Mazda3 vs Ford Focus Comparison Olympia WA

See How the Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback Stack up Against the Ford Focus Lineup


Compact sedans and hatchbacks are popular with young drivers, young professionals, or anyone on a budget. Our favorite, of course, is the Mazda3. It stands out in a sometimes too youthful class for its mature styling and advanced ride-quality. Today, we'll see how the Mazda3 compares to the Ford Focus sedan and hatchback options.


All Mazda3 trims have a 2.5L SKYACTIV® engine that produces 186 horsepower. The Focus has four engines that can be divided into two sets. Most trims have either a 123-horsepower engine or one with 160 horsepower. The more performance-minded ST trim delivers 252 horsepower and the RS trim offers up 350 horsepower. While the ST and RS options clearly outrank the Mazda3's 2.5L engine, most shoppers aren't looking at those variants unless they're enthusiasts, so really the Mazda3 does a better job serving most drivers.

Ride quality is also important, and the Mazda lineup is known for its class-above engineering. Even though this is an entry-level model, all Mazda3 trims for the sedan and hatchback have standard G-Vectoring Control Plus to provide enhanced dynamics, and you won't find these on the Focus.



Infotainment Technology

Since the Mazda3 lineup is aimed at younger shoppers, designers knew it was important to make sure there was great technology on all the trims. For example, all Mazda3 models come with an 8.8-inch touchscreen. This is impressive for two reasons. One is that many competitors still avoid putting touchscreens on the starting trims, and two is that 8.8-inches is quite sizable, especially for the compact segment. Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ are standard with the hatchback and available on the sedan.

If you choose a Focus, you won't get access to a touchscreen until you hit the third trim, and while the 8-inch screen with Apple and Android integrations is nice, it still isn't as large as what you'll get with a Mazda3.



As we hinted earlier, the Mazda3 and Focus vehicles have very different styles. Like all the new Mazda vehicles, elegance, class, and sophistication take center stage. We love the Mazda3's smooth exterior with swooping character lines that blend into the vehicle. Once inside you'll find a refined cabin that doesn't feel too young, and for mature drivers who're looking for an affordable option without sacrificing style, this is a good thing! As with all hatchbacks, the Mazda3's more spacious body style option does have a slightly more athletic look than the sedan, but you'll still drive away with a vehicle that's on the sleeker side.

Looks are subjective, but when you put the Mazda3 models next to the Ford Focus sedan or hatchback, you'll notice a night and day difference. With Ford, you'll get a vehicle that's not bad looking, but aesthetically it's a bit boxy and boring. It also looks like an entry-level vehicle, and we don't think these models need to be uninspired. Inside, the interior is fairly dated and a bit chunky. The ST and RS have more unique looks, so if you want a performance-focused vehicle that has Fast and Furious vibes, you might like their gritty and punchier styles. Personally, we'll take something we can feel confident taking into the office.



There are some slight differences between the standard features on the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. The hatchback comes with i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies, and to get these on the sedan you need to upgrade to the Select Package. Once there, though, you'll find the following:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring that's paired with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Smart Brake Support for some automatic braking assistance
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane-keep Assist
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go that's perfect in traffic situations
  • Driver Attention Alert to let you know when it's time to pay better attention or pull over for a rest
  • High Beam Control so you don't accidentally leave your high beams on
  • In comparison, the Focus models only have BLIS® with rear cross-traffic alert, auto high-beams, and a lane-keeping system. Even more disappointing is that they're only available if you get a package that's reserved for the Titanium trim.


    Ford might have a long-standing reputation, but they've been resting on their laurels with the Focus lineup. The Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks offer better performance and handling for most shoppers, greater infotainment features, and more advanced safety. Plus, the style is almost unbeatable and even puts luxury options to shame! We think it's obvious which compact sedan or hatchback you'll want to take home.


    Mazda of Olympia

    2201 Carriage St SW
    Directions Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: 800-678-9210 Ext. 4
    • Service: (800) 971-6596 Ext. 2
    • Parts: (800) 971-6596 Ext. 3


    • Monday 9:00am to 8:00pm
    • Tuesday 9:00am to 8:00pm
    • Wednesday 9:00am to 8:00pm
    • Thursday 9:00am to 8:00pm
    • Friday 9:00am to 8:00pm
    • Saturday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
    • Sunday 11:00AM - 5:00PM
    1. Mazda of Olympia

      2201 Carriage St SW
      Olympia, WA 98502

      • Sales: 800-678-9210 Ext. 4
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