General Question

jordym84's avatar

Honda Fit vs. Mazda 2 vs. Toyota Yaris?

Asked by jordym84 (4732 points ) December 23rd, 2013

I’m in the market for my very first car and, after doing tons of research, I’ve narrowed it down to the three aforementioned cars.

From what I’ve gathered, all three are on par with each other in terms of performance, reliability and fuel efficiency. Additionally, they’re also within the same price rage.

I haven’t gotten a chance to test drive any of them yet, and probably won’t for at least another month. In the meantime, I’d like to get the Collective’s opinion on these three cars. What do you know about them? Which would be a better choice and why?

If you have any other information that might help me pick a winner, please feel free to share! :)

Thanks in advance!

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14 Answers

Smitha's avatar

Right now we own a Toyota Yaris. It’s nice, fuel efficient and reliable. Till now we never had any mechanical problems. Honda holds the title for most reliable and stylish cars. I suggest a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris. Mazda is not as reliable as Toyota and Honda but generally are pretty good.

jerv's avatar

My family has had many Toyotas that were ungawdly reliable. I personally have killed 2 Hondas, but they don’t use D-series engines any longer, so expect better reliability from Hondas than I’ve had. Mazdas…. good cars, but not nearly as robust; there’s a reason you don’t see many Mazdas as old as my ‘yota still on the road. They don’t last 27+ years like my Corolla.

I’d try all three, but lean Toyota just based on my personal experience. Of all the $500 cars I’ve had, only 3 lasted more than a year; all were Toyotas.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I thought the question was going to be: “Which of these is the ugliest car?”

To each his own. I vote for the Toyota, because it’s usually a good bet.

rojo's avatar

2010 we got a Honda Fit because the back seats lay down flat and give you a lot of room to haul stuff and Honda has a pretty good reputation. If I had to do it again and it was a Fit I would get the larger engine in the sport model. The base model that we bought is underpowered in my opinion. I much prefer the Corolla.

Also, the base line Toyota comes with more features that the Fit did but that is what my wife wanted. The other thing is the Honda does not seem to be holding up as well as I expected. Nothing major, just little things like the rubber on the steering wheel deteriorating, chrome peeling, fabric staining, a decrease in overall gas mileage as it gets older (and I do keep it tuned up and change the oil regularly). Oh, and a big complaint, the tires are an odd size, not hard to find, just not stocked in most places so subsequently more expensive.

I have not had the pleasure of owning a Mazda but have owned and abused many Toyotas over the years and I have been happy with every one. I would go that way just based on experience and surprisingly, my wife said that maybe the Fit was not the best choice; not a bad choice just not the best.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If you have only one dealership ( Mazda or Toyota or Honda ) in the area, pick that brand of car.
All are about the same for used cars.

jca's avatar

I used to be a Nissan Girl. I had Nissans and loved them. My parents had a Maxima, too, and they loved it. However, as soon as the cars hit about 70–75k miles, the “code” lights would go on. That was something that must be fixed, because the cars would not pass inspection with those lights on. When the cars would be brought to the dealer(s), it was a big mystery what made the lights go on. Sometimes it was “hit or miss” to get the lights to go off.

My current car is my first Honda, a Civic. I got it in 2008 and I have about 177k miles on it now. I have never had any kind of light go on. I have never had any repairs needed. I maintain the car as I did with my Nissans. I change the oil, get new tires, got a new battery once and change filters when it’s necessary. The car tells me when the oil life is at 15%. That does not mean that every 3,000 miles the car needs new oil. That means it could be 4,000 miles up to 5 or 6,000 miles, depending. Other people I know who have Hondas tell me that their cars have more mileage and have never had major problems yet.

My radio is something I use a lot, as I change stations often. My last Nissan needed a new radio after one year, because of my use of it. My current Civic, with 177,000 miles on it, never needed a new radio yet.

I am now a Honda convert. I can see why they say Hondas cost less to maintain over the life of the car. I will try to buy Hondas from now on. I vote for you buying the Fit.

skfinkel's avatar

I have a Honda civic, which I have been enjoying very much (2006). But I drove a Yaris once as a rental and at first I felt every bump in the road, but somehow I got used to that and really enjoyed the car. Not at all a car expert though. Just my experience.

Harold's avatar

Honda yes, Mazda yes, Toyota definitely not. Toyotas are appliances, not cars.

jerv's avatar

@Harold Please elaborate. What experiences have you had with Toyota that run contrary to the experiences me, my family, my friends, and most of my Toyota-owning acquaintances have had? Do you not like cars that can last for decades with no mechanical issues?

Harold's avatar

@jerv – I never said that they weren’t reliable. I said that they were appliances. Boring transport that may go forever, but offer no interest at all.
I also don’t think they are that great for safety. I bought my son a 1998 Starlet as his first car. After about two years, he ran up the back of a Ford Festiva (which is basically a crappy little Kia). The Festiva driver got out, said, “OK, my car’s not damaged”, and drove off. The Starlet was written off….....
I don’t know about where you are, but here, Toyotas are bought by people who can’t drive. Whenever someone ploughs into a crowd of pedestrians, or crashes into someone’s house, or takes out a cyclist, 9 times out of 10 it is a Camry or a Corolla (that is no exaggeration).

We have two Honda’s at the moment (a 2006 Accord Euro and a 1991 Prelude), and have owned several more in the past, and not only are they more reliable than the Toyotas we’ve had, they actually have some class, and are great to drive.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Hondas are just as boring as Toyotas. They’re neck and neck in safety ratings and are both reliable and last forever with few mechanical issues. One or two bad experiences with either one isn’t enough to overcome the fact that they’re both great cars. It all comes down to personal preference. No one is going to think you’re cool driving around in a Civic or a Camry – these aren’t “cool” cars, they’re good cars.

jerv's avatar

@Harold You’ve never seen a Hachi-Roku (AE86; the ‘85—‘87 RWD Corolla) in action then. I will say that during my decades in NH, I found the classic AE82 (the ‘84–87 Corolla sedan) to be the best in the snow and ice. Quite nimble, great balance and handling, and slightly underpowered, which is a good thing on slippery ground. I ran my last one into the side of an SUV on the interstate and walked away, so for a car too old to have airbags, it held up well. Granted, it suffered the worst of the five vehicles involved, but two of them were 2–3 times my size.
My two Hondas snapped their timing belts. Apparently, the maintenance suggestion on them is double what the actual life of the belt is. And the second one almost killed me in the snow once; very nose-heavy, which can spin you around like an old Mustang.
YMMV.

Harold's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – Well, I guess that your definition of boring is very different to mine. I have no argument that many people buy Toyotas and they are well served. They are just not for people who actually LIKE cars. Our Hondas most definitely are NOT boring!
@jerv – I guess everyone has stories about why they like what they do. We have never had any issues with timing belts in Hondas, but I can’t refute your experience. My wife used to have an 89 model Prelude, and I drove it from Yea to Seymour in country Victoria (which is a very windy road), with a friend following in a Holden Commodore SV8 (6 litre V8, 6 speed manual), and he admitted afterwards that he couldn’t get anywhere near the Prelude (2 litre 4 cylinder, 4 speed auto) on the winding road. That Prelude sadly died this year when our older son wrote it off, so I replaced it with the 1991 model. I am happy that you like your Toyotas, but to me they are whitegoods on wheels (like buying a new refrigerator- necessary but not much fun).

jerv's avatar

@Harold Well, there’s a reason I prefer the mid/late-‘80s models over the newer ones. The older ones are more fun. About 400 pounds lighter, and far more responsive. Like the older Hondas, they’re not fast, but they don’t slow down for corners. Nothing like taking a 72HP 1.6L and smoking a V-8 in the twisties :)

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