Top Gear Philippines

Honda Civic vs. Mazda 3

Hi, Botchi. I'm selling my 2012 Honda City and planning on buying the Mazda 3 2.0-liter hatchback. I have read and watched a ton of reviews of the car, and all of them have nothing but great things to say about it. However, with the all-new Hyundai Elantra and the upcoming release of the Honda Civic, I'm having second thoughts about my planned purchase.

I really like the styling of the Mazda 3 over its two rivals, and I think its Skyactiv technology and other safety features may still be considered at par with the newer releases. My concern really is its age. Am I mistaken to think that the 3 may already be showing signs of aging? Should I hold off and consider other vehicles?

I'm in need of your expert opinion because I'm planning to keep my next car for the long haul. I'm single, so interior space is not really a priority for now. I work in Manila and my office is within walking distance from where I live. So basically, the vehicle will be used during weekends around the metro and for out-of-town trips.

Kelly Sy


Hi, Kelly. Thank you for your e-mail. Yes, the Mazda 3 is great. The hype is real, and for sure you will be happy with it if you buy one. Is it old? Not really. It has only been in our market for two years. As for the Hyundai Elantra, I have yet to drive it so I can't comment on the vehicle.

As for the all-new Honda Civic, initial reports say the Philippine market will get the 1.5-liter turbo version. That means the Civic will be faster, more powerful, more enjoyable, easier to drive, not to mention more fuel-efficient. The reason is that Honda's new Earth Dreams II turbocharged and direct-injection engines are lighter, so you're lugging around less weight. These engines develop more torque and horsepower down low. This means you'll be stepping on the gas pedal less often or not as hard as in other cars, to get decent forward momentum.


If you have the luxury to do so, I recommend that you wait for the new Civic to be launched. Test-drive it and the Elantra. Compare both cars with the 3, which you should also test-drive. I can bore you to death with facts and figures about these cars, I can endlessly wax lyrical about the 3, and I can excite you with the prospect of a turbocharged Civic. But at the end of the day, you will be driving the car and spending money to maintain it. And if you buy something you're not happy with, you'll regret it for as long as you have the car.

Now, let's make things a little more interesting. Have you considered a subcompact or compact crossover or SUV? They offer higher ground clearance, more mobility and more versatility in a package that's not much bigger than the cars you're considering. I recommend the Subaru XV and the Honda HR-V. These two are great value for money considering the increased mobility they offer versus a regular or traditional sedan or hatchback.

Check out the poll below. Hopefully, your fellow readers can help contribute some insight.

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor


Which compact car should Kelly buy?

Honda Civic

Hyundai Elantra

Mazda 3

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor
Botchi eats, lives and breathes cars (aside from hotdogs). Aside from wanting to drive any car, preferably through some scenic destination, he's always thinking of ways to "improve them" by modifying the (insert any car-related word here).
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