Honda vs. Mazda vs. Hyundai


I am looking for fuel efficient, safe, reliable and good car with some of the features like cruise control, ac, cd player,safety, warranty, cost and power features. I cant go above 18000 in cost. I reduced my options to the three, and all the three have some features not in others. I would appreciate if someone with similar experience would recommend.

Krishna, New Haven


Cant go wrong with any of those choices.

Drive them all and buy the one you like the best.

My wife drives an 02 Sonata & absolutely loves it.

We bought it new & it’s been trouble free for it’s first 102,000 miles.

What really impreses me about the Sonata is that it’s still solid & rattle free & just as quiet at highway speeds as when we first bought it.

Very nice car.


Provide a little more information. Which models are you interested in? All three build mini, compact, midsize, minivans, and SUVs.


I am looking at Honda civic Lx, Mazda3 i touring and Hyundai elantra models. I would appreciate if you could provide some valuable suggestions.


Hyundais have interference valve timing and it is ZERO tolerence. But the company was excellant in standing behind the warranty when properly maintained when I last got involved with them.


Hondas have interference engines as well, and ALL interference engines are 0 tolerance. If the t-belt breaks, the valves are toast. But it’s easy to get around this - just replace the belt at the required interval and you won’t have a problem.


Hyundai are terrible purchases new. The have high depreciation which will bite you if you get into the position of having to sell or it or total the car.

However that being said Hyundai’s make excellent purchases used(even slightly).

Honda and Mazda are fine choices and it comes down to personal preference.


WRONG on the Honda’s in her price range.

I presume she is looking new and the current iteration of Civic’s and Honda Accord’s (4cylinder) use a timing chain.


One of the warranties(the 10 year IIRC) is non-transferable to a 2nd owner.
However, if the OP is going to keep the car forever, the depreciation curve won’t matter.


I didn’t say ALL Hondas have interference engines, or that they all have timing belts instead of chains. But the original interference complaint sounded as though it was knocking Hyundai for using a poor design. I was pointing out that other, excellent car companies also use this “poor” design.


I test drove a Honda but got a Mazda 3. I get 30mpg on the freeway (I-5 over the grapevine, speeds from 50-90 depending on flow of traffic). The Mazda was cheaper, had more oomph when I pushed the pedal, and while mileage drops dramatically if you drive around town like a racecar driver, it’s acceptable to me because I don’t feel like I’m held back in defensive driving. The Honda Civic I tried felt like I was driving a land barge, and that wasn’t a size issue - it handled like one. I tried the Fit, which feels really roomy for the size car it is… but also felt like I was sitting in a can with a rubber band engine. After having someone crash into me, I wanted to feel like I could get the h### out of the way. Now I do. You can get a Mazda with side air curtains, nice stereo, A/C with pollen filter, and ABS for less than a similarly appointed Honda.


I bought my Honda Civic EX with only 3 miles on it almost nine years ago. The dealer gave it a “complete checkup” and got a clean bill of health. I’m also still getting between 36 and 38 MPG - I have had the same luck with Toyota also. If you want a car that will both last and still give you the same performance years down the road, go with Honda or Toyota - Definately not Hyundai!


I forgot to mention that my civic has over 142,000 mi.


Can you please tell me the model you purchased and the price? because I will be moving to state college, PA and there the price of mazda is higher than civic.


There can be other issues. My son got a 2001 or 2002 Mazda, I forget the model, from Hertz outlet, and while it is a good car, there are two problems that really bug him.

First, the oil filter is underneath, really hard to get at, he has to use ramps.

Second, the tires are low profile, expensive, hard to find, and don’t last long. He did find a slightly larger version that seems to work okay, but they don’t last long either.


Ah, interesting. I’m in California. Hondas of the same year in equivalent model are on average 2k more than the Mazda3, and when you add features like a/c that are an absolute necessity in the central valley it goes up from there rapidly. I would have had to spend 17k on a Civic with similar equipment.


among those 3, my choice would be the honda.

CR has a chart showing the relative rates of aging of the major car makers’ products. (not broken down by model) this is on pg 23 of the 4/07 issue.

honda has the slowest rising graph, next to toyota. after 4 years, hondas on average have less than 1/2 the number of problems of hyundais. hyundais and all the domestic brands get 100 problems/100 cars just short of age 6 yrs. honda (and toyota) is off the (10 yr) chart.

projecting the graph, honda gets to that point at about 10.6 yrs, toyota at 17 years.


My daughter and her husband have a Hyundai Elantra and a Mazda 3. While the 5 year bumper-to-bumper warranty on the Elantra was nice, I’d easily pick the Mazda as a daily driver. It’s just a much more solid feeling car.

With that said, I chose a Honda Accord over a Mazda 6 for much the same reason. The Mazda was fine, but the Honda just felt more solid and quiet when driving it. I have not tried the Honda Civic in recent years, so I’d test drive both and see which “feels” right to you.


I purchased an new 02 Elantra new because of the warranty, reputation and price. The plan was to purchase new, maintain and drive it for 6-8 years. No trade in interest. The car has been so reliable, we purchase a used 04 elantra for my daughter for HS+college. Used prices are still a bargain over new for Elantra.


I have a 91 Accord LX with a manual that has 219k miles with only routine maintenance that still runs strong and gets 35mpg on the highway. Bought the 06 Civic and it has gone from 34 to 41mpg on the hwy with the auto. Both are solid feeling troublefree. I highly recommend a new LX Civic or a used Accord in your price range. You won’t be sorry.