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Honda Civic Si and Mazda 3 coupe, close competition match for 2014

With the introduction of the 2014 Honda Civic Si concept at the recent Las Vegas SEMA Show, the news is all abuzz with close comparisons to the 2014 Mazda 3 Coupe and Toyota Corolla Line.

In my opinion, while the Corolla is undeniably a reliable people and grocery hauler, the line doesn't stand up to the performance provided by the Civic Si or the Mazda 3. And while the Corolla does have a pleasing body line as well as the lowest base model MSRP of $17,400.00, the offered drive-train and engine components lend themselves more to the daily commute than they do to the performance minded weekend warrior. Although others have done it, I don’t consider this three- way to be a fair comparison. In my view the Toyota is out powered, out designed an under teched; much like comparing apples to oranges…

While Honda is making great strides in modifying and restyling the Civic line and presenting world-class ground shaking fuel alternative hybrids at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mazda has slipped in the back door with a world class pocket street-burner.

For me and most drivers wishing to find good value, decent power band and driving characteristics in a small metric tuner, it’s a virtual toss-up ( on the performance side) between the Civic Si Coupe and the Mazda 3. Both cars offer superb metric engineering standards, futuristic electronic dash monitor interface and a history of trouble free car- driver relations. In other Words, there both a blast to drive, and neither car will strap you to a payment plan familiar to most European and domestic manufactured sports coupe and hatchback enthusiast.

Although you can spend more than $30K on a fully equipped, optioned to the max version of either make, it’s at your option. A nicely equipped Honda Si or Mazda 3 Coupe can be purchased for under $25,000.

While the Honda claims a higher power output at 205 hp , 171 ft.lbs of torque, vs. the Mazda 3’s claimed 185 hp and 156 ft lbs of torque, the difference noted in the specifications may be rendered inconsequential by Mazda’s SKYACTIVE design principles. Add to this equation the automotive battle of “ technical interface,” and I believe that the decision for most drivers considering a purchase of either car will come down to 3 things.

Brand loyalty, preference of style and price consideration; in that order. Both cars will prove to road worthy, tech loaded contenders for small, performance car of the year in 2014.

If you'd like to express your opinion as to the superior attributes of either offering, we'd like to hear from you. Your courteous commentary is always welcome at Torque News.