The ugly duck, aka the ep3

Recently I have been looking into a new car, well not new new, but newer then what I have been bombing around in. I’ve been trying to find some thing reliable, comfortable, compact, and somewhat sporty for around the $10k mark. The mazda3’s came to mind since they are all these things plus have 4 doors and a hatch but they are averaging around $15k, a bit too steep for me right now. The gti’s I like, but the older ones have reliability issues and the mk4’s aren’t cosmetically appealing to me.

So what I end up coming across is the 2002-2005 civic sir, si in the U.S., it’s all these things I want. This is a ‘Honda of Europe’ civic, and was developed to compete with the hot Euro hatches, which are much more solid and stable, and it did very well. The crew at Top Gear loved it (if you know the crew at top gear this is a mighty feat, BBC car TV show) and they even preferred it more then the newer civic hatch when it came out. The funny thing about this car is that most the Honda fan boys didn’t like it, it wasn’t raw enough for them or quick enough either and it always looked a little off at the time. They were use to noisy, bouncy, very high revving cars. but these things are what made the general automotive world appreciate them as compact cheap track stars and hate them as daily drivers, they can be a real chore to drive. But this was to be the civic that changed that by keeping the sporty handling and compact size but bringing a higher quality and quieter interior, a motor with more torque (especially down low, which was a real problem with most other hondas), and a much more ridged chassis. But they didn’t sell a lot of them so good ones are hard to find.

So I am now on the hunt for a nice clean low mileage unit, which I can take on my trip to California down the coast highway. Here are some pics I have gathered over the years, many from the Honda-Tech forum, for some inspiration.




5 Responses to “The ugly duck, aka the ep3”

  1. 1 J. Patstsone
    February 26, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    So out with the four doors and practicality. This would be strictly a driving machine, like a $10k toy. What if Bahiyyih tells you one day she has a bun in the oven, and maybe four doors would be really practical for putting baby in his car seat. But I don’t want to spoil your fun. I guess you could always modify the “sir” with an acetalene torch and a couple of hinges from an old civic wagon. That would really be an original car. A three door “sir” hatchback. Good lookin’ and practical, and probably the only one in town, at least I would hope so. Kidding aside, the one with the red wheels looks sharp, but I guess you’ll be keeping your “wagon’s wheels”,(almost sounds like “wagon wheels”), oh and why not a couple of hinges, just in case.

  2. 2 joshp77
    February 26, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    The point about the 4 doors is quite valid… but I figure I go through cars every six months at least and it takes 9 months to make a baby… that gives me 3 whole months of extra time! haha…I know but there really aren’t any decent 4 doors that fit the bill right now. tell me your options and I’ll find holes I’m sure 😛

  3. 3 J. Patstsone
    February 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Well if you’re gonna’ find holes, then I guess I’ll leave it up to you. I’d love to change cars every six months, but I’m waitin’ to win the lottery first. Although there is a really nice Volvo X90 for sale down the street with only 95k, I’m awfully tempted. Problem is my humble Vibe, is paid for and runs like a top.

  4. 4 joshp77
    February 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    yeah, there’s several cars I’m considering like the toyota matrix Xrs, civic si sedan, toyota yaris rs, honda fit sport, and well as the mazda 3 and the subaru wrx (a little too pricey tho). but I’d really like to keep it under $10k, I’m trying to keep an open mind as well as keep reliability a factor. I really don’t want any of the 90’s cars where you sit so low to the floor and have a long profile style, I’m a fan of the newer taller yet still sporty cars. I find holes in every car I want, I just gotta find the one with the least holes that won’t make me too broke to travel.

  5. 5 J. Patstsone
    February 28, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Yup Subarus are way over priced, but a really neat sound right. They are very popular around here, because they are good in the snow. You can tell a WRX a mile away just by the sound. That and the old 5L mustangs, which is the ultimate, sweetest sound of all. Maybe you could find an older Mazda speed. Toyotas don’t have high performing engines although they are extremely reliable. My Vibe is basically a Toyota matrix. Best car I’ve ever had, but definately not a high performance engine. But I’m not a high performance guy anymore. We can always find holes in all choices we make, like women, there’s no perfect solution. Is there?

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