11/28/13

New Mazda 3 Outshines Ford Focus in Head to Head Comparison


Ford and Mazda used to have a fairly tight connection up until a few years ago, with the Blue Oval owning a stake in the small Japanese automaker with which it had a large exchange of information during this collaboration period.

Now, the only proof of their time spent together is pint-sized Mazda2 which is basically a Fiesta hatch with different body and interior, but with pretty much the same basic mechanical bits underneath (not including the engines; Mazda has its own).

Now, after launching the old 3 which was basically the same as the 2 in that it used a Ford platform (this time the one from the larger Focus) and even shared its 1.6-liter (PSA-sourced) diesel engines on certain markets, Mazda has gone its own way, with a car that’s very different from the current Focus, and all the better for it, as the Car and Driver video posted here reveals.

I recently had a chance to take a quick test drive of the new 3, and while the Focus is an old friend, I must concede that the Japanese car was better in every single way, from the looks, to the drive and the interior – not even the low 120 hp output of the detuned 2.0-liter petrol engine put me off it, as it proved pokey and surprisingly frugal. Those who say it’s a borderline-luxury vehicle do make some sense, especially if the car comes with leather and all the toys that the one I drove had.

Make no mistake, the Focus is not bad either, but it felt inferior to the 3 in almost every respect. Now, do check out the video too – it’s posted after the virtual jump.

By Andrei Nedelea


VIDEO


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