2006 Mazda 6 or 2006 Honda Civic?

Hi, I am looking to upgrade from my 1999 Camry 2.2L.

I have a budget of $6000 and have narrowed down my options to these two cars . I was checking through Facebook Marketplace and found multiple listings of both cars. The Civic is a bit more expensive than the Mazda depending on year and km.

Which car do you think is better. If you have owned any of these and have information regarding cost of maintaining and common faults/issue please do let me know in the comments. I live in Victoria. (I think prices vary from state to state).


Poll Options expired

  • 27
    Honda Civic 2006
  • 10
    Mazda 6 2006


  • +18

    If you are looking to buy a 15 year old car but can't work out for yourself what issues you might face, perhaps you should increase your budget and buy something newer. Otherwise you are likely to have expensive repair costs and you'll regret not waiting for your budget to grow a little before purchase.'

    In reality, at 15 years many rubber and plastic parts inside the engine and around the running gear are brittle and cracked, let alone any wear parts. Both cars you've mentioned have been very reliable for the most part up to this point, but don't expect 5 years of trouble free running from this point forward. You can expect seals to leak, gaskets to be perished, problems with suspension etc.

    In my view the crossover between lowest price and highest reliability is a Japanese brand under 10 years old and under 100,000kms.

  • +1

    If the choice must be limited between these two, I'd buy a civic.

  • Both Honda and Mazda have pretty good reputation for reliability. You may find some common issues by using your favourite search platform and looking at each particular model.

    For what little its worth having not owned or driven either nor being in that market just pick the one you like more. Drive each, pick one.

  • +8

    What's wrong with the camry? I'd rather deal with the devil I know, than an entirely new one with potential problems that I know nothing about.

    • +2

      Chances are that the Camry would out last both of the other options.

      • +1

        Should have had a 3rd option… the Camry. That would be my preference if you were looking at the next 5 years with minimum costs. In the meantime save a bit more for something a bit newer.

    • +4

      I'd rather deal with the devil I know, than an entirely new one

      Seems an odd thing to say. Just because ozbargain go to is a Camry doesn’t mean that no one knows about other cars.

      Both of the suggestions are Japanese, well regarded brands, very close to Toyota in terms of reliability. They aren’t ‘unknown’. There’s plenty of them still getting around, just like Camry’s.

      • +1

        I was simply referring to myself who have no mechanical knowledge which reflect to my preference to deal with the car that I own and their problems - unrelated to what the brands are

        • Fair enough, but if you have no experience with cars, or need to buy an SUV etc, then what?

          • +2

            @Euphemistic: Depending on what is wrong with the Camry. If nothing is really wrong mechanically, then I won't be upgrading to a 2005 car from a 1999 car, as the 2005 car could have a variety of potential mechanical issues that I don't know about.

            Yes, if I need to buy an SUV then I would trade the Camry with SUV.

            If it is a want then I won't, but if it is a need then I would.

  • +2

    OP you should have in your poll neither that would be the clear winner .

  • +8

    At this age and between Japanese cars, neither model nor brand really matters. It's all in the individual condition of each car.

    Things to look for Imo:

    • service history that shows regular visits to a mechanic… Lapses of 2 years or more or super patchy receipts/books and you should walk away. The risk is too high
    • KMs that are lower than average but not too low. Sounds counterintuitive but heaps of tiny trips (where the engine doesn't get a chance to warm up) or long periods of non use could indicate more engine wear or dried out rubber orings than a regularly used and maintained engine
    • panel lines… Almost all cars that age will have had some sort of body work/repainting at some stage which is fine, as long as the underlying repairs were done well enough that the panels still line up well. If they don't, it could indicate poor quality repairs

    Also sounds like you need an independent mechanic looking over the car.

    Best of luck

    • 100% agree with you.

  • +2

    is the mazda 6 a sedan or hatch. ? i've owned the mazda cant speak on behalf of the civic.

    • the hatch is much more versatile than the sedan in these models.
    • mazda is chain driven and not belt,
    • oil filter is cartridge, petrol filter is in tank,

    agree that cars that age will depend on it's individual condition.

  • +1

    I mean, for what it's worth, the Mazda 6 is a mid-large size sedan/wagon, while the Honda Civic is Honda's small-mid size sedan. Depends if you need larger car or not.

  • +1

    I would go for a 10 years old,100,000Km range Japansese car. Sth should be around 10k.
    Just for ur reference, My Friend bought his 100,000km 2012 Nissan Xtrial for 12k back to Apr. He is also in Vic.

    • I have a budget of 6000 AUD

      His budget isnt 10k or 12k… :)

      • +2

        The point is he going to spend all of that plus more on maintenance.
        Time to think of another strategy I think .

        • +4

          $6k on maintenance? Unless he gets a lemon, it won’t cost that. Have a look around, there are plenty of older cars than that on the roads. If repairs and maintenance were always going to cost that much, they’d all be scrapped.

          Japanese are typically the most reliable. If your budget doesn’t allow, a 15yo car can be perfectly serviceable if it has been maintained well.

  • +2

    I had an 07 Civic and I have been in similar vintage Mazdas.

    Honda at the time appeared to be making much more solid cars. My Civic was a joy to drive. Extremely comfortable and well put together. I am sad I don't have it any more.

    Plus, I think it's aged really well - they still look good today in my opinion.

    The seats are really comfy too, great material.

  • I had a 2003 (or 04 cant remember exactly) Mazda 6 Luxury Sports 5 speed manual for maybe 4 years or so and think we sold it at around 140000km. It was a great car, very comfortable, performed well and reasonable fuel economy but not awesome.

    The hatch was very versatile, and long enough to actually sleep in with the seats down (Im six foot).

    If you can drive a manual, they are generally cheaper to repair if something goes wrong with as it's likely just a clutch issue, vs auto gearbox which would be more expensive to repair.

    The only issues we had with it were a warped front brake disc which would shudder a bit under braking (we got it repaired just before selling) and also the aircon compressor clutch bearing seized at maybe around 120k. A replacement compressor was quite expensive with local quotes but I ended up importing one heaps cheaper (think just a few hundred dollars), and also a replacement clutch and pulley at the same time as it was cheap. My mechanic was actually able to just replace the aircon clutch and keep the old compressor in the vehicle, so now I have a spare brand new complete compressor still in the box in a cupboard (I no longer have the car).

    The standard BOSE sound system in the Luxury Sports was pretty nice, although come to think of it the CD stacker did end up having an issue and I replaced it with a part from the wreckers.

  • +6

    A 2006 Honda Civic will be more reliable than 2006 Mazda.

  • Aren't these 2 cars in different size groups?

    Also look into insurance costs.

    You should buy an Alfa based on your username.

  • +1

    Depends on if you need the size of the Mazda 6 - it's a midsize vs the compact Civic

    I bought a 2006 Mazda 6 a few years for $2.5 and it's up to 260,000kms with nothing but general maintenance; a friend had a 2006 Civic sedan and again no problems over 200k kms. Ride comfort slightly better in the 6 and much better rear legroom.

    That model 6 was released in 2002 so it's nearing the end of the life cycle (2008) where as the Civic was 2005 (until 2012); I think the interior of the civic looks nicer because of that

    To me they are both ordinary 2000's cars and nothing really stands out between them apart from the size

    • The interior of the Luxury Sports Mazda 6 was pretty nice, black leather.

  • +3

    I just traded in a 1999 Honda Civic for a 2019 Honda Civic because the 1999 model was so good. It never gave me any problems and is still running well.

  • +2

    Family's 2006 civic still running like a wild teen.

  • +3

    Hector is going to be running 3 Honda Civics with spoon engines. And on top of that he just came into Harry's and he ordered 3 T66 turbos, with NOS, and a Motec system exhaust.

    • Yes Brian

  • Definitely do PPSR check for stolen/written off checks and make sure they have original books with full service history omif you're paying that much for an old car… It will want low KMS and very clean and tidy car for that $$$

    Be careful to get all paperwork/registration/pink slips and any old service reports to show any old issues Like oil leaks etc

    Check the body to see if all the gaps are normal so you know they haven't had an old accident and just replaced bumpers etc

    I would also try get an independent mechanic to check the car before buying ANY old car.

    Try get the Honda Euro if it's possible, much nicer car, more luxurious etc

    Always tests drive every car and for more than 5 minutes to at least get the car up to operating temperature as that is where most issues will be and then check oil levels, check coolant levels, look for an old oil or coolant leak inside the engine bay.

    Check that ALL the electronics work because if any don't that's big money to replace. Check the tyres and shocks for any noises, slam on the brakes (in a quiet street) to check for any rattles in the pedal feel.

    Check the temperature gauge on the dash and any warning lights especially check engine light!!!

    Personally I would go with more well known cars but it's your money mate just be smart and do not trust ANY seller, you have to do your homework!!!

    Good luck.

    20 years of buying and selling cars

    • +4

      Personally I would go with more well known cars

      Honda Civic and Mazda 6 not well known? That’s a new one.

      • maybe he's a toyota fanboy

        i would put it out there that you have a lot easier time finding a good mazda 6 than a civic

        i was looking at 2nd hand cars and its really tough going finding good examples of saught after cars like the civic accord euro due to that fact everyone wants them

        but anything even 2nd tier like a mazda 6 seems to be better condiition

        thank god i never have to buy this shit ever again

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