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Old 09-27-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
ralck
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The Competition

Well, at least in my opinion the Mazda3 the only competition!

The original reason I went with my Focus is that I could get a manual transmission and sunroof combo (in 2012 could not get Mazda Skyactiv manual with sunroof). Then I fell in love with my Focus way more than I expected (thought it would be a good car, but turned out to be a great car).

Now that I need to buy a new car, I'm torn between the 2013 Mazda3 and 2013 Focus. I'm between:
  • Focus SE w/ Winter Pack and Moonroof
  • SE w/ 201A, Winter Pack, and Moonroof
  • Mazda3 iGrand Touring (standard with heated seats, moonroof, voice activation similar to sync, etc)

With the SE I lose rear disc brakes (much debated, mainly want them for servicing myself, especially with how important the e-brake is with a manual), but I get all the creature comforts like heated seats (winter pack), blind spot mirrors, cheaper price, fold flat seats, etc. This is the cheapest of the options by about $2k.

The SE with 201A is virtually the same as the Mazda3 I'm looking at (both have leather, rear disc, etc etc), but the Mazda gives me a few extras like upgraded Bose sound (I would not be getting the MFT/Sony pack on the Focus), Mazda suspension/driving dynamics/steering feel, in-dash Nav (a feature I would probably never use), and probably 1-2MPG better.

BUT the Mazda dealerships where I live really don't want to negotiate price, so with the current Focus rebates, etc, the SE 201A is at least $3k cheaper (assuming I get lucky and can negotiate ~1000 off a Mazda).

Am I crazy for not being able to decide which one? 3k buys a lot of suspension/speaker/etc upgrades, but I don't think I can upgrade the steering feel (the Focus has good feel, but the Mazda is still better). Am I crazy? It just seems so hard to choose since they are virtually the same car...

P.S. Yes, I expect all of you to recommend the Focus because this is a Focus forum.


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Old 09-27-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
skiboarder119
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Wait you can get a iGrand Touring with the 6speed manual now? If so, I'd vote Mazda. If its an automatic, then no, get the Focus. Manuals are always better.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #3
xpartmgr
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Focus St! They are at dealers now so go drive one. I want one bad!!!!!
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
ralck
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Yeah, 2 Mazda dealerships confirmed the 2013 Grand's will have the manual as an option.

And I did try out the ST (with ST2 package). It's a wonderful car and drove amazing, but ultimately I don't need the performance, don't want to deal with the full size spare in the hatch (seats don't fold flat), and don't want to deal with the extra price (with winter wheels, the options I'd want, etc it gets expensive faster than the ST can accelerate to 60!).
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Yeah we do not have the weather as bad as you do. I still want one. hehe
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
ralck
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The other thing I should mention, is the Mazda's probably won't be hitting the US until late October. The current $2000 rebate on the SE's ends October 1st. So with the off chance that the Mazda dealerships lied just to try to get me to come in, if I wait too long I lose out on a great deal on a Focus.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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I test drove the 3 before buying the focus. IMO the Focus ride quality and noise level was far superior to the Mazda 3.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
ralck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyolsen View Post
I test drove the 3 before buying the focus. IMO the Focus ride quality and noise level was far superior to the Mazda 3.
I would say I generally agree with you. My girlfriend has a 2010 Mazda3 and I would say my Focus was loads quieter. I kind of like the more "sporty" feel of the Mazda suspension as it crashed over bumps a bit more. Then again, the Focus' suspension on the highway felt a LOT better.

Off topic: yay the quote button works again! Not sure why my browser was stupid the last couple times I replied!
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #9
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Both are great choices. The SkyActiv and 6-speed + agility + economy make the 3 very attractive. The latest subtle restyling has made the styling liveable (not so smiley).

The Focus is very nice...a Titanium 6-speed can probably be had for a bit over $20k (for a sedan, I think), so it is a great value. The Focus gets great mileage, too (last check for me was 38mpg for a 5-spd w/o Kysor shutters).

As far as drum vs. disc brakes...I wouldn't get hung-up re: servicing. In fact, I think you will have to service the disc brakes much more often. Drums last forever and, on the '12 Focus, braking is very good with both all-disc and disc/drum. I didn't notice a dramatic difference between them.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #10
ralck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebrud View Post
Both are great choices. The SkyActiv and 6-speed + agility + economy make the 3 very attractive. The latest subtle restyling has made the styling liveable (not so smiley).

The Focus is very nice...a Titanium 6-speed can probably be had for a bit over $20k (for a sedan, I think), so it is a great value. The Focus gets great mileage, too (last check for me was 38mpg for a 5-spd w/o Kysor shutters).

As far as drum vs. disc brakes...I wouldn't get hung-up re: servicing. In fact, I think you will have to service the disc brakes much more often. Drums last forever and, on the '12 Focus, braking is very good with both all-disc and disc/drum. I didn't notice a dramatic difference between them.
I should probably have specified earlier... I will be going with the Focus 5-speed (again) if I get another one. I just find driving manual so much more enjoyable, so whatever new car I get, it'll be a manual!

Also I'll be going hatch as I want the extra space for hauling my crap around!

You do make a good point about the brakes; I probably won't ever have to service drums. I guess I'm just paranoid that the e-brake will fail and I absolutely hate having to deal with drums (I've done it before).
Of course, rear discs will potentially make the car easier to sell down the road. And the last thing is I'm a "young kid" so I want the "bling" of discs in the back!
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