once before, but the Hondas are cheap and easy to maintain. Like hella cheap and easy. I haven't stuck my head into the engine bay on the newer models, but in both my old Civic and my 6G Accord, I could have all but climbed in there without so much as disturbing a single piece.

Lots and lots of aftermarket support, too. (Then again, all of the little Japanese cars have some goodies around.)
 

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Just get a 4 door SI.

Honda's are great cuz you can race the crap out of them and then in 100k miles you service it and then keep racing the crap out of it...

But around 300k miles it might start to smoke...

And then you have to waste $500 to fix it...

(personal experience)
 

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The only Mazda 3 I've driven is the Mazdaspeed3 but if the 2.3 drives similarly (and I don't know that it does) I'd go with the '3'. Seems like a nice package. I was impressed by the Mazdaspeed version.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've driven the latest Si and a Mazda 3 2.3.

A few minor interior trim pieces that seem cheap aside, I'd pick the Mazda in a heartbeat. The Honda still drives like a Honda with the quick reflexes and all that jazz, and I like the power after the VTEC changeover, but the Mazda is more of a "grownup's" car and is no dog in its own right. The controls of the Mazda are smoother, the shifter is good (but not quite as good as the Honda's) and the car is also quieter. The road noise in the Honda is a real turnoff.

I do not care for the Spaceman Spiff interior of the Honda, either, although it works just fine.
Yeah, I'm still going to drive both and see which one I really like. I'm not too concerned with road noise because any car I go with will be HEAVILY Dynamatted. :D Thanks for the heads up though. I wouldn't have thought the Si would have a road noise problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you are transporting more than one passenger definitely get the 4 door. Two doors can be really annoying.
Once my wife moves to Spain I'll be hauling out 7 and 10 year olds around. And they're the only reason I'm looking at the sedans. :lol:
 

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I'm getting close to pulling a trigger on a 3 (S Grand Touring 4-door).

Like you mentioned, it was the 'goodies' (HIDs, etc.) that got me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just get a 4 door SI.

Honda's are great cuz you can race the crap out of them and then in 100k miles you service it and then keep racing the crap out of it...

But around 300k miles it might start to smoke...

And then you have to waste $500 to fix it...

(personal experience)

And those are some VERY good points. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm getting close to pulling a trigger on a 3 (S Grand Touring 4-door).

Like you mentioned, it was the 'goodies' (HIDs, etc.) that got me.
Honestly having owned HIDs, I'm not that impressed. Well not enough to buy a car I otherwise don't really like but I'll have more solid opinions once I drive them.
 

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Here's a relative well done comparo:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=5206

I drove the Mazdaspeed3 while I was at the Mazda dealer to look at an rx-8. I was impressed by how fast it pulls even at low rpm. It easily kicks the a** of the more expensive rx-8. The quality of the interior was good too, although not as nice as the rx-8. I found the suspension a bit mushy, but that's something easily improved. I hear you can get it to 300Hp with little mods.
 

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Get the Mazda. Fun little car, and is the nicest looking car on your list. And it will exceed that, if you have your way with it like you did with the Passat. It's pretty quick, too.
 

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Paul, Honda is very dependable. I've had 2 of them. Loved them. But Wait till you drive and see which if more fun to drive. You don't wanna get something then get totally bored of it. Still gotta have some fun.
 

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It seems that you want to get a new car to save few bucks at the pump, but is it really worth selling the passat for few MPGs? With your car you get about ~27MPG (so you said).... 14 gallons at the pump every 4 days adds up to 1260 gallons per year, at ~$3.50 a gallon of 91 you're spending about $4400 on gas per year. If you get a new car, like lancer or Mazda, you will get about ~32 MPG (so you’re hoping, since the 08 lancer gets 29mpg according to EPA). That's about 15.6% saving in MPG, so in a year you will burn about 1060 gallons of 87 gas at ~$3.20 (since you can) so you will be spending about $3400 on gas per year, that's $1000 saving. Now you will be able to sell your Passat for about $14k (according to kbb, wagon with 60k miles), since you took a really good care of it (I don’t know the mileage tho). You will drive off the lot with your new lancer or Mazda for ~$18k after taxes, registration and dealer fees. So, you will have to drive that car for at least 4 years at the same rate you drive right now just to break even. Knowing you, after 4 years you will be looking for a new car, so you probably wont ever break even, especially if you count in the depreciation value etc.. If you have a loan and you’re sitting upside down on your loan, than it will take even longer to break even. Unless you can get the Air Force to pay for your car, in which case thats sweet and I give you thumbs up.

Since you wont be saving much money at the pump, maybe you should get yourself something more fun/expensive or just keep the Passat.
 
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