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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 Mazda-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 75hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 100hp engine designed by Ford.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. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the American car offers a marginal difference of 4% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, when all the models are taken into account. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of Mazda, as well as Ford, with the same average rating of 4.4 out of 5. Independent research findings rank 323 as average reliability-wise, and Focus is more or less at the same level.We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the Japanese car rank it on average as 4.5, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.8 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Ford is way more agile, reaching 100km/h in 4.3 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 185 kilometers per hour, 23km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 7.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (39 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 outracing its opponent in any situation possible, making it better choice for boy racers. 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. I suggest you spend two more minutes in order to find out which car, based on your needs and budget, would be picked by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.