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New Car: 2003 Honda Accord or 2003 Mazda 6 (or any other 4 door Sedan?)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Michael D. Bunting, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Any reason you aren't considering a Camry?

    Just a curious Toyota fan. [​IMG]

    Be sure to price out the appropriate trim-level for the Honda you are looking at. The price can sky-rocket with the upper trim-levels.

    Oh, with the DVD navigation system in the Accord. Be sure it will function in YOUR area!

    I recently bought a RAV4, but I'd been considering another vehicle that had a nav system in it. Until I found out that the service didn't work in my area yet, and likely wouldn't for a year or two. Just a tip. [​IMG]
     
  2. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    Michael,

    So, you basically want it loaded, right? [​IMG]

    Getting all those little options on the Mazda is going to put it on price parity with the Accord EX. Personally I didn't see any value in the big options. The sport package is mostly fluff for the V6; since you're already getting alloy rims, all it adds is a bunch of plastic skirting and a spoiler that inhibits rear viewing. If a nav system is a requirement, the Mazda will have one in 2004 mounted at the top of the console where the storage compartment is in the picture above.

    With both cars loaded it's going to probably boil down to which just feels right to you, since they'll be similarly equipped. They're both very quiet on the highway, both have good acceleration, and both have very good visibility.

    Mary,

    I'm surprised (and not offended) that you feel so negatively towards the Mazda. Admittedly I'm not a gearhead, and it sounds like you have much more of a background as a true auto enthusiast. But the reviews I read from some performance-centered magazines (like motor trend) really liked the handling. I'd really appreciate it if you could elaborate for me what you objected to just for my education. My experience has been with sub 1.5L 4 cylinder shoebox cars all my life, so I have no experience with higher performance cars other than the ones I test drove (Mazda6, Accord, Camry) which are really not performance cars at all. But I have also driven land boats, and I have absolutely none of that land yacht feel from my Mazda. I felt it very much in the Camry, which felt like it was going to tip over in a slow U-turn, but the Mazda handling seems very responsive to me, and I always feel glued to the road. What aspects of it gave you that floating feeling?

    Andy
     
  3. StephenT

    StephenT Stunt Coordinator

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    I just purchased a 6 three weeks ago: steel gray, V6, 5-speed. I love it! It was between the 6 and the Accord for me too. I went with the 6 for the manual tranny in a four door V6 which you can't get in the Accord, and because it looks so much better. I love walking up to it in a parking lot and just looking at it and realizing it's mine! [​IMG]

    But whatever you pick, enjoy it!
     
  4. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    The sport package will also negate the 0% financing, so that's another good reason to avoid it. Andy's right, it's mainly fluff.

    The Accord felt "floatier" to me than than the Mazda, though neither were anywhere close to Grandma's 1979 Delta 88. (Crushed velour rules.) [​IMG] I thought the 6 was a nice-handling car, while the Accord was a nice-riding car, if that makes any sense.

    Ryan
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Mazda definitely knows a thing or three about great handling.. they were the ones to popularize the modern roadster with the all-aluminum frame Miata. It's not a race car but it's soooo much fun to drive. Kinda reminds me of Lotus' philosophy for cars.
     
  6. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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  7. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Thanks again for all your feedback - I never expected this much help! Thanks guys and girls!

    If I went with the Mazda 6, I would probably choose the Appearance Package over the Sports Package...not only to get the 0% financing, but I've read where the Appearance Package looks better anyway.

    One thing I'm worried about:

    The current Incentives/Rebates are due to expire on 9/02/2003...and I definitely won't be buying until after the middle of September to mid-October time frame.

    Does anyone know if they'll have even better rebates/incentives for September?

    We may, and I stress may, even wait until next year (2004) sometime to make our new car purchase. The car we would be trading in is doing fine, and I could probably use the time to pay off a few other bills before deciding on what vehicle to purchase, if I was smart. That being said, I've never waited to purchase before now and things are okay financially for us to afford a new car payment now, so it will probably be very hard for me to resist purchasing after finding one I like. [​IMG]



    This makes complete sense to me Ryan. And it's kind of what I was suspecting between these two vehicles.

    I've never owned a nice-handling car (unless you count the 2001 Ford Mustang we currently have, but I'm really not impressed with it's handling to be honest). I will definitely give the Mazda 6 a test drive...maybe the handling alone will blow me away since I've probably never experienced a good-handling car before.

    I found this picture of a 2003 Honda Accord EX w/ a rear spoiler, which in my opinion, spruces up the rear of the Accord signifigantly.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

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    Been test driving the Accord Coupe EX V-6 6 speed. Niiiiiice vehicle that lacks sex appeal. It's hind end reminds me of a late 90's Mercedes ie it is BLAND. Probably the best performing car I have ever driven - PERIOD.

    Is it worth 26 large? Perhaps. I need to have a look at the 6. One wonders if it could be had for significantly less. After experiencing depreciation with my Nissan (which I still have) I'm not so sure if I want to go the Mazda route.

    The Accord feels "safe."

    Michael.
     
  9. Kevin Eckhardt

    Kevin Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    I've also got a 6. A loaded steel gray 6S w/ MT and Sport Package. I've had it since the end of March and put on ~5200 miles. So far I love it and I've gotten compliments from everyone who has ridden in it. People liked the room, thought the ride was great and the seats were still comfortable even after a long road trip. One person even thought it was an Acura. If you haven't been there yet mazda6club.com/forums would be a good place to check out.

    Sport Package v. Appearance package:

    My understanding is that the Sport and Appearnce packages look the same on the outside, however the sport package uses different front and rear bumpers/fascias from the factory whereas the appearance package adds these on afterwards and as a result there are seams where they have been attached. I haven't actually seen this in person though. The sport package also includes 17" wheels.

    On the inside the sport package has a black interior only. With appearance package you get either the beige or gray interiors. The sport package uses electroluminescent guages vs the traditional "lit only at night" guages you'd get otherwise. The sport package also has slightly different interior trim pieces.

    I'm not sure where you work, but I was able to qualify for Mazda's S-plan through my employer. This allowed me to get my 6S for basically invoice without any need for negotiation. You also get any incentives on top of the predetermined price. (Of course there weren't any when I got mine)
     
  10. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Some alternatives:

    2004 (not 2003!) Chevy Malibu. Going to be much improved. The MAXX version has a nifty hatchback.

    2004 Grand Prix. Much improved. Is getting very good reviews, especially in GTP trim. (Although GTP is over your price range)

    2004 Subaru Impreza

    2004 Suzuki Verona

    2004 (not 2003!) Toyota Prius. Much larger than the older model and it looks pretty cool. Crazy MPG, 400 new patents in the vehicle. Throttle-by-wire. SULEV.
     
  11. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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  12. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    I appreciate the list of alternatives that every one is suggesting. I'm slowly researching them the best I can here tonight at work, but I am somewhat busy.

    Mazda 6: Thanks for the link to the mazda6 forum! Lots of great info there. I also found alot of pictures on the cardomain.com website and I'm really starting to like the look of the 6 more and more.

    This is an interesting discussion - so please keep any comments and/or suggestions coming my way if you can. Thanks!
     
  13. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    Michael,

    I'm currently somewhat in the same situation, and have test driven the 6s and the Accord Coupe v6 fully loaded. I drove the Accord first, and while yes it was a nice ride, the suspension seemed to float a little too much for my liking on tight turning and quick lane changes. I did like the interior on the Accord, and it felt, well, like an Accord should feel. Yes, it has a strong engine, which will only get you so far without being able to use it when cornering. Also, the 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty is somewhat of a drawback.

    Now, I test drove the 6s right after the Accord, and there was a world of difference in performance, more on that later. The 6 is a very solid car. It feels solid sitting in it, the door shuts solid, almost to the point where I was expecting that little window trick you see in Benzes, Bimmers, and Audis when you shut the door and it rolls up all the way (if that makes sense). The fit and finish inside the 6 is, I feel, on the same level as the Accord - nice leather, clean dash layout, etc. Now for performance. I'm used to driving a '99 Honda Prelude, which can carve corners with some of the best of them (not costing a fortune anyway!), and the 6 reminded me more of the Prelude out of the 2. Very tight cornering, razor sharp steering, and the automatic has a speed stick, which is like a manual without the clutch (I call it a manual for dummies!). And, I feel it has better exterior styling than the Accord 2dr or 4dr. Although, the rear of the Accord coupe does remind me a little of a Benz coupe. Anyway, those are my thoughts.
     
  14. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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  15. Tommy Ceez

    Tommy Ceez Second Unit

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    Anyone know of accord forums or sites on par with teh Mazda6 one above?
     
  16. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    I always feel glued to the road. What aspects of it gave you that floating feeling?

    Hi Andy, just saw this, not much time for surfing for a few weeks, (doing a weeks worth of 'chat' in this one post) business is murder!

    I’m prob not the best to even comment on the Mazda6, since I have not driven its counterparts to compare, and my baseline comparison is utterly different from how the 4-dr sedans are set up. In the last few years I have owned an old 74’ jaguar XJ12, (famous for its independent suspension, - the last year for carburated (count them -4 carburetors ! and heck to adjust them all). And currently own a Mini Cooper S. A partial reason I am now even here in HTF and Outlaw, and learning AV is my menfolk deserted me to restore and upgrade a family car; an old 68 coup, - which was stripped to bare metal and has been a two year ongoing father/son project. Here’s a non-flattering pic of the Mustang at a car show, (but the only I have access to of it on the web currently). It’s a blown 347.
    That link appears broken, I’ll try changing to this one. http://www.ntmconline.org/photos/yel.../participants/
    Fifth row up - counting from the bottom row. Far right pic, Black 68 on a black and white checker board floor.


    To keep our son from joining into street racing (the car is mine if he ever gets caught doing this) we promote and pay for any racing on a legal track he wishes to participate in. To keep near my husband I’ve flown in every antique aircraft I could occasionally hitch a ride in, took a pilot’s wife course in a squirrelly out of rig, Cessna 140, and rode around in a gooney bird (DC-3). Followed the guys to the racetracks (which they have just started) and participated myself in SCCA Solo II course (which I’m thinking of getting into when time allows). As I type this I think wow! I have an exciting life, (not true…stretched out over years …and long work grinds in between a few moments of fun). In other words I’m not your typical soccer mom as far as driving goes. (although I NEVER drive like the soccer moms , …I keep it where its appropriate (and legal) to do it, but I really have a taste and yen for power and performance. Round here the soccer moms [just think] they are dashing across town via the Indy 500….and just end up sadly …creating bumper car hell (with all the attached phonecalls to insurance agents that attitude creates).

    Long intro, to make the point my opinion might be 30degrees off normal center. Grant the M6 the fact that by the time we drove the models, they had already made many stops on the REV IT UP national circuit. No telling how badly all weekend warriors had put a hurt on these demos.

    I felt no road feedback through the wheel …so did not like the steering inputs. Body roll when coming into a corner and braking hard was extreme, even using the belt twist and lock trick - then move seat forward to latch the slack, I had trouble with how much the car was throwing me sidetoside during maneuvers. To enter a sharper turn, once on the brakes the roll tended to be very distracting, (I equate it with out of control) and waiting to get on the gas, for this to settle, was far to late, the acceleration lag was so severe you needed to be [on] the gas 1/3 into the turn to be able to exit the turn with any speed. Lag to buildup of power after hard brake seemed extensive. Shift had a palatable hesitation, (these were automatics and equipped with Kumo ? performance tires). I notice you mention a known acceleration stutter that has been addressed by a flash module, this definitely could have accounted (that and countless untrained (like me [​IMG]) getting hold of the models and thrashing them) for many of the acceleration and shift lag issues which personally bothered me. And law abiding citizens don’t’ drive mad hatter around mild cone courses (or do they?!!) So arguably these are not real world issues in the care and feeding of sedans.
    I do know my sister (unlike my more conservative approach to public byways) has on rare occasion and against my strenuous objections driven like a bat out of hell, with me her captive passenger. Her 5-6 yr old
    Maxima with almost 100 thousand on it, accelerates smoother quicker without any of the body roll with more responsiveness during sharper maneuvers that the Mazda exhibited. Add a couple of sway bars to the 6 and things would greatly improve… all tongue in cheek…. - but - I do look for these things in my everyday driver, because I’ve had to avoid death via Soccer Moms running really late to their next field with depressing and increasing frequency. Again my perspective is perhaps different from the norm?! [​IMG]
     
  17. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    I didnt buy a new car, but i just bought a used Maxima and wow!!

    I suggest you at least drive one. Mine is a 97 SE w/leather and other amenities and it is very sweet.

    www.cardomain.com/id/henrys_max

    If i had the money, id be in a 2002 "6sp" (255hp)[​IMG]



     
  18. Robert Ma

    Robert Ma Second Unit

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    I'd pick the Honda. Better resale, always dependable and you can't beat them in their market. I'd get a white one [​IMG] My father has a new grey one and I drove to Florida in it from PA. It was one of the best riding cars I made that trip in.

    The Mazda basically has the resale value like a Ford. It will have no trade in value anywhere but another Mazda dealer or Ford since many of them share Ford/Mazda here.

    That being said, I own a 2000 Mazda white v6 626 loaded and a 5 speed. I love it for the money since I got it used with 38K for 14k but I'd trade the performance for the Hondas resale stability, comfort and reliability any day.
     
  19. Andrew Testa

    Andrew Testa Second Unit

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    Mary,

    Thanks for such an in-depth response. You are definitely out of my league as far as auto knowledge and experience goes. My comparison is with far crappier cars. Body roll in my Mazda is much less severe that what I felt in the Camry and slightly less than the Accord, but I don't have any high perormance watermark to compare it to. After driving it for a while I'll concede there's a noticeable acceleration lag when hitting the gas hard. I've found that using the manual shifting for hard acceleration brings it under control. In everyday driving the acceleration seems pretty smooth. I'll have to look around in the Mazda forums and see if that lag on hard acceleration is a constant. The flash update got rid of a lag experienced in even moderate acceleration.

    Thanks for your insights. It sounds like riding in a real performance car feels like you're wearing it. The Mazda's never going to give me that. Someday I'd like to experience it.

    Andy

    BTW, it sounds like you have some extremely lucky men in your life. Tell 'em I said so.
     
  20. DavidAM

    DavidAM Second Unit

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    If a new Acura TSX is out of your range, I'd look for a slightly used Acura TL. Just did a quick look on ebay and they have 2003 and 2002 models in your price range with 8000 miles or so. I'd prefer that over an Accord or 6. I also thought of a G35 but to get one for $25K you'd have to get one with some miles on it.
     

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