Author Topic: Civic to Mazda...  (Read 1495 times)

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Offline woodycivic

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Civic to Mazda...
« on: April 19, 2018, 03:43:35 PM »
Hi All,

I currently have a 2006 Civic 1.8 which i have owned for the past 5 years.

Its been the best car I have ever had, so so reliable and i love the looks too. However, it is beginning to show its age a little now (Soft Honda paint!) and will need some work doing when its next MOT time comes around (Next March). Another downside is the harsh ride which is beginning to get annoying, the 90k on the clock and tired suspension wont help either.

I'm currently saving and had the 9th generation civic in mind but then i noticed the Mazda 3's when on Autotrader so have now put them on the maybe list.

I've seen a few around where i live for between £5500 - £6500 and most are 2011/2012 Takuya 1.6 petrols. I know from looking that the spec is superb and comparing to the 9G civic in the same price bracket you get a lot more for your money (Most 9G Civics are SE spec which dont give you bluetooth, cruise control or heated seats).

Would i be disappointed in performance moving from a 1.8 Civic to a 1.6 Mazda 3?

Are there any particular issues I should look out for when viewing?

I currently get about 40mpg in summer and 35mpg in winter, would the same figures be true of a 1.6 petrol Mazda 3?

The one thing i have noticed on nearly all the Mazda 3's for sale is that the driver seat can shown creases in the bolsters. Has anyone successfully improved this by using a steam washer and iron over a towel/cloth? I must admit it does put me off a little as I am picky when it comes to car interiors and keep mine spotless.

Any advice is much appreciated  :)


Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 02:16:08 PM »
Hello,

I have the model you are looking at so I'll give you my thoughts.

First soft paint is also a Mazda thing so you'll be right at home!

I was looking at getting a Honda Civic FN 1.8 ES when I bought mine and I haven't regretted it so far.

Ride wise, it's firmer than some but well judged, so little body roll good handling but soft enough suspension to not be tiring.

Engine wise it isn't particularly charismatic or powerful but she does the job reasonably quietly and doesn't hammer the fuel:
http://www.fuelly.com/car/mazda/3/2011/stevenrb45/313462

Performance wise it feels better than on paper figures suggest if you don't mind putting the revs on to get up to the peak power and torque figures when you want to get a shift on. Otherwise entirely adequate for round the doors in my opinion and I've not encountered a motorway hill it couldn't hold 70 on the cruise on yet. Only times it's felt slow would be when doing multiple accelerations 0-70 for rounderbouts on the motorway or hitting steep hills in the Yorkshire moors. But I would say take a test drive as one man's ok is anothers Slow..

Things to look out for? Not really they tend to work reliably, my list in 4 years is one drop link. However I'd stick your hand around the lip of the rear arch and check it's not starting to bubble just in case (mine is round there grrr!)

The seats, they all do that don't know if anyone has actually done anything with it. Having looked at mine a few times I suspect the padding in the seat has been damaged by sliding in and out over the bolsters so any decreasing would be temporary.

Oh and totally forgot about a couple of bits of character that can be off putting on an initial test drive. First the 12mph clunk..at 12 mph you will hear a clunk which is the abs doing a self check. It should happen once per start up like clockwork. Second on cold start the variable length inlet gear can lead to quite a loud almost diesel like noise on pull away. It should not be audible at idle and should clear within 2 minutes on a cold day and pretty much immediately on a warm one.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 07:34:38 PM by StevenRB45 »

Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 08:19:00 PM »
I think, performance-wise, the 1.8 petrol Civic has the 1.6 Mazda3 licked, but only if you need to really get a move on.  By all accounts, the Civic's 1.8 petrol engine is both economical (for its size/output) as well as sprightly, essentially matching the mpg of the smaller-engined Mazda3.

On the other hand, the Mazda is the better handling car comparing the Civic mk9 to the Mazda3 mk1 or 2 (which is the one you're considering).  Apparently, the Civic mk9 doesn't handle as well as the mk8 as its more set up for comfort.  If you want that, don't look at cars with low profile tyres (45 profile and below) and larger rims (17in 'may' be ok, but 16in rims are better and the tyres cost a lot less to replace).

The Mazda will be the cheaper buy and cost less to maintain over its first 7-10 years if you get one that has been well looked after, but I suspect, in the longer term, the Honda will catch up due to its more resilient engineering, but that's for people owning cars well over 10yo.  You'll probably pay less (not that much) in insurance as well for the Mazda.  Your car is a good example of this.  My 12yo Mazda3 is now starting to show its age (wear and tear items, some not cheap, e.g. the ps pump), despite it only covering 64k miles, but has (touch wood) always passed its MOT since I bought it from new back in early 2006.

Its probably going to come down to what you like, looks-wise, driving dynamics/comfort and value for money.  Unless you're going to keep it until its well over 10yo, then they are about the same on reliability, for the preol engined cars at least.  For diesels, don't bother with the Mazda (in my view) - its Honda all the way on that score.  If you're doing low annual mileages (under 20k at least) or lots of start-stop short trips (under 5 miles), then petrol engined cars are always the way to go.  Modern diesels hate short trips and get very unreliable as a result.

Best of luck.

PS.  For far more unbiased reviews (if not done already), I'd visit www.honestjohn.co.uk - there's lots of test drives, reviews (including from actual owners who are members of the site, like me) and a members' forum like this one, where you can ask similar questions or on any car-related subject.  A couple of (honest and knowledgable) dealers frequent the forum, one of who highly recommends both these cars for value-for-money second-hand buys.  Its free and easy to join.  Not trying to lure people away from here, but you may find additional information of use to your decision-making process that you may not find here, especially as regards the Civic.

Offline woodycivic

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2018, 04:48:10 PM »
Many thanks to you both for such good, comprehensive replies.

My current 8G Civic is now 12 years old with 90k on the clock. It passed its MOT in March but before next years MOT it will need new rear discs and pads plus 2 new front suspension arms as the bushes are beginning to deteriorate. It will also potentially need a new starter motor as during the winter on cold mornings this was beginning to stick. New discs and pads are £150 fitted, new suspension arms £260 and a new starter motor without fitting is £300 so you can see why i think the time is right to change cars. The CD player no longer works either and the radio has a mind of its own and randomly looses stations now and again. As I said earlier, its been the best car I have owned and absolutely a reliable motor, hense my initial response when asked what i want next was a 9G Civic. These are currently about £1k outside my budget and the more i look at them the more im not 100% happy with how they look, id say my 8G is much better to look at and the 9G is a step back for me, certainly the pre facelift versions (I believe in 2015 they were given a makeover and look much better).

Reducing power and engine size to a 1.6 isnt too much of a concern to me, with a 3 year old in the car with me 90% of the time im not one to go racing about as much as in my younger days :D

I have owned a couple of 1.6 Focuses in the past and these were adequate for my needs.

Its got to be a Takuya or Tamura for me, the look is important and as you said Andy, these will be on 17 inch rims so ill need to see how the ride is. Im guessing it will still be better than the civic though as the rear suspension is independent whereas the Civic has an old torsion bar setup from back in the day which is why the ride is so crashy and hard. I have had a 5 minute look at a few in the local area and most are running on 205/50/17's anyway. I see what you mean about tyre prices though, £70 upwards for a decent mid-brand tyre whereas i can get ones for the 16 inch Civic wheels for just over £50 each. The lower insurance and tax will absorb this extra cost though so thats not an issue for me.

I know from doing my research that the Takuya has all the toys (Cruise, Bluetooth, Heated Seats) but the Tamura's are going for a decent amount less. The heated seats would be lovely but not the end of the world if it doesnt have these. Ive seen from Youtube videos how easy it is to fit a double din stereo with nice extra features such as bluetooth so if for example a Tamura is a good amount less than a similar looked after Takuya id be happy to plump for the Tamura and fit a new double din myself. £300 will do this including all the cables needed for steering wheel controls etc.

I've been scouring round for what other alternatives i could go for but keep coming back to the Mazda 3. All the others are just plain boring (Golf, Focus, Leon, Astra) and as you can tell from been a spaceship Civic owner, im not a sheep who follows what everyone else buys/ wants. I like to be unique and the Mazda 3 Tamuras and Takuya's certainly turn my head whenever i see one :D
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 08:54:17 PM by woodycivic »

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 06:19:50 PM »
Well...have a little inspiration 4 years in now.



Gotta say the tyres aren't too much concern for me, obviously they do wear but it's not a powerful car, it doesn't weigh a lot for the class so unless you drive it like you stole it they tend to last fairly well (along with other consumables like brakes..I still had the oem front discs until well over 50k and the rear discs and pads are still factory original at 66k with plenty life in them).

Ride wise it's not awful lot different from a focus, they are a bit firmer a low speeds but is actually very supple at higher speeds. It's not crashy at any speed though so feels nicely together in my opinion. The trade off is that if you are in the mood it handles very well indeed for an ordinary car and doesn't pitch and wallow around or get upset by mid corner bumps. I would say this covers driving it pretty well http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/mazda/3/17428/mazda-3

Personally I would not buy one without cruise done a few 5 hour motorway stints in mine and it's an absolute sanity saver in average speed zones and the like. The other stuff is nice too, given it has both Bluetooth and a 6 CD changer.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 09:48:18 PM by StevenRB45 »

Offline woodycivic

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 08:08:37 AM »
Well...have a little inspiration 4 years in now.



Gotta say the tyres aren't too much concern for me, obviously they do wear but it's not a powerful car, it doesn't weigh a lot for the class so unless you drive it like you stole it they tend to last fairly well (along with other consumables like brakes..I still had the oem front discs until well over 50k and the rear discs and pads are still factory original at 66k with plenty life in them).

Ride wise it's not awful lot different from a focus, they are a bit firmer a low speeds but is actually very supple at higher speeds. It's not crashy at any speed though so feels nicely together in my opinion. The trade off is that if you are in the mood it handles very well indeed for an ordinary car and doesn't pitch and wallow around or get upset by mid corner bumps. I would say this covers driving it pretty well http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/mazda/3/17428/mazda-3

Personally I would not buy one without cruise done a few 5 hour motorway stints in mine and it's an absolute sanity saver in average speed zones and the like. The other stuff is nice too, given it has both Bluetooth and a 6 CD changer.

Love the white colour, the ones i have seen have all been a dark grey which i really like but if i saw a white one that would really tempt me, even if it would be a bugger to keep clean  :D

Good point about the cruise control, especially now with speed cameras everywhere on motorways, its easy to slip up in average speed zones. I didnt realise about the 6 disc CD player either! Wow, they are very well specced thats for sure!

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 09:09:21 AM »
With white I would say unless you can wash it once a week stay clear, though it hides dents beautifully.

Both the stereos look identical and the changer is built into the unit so the only visible difference is a little "6 CD" logo so dealers rarely advertise it.

Couple things I have thought of, the age you are buying at it should either have had a year 6 service or be due a year 6 service. The way the schedule is set out most things are done every 2-3 or 6 years. Obviously these all line up at year 6 so the bill can make you wince somewhat (mine was 420 last year) but the year seven is very minor.

On the subject of servicing these cars don't have service books they have the DSR system so a mazda dealer should be able to print out a copy of the record that goes with a particular car at any time.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 09:13:35 AM by StevenRB45 »

Offline woodycivic

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 12:35:58 PM »
With white I would say unless you can wash it once a week stay clear, though it hides dents beautifully.

Both the stereos look identical and the changer is built into the unit so the only visible difference is a little "6 CD" logo so dealers rarely advertise it.

Couple things I have thought of, the age you are buying at it should either have had a year 6 service or be due a year 6 service. The way the schedule is set out most things are done every 2-3 or 6 years. Obviously these all line up at year 6 so the bill can make you wince somewhat (mine was 420 last year) but the year seven is very minor.

On the subject of servicing these cars don't have service books they have the DSR system so a mazda dealer should be able to print out a copy of the record that goes with a particular car at any time.

Thanks Steven, out of interest what needs doing at the 6 year service?

Im into cleaning my cars and am getting into detailing so having a white one wouldn't bother me at all, in fact it would be a challenge I would relish! :D

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 03:08:33 PM »
Thanks to DSR I can get the jobsheet on my phone:



Spark plugs are once every 6 years and are iridiums so 75 quid or so of the bill is them alone, air filter is every 3 years, cabin filter every 2 as is brake fluid. Then there's labour for fitting..e.t.c. year 7 is pretty much oil and filter.

Love my White just polished it yesterday but in winter it's a joke. Oh and "White tax" may apply as well so even though all colours were no charge on the Takuya a clean white one tends to retail at more money than the same car in a different colour so if you are budget shopping it's not the best choice.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 03:32:36 PM by StevenRB45 »

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 01:22:53 PM »
Even though I like my mk1 in silver, I must admit both the mk2 and 3 look far better in white.  I almost went for an v. low mileage ex-demo mk3 2.0 Sport Fastback in white at my local dealer back in March 2017 for about £16k (possibly a bit lower, can't remember exactly).  Chickened out at the time (don't like the ride on the 18in rims so much, OK when new, not so good later on apparently), then saw the same car pass me several times nearby when on my lunch break at work.  Look great.

By all accounts, the mk1 facelift and the mk2 improved the ride quality of the firm early mk1 (mine's ok, hopefully will be better when I switch from 16 to 15in tyres and wheels with higher sidewalls [we'll see]) at no penalty to the handling.  I like the looks of the mk2 externally (better than my mk1), less so of the dash.  Just personal preference.  The extra goodies though make it a very good value for money car when compared to other brands which require you to spend lots of optional extras, for example most Golfs don't have climate control (even the GT) as standard on UK-spec models (they do on Euro-spec cars though), whereas all but the bottom-of-the-range Mazda3 does.  Similar the cruise control as standard starts further down the range as well.

I do find parts to be a bit steep, even compared to Hondas, which was a surprise, but as they are generally well designed and reliable, that's not so much of an issue.  I find with my mk1 that low use means the brakes will need more repairs than other make cars - they tend to bind/warp more than others if not used regularly.  Not the end of the world though.  The good things is that much of the engine bay is nicely laid out (at least on the mk1s and 2s - haven't had a look under the hood of a mk3 yet) and minor issues (normally only apparent after 7-10 years depending upon use) can be easily attended to yourself without having to bother the dealership.

Offline woodycivic

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2018, 12:50:37 PM »
Even though I like my mk1 in silver, I must admit both the mk2 and 3 look far better in white.  I almost went for an v. low mileage ex-demo mk3 2.0 Sport Fastback in white at my local dealer back in March 2017 for about £16k (possibly a bit lower, can't remember exactly).  Chickened out at the time (don't like the ride on the 18in rims so much, OK when new, not so good later on apparently), then saw the same car pass me several times nearby when on my lunch break at work.  Look great.

By all accounts, the mk1 facelift and the mk2 improved the ride quality of the firm early mk1 (mine's ok, hopefully will be better when I switch from 16 to 15in tyres and wheels with higher sidewalls [we'll see]) at no penalty to the handling.  I like the looks of the mk2 externally (better than my mk1), less so of the dash.  Just personal preference.  The extra goodies though make it a very good value for money car when compared to other brands which require you to spend lots of optional extras, for example most Golfs don't have climate control (even the GT) as standard on UK-spec models (they do on Euro-spec cars though), whereas all but the bottom-of-the-range Mazda3 does.  Similar the cruise control as standard starts further down the range as well.

I do find parts to be a bit steep, even compared to Hondas, which was a surprise, but as they are generally well designed and reliable, that's not so much of an issue.  I find with my mk1 that low use means the brakes will need more repairs than other make cars - they tend to bind/warp more than others if not used regularly.  Not the end of the world though.  The good things is that much of the engine bay is nicely laid out (at least on the mk1s and 2s - haven't had a look under the hood of a mk3 yet) and minor issues (normally only apparent after 7-10 years depending upon use) can be easily attended to yourself without having to bother the dealership.

Thanks for the information Andy.

I love the look of the Mazda 3 which is why im 99% certain this will be my next car. I just need to take my time and make sure i get a good, well looked after one.

When looking at others, particularly Golfs the spec they give you as standard is very poor. Most models dont have climate control, just standard air con and a lot dont even have basics such as steering wheel controls for the stereo, never mind bluetooth or cruise control! The interior plastics are nicer and the one downside of the Mazda 3 MK2 is that the plastics are hard (Similar to my current 8G Civic), however given the choice id much had the Mazda 3 interior and toys such as bluetooth, heated seats and cruise over nice soft plastics and just a standard spec Golf/Civic. Even if i go for the Tamura, the price difference is quite substantial from whats on the market at the moment so i can factor in £300 ish to install a double din with nice extras such as bluetooth for using my phone.

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2018, 03:35:38 PM »
With the interior you haven't quite had the full effect until you've encountered it in the dark.

It may look like your fairly standard grey on grey on silver plastic jap interior but then it gets dark and you realise someone in the design team loved blade runner..



Mmm red with orange and blue, with electric blue downlighting..lol

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2018, 11:01:30 PM »
   
Look at life through the windscreen, not the rearview mirror.
2004 Winning Blue 2Ltr Sport Saloon.  Laser Blue Main beams.

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2018, 02:35:33 PM »
With the interior you haven't quite had the full effect until you've encountered it in the dark.

It may look like your fairly standard grey on grey on silver plastic jap interior but then it gets dark and you realise someone in the design team loved blade runner..



Mmm red with orange and blue, with electric blue downlighting..lol

Nice!  That's one heck of a lot of illuminated buttons!

Offline woodycivic

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2018, 08:12:48 AM »
So i thought i'd report back with an update.

I've been to see 3 Mazda 3 Takuya's over the past couple of weeks and they all were nice from the outside, no major issues or paintwork problems/dents/scratches etc. However on each one close to me the driver side bolster and bottom foam cushion area were pretty badly creased and it was obvious when sitting on them that the foam was failing underneath. This alone really frustrated me as the rest of the car i liked so i didnt pursue my interest in any of them. I came away and was willing to bide my time and wait for the 'right' one.

Last week one came up that from the pictures looked in really good condition and the drivers seat looked really nice, no marks or signs of foam failing/creases etc. However, at the same time a 9G 1.8 SE Civic came up too at £300 less than the Mazda 3 and i went to see that first. It was at a garage only 7 miles from home. It was spotless both inside and out and the last owner was a disabled guy who has serviced it every 6k miles (Its 6 year old with 38k on the clock) and it has continental tyres all round with good tread on all. I couldn't turn it down so put my deposit on it and am picking it up this friday.  :D

It was a very close race and has opened my eyes to Mazda's as a future car. The newer Mazda 3's look to have more durable seats so im certain when its time to change cars again in 4/5 years time this will be one on the shortlist.

Thanks to all for the extremely helpful advice and replies - much appreciated! :D
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 08:14:53 AM by woodycivic »

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Re: Civic to Mazda...
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2018, 08:12:48 AM »