2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Mazda 3: Which One Should I Buy? | YourMechanic Advice

2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Mazda 3: Which One Should I Buy?

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Compact sedans and hatchbacks provide a great ride on a budget, with the evolution from a stodgy, unattractive exterior (and interior!) to a more fully-featured trim set and exterior design. Driving enjoyment is improved throughout the class, which are known to be commuter cars and are often chosen for younger drivers.

While the Focus is a bit more eye-catching from a design perspective, the Mazda 3 has some slick curves that provide an overall neat, sophisticated, and athletic profile. The Mazda’s interior stays true to the newer European look and feel; while the Focus feels sporty and obsessively detailed throughout the interior which brings it up a class in terms of feel and look.

Mazda Mazda3 2012
Mazda Mazda3 2012

Interior Comfort

Ford loses out a bit on the interior design because, while sporty, it leaves something to be desired in terms of spacing for the driver and front-seat passenger as the dash is taking up a great deal of room. The interior of the Ford is sculpted and tailored, while the Mazda is slightly more utilitarian.

Performance

The sportier feel that you’ll get from both vehicles puts other sedans and hatchbacks to shame, but the Mazda 3 gives a better and kickier performance regardless of the similar stats. You’ll get a more effective powertrain and better responsiveness from the Mazda 3 no matter if you go for the six-speed automatic or the six-speed manual gearbox. Smooth and even acceleration and confident braking provide the Mazda with class- leading performance, while the Ford is simply acceptable.

Safety Ratings

The Focus falls a bit shy again in terms of ratings when compared to the Mazda 3. While both are Top Safety Picks by the IIHS, the Mazda is the only one to get 5 stars from the NHTSA for frontal-impact test, while the Ford gets 4 stars. Mazda 3 has a blind spot warning system and several other active safety features that the Ford just doesn’t offer.

Fun Extras

The Ford gives you a few bonuses on the base model such as parking assistance and MyFord Touch connectivity; which is matched by the Mazda Connect system. You’ll find adaptive lighting, blind-spot monitoring, memory power seats, and premium sound in both options.

If you’re looking for a vehicle you will love to drive and that will be stingy with the gas, then the Mazda 3 may be your option. However, with the upgrade package the Ford Focus is one of the best-driving small cars that is on the market for this year.


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Jason

14 years of experience
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Jason
14 years of experience
Chrysler 300 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - New York, New York
Very calm, understanding told me the true price flog the vehicle and also helped me negotiate saving me $$$ great mechanic and did the pre purchase inspection good
Honda CR-V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Flushing, New York
Jason was great, prompt, and extremely helpful! He explained every aspect of his concerns with the car and answered all our questions in detail. Since I don't know much about cars, it was amazing to have someone who explained how things work in a simple but well rounded way. We are so appreciative of his help!

Chris

21 years of experience
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Chris
21 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz SLK280 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Hills, California
I hired Chris to inspect a car I wanted to purchase. He arrived on time and gave me a very detailed report, took the time to call me after to review details, and share his impression of the car. He was great and very knowledgeable, I would highly recommend him!
Lexus IS250 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Smooth experience, was able to communicate succinctly and arrived early to the appointment. Thoroughly completed the 50-point check and gave me his professional opinion. His report on the vehicle reflected knowledge on the vehicle, along with giving me his own estimate on the pricing. Definitely helped me with my purchase.

Peter

24 years of experience
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Peter
24 years of experience
BMW X5 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Burbank, California
Peter saved me from buying a lemon. He was extremely knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with. He is extremely through more than the standard and so he would be your go to guy for any picky buyer like I am. THANK YOU PETER!

Jimmi

25 years of experience
69 reviews
Jimmi
25 years of experience
BMW 750Li - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Sanford, Florida
Jimmi is thorough! As I am buying the car unseen, he gave me a very good idea of the overall state of the vehicle. I am very impressed!!! He called me and discussed everything with me. Gold star!

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