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  • Jun 12th, 2016 8:17 am
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[OP]
Newbie
May 23, 2006
39 posts
86 upvotes

Compact Sedan

During the process of compact sedan shopping, the following candidates remain:

2016 VW Jetta
2016 Honda Civic
2016 Mazda 3
2016 Kia Forte

Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra are not considered because of the look, and the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is not considered because of inferior rear visibility, interior design/material, and base sound system, when compared to Kia Forte. Subaru Impreza is not considered because it seems to be more expensive than the others.

All four remaining candidates perform well on the road. The Jetta seems to have the most rigid body and best ride quality and base sound system. Honda Civic has the best features set and interior is very nice. Mazda 3 is also very good overall, although the engine is a bit noisier than the others when idle. Kia Forte is not as good as the other three, but it is good enough and it will be considered if price is good.

Do you have any opinion on the four cars for the following criteria:
a) Predicted reliability
b) Predicted cost of parts and maintenance
c) Future resale value
d) Warranty/Service experience

Any other comments on the cars are welcome.
48 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
14771 posts
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Toronto
Expect much Corolla replies and the following:

Avoid VW and any Honda prior 2000 design. Kia is well, Kia, only answer is Mazda 3 or something you do not have in your list, like a Cruze, Elantra, etc...

Brace yourself.
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Deal Addict
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Feb 24, 2014
1172 posts
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koffey wrote: Expect much Corolla replies and the following:

Avoid VW and any Honda prior 2000 design. Kia is well, Kia, only answer is Mazda 3 or something you do not have in your list, like a Cruze, Elantra, etc...

Brace yourself.
:lol: of the 3 that remain on your list I like the Civic for it's interior and options. People have stated the Mazda 3 is the most fun to drive of the bunch (although the new Civic 1.5L Turbo might change that). I don't think the VW offers the best bang for buck.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35631 posts
21690 upvotes
Center of Universe
Elantra GT (hatchback), best bang for the buck.
Penalty Box
Nov 25, 2013
992 posts
293 upvotes
1. Civic
2. Mazda 3
3. Kia Forte
4. Jetta

You should get either Civic or Mazda 3
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 28, 2011
858 posts
372 upvotes
Markham
No brainer here - Civic
Then Mazda 3

No Jetta because VW = lying pigs (diesel gate)
No Forte because Kia = lying pigs (inflated fuel econ)
Member
Oct 16, 2015
394 posts
232 upvotes
Quebec
They would all be good choices - the compact sedan segment is very competitive.

If you are down to four, then test-drive them all. Your choice will come down to more subjective elements which no-one else can help with, such as seat comfort, visibility, how you feel behind the wheel, proximity and quality of the dealership, etc. Eliminate at least two of the four with the test drives, then get the best bargain you can from the two remaining.
Deal Guru
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Mar 1, 2008
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Toronto, Ontario
I'd go with the Jetta or Mazda 3. The new Civic is very good as well but I don't like CVT.
Deal Expert
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Mar 22, 2007
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geokilla wrote: I'd go with the Jetta or Mazda 3. The new Civic is very good as well but I don't like CVT.
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[OP]
Newbie
May 23, 2006
39 posts
86 upvotes
I already did the test drive on these cars. Among the four, from a performance point of view, Jetta is the best, Civic and Mazda 3 are almost the same, and Forte is in last place (still good).
I have been driving Japanese cars and I don't know what the expect from Jetta in terms of resale value and service cost and experience.

Speical notes:
1. The centre storage area in Civic is very useful and innovative. Overall interior is very pleasant, seats are comfortable. The rear visibility is not as good as the previous gen Civic though.
I did notice a bit more road noise on the Civic, probably due to lower grade tires being used on the car.
2. Comparing the 2016 Forte and 2017 Elantra, the Forte has much better interior, and the sound system is also superior. (Base sound system on the 2017 Elantra is awful.) This is unexpected as I used to think Kia is lower end brand than Hyundai.
3. I heard good thing about the 1.5L Turbo on the Civic, but I won't be considering it since it is only available on the highest trim levels. (EXT and Touring).
4. Jetta uses different plastic in the interior of different trim levels. The basic Trendline+ is all hard plastic. Softtouch material is only available on Comfortline or Highline.
5. There is no compact sedan on the Volvo lineup anymore.
Deal Addict
Dec 30, 2007
1005 posts
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Ottawa, ON
I am somewhat confused with your assessment regarding rear visibility, it is one of the major criticisms of the Mazda3 due to the design, there is limited visibility.

I have a 2015 Corolla, but if I were car shopping now, I'd be giving the Civic stronger consideration with its new design. I strongly disliked their "dual tier dash" in the previous model design.

I agree with your assessment re Forte over Elantra, I preferred it as well when directly comparing the two, and the cool vented drivers seat was a neat feature.
Deal Addict
May 16, 2009
1275 posts
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The Civic is much more expensive to insure, please note that. And the Jetta's long term reliability is iffy, along with the potential costs for maintenance.

The Kia is a better value, while the Mazda 3 is an excellent handler.
Sr. Member
Feb 25, 2015
915 posts
1120 upvotes
NB
1.8TSI Jetta is fun to drive. Not sure about the post-warranty cost of ownership.

Impreza is not that expensive when you compare it to the competition feature-to-feature: even the base trim is reasonably well equipped.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 2, 2015
804 posts
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Edmonton
Honda Civic is the best one. Followed by Mazda 3.
Banned
Nov 16, 2012
1837 posts
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EAST YORK
I just bought a 2016 Civic Touring. What a nice car! Take one for a drive, I think you'll find it blows the competition away in pretty much every category.
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2014
533 posts
269 upvotes
Toronto, ON
While the Civic is much improved to the very average and outdated previous generation, it is an absolute hideous design. The Acura beak and deformed Crosstour rear end looks terrible. It's not a design that will age well. Ugly now and hideous later.
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Mar 7, 2007
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I don't understand what models you are looking at.

I would tend to agree that the Civic is a new design and because of future resale value, it should be #1 in your short list, Mazda 3 second, etc..

BUT I consider the Civic "expensive" for what it is, at $27,155 msrp +++ for the fully loaded model.
Are you thinking fully loaded? Because the Mazda 3 sedan GT fully loaded is $25,350 +++

It may not sound much, but the Civic is $1,800 more expensive than the Mazda 3 (before negotiation). At this price point that's around 7% more expensive. If you compare feature by feature, are they about the same? The mazda comes with some features that the Civic does not have (fully loaded models)!

But the Civic is larger (according to this review), has a 1.5 litre turbo engine with better fuel economy, feels more refined.


EDIT: To be clear, the Civc has a TURBO engine with 174 hp @ 6000 only for the top of the line models, and a naturally aspirated engine with less HP (158 @ 6500) for the base models.

Mazda 3 sedan GT comes with a normally aspirated 2.5 L with 184 @ 5,700 rpm
Banned
Nov 16, 2012
1837 posts
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EAST YORK
motomondo wrote: I don't understand what models you are looking at.

I would tend to agree that the Civic is a new design and because of future resale value, it should be #1 in your short list, Mazda 3 second, etc..

BUT I consider the Civic "expensive" for what it is, at $27,155 msrp +++ for the fully loaded model.
Are you thinking fully loaded? Because the Mazda 3 sedan GT fully loaded is $25,350 +++
I think you need to look closer at the pricing for the Mazda 3. Because in order for the Mazda 3 to compete with the Civic touring, you need to make sure you are adding auto transmission AND the luxury and technology package. Only then will these two cars be equal spec for spec, and in this case the Mazda is $4k MORE EXPENSIVE! And the civic touring has a $1500 rebate right now.

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