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Just found this video thought everyone would enjoy it. I really feel that the new Skyactive Mazda 3 is the only real competition for our 2012 Focus. My friend just bought a $21,000 Mazda 3 four months ago(he jumped the gun), needless to say he is sick about it. Another example of why research is the ultimate life skill, lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooP66vc_Z3I&feature=grec_index
 

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i researched both before going with the foci. i feel you just get MORE for the $$$ with the focus.
 

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Thanks for the link. Great Focus vs Mazda3 comparison video. Both 0-60 times crappy. Must have been the altitude like they said. Best two choices in this segment.
 

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Thanks for the link. Great Focus vs Mazda3 comparison video. Both 0-60 times crappy. Must have been the altitude like they said. Best two choices in this segment.
As for me, I think the Focus is a better deal. I note that Mazda is trying to dig themselves out of a hole of their own making (i.e. that butt-ugly / smiley face / uglified rear-end major styling screw-up)...

Having said the above, I would offer the following comments re the M3:

I contend that the M3 has more built-in sport than the Focus 'cause -

i) the TCS / ESC "tone-down" switch is actually on the dashboard. The Focus', only affecting the TCS -- and truly turning it off, is buried several layers deep in the interactive display [thumbd];

ii) the gearing on the SkyActiv 6 speed -- is a somewhat sportierr arrangement than that in the Focus 5 speed. The gear-spread between 3rd and 4th gear is a lot tighter, ratio-wise, than that of the MTX-75 in the Focus;

iii) electrically-driven hydraulic steering: it's clear that steering feel is utmost in Mazda designers' minds.

I am not sure what the comparative 0-60 times and Quarter times are... but it may very well be that the M3 is a sportier, more capable, quicker drive, on a twisty two-lane road, where the sport of overtaking slower cars can be liberally practised :)

I can't help but thinking that Mazda engineers tend to bake in more inherent "sport" into their cars, as another person aptly put it.
 

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As for me, I think the Focus is a better deal. I note that Mazda is trying to dig themselves out of a hole of their own making (i.e. that butt-ugly / smiley face / uglified rear-end major styling screw-up)...

Having said the above, I would offer the following comments re the M3:

I contend that the M3 has more built-in sport than the Focus 'cause -

i) the TCS / ESC "tone-down" switch is actually on the dashboard. The Focus', only affecting the TCS -- and truly turning it off, is buried several layers deep in the interactive display [thumbd];

ii) the gearing on the SkyActiv 6 speed -- is a somewhat sportierr arrangement than that in the Focus 5 speed. The gear-spread between 3rd and 4th gear is a lot tighter, ratio-wise, than that of the MTX-75 in the Focus;

iii) electrically-driven hydraulic steering: it's clear that steering feel is utmost in Mazda designers' minds.

I am not sure what the comparative 0-60 times and Quarter times are... but it may very well be that the M3 is a sportier, more capable, quicker drive, on a twisty two-lane road, where the sport of overtaking slower cars can be liberally practised :)

I can't help but thinking that Mazda engineers tend to bake in more inherent "sport" into their cars, as another person aptly put it.
I definitely agree with your points here including that Focus is the overall winner. Among every car in its class the Focus may be 2nd to the Mazda for pure sport driving, but it is rated higher in pretty much every other category. If all I did was auto-cross all day it would be the Mazda. In my real world, the Focus wins hands down.
 

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To the average "joe", the Focus and the Mazda aren't going to be the number one choice, at least in Canada. It'll come down to price, and gas mileage, in my humble opinion. Having said that, to the guys and girls who like a little fun in their cars, and can't afford a Porsche, BMW, etc. the Focus is the better of the two. Our Focus's may not be as nimble, by a hair, but for the price, the Focus is a very refined car. I didn't test a Mazda, it didn't meet the criteria of what I need in a car, but I did test the Elentra and found it very nice, it drove like my 95 Escort. Someone at my work has a 2010 Mazda 3, and took one look at my Focus, inside and out, and she doesn't like her car anymore!!
 

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mazda = [vommit]. My 2001 focus had a better interior and actually looked better than that "clown face" [:eek:)] lol.
 

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The SkyActiv 3 is also currently only the 2.0L model, which has less power too :D the 2.5L is still the same engine, and still gets crappier mileage.
 

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I actually did want to comparison-shop the Focus and the SkyActiv 3, but even as of this writing there isn't a single SkyActiv 3 in my area with a manual transmission.

This just boggles my mind. How can three separate Mazda dealers - we're talking MAZDA, the Zoom-Zoom automaker - not have a single SkyActiv 3 with a manual?
 

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The Focus is a great choice in it's segment, but as the owner of both (well, an '07 M3), the Mazda is a far sportier drive. It is also far quicker w/the 2.3 motor, though it only gets 30mpg. The Focus is much quieter and refined, though.

I drove a '10 M3 and it felt great, but I couldn't get over how they ruined the styling. (Thankful they haven't ruined the Miata). I'm encouraged by the new '12 CX-5 Skyactiv. It looks like they are returning to sanity.
 

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To the average "joe", the Focus and the Mazda aren't going to be the number one choice, at least in Canada. It'll come down to price, and gas mileage, in my humble opinion.
You probably right... I guess my comments were enthusiast based. I think the ave Joe would have to go for the Elantra based on a decent car at the lowest price.

Someone at my work has a 2010 Mazda 3, and took one look at my Focus, inside and out, and she doesn't like her car anymore!!
Yeah the guys in the video found the Mazda interior lame. The Focus interior looks a like Mercedes space shuttle compared to the Mazda.
 

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I can't stand that stupid smilie face on the Mazdas.
 

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The creepy clown smiley face on the Mazda's..it's what drove me away from them. I don't need a car to show the world that I'm that happy :p
 

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I'm much happier with the Focus than the Mazda3. I didn't buy a sports car, I bought an eco car with no compromises. The Mazda3 appeals to a different buyer than me. I just don't understand people who think a 0-60 time equates to a good car. When was the last time you floored your car off the line at a stop sign.
 

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I'm much happier with the Focus than the Mazda3. I didn't buy a sports car, I bought an eco car with no compromises. The Mazda3 appeals to a different buyer than me. I just don't understand people who think a 0-60 time equates to a good car. When was the last time you floored your car off the line at a stop sign.
Ummm... Yesterday, traction control turned off so they'd squeak some, and POS ricer in the next lane dueching up my ride home... Beat his ass too. And I'm still bone stock. His car needed to have its picture in our autofails section of the forum. It looked straight out of Fast and Furious but without the actual power to back up the look and sound. Haha!


But back to the original subject... the Mazda3 is definitely "Zoom-Zoom" infused with a more sports oriented attitude, but this means they focus all of their effort on drivetrain and suspension and essentially ignore the interior. My new Focus is only a hair less fun to drive even with focused efforts beyond what's underneath. And because of this other attention to details the Focus is 100% more refined and road-trip/commuter friendly. And I much prefer my car to look like the animated version of Darth Vader up front than some crazy smiling dueche who may or may not have done something with your sister... Lol! [8]
 

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I actually did want to comparison-shop the Focus and the SkyActiv 3, but even as of this writing there isn't a single SkyActiv 3 in my area with a manual transmission.

This just boggles my mind. How can three separate Mazda dealers - we're talking MAZDA, the Zoom-Zoom automaker - not have a single SkyActiv 3 with a manual?
The first 3 or 4 months of production are all AT cars to meet expected demand. Most buyers don't like to row their own gears anymore :(

I compared these 2 cars side-by-side meticulously for months before making my decision. Overall it came down to a few things:

-The Focus had better "bang for the buck" with more features for less $
-The interior on the Mazda3 felt dated and wasn't as nice or premium-feeling
-Colors available and styling left something to be desired
-Focus had better levels of NVH reduction and suspension compliance with minimal (if any) loss in comparative performance

I will say however that the Mazda3 will get significantly better mileage than the FF. I test drove one with <100mi on the odo on a 75% city/25% highway loop, gunning it pretty good a few times and generally not trying to get good MPGs at all. The trip computer indicated that I had achieved 39MPG for my trip [80?]
 

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I will say however that the Mazda3 will get significantly better mileage than the FF. I test drove one with <100mi on the odo on a 75% city/25% highway loop, gunning it pretty good a few times and generally not trying to get good MPGs at all. The trip computer indicated that I had achieved 39MPG for my trip [80?]

Yeah, I'm curious about the real world mileage of the Skyactiv powertrain. I like where Mazda is going with this, and the CX-5 looks like it will be an appealing car. If it were out now, I 'd be very interested...

My wife and I test drove the Mazda3(non-skyactiv) in automatic form. I sat in the back seat to test out the leg room and was pretty comfortable(at 6 ft 2 in). The ride seemed a little noisier if a bit sportier. I personally didn't care for the interior as much as the Focus. It seemed that there were too many different colors going on with the dashboard and LCD displays. It just didn't seem as polished. That and the goofy exterior, not just the grin but the whole shape, turned me off a little. I have a feeling though that the next generation of the 3 that fully embraces the Skyactiv powertrain, lighter weight chasis ext. will be tough to compete against if they improve the interior just a bit.
 

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I actually did want to comparison-shop the Focus and the SkyActiv 3, but even as of this writing there isn't a single SkyActiv 3 in my area with a manual transmission.

This just boggles my mind. How can three separate Mazda dealers - we're talking MAZDA, the Zoom-Zoom automaker - not have a single SkyActiv 3 with a manual?
This is true. Before buying my FF, I was actively looking for a Skyactive 3 with a manual. None are available right now. The Mazda website shows no inventory of such cars in any part of the country. None of my local dealers can even order one right now and I went so far as to call other dealers in the country and none could get them, either. So Ford won by default and I'm very happy for it!
 

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The Mazda 3 is old and dated but if you only care about performance its a good car. Personally I love all the creature comforts of my Titanium and its still right up there performance wise.

The video showed a 11+ sec 0-60mph for the focus which I thought was BS, so I took mine out just now with 87 octane TSC turned off and did a 9.50 but thought I didn't quite time my stopwatch so I did another go and came in at 9.81
 
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