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Performance (manual gearbox)
Performance (automatic gearbox)
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 5-door wagon 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 Mazda-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 145hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 136hp engine designed by Renault.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. 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, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, the American car offers a marginal difference of 1% 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, all the models observed together. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Ford with an average rating of 4.4, and models under the Renault badge with 4.1 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed Focus 21% above average, and Megane 19% below the first one. That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as the American car rank it on average as 4.1, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.6 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Ford is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.3 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 206 kilometers per hour, 8km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the American car, averaging around 7.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (40 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 13% difference compared to the French car.
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 offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with Ford offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! 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. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.