The current Mazda 3 is quite a nice car,
it’s reliable, it’s got interesting techniques, it’s got a nice finish,
and it steers extraordinarily good. It’s one of the driving car in its segment. But still, things won’t go smoothly for the Japanese car.
Last year, only 700 of them were sold. That isn’t a lot,
so maybe a technical update might do the trick. The sporty chassis won’t be the problem,
because this Focus here has also been aimed at driving pleasure. Even though it’s been around for a longer time than the Mazda,
Ford still managed to sell 4600 of these last year. And there are good reasons for that. Absolutely, there are a lot of reasons to choose for the Focus.
I think the sharp chassis is definitely one of them. I mean, it still steers fantastic. That’s been the case for the past three generations as well. The Focus has always been about a fun drive,
the sharpness, the nimbleness, and that hasn’t changed with the facelift. And when you look at it like that,
the Focus and the Mazda 3 do match quite a lot. Absolutely.
Both of them are at the sporty side of the C-segment. I’ll have to say though,
it’s not only the chassis but also the steering which is very good. Yep, it’s very honest.
Very direct as well, and you really feel what you’re doing. That makes steering this car a lot more fun than other mid-class cars. I agree,
but it’s a little bit jumpy to my taste. – Yep
If you drive over those manhole covers, the suspension gets quite the punch.
That’s something the Mazda does a little more refined. It catches the force in a better way.
You don’t hear it as much as well.
they’re both on the sporty side of the spectrum. Also, and this is quite a big difference,
this Focus has got a small downsized engine. It’s a 1,0-litre 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine,
one of the first downsized engines in the segment. Is it still the best?
– Nope, I don’t think so. I think the PureTech by PSA has taken the top spot.
That 1.2-litre which produces 130 horsepower, you also got it with 110 horsepower by the way,
but it’s such a nice engine. It really wants to go.
– Yeah. It’s very good.
Also, the 1,0-litre TSI by Volkswagen is also very nice, but that one’s down on power with its 115 horsepower.
– True. But it can still get around just fine.
One of the advantages to this small turbo-engine,
you’ve got a bit more torque in the lower RPM’s than the bigger Mazda-engine. That way it’s quite quick.
But, right now it’s connected to the Powershift-automatic gearbox. – And that isn’t a gearbox we’re very fond of,
and we’ve never been very fond of the double clutch Ford-gearbox. If you drive off,
it stays in a lower gear for too long. It just isn’t good.
– Nope, it seems like it doesn’t really know what gear to use.
It just isn’t very refined. If you compare it too the DSG-gearbox from Volkswagen,
this one doesn’t come close at all. This gearbox isn’t the pinnacle of refinement. Indeed, just look at the Ford-range.
This gearbox isn’t offered a lot. It’s like they already think to themselves;
‘Alright, we’ve got an automatic gearbox, we won’t send people away who are looking for an automatic gearbox.’
It’s funny though, considering that it was once in the ‘Trend’-trim. That’s true.
Also, there’s another downside. It’s the multimedia system.
– Yeah. Meanwhile it’s a Sync3-system,
so it’s the third generation of their multimedia system which has been around for quite some time now. And with the Focus-facelift,
they’ve thought; ‘we want to incorporate a touchscreen’. So, if you want to actually touch the screen,
you almost have to get out of your seat. It just doesn’t really work.
You do notice that the car hasn’t been developed with a touchscreen. Yep. And it’s not just difficult to reach,
but also if you do want to use it, if you touch it or if you’re browsing the map,
sometimes up to 15 options show up. On such a small screen, the chance of you pressing the wrong menu,
is pretty big.
That makes it pretty frustrating to manage while driving. That could be done so much better,
and that’s something the Mazda proves. What is positive about the Focus though,
because it’s little bit older, is its price.
– Yeah, because this very car €27.000, and you get a lot of car for your money. – Indeed, you get satnav, alloy wheels,
aircon, automatic gearbox, and that’s quite the money saver,
because it’s €2000 cheaper than the manual. What else?
There’s no electrical windshield heater, which is a shame, but you can order it ‘on the side’.
Because, that’s what Ford’s good at, the options aren’t very expensive. – Yep, they always have very good packages available.
And that’s something they always do very good. I mean, if compare the prices at Ford with the competitors,
they usually differ around €2000 to €3000. That has always been one of their strong points,
and it’s still very good. True, because the Mazda is more complete,
but also more expensive. Then, the Mazda 3.
Generally speaking, Mazda’s 3 has always been an expensive car. But then again,
a Mazda 3 is a very complete car, especially this GT-M.
If you want a correct comparison to the Ford, you’re thinking of a Ford Focus TS in Trend-trim. Then you have a car with about the same equipment aboard,
only for €2000 less. So the differences aren’t that big,
but the equipment isn’t really the same. With the Mazda you get split climate control as well,
as opposed to the manual airconditioning in the Focus, and there are some other things. But, if you get the GT-M version in the Mazda,
you do get the lot. – You really get everything.
In GT-M-trim, you get leather, you can heat almost anything in the interior, everything is electrically adjustable,
you get adaptive cruise control, a heads-up display, you really have everything.
And that’s a big advantage for the Mazda. Another advantage in the Mazda in my opinion,
are the controls. – Absolutely,
they’ve got a central button nowadays, something Mazda explicitly chose for,
and I think that’s a good idea. They’re imitating the premium brands now,
and when you’re driving, such a button is a lot more handy than a touchscreen. – Indeed,
because if you’re browsing in a menu and you know you have to move three options, you just move the button three slots.
Then you just know you’re there. So, instead of continuously looking at your screen,
you just take a quick peek and then get back to concentrating on the road. That makes it more exact to control, easier to control,
but it’s also a safety feature, because you aren’t looking at your screen all of the time.
So that’s very good. The same goes for the finishing in this car,
alright this is a more expensive version, but even when you forget the leather everywhere,
it’s better looking right? It’s much more pleasant in here than in the Focus. Right, Mazda is a stubborn little brand,
and that’s something they like. Take the engines for example,
they don’t feel anything for downsizing. Right now we’re driving a 2.0-litre SkyActiv,
producing 120 horsepower. It’s also available with its own automatic gearbox.
A traditional automatic gearbox with torque transfer. But it’s pretty good at its job, don’t you think? – Absolutely!
I mean the Powershift in the Focus can be very quick, which isn’t the case in this traditional gearbox.
It’s a quite slow gearbox to be honest. It’s very swift though,
it does choose its gear changes very well, and if you’re really going to try,
it’s a little bit quicker than the Ford. Even though it’s got five horses less,
it still has 210 Nm of torque. It gets off the line pretty quickly,
it’s one second quicker to the 100 than the Focus. Also, you can enjoy the drivetrain in this Mazda 3 pretty well.
You can really feel the enthusiasm. The steering is very good.
It’s not too hard, I mean it’s quite sturdy but definitely not too hard. The big thing is,
this Mazda is light. And that’s something you feel. So you won’t have to be travelling very fast to feel very agile. Personally, the steering just comes short when compared to the Focus,
that one gives you a little bit more feedback. So you’re getting a better impression of what you’re doing.
– Even though it’s got a lighter steering than this! – True!
It’s a fraction lighter but still more feedback, that’s funny. I agree, they really nailed it at Ford.
This Mazda however, also has nice steering, just not as good as the Focus, but it isn’t bad at all. Right, if you add up the numbers,
you get a very strong and stubborn package. So the most important question of all then;
is it worth the extra €2000? You do get more refinement, more car,
but also a more modern car in my opinion. – Absolutely.
Especially when you’re talking safety systems and stuff like the heads-up display. Even the central button.
It just feels like it’s up half a segment. So, if you want our opinion;
that extra €2000, is more than worth it.