Originally Posted by mmmoose
That's the impression I'm getting also. And for the record I love both (Mazda3 and Focus) interiors, but for slightly different reasons. On the flip side I could also do a walk-around and pick out all the spots where they cut corners for both cars. Every manufacturer does this. But for something that's below $20k I think they're both exceptionally good.
Off the top of my head I can only name 3 remaining manufacturers that have fallen behind on interior quality and ergonomics... and all 3 of them rely on their reputation for reliability to meet sales numbers. They're probably not very hard to guess.
Right on! They are very good cars in their price ranges, though each has their faults. I doubt if we could have bought cars this good 10-15 years back (I'm thinking Escort, Protege,Cavalier). And, I suppose I am guilty of wanting a BMW for the $15.9K I paid....human nature. What I'm trying to say is that I can be critical of the Focus, but I do like them quite a bit.
I agree that the 3 is very noisy and that the paint is pretty but very fragile. The quality on my 3 is very good, but not quite what the durability of my Miata has been (bulletproof). So, there may have been a small amount of degradation there.