A friend of mine is in the market for a new car. It's going to be her first car and she does not plan to keep it for more than five years. At first, she was looking at a Yaris, but I told her to consider other cars. After test driving the Elantra, Civic Coupe, Altima Hybrid, Fit Sport and Mazda 3, she has narrowed it down to either the 2010 Mazda 3i Touring or the 2009 Civic EX Coupe. To me, here are some pros and cons for both cars: 2010 Mazda 3i Touring PRO: Good handling, standard stability control, slightly more powerful than the Civic, upscale feel, better interior quality CON: First year problems that are associated with a redesign, $800 more than a similarly equipped Civic EX coupe. 2009 Civic EX Coupe PRO: 4th year of the current generation (no reliability concerns), stronger resale than the Mazda, available in a Coupe body style CON: Noisy on the highway, stability control not available unless you purchase the leather option, dated design, rapid front brake wear To me, the Mazda 3 is the better car. It is safer since it has stability control, it handles better, has an upscale feel and is simply a more pleasant car to drive. While I am concerned about the reliability since it's a first year car, my friend will be keeping the car for less than 100k so I doubt any serious issues will arise. What do you guys think?