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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Well, these are two pretty similar cars we have here! It's only details that could potentially make the difference. Considering they both belong to the small family car segment and utilize the same 4-door sedan body style and the front wheel drive system, it all comes up to the specific petrol engine choice they offer. The first one has a Ford-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 115hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 100hp engine designed by Mazda.Safety
The fact that the Ford got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, offers a slight advantage, as the 4-star rating is better than none. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the American car offers a marginal difference of 7% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, at least on all of the models level. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Ford, as well as Mazda, with the same average rating of 4.4 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed Focus as average reliability-wise, and 323 is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the American car rank it on average as 4.6, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Ford is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.6 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 198 kilometers per hour, 21km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 7.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (38 mpg), in combined cycle.
Ford appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the American car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. It all continues in the same direction, with Ford being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. Fuel consumption is more or less the same. All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but Ford. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.