Originally Posted by FFHatch2013
I also never understood this common shot on the Mazda3. When I was looking at a 2012 i GT Hatch, I found that the Focus SE (that I eventually bought) actually had more hard touch panels (specifically the door panels, both front and rear doors). Even the cheaper iTouring had somewhat soft touch materials on its door panels, at least at front/driver's side.
That's what I found as well ... I think some people just hear that, and then parrot it over and over without having actually been in or even near a new M3.
Doesn't matter though ... people can say whatever they want to. I know what it has in it because it's sitting in my driveway, and before that ... the Focus was sitting in my driveway, so I have real live experience with both options.
To me ... even though I had the base stereo ... meaning no SYNC or MFT ... the Focus interior WITH SYNC and/or MFT was horrendously busy, with tiny buttons that made you take your eyes off the road to use. Ford got slammed for that in numerous reviews. The only soft touch materials I remember in the Focus were the top of the dash .... everything else was pretty hard and unfriendly from what I remember. That's probably why they rattle and squeak so much.
And the headliner in the Focus with the moonroof (which I had, and it buzzed constantly) was like a cheap piece of cardboard with really thin fur pasted on it that felt like it was ready to fall down at any minute. The headliner in the M3 feels quite substantial in comparison.