2006 Mazda, or 2004 Honda?

My car has finally reached the great car shop in the sky, and I need a replacement. I’ve narrowed the choices down, but have a question about year/mileage/reliability. I’m chosing between a 2004 Civic EX with 60K, and a 2006 Mazda3i with 31K. I don’t really care about power windows, locks, or mirrors (in my experience, that’s one of the first things to go anyway) or cruise control, but the Mazda still does have time left on the warranty. The Honda is not under warranty. I know that Hondas are very reliable, but have heard that Mazda’s not bad and is getting better. Any suggestions/advice on which one is going to last longer?

The one you like better(even by looks) is the one you should buy as you will keep it much longer. Consider both equivalents in reliability, the Civic will require more work sooner due to higher mileage/age.

Agree; they are both good cars. Personally I find the seats in the Mazda have better support, so I might be happier on along trip. All other things being equal, the seats and trunk size normally decide which one you like best.

How much less is the Civic? Does the extra money mean more, or is the Mazda worth it?

Those who appreciate styling consider the Mazda3 a hands-down winner over the Civic. Since the two cars are virtually equal in all other respects (except maybe rate of depreciation), you at least have one hook to hang your hat on.

You won’t start to have problems with the Mazda until you go over 90,000 miles. You will have minor problems with switches and heater resistors if they still use them. It doesn’t all happen at once and it might not happen at all if you have any luck. Opinion is based on Mazdas from the 80’s.

Assuming the same price I’d go for the Mazda. My son-in-law has that same model Mazda 3 and I really like it as small cars go. It’s way more stylish than the Civic, and reliability and fuel mileage should be as good as the Civic and perhaps better since the Civic is a couple of years older. There is really no bad choice between those two, assuming neither has been thrashed or neglected.

You can also get an extended warranty for the Mazda for 5yrs 75k miles. That will put your mind at ease incase something major goes wrong with it. I would go with the Mazda.