New car purchase recommendation



Currently drive a 1995 Integra coupe LS, great reliable, fun auto-looking for perhaps mazda 3 or Civic… VW GTI is a possible choice but I am concerned about reliability, any comments or other cars that I might consider?


Among the cars you are considering the Civic is going to be most reliable over the long term.


You might add the Mini to your list. My son’s Cooper S has well over 100K miles, continues to run well, and is an absolute hoot to drive. Premium gas, though.

I’d choose the Civic or the Mazda3.


"I’d choose the Civic or the Mazda3."
Second vote for same. Though not as sporty to drive, try a Scion tC as well. Try out Subaru Impreza WRX if you’re just out driving around and want a thrill ride. AWD is head and shoulders above FWD for overall handling regardless of snow issues where you live. It allows you to safely put more power to the ground for better acceleration than fwd as well.

250-300 hp compacts in AWD are today’s version of yesterday’s"muscle cars" but with outstanding handling and reasonably priced. There are several other makes out there, Subaru being the most reliable. The optimum expression in consumer hoot IMO.


Agree; if reliability is a major factor, the Civic, Corolla “S”, or the Madza 3 are great choices. My son drives a 2004 Mazda 3 and it has been quite bullet-proof.


It seems that you are interested in a small sport coupe or sedan that is not too expensive. Test drive a Mazdaspeed Mazda3. It is turbocharged and premium gas is required. I wouldn’t be put off by premium fuel, but you might be. Another car to consider is the Cobalt SS. The Cobalt should be the least expensive to repair and maintain according to Intenfix. It is also highly rated as a driver’s car, unlike the other Cobalts. We own one a Cobalt LT and are quite pleased with it. The SS has upgraded seating, suspension, and drive train. I’d test drive one, too.


Given my recent experience with Mazda I would strongly suggest NOT BUYING A MAZDA. My 6 has been fun to drive, but a blown engine at 81k has soured me. The car was well maintained, and Mazda’s customer non-service and predatory dealer network suggests you are better off with another vehicle.


Incredible; honestly, this is the first time I have ever heard of someone blowing a Mazda engine. The son of a friend is a forest ranger and his little Mazda truck seems indestructable in this very rough service.

A friend recently “retired” a 1990 Mazda 6 with many miles on it because of a failed transmission (not worth fixing), the engine was still great, but the car was getting long in the tooth.

My son and other Mazda owners have found the Mazda service to be very good as well.

I guess the exception proves the rule, and I would consult Consumer Reports and other surveys to verify the reliablility of the model chosen. TrueDelta has very favorable reports on Mazdas as well.

Sorry to hear of you unfavorable Mazda experience; if it had been a German or British car it would have confirmed conventional wisdom.


Thanks for your advice, probably no question Civic is more reliable, they are somewhat noisy however


I had considered the Mini, but hear they are somewhat troublesome


I think I may be too old for the Mazdaspeed 3 the regular Mazda 3 hatch was very fun to drive, i am concerned that the Mazda may not be as reliable as the Honda? Thanks


Thanks, do you feel that it was being “pushed” too much? I drive quite conservatively and get on average when I do some freeway driving 32-33 mpg with my 1995 Integra coupe


I’m sure you can find someone who’s had a bad experience with any make and model of car. Nearly new cars with blown engines or bad trannys. That is why there are people who keep stats on how likely one is to have trouble. Some brands are less likely (Toyota, Honda) some more likely (Volvo, Volkswagen) and most brands are somewhere in between. Mazda is a little better than average in most reports for reliability.

I’m sorry you had trouble with your Mazda AL5000, and bad customer service is never a good thing, but you paint with a too broad brush to condemn all Mazdas on that basis.


Actually there IS a pattern of complaints. Mazda has been particularly adept at hiding this. Look through the different Mazda boards, or find a service writer who will be discreet, there have been engine problems. Found a lot who blew engines in warranty and Mazda denied their claims. I actually have a letter where Mazda says IN WRITING that they would not have fixed my car had the problem occurred even under warranty. I used to be a service writer, I know for a fact this was not a case of neglect or abuse. This was a defect, pure and simple.
Look at the surveys again, the Mazdas come out of the box favorably but do not age well at all.


I did not suggest it was abuse. You can just get a random bad engine. And, if there is a pattern, is it for a particular engine? 6cyl or 4cyl? You had/have a Mazda 6, is it the same engine as the Mazda 3? What years? Or are you saying it’s all Mazda engines in all models have a pattern of problems?

That’s what I mean about too broad a brush. For example, Honda had a pattern of problems with some automatic transmissions a few years ago, does that mean all the manual tranny Hondas are worthless?


Honda generally stands behind their products and has some respect for their customers. Mazda outright lies to consumers with complaints and finds reasons NOT to help people, rather than finding ways to satisfy their previously loyal customers. At that point they have lost me, whether their product compares or not.


It’s slightly less reliable. You won’t notice the difference. You might also look at the Mustang and Camaro. The Camaro 6 cyl gets 18/29 MPG and the Mustang 6 cyl gets 16/24 MPG (city/highway). Mustang repair costs will be slightly higher than the Civic and a little less than the Mazda3. The Camaro is too new to have repair cost estimates yet, but there are no recalls on the Camaro V6. There are no recalls for the 2010 Civic, but the 2010 Mazda3 has an electrical system recall. I offer this information as an indication of reliability when no other exists.


Ya gotta luv these discussions where we get to spend someone else money !


The 2011 v6 Mustang is reported to be able to get 30 mpg on the highway, according to Ford’s website, and should be out around spring time.
Between the 3 and Civic, I’d probably take the 3. I have a Civic currently and, while it has been reliable, it is fairly boring to drive


Mini may be fine in the long term, but tends to score relatively low (sometimes very low) in “reliability” surveys, which are really more about initial defect rates.