Help Me Choose between These Cars (Honda Civic/Jazz Mazda 2/3 Toyota Yaris)

Hi, I have been searching for cars for roughly a month now and would appreciate some help.

I am looking at these following models for roughly under $5000. Maintenance cost, longevity, repairs and resale matters more to me than fuel economy. So am inherently preferring a one of the medium sized cars. It is commonly known that all of these cars have very good fuel economy.

Honda Civic 2007+ (~150,000KMs)
Mazda 3 2007+ (~130,000KMs)
Honda Jazz 2010+ (KM in low 100,000s)
Mazda 2 2010+ (KMs in the low 100,000s)
Toyota Yaris 2010+ (150,000KMS)

Whilst a simple browse of Carsales, Gumtree or FB marketplace wont give you these prices, I have been looking at cars for the past month and have seen multiple cars go for these prices.

Also looking at Toyota Corolla but the Toyota tax seems a bit unreasonable to deal with at this price range. AFAIK, the Civic features a better interior and a similar level or reliability but added comfort whilst driving.

I have also considered Hyundai Getz but apparently (according to 1-2 people on whirlpool) it is small yet still takes as much fuel as a Corolla would. It was mentioned that it had something to do with the way the Getz steering wheel is.

Have also considered something non-Japanese/Korean and have been told Ford Focus is a great car, but I am skeptical as to whether it would be a good purchase.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Poll Options expired

  • 5
    Honda Civic 2007+ (~150,000KMs)
  • 4
    Mazda 3 2007+ (~130,000KMs)
  • 33
    Honda Jazz 2010+ (KM in low 100,000s)
  • 16
    Mazda 2 2010+ (KMs in the low 100,000s)
  • 3
    Toyota Yaris 2010+ (150,000KMS)
  • 3
    Hyundai i30 2008+ (150,000KMS)
  • 1
    Hyundai i20 2010+ (150,000KMS)
  • 1
    Ford Focus 2008-11
  • 0
    Hyundai Getz 2010+ (120000KMS)


  • +5


  • +2

    Without knowing the condition of the car and maintenance record. I would say check out the Mazda2 or Jazz IMO. I think the Jazz might have the magic rear seat option. Was probably the last good model before Honda went to crap.

    • +3

      Well, there's two types of cars listed here.

      The medium hatch:
      Mazda 3, Hyundai i30, Ford Focus, Honda Civic (sedan), and absent from this list is the Toyota Corolla.

      The small hatch:
      Hyundai i20, Hyundai Getz, Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Mazda 2.

      …personally, I don't think there's much efficiency/financial/size-loss when going with "medium hatch". They tend to be a little more practical for moving people and things. And I think they make their parts (suspension, etc etc) a little better. With that said, it's good to see no VW's or Euro models in this list. The Toyota Corolla might be outside the budget, and maybe that's why you didn't include it in this list.

      Depending on the condition, I would probably go with the Mazda 3. There's lots of those cars in Australia, easy to service, plenty of parts, etc etc. The thing it nudged it over the Hyundai i30 is having that extra gear, since the 4-gears in the i30 can be a little limiting to the Mazda's 5th (not on the base Neo model, go one up to the Maxx variant).

      • Corollas are outside of my budget, correct!

        I am looking at Mazda 3 Maxx, but really pinning for a SP23 to go on sale cheap, I wouldnt mind spending a grand more for a SP23 since they're so fun to drive.

  • +2

    Whatever you find get it checked over, all cars can be reliable or a POS, just don't buy the Ford, it is always a POS.

    • +2

      Owned a 2009 diesel Ford Focus… great car… until it started falling apart and failing. Trims falling off, door cards coming loose, rattles… then the engine surging started followed by transmission just going dead or the accelerator pedal doing nothing after pulling up and wanting to take off again.

      And in OP’s year range, if they get a petrol, there is a really high chance it will have a busted powershit transmission in it as well if they opt for an auto.

  • Mazda3 .My daughter bought a 2006 model 10 years ago and has spent nothing on it except for regular services.
    Try to buy a one owner car with full service history

    • Service History is not that hard to find, but one owner is very rare. Thanks for your input!

  • +1

    At that age and price range, I would limit your options to Japanese.

    • What about koreans like Mazda/Hyundai. Even in Japs, there is some I need to avoid. E.g. Subaru.

  • +1

    Not the focus.
    Later Jazz versions made in Thailand.
    Be careful with Jazz CVT gearbox

    • +1

      We owned the very first gen Jazz Vtis, still remembering picking it up in 2003 for $27,200! Fast forward 4 years later, we clocked 130,000kms on the car, even took the car onto Wakefield Raceway and drove like a lunatic for about 50 laps all up during that day. Had zero faults during the four years, the Jazz retired when some drunk guy drove into the back of it whilst it was parked and consequently written off.

      • I have heard good things about the old jazz cars.

    • What years are the Jazz's that are made in Thailand.

      • 2009-2020

        • Some MY2012-2013 Jazz’s were also made in Japan under the badge Vibe and Vibe-S, but they’ll probably be out of your price range in those years

  • +1

    There is a reason for selling so many Toyotas and still having the Toyota premium.

    • +1

      Lots of people also pay for extended warranty. Popular choice doesn't mean much.

      • Lots of people also pay for extended warranty

        Two separate things. 100% of people by Apple but only x% buy extended warranties. But you can't really say extended warranty is the reason people by Apple products. You got your correlations incorrect.

        Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores used to sell as much as Camrys but I don't see decade old Falcons / Commodores commanding a price premium.

        • +1

          All I'm saying is, just because lots of people are buying something doesn't make that something worth buying. That's all.

          Not making correlations.

          • @DisabledUser88699:

            All I'm saying is, just because lots of people are buying something doesn't make that something worth buying. That's all.

            I would say that about heart and diabetes medication but then the problem actually lies in other things people are buying. Sometimes there is a direct relationship, other times there isn't.

    • I've been driving the same corolla since I've been on my Ls (have done 1 year on green Ps now), so in total this is around 1.5 years with the same car. There is nothing wrong with the car other than some creaking from the plasticky interior at times when the road is really bumpy. Reason why I don't want to get another corolla for my sole personal use is because of the premium. I don't really see the point of paying 5k for a 2006-7 with 150,000+ kms on it when something comparable and more fun to drive is 2-3 year newer.

      Also with corollas, people know there is a premium. So the chances of me getting a trashed up corolla is kinda likely at the 5k price range.

      • What is the premium?

        • Toyota Premium = higher prices associated with Toyota cars due to their reputation of being the most reliable in the used market.

  • +1

    mazda 3 or civic, they all suck btw

    • Haha yeah they all aren't the most enjoyable to drive, but first car and not much of a car guy so they'll serve their purpose well.

  • +1

    Any of them could be a lemon at that price point and age. Service history, clean ppsr and a pre-purchase inspection are the deciding factors here

    • Not really mate. Inspecting the car is a mandantory thing for purchasing any used car, a complete service history is also very favourable, ppsr is done when I'll be serious about the car and just before buying it. There is not that many lemons on the road. The used car market has just been inflated as of late, but some cars are still being sold at cheap prices but the catch is they got sold very very quick.

      • There is not that many lemons on the road.

        Oh lordy…

        • Well, maybe I do not have that much experience in searching cars. But my dad and countless others here in Sydney say that there is a rule you should follow when buying cars. The price I mention is what I am paying, so around 5000, these cars are often priced at 6.5-7k and the sellers do come down lower.

          So for those people who are from Sydney…

          Step 1 is to avoid areas such as Bankstown, Greenacre, Guildford, Mt Druitt to name a few. There is a lot more that come to mind, and I would say that being from Western Sydney, I wouldn't trust a used car from 1/4 of Western Sydney suburbs. Also, sadly the appearance of the person also sometimes is deterring enough when buying cars, especially when the price is too good to be true.

          Overall I would consider myself one of those people who would rather buy a lemon from a private seller than pay my money to a dealer for a used car.

          I tend to take 2-3 mates that know a bit about cars, they can provide me with a better view of what exactly im looking at. So far haven't had any problem.

          • +1

            @thriftysach: Ok cool :)

            Lemons are out there, but it's key to recognise the potential issues, which it sounds like you have covered!

            You haven't mentioned, are you looking at manual or auto or both?

            • @spackbace: Auto since although the car will be 80% used by me, there may be times I'd have to let siblings practice on Ls for it.

              If that wasn't the case, I'd love to buy a manual car and get an actually decent car for my price range with it being manual.

              • +1


                If that wasn't the case, I'd love to buy a manual car and get an actually decent car for my price range with it being manual.

                It's your first car and you're spending your hard-earned, buy a manual. You'll get the most out of these buzz-boxes, gain better experience with the 3 pedals, and sounds like you'd enjoy your car more.

                They can practice on yours and get a manual license, or use a driving school ;)

                • @spackbace: Good Point, I'll have to think about it, since I still need to learn manual too.

                  • @thriftysach: As a guy, who owned 2x 2.0L manual cars then bought an auto V6 3.5L, start with manual to really get it stuck in your head and you'll be golden.

                    I'm a car salesman now, and need the ability to bounce between manual and auto, piece of cake!

                    Yes, the world is going auto, but it's still a handy skill to have. And as you say, side benefit is a better, newer car for your budget.

                  • @thriftysach: Plus one for manual if you want it. Ta your car, you choose. If you want to teach others to drive, then learning with a manual isn’t that much of a step over an auto - but - whoever you teach needs to have some mechanical aptitude to make it easy.

  • +1

    I'll put a vote in for the Yaris, but id look at 2012 plus.

    I bought my 2008 5 yrs ago for $6k with 60,000km and 11 months rego. I did look at a few to make sure i got the best i could with my money. I got the 4dr with 1.5L. Ive done 70,000km since and have only changed the oil and the tires. It has averaged 6.1L/100km over that 60,000km, measured at the pump but it is manual.

    • Auto yaris cars are very popular though and attract the toyota tax. Best price ive seen is 2012 yaris with 160k kms for 5k with 10months rego. But I thought that the kms were a bit too high for that.

      Thanks for your input.

  • +1

    Manual Jazz. Bulletproof and you can do anything in one - look up a vid on Honda Jazz Magic Seats. It's basically a van.

    Don't worry about the 'made in Thailand' - it's a small, simple car that they have been making for years and the Thai Jazzes have proven reliable anyway. Same engines, transmission, etc etc.

    Also, the one with vtec (not sure which engine, but one has, one doesn't) is legit very fun, coming from a car enthusiast. The car weighs nothing and the vtec buuuuuilds more than it has any right to.

  • +1

    if your still considering a corolla if your willing to go older 2002-2007 model that might fall in the budget.
    - high km's
    - low satfery feature - abs not standard.

    • Corolla prices are very inflated and the car doesn't offer much besides being the cheapest to run/cheap parts.

      Have thought about it, would prefer a Mazda 3 or even a Camry for the better ride experience.

      • yeah, that the thing with corolla's I've founded, it hold it's value well.

        any car your planning in buying it good to find out what the big ticket service costs esp with cars that have > 100000 km.

        camrys are nice but avoid the v6 version. As the timing belt/spark plugs replacement are quite expensive.

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