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Which car is better overall?


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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering buying a Mazda3 GS and I wanted to know how it performs on snowy, icy roads.
How does it compare to the Toyota Corolla?

EDIT: Thread title :twisted:
 

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Welcome to the board!

First of all, I doubt if any posters on this board would actually consider a Corolla (the anti-thesis of fun to drive and excitement), so keep that in mind.

If the MZ3 was not on that market, most here would probably get a Protege5 or Protege Sedan, perhaps a Focus or Civic...

You have to figure out what's most important to YOU in a car - to me, it's steering feel, flat cornering, great brakes, a nice MT, a nice interior . I want a car that makes me smile whenever I drive it - I've driven the new Corolla and it certainly wasn't it.

Even if it was cheaper, I still wouldn't consider it (just like the ION, Cavalier/Sunfire, Neon, Kias, Hyundais, Lancer, Sentra). There aren't many choices for the enthusiast in NA in a small car.

By the same token, don't think the Corolla rides better than the 3 - just b/c a car can be sporty if driven accordingly, it doesn't mean it must give you a harsh ride.

Take a 3 for a test drive - if you do, the others will seem not up to par.
 

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dakaye, I would suggest reading the forum at www.2003corolla.com (or maybe its .org, I forget). I was set on buying a Corolla because of a long research process of comparing cars under $18,000 USD, but started reading that message board, and a lot of people are not very happy with their Corolla. Yea, it will probably run forever and has great gas mileage, but when one guy has done all the big performance mods (including TRD supercharger) and still considers it a bore to drive, you have to seriously reconsider a Corolla. Someone said they wanted to trade in the Corolla for a Mazda3... and that's how I started on my journey of getting one. Oh yea, I've also heard a ton of complaints about comfort level of the seats and also its terrible to drive if you're tall (lack of a telescopic steering wheel makes it harder on the taller people).

My girlfriend has a '03 Civic EX, and it seems to do pretty well in bad weather. We've only been out on the roads in wintery conditions a couple times though, and they weren't the worst of conditions either. My reasons for not getting a Civic is that everyone owns one, and for the money you don't get much for options. You just seem to get a reliable car that goes from point A to point B, and that's about it.

Speaking of options, I really did not like the options that nearly every Corolla came with. There are literally "options" that are more like standards! Also, there were some simple options I wanted on the car, but you would have to get an entire package with crap I didn't want and I thought was a waste of money overall.
 

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Many of us have, the stock 17" tires (Goodyear RSAs) are not all that terribly great in the winter but the car is stable enough that I have yet to have an issue in some nasty snow covered ice we had here a week or so ago. If you get a wack of snow where you live (don't know your city) then I would suggest getting some aftermarket winters.

Personally I am a good enough driver that they don't concern me that much but I will probably pick up some steel wheels and winters just to make sure I get 3 good summers out of the RSA because they are fairly decent in the Spring through Fall for dry and wet pavement.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cowtown said:
Many of us have, the stock 17" tires (Goodyear RSAs) are not all that terribly great in the winter but the car is stable enough that I have yet to have an issue in some nasty snow covered ice we had here a week or so ago. If you get a wack of snow where you live (don't know your city) then I would suggest getting some aftermarket winters.
I'm in Toronto, so we get quite a lot of ice and slush. Are you using ABS or disc brakes?
 

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The GS comes w/16" tires that should be better on the slippery stuff.

But as I mantain, there's no substitute for 4 winter tires.
 

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All Mazda 3 Sport GT in Canada have ABS on 4 Wheel discs so yes I guess I am using them. The ABS has kicked in here or there at an icy intersection and I've always been able to make short stops. Like I said if there is a wack of snow then yeah get the winters but otherwise if your halfways competent you'll be fine. Winters on this car are really a piece of mind thing, at least while the RSA are new. As they the RSA get older they tend to firm up and aren't as great in the winter hence why I'll be getting Winters next season.
 

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Is it even a contest?

Seriously, the Corolla looks bad in way too many angles and IMO doesn't have the power in the sports version (maybe the new version will change that).

The Civic is expensive compared. About the only thing I like about it is the round tailights at night. But that's about it, otherwise its ubiquitous and also doesn't seem to have the fun to drive quality.

Ford Focus, well ... I never even considered it, but I guess I should in light of what it had equiped and all.

I personally love the design of the 3, inside and outside. On top of that it feels like it has the power and handling when I want it (though this ain't no SRT-4 but it makes no claim to be).
 

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Comparing comparable packages (options and engine) pricing is overall equal. That leaves style (Int & Ext) and handling. This is of course for NA cars.

Toyota Corolla- The biggest difference is soft handling; boring ext style; fair int style
Honda Civic- See Toyota except better handling.
Ford Focus - Good ext style but cheap interior; actually very good handling
Scion Xa/Xb- Very good style somewhat underpowered; good handling
MINI - Pricing = Expensive
 

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Murrato said:
Comparing comparable packages (options and engine) pricing is overall equal. That leaves style (Int & Ext) and handling. This is of course for NA cars.
I don't feel the same way - the 2.0L 148HP/135ft lbs torque is more "giddy" than Honda's base engine w/115HP (IIRC) - the only Honda that comes close is the Si's 1.7L 127HP one, but that is beat by the 2.3L in teh Mazda3.

The Corolla's VVT-i works well, so I'll leave it alone (for now).

Another issue - 4 wheel disc brakes vs drums is HUGE in my books!!!

The H/T have an edge in fuel consumption, but the difference is insignificant, making the 3's engines better for me - more low end torque is good.
 

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Yea, the power equation is heavily tilted in favor of the Mazda3. Currently, the Civic Si (US-spec) is the only engine that can play with the Mazda3's 2.3L, but even there, the Civic Si is tested by Car and Driver to be about half a second behind the Mazda3 hatch in the 0-60 run. Draw whatever conclusions you want from this. I will say, however, that the Civic's 127HP in the EX (Si in Canada) is very healthy, I certainly preferred that 1.7L engine to the Corolla's 1.8L despite being short 3HP on paper.

The Corolla was just a disappointment. With enough body cladding on the S, it manages to look so-so. The engine is torquey and able, but it is neither smooth nor willing. Accelerating in the Civic you feel like the car is being pulled by a steel cable (even if it is a thin one), whereas in the Corolla, it feels like bungee cords. Throw in soft suspension and that dollar-store interior and you've got a vehicle I never took an interest in beyond the initial test drive.
 
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