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Looking for a mazda3 as a good compact car how good/reliable are these cars?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

Avertus

Im looking at a compact car to buy at the moment I want something thats ideally fun to drive, looks good, and is reliable. I know for example Toyota corolla is probably the most reliable but i find the looks and fun to drive aspect lacking in this car. Of course, this naturally brings the honda civic as the next competitor which im also considering against the mazda3. Ideally i like the mazda3 skyactive due to the deisgn. the 2nd generation mazda3 is a bit too weird looking for me and while the first gen is nice looking its a bit old at this point so im looking at a car no more than 8 years old that I can get for 10-11k. Ideally no more than 10k is what i'd be willing to buy. Something about the mazda3 really draws me in and the brand in general especially with the efforts and the redisign they've been doing with the skyactiv line. i just can't help but find it impressive and drawn into its like they combine european style with japanese reliability. WHich begs the best question what do you guys think about mazda3? is it a reliable car? Does it make sense to buy over the honda civic? Comments or thoughts would be appreicated.

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 60000
Maximum age: 8 years

Maximum price: US $ 11000

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Response from AcuraT

12:37 pm May 14, 2020

Both the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 are more sporty than a Toyota Corolla, no question. Both are also fairly reliable as well. The 2016 remodel of the Civic was not troublefree as they made many chnages to the car and there have been reports of fuel pump issues, climate system issues, and some electrical issues. Consumer Reports notes it as well over those years. Older cars (pre 2016) are stellar in reliabilty in comparison with no real trouble spots at all. So if you go 2013-2015 which is also in your price range you should do pretty well.

Regarding the Mazda 3, it is the most sporty of the japanese brands. There is a reason their old comercials were "Zoom Zoom" and it has to do with their handling and responsiveness. From 2011 to 2013 there were few problems but they are pretty old. Another redeisgn in 2014 caused some drive system (transmission) issues so avoid that one year. However from 2015 to 2018 they are solid cars as well. Some have electronics issues but besides that they are very reliable.

So if you want an older car, I would go with the Civic on reliablity - newer, the Mazda. Both brands for those years are in your price range so it depends on what you want - but I would focus on 2013-2015 for the Honda and 2015 to 2018 on the Mazda (I know the newer ones are probably out of your price range, but 2015-2016 probably would work for you).

Best of luck.

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Response from Sea-Dan

3:26 pm May 14, 2020

Either of these cars a good choices. I agree with AcuraT, but will add a couple of thoughts.

The Civic will not be too far off the M3 for handling but M3 is the leader there. For miles per gallon, the Honda wins as does spaciousness. But the M3 hatch is a good choice if you want some extra cargo space.Both cars have quite a bit of road noise.

Good luck in your shopping -- it is more complicated these days! We would love to hear about your final decision

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Response from LectroFuel

6:59 pm May 14, 2020

Both of my sons have a Mazda3 - a 2015 i Touring Sedan and a 2017 GT Hatch. Both have been reliable in online ratings and from our personal experience. The 2017 has some rattles in it and the sunroof exploded while he was driving it. This happened a month after buying it CPO. Luckliy the shade was closed so the glass didn't get in the car. Both of the cars are fun to drive. I would look elsewhere if you prioritize ride comfort (stiff but not that bad), road noise (pretty loud), or back seat leg room. If you need to haul stuff get the hatch for sure. I would suggest going with a 2014-2018, though preferably not the 2014 because it might not be put together as well.

The Civic drives more like a European car in that it feels a little better put together. The ride is a little more comfortable and less bouncy, but still well-controlled, and the road noise is less pronounced in the Civic. The LX trim is not a great deal because it has the crappier infotainment system and less features than a low-mid-trim Mazda. I would recommend a 2016 or newer. 2016 had some problems though. These will be much more expensive than the Mazda3. 2012-2015 was not a great-driving car.

I wouldn't worry about the reliability in any of these cars. The 2014-2016 Mazda3 with the touchscreen has some problems with the infotainment system needing to be replaced. The Civic has some A/C problems in the 2016 model year. Those are the "major" problems if you can call them major.

Get whichever one you like more on a test drive. Either are good. We don't like the driving characteristics of the rubberbandy CVT in the Civic and the Mazda is cheaper when buying used, so that is why we went with the Mazdas. Fun to drive, looks good, and reliable are the characteristics of the Mazda3 and that is what you said you wanted.

We also have a 2014 Corolla S Premium, which manages to out-handle the Mazdas when it comes to grip because it has performance summer-tires on it. I wouldn't recommend that car unless you really plan to drive the car for a long time. Reliable, but very slow. The handling in the S trim is actually not terrible because of the wider tires. And the car looks pretty nice from the outside. We had the A/C compressor replaced and that is the only problem we have had. We are selling that car now. I would buy one of these over the 2012-2015 Civic, but not the Mazda3 or newer Civics.

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Mazda Mazda3
Honda Civic

Response from Avertus

7:49 pm May 14, 2020

AcuraT consumer reports says that the 2014 mazda3 is reliable and has no issues except for electrical issues with the infonteiment system. Honda civic seems like the better and safer choice but I like that the mazdas are actually made in japan as well. From what i can tell mazda is very reliable brand and lately has been put up there with toyota while honda has slipped in quality especially like you said with the new 2016 and up. I think 2015 mazda3 might be out of my price range but maybe 2014 is right there.

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