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Ford Focus vs Mazda Mazda3: Compare Cars Page 2

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Although standard equipment on base models of both the Focus and Mazda3 is comparable, we think that with this year's redesign the Mazda3 has gained a slight edge. The Focus has MyFord Touch, Ford's sophisticated voice- and touch-screen-based system for connectivity with smart phones and media players (plus climate controls), outclasses the interface in the Mazda3. It also offers a full-featured (and easier to use) navigation system, plus available Park Assist. But features like bi-xenon adaptive lighting, memory power seats, blind-spot monitoring, an available head-up display, a simpler touch-screen interface, and a ten-speaker Bose surround sound system certainly make the Mazda3 no technology slouch whatsoever.

Our Overall Rating numbers for these two models are very close; and here even more than usual it comes down to priorities. If you love to drive and want the best-driving, gas-stingy small car, we can't think of much better than the Mazda3 with either engine. But with the Focus -- especially the high-performance Focus ST -- you're getting one of the best-driving, best-riding small cars on the market.

2014 Ford Focus 2014 Mazda MAZDA3
2014 Ford Focus 2014 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring  -  First Drive
TCC Rating
8.8 Even without considering the top-performance ST, the 2014 Ford Focus is one of the best-driving small cars on the market--with the impression of being an accessible premium car, not a spruced-up econobox. 8.4 The 2014 Mazda 3 stands out from the small-car crowd, with its sport-car-influenced proportions and sporty driving experience; but its tight, noisy cabin means that it’s not at all the best pick for pragmatists.
9The 2014 Ford Focus is extroverted inside and out, with just the right of sportiness and a premium, closely detailed look. Read more9Either as a curvaceous small sedan or hunkered-back hatchback, the 2014 Mazda 3 is a complete design expression with a lot of sports car influence. Read more
8The 2014 Focus is athletic and nimble no matter what, but the Focus ST is the way to go if you want to make the most of its performance potential. Read more8Among frugal small cars, the 2014 Mazda3 is one of the most entertaining and engaging to drive—although the steering might not quite measure up to expectations. Read more
8The interior of the 2014 Focus is spacious and comfortable, with the refinement of a larger vehicle; we just wish the instrument panel didn't take up so much space. Read more7The 2014 Mazda 3 has the look and feel of a more expensive car inside, in many respects, but its low-slung seating and hunkered-back roofline bring some comfort consequences that some will have trouble accepting; so is its rather busy and noisy ride. Read more
9With some standout options and top-tier occupant safety, there's nothing missing here for security-minded small-car shoppers. Read more9The 2014 Mazda 3 earned Top Safety Pick+ status, and new active-safety options secure some added respect. Read more
10The tech-savvy 2014 Ford Focus Titanium is the way to go for shoppers who want a premium small car and don't insist on a luxury badge. Read more9For the most part, the Mazda 3 is about on par with other vehicles in the segment; although if you step up to top Grand Touring models, you get a lot of tech features, at a price that’s still under $30k. Read more
8The limited-availability Focus Electric is the most efficient one in the lineup; but even the performance-oriented Focus ST is better than most other hot hatches. Read more8With the entire lineup offering more than 30 mpg Combined, and the top-of-the-line Tech Package adding the fuel-saving i-ELOOP system, the 2014 Mazda 3 lineup shows that going frugal can still be fun. Read more
from $16,810 from $16,945
from $15,843 from $16,474
Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway
30 (Est) 33
Front Leg Room (in)
41.9 42.2
Second Leg Room (in)
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