Acura RSX verses new Civic Coupe'

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I'm looking at these 2 cars for a family member and would like to invite comparison from the guys here. New Civic EX 30/38 mpg, newer 140hp 1.8 engine equipped w/ sunroof and alloys = $18,200 msrp http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/honda/civic/100653377/researchlanding.html Acura RSX 27/34 mpg, 2.0 155hp engine equipped w/ sunroof and alloys = $20,300 msrp http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/acura/rsx/100613222/researchlanding.html At this time, I'm favouring the Civic. Any insight or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, AJ
 
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I like the new Civic, especially the interior. But I wonder about 1st year reliability with a totally new car. The 4 door Civic looks a little like an Acura TSX. The RSX is begining to look dated, dont get me wrong....the RSX is still a sexy car.
 
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I like them both. Good specs, good looks, good reviews, good opinion of Honda in general. I haven't driven either though, and I think that should be the determining factor. If you find them equally enjoyable to drive, I'd go with the Civic for the better price and fuel economy. The Civic is also $260 a year cheaper on insurance here. Have you driven them yet?
 
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The backseat of the RSX is completely useless for humans >4' tall if that is a concern.
 
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I know you have it narrowed down to those two cars, but have you considered the Mazda3? It has beat out the Civic the past couple years in head to head comparison's by numerous auto reviewers (of course, it wasn't the new generation civic that you're looking at now). I have an '05 Mazda3 5-door and I think it's an unbelievable car for the price (starts around 13K and goes to around $20K). I bought a hard to find special edition (SP23) which was fully loaded and paid just under $20K. I'd say it has more bang for the buck than any other car in it's segment. Some of the options are: HIDS projector headlights w/manual level control, LED clear tails (5-door only), NAV, auto-sensing wipers, auto climate control, 6-disc cd-changer, Sirius satellite radio, moonroof, etc. Plus, the handling is amazing and it has a good amount of low-end torque for a 4-banger you don't need to rev the **** out of it like you do a Honda to get the power. I think it's a real blast to drive for what it is. Anyway, I just thought I'd throw it out there. 4 door: http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/mazda/mazda3/100614385/researchlanding.html?pop=1 5 door: http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/mazda/mazda3/100614388/researchlanding.html?pop=1
 
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If you look at the interior space, they are almost identical. The Acura has a slight advantage in the cargo department...but otherwise all within an inch or less. Going from the engine specs, I would expect the Honda to be peakier. The hp is @ a slightly lower rpm (200 rpm), but the torque peak is at a higher rpm (300 rpm). It has been my experience as you bring those two values closer together, you get a peakier engine that is harder to drive. The RSX has more tq, more hp, and the spread is greater. I would also put my money on the RSX to out-handle the civic as well...no specs to prove this though. As well as insurance (already mentioned) I would also think about warrenty, and service work. I have heard nothing but good things about Acura service and dealerships. Mixed reviews about Honda. Also consider maintenance costs. Over 1000 miles, the gas mileage difference will only save you about $8 to $10 @ $2.50 per gallon. What are you using this for? Family car, going to and from work by yourself? I would go for the RSX type S!
 
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The Mazda3 indeed has a nice interior and handles well. I was not impressed with the performance of the 2.3l engine though. It just didn't feel particularly quick. I was hoping for a better pickup given the good power-to-weight ratio. But still, it should be considered when comparing to Civic, unless Dr. AJ is looking strictly for a 2-door coupe.
 
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I too have a 2005 Mazda3 and have loved every second of it. Before purchasing it, I test drove a 2005 Honda Civic (old model obviously), an Acura RSX, and Nissan Sentra SE-R SpecV... I settled on the Mazda3 the second I drove it. At first I was thinking to myself (ah great, Mazda = Ford), but after driving it I didn't care. You'd be doing yourself an injustice to overlook the Mazda3 entirely... what's the worst that could happen? You test drive it and don't like it? Good enough for me.
 

Dr.AJ

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Leaning toward the Si. Did not make it to the dealer today. Si has 6-sp, limited slip, 200hp, 17" alloys, more front hip room. It probally has the same mpg as the base RSX. I'm gonna hammer out his comparison, it's a good one. Remember, a sunroof is a must, so I have to compare to Civic EX/Si and base RSX, all of which come w/sunroof. Base RXS is only a few $ less than Si, only a few more than Civic EX. If the Si was not yet on the market, it would be a tougher choice, but the stuff on the Si, especially the limited slip is too hard to resist. Brand-wise, these are the 2 choices. Alwyas good experiences with Honda/Acura.
 
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If you are debating between the 2, I'd pick the Civic. If you are willing to spend $20K, why not go with Civic SI? I also agree that the Mazda 3 should not be overlooked. It's usually rated #1 in comparison tests. I just don't like the gauge cluster setup on the new Civics.
 
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I own an 01 Civic, and have recently (within the last week) driven an RSX, new-gen Civic Si, and the Mazda3 (my ex-girlfriend's). The Si is just razor-sharp. The handling is almost perfectly neutral, all kinds of grip, great engine and transmission. It is truly a driver's car, and a steal at $20K. The new EX I drove was a total dog (felt as slow as my 01 EX!) and understeered like crazy. For an extra $1500, the Si is worth every penny. However, the back seat has the worst headroom I've seen in a car this size. I love the Mazda3 for what it is. It's not as quick and doesn't have the LSD, but for all you get it's a bargain. Handling is great, all kinds of fun toys (optional HID headlights, bose audio, leather heated seats, rain sensing wipers, all things not available on any Civic). Tons of room, too. I prefer the conventional dash to the new Civic, but that's just me. If it was me, I'd probably get the 3. There is just so much more space that I really feel more comfortable in it. I also get a sick discount for being a state employee, which could also be a factor for you (Ford discounts usually work fine at Mazda dealers)
 
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